by Jasmine Batchelor
March 1, 2019
Former White House Press Secretary, Political Commentator,
New York Times No. 1 Best-Selling Author, and Host of Fox’s “The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino”
Dana Perino is a revered political commentator and journalist, New York Times best-selling author, and a former White House Press Secretary. She currently hosts The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino, and is a co-host on the hit show The Five, both on the Fox News Channel. The Five has won its time slot every day since it started in July 2011 and last year finished as the fifth most-watched program in all of cable. Part of an ensemble cast, some viewers have nicknamed Perino “The Voice of Reason” on The Five. A Fox News political commentator, she also appears weekly on other Fox programs.
The Voice of the White House. Before joining Fox, Perino served as the first Republican woman to be press secretary of the United States. She spent more than seven years as part of the administration of President George W. Bush, joining right after the 9/11 attacks as a spokesperson for the Justice Department. A year later, she was pulled to the White House and stayed until the last day of the Bush administration. As press secretary, she handled interactions with the White House press corps and advised the president on communications. President Bush has said that whenever he did a press conference or interview, Perino made sure he was never surprised by a question. She describes her approach to the position as a 50-50 mindset – half the effort went to defending and advocating the position of the president and the United States, and the other half was defending and advocating the media’s access to the president and the government. Perino continues to be active with the Bush Center in Dallas and joyfully says her motto is, “Once a staffer, always a staffer.”
Post White House Political Commentary. After her years in the White House, Perino went from speaking on behalf of the nation to speaking for herself. Not only becoming a commentator on current events and foreign policy, she also published And the Good News Is…Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side, which debuted as a No. 1 New York Times best-seller and remained on the list for more than three months. Her newest book, Let Me Tell You about Jasper . . .How My Best Friend Became America’s Dog, was released in October 2016 and reached the No. 10 spot on the New York Times nonfiction best seller list. Her other publishing credits include editorial direction for Things that Matter by Charles Krauthammer and The Time of Our Lives by Peggy Noonan. She is also the host of the podcast “I’ll Tell You What” alongside Fox News political editor Chris Stirewalt. Hugely popular, the podcast was made into a limited-run TV show in the fall of 2016, marking the first time Fox turned a podcast into a series.
Giving Back. In 2010, President Obama appointed her to serve on the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which complemented her passion for advocating for individual and economic freedom, especially for women in Africa. Since leaving the White House, Perino and her husband, Peter McMahon, have volunteered in South Africa and Congo. In 2014 they spent a week at a charitable hospital and came back to America to broadcast their findings and appeal for additional help.
To express her gratitude for the opportunities she’s been afforded, Perino started Minute Mentoring, a program for young women that’s like speed dating between mentors and mentees. She also serves on the board of Companions for Heroes, which matches rescue animals with first-responders and veterans managing post-traumatic stress.
Perino was born in Wyoming and raised in Colorado. She has a masters degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois – Springfield. Before the Bush Administration, she worked as a daily news reporter, as a press secretary on Capitol Hill, and in the private sector for global public relations companies.