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Dana W. White

Former Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs


Dana W. White served as the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. In this role, she was the principal staff assistant and advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense for communications, news media relations, public outreach, engagement, public affairs and visual information. Ms. White served as the Pentagon Chief Spokesperson for both the Department of Defense and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.

As the communications policy lead for Department of Defense, she provided departmental guidance to the U.S. Armed Services and Combatant Command Chiefs of Public Affairs as well as more than 4,500 public affairs personnel worldwide. Ms. White directly oversaw the Defense Media Activity, an organization of approximately 2,000 personnel which provides a wide variety of multi-media information products to more than one million U.S service members, civilian employees, and their families.

Prior to that role, Ms. White was the founder and CEO of 1055 Grady LLC, a leadership and strategic communications consultancy firm in Washington, D.C. that specialized in developing the talents and skills of senior leaders, including executives, political appointees, candidates and elected officials. From September 2012 through September 2015, she was the Director of Policy and Strategic Communications for the Renault-Nissan Alliance in Paris, France. She also served as a Professional Staff Member on the Armed Services Committee of the U.S. Senate. Her responsibilities included oversight of U.S Pacific Command, U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Southern Command, U.S. European Command, and the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, counter-narcotics and nonproliferation. Ms. White was also a foreign policy adviser on the 2008 presidential campaign of Senator John McCain (R-AZ). Prior to joining the Senate Armed Services Committee, she was an editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal based in Hong Kong and the Taiwan Country Director in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Before coming to the Department of Defense, Ms. White was the Director of the Washington Roundtable for the Asia-Pacific Press at The Heritage Foundation and a publicist for the Fox News Channel. She started her career in Washington as a press secretary for the Republican Conference of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Ms. White has a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Languages and Civilization from the University of Chicago. She studied at Capital University of Economics and Business in Beijing and Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul. She speaks Mandarin Chinese and French. She is the recipient of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service and an MIT Seminar XXI National Security Fellow.