Margaret D. Tutwiler

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Margaret D. Tutwiler, "an old government hand," replaced "advertising whiz" Charlotte Beers in October 2003 to lead "the [U.S.] government's public-relations drive to build a favorable impression abroad" and mostly focus "on improving the American image in the Muslim world." [1][2]

In June 2004, Tutwiler abruptly resigned her position as Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs and departed the State Department, to take a government relations position at the New York Stock Exchange. In December 2007, Tutwiler joined the financial management company Merrill Lynch, as their senior vice president and head of Global Communications & Public Affairs. [1] A Merrill Lynch press release stated that Tutwiler "will assume responsibility for all external and internal communications activities. This includes: media and government relations; employee, business group, executive shareholder and public policy communications, corporate marketing and brand identity, and other related activities." [2]

"Winning Hearts and Minds"

"Margaret Tutwiler, who announced her resignation from the U.S. State Department in April 2004 at the end of the bloodiest month in Iraq, was well-regarded in her five-month stretch as the high-profile replacement for Charlotte Beers, a former ad executive who left Washington in March 2003, just days before the outbreak of war with Iraq. Unlike Beers, Tutwiler had an inside-the-beltway career working for four Republican administrations as a State Department spokesman and then as an ambassador to Morocco. Tutwiler was expected to outmaneuver Beers in sheer political experience alone, and hopes were high that she would announce some major initiatives, despite 2004 being a presidential election year. At the time of Tutwiler’s confirmation hearings, it seemed that her Washington political experience would serve her well in helping to tackle the downward slide of America’s reputation in the world. But she deflected such insider experience when [October 29, 2003,] she told the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee overseeing her confirmation that when it comes to the complex reality of winning hearts and minds: 'There is not one magic bullet, magic program or magic solution. As much as we would like to think Washington knows best, we have to be honest and admit we do not necessarily always have all the answers.' ...

"When Tutwiler suddenly announced her switch from government public relations to the New York Stock Exchange executive suites, one could not help but notice that the move occurred during the week that the first brutal images of abused Iraqi prisoners were released worldwide, rendering her youth exchange program from the Middle East—Partnerships for Learning, with its less than 200 participants—a drop of hope in an ocean of anger and resentment." [3]

Biographical Data

Margaret DeBardeleben Tutwiler was born December 28, 1950, in Birmingham, Alabama, the daughter of Temple Tutwiler, II, and Margaret DeBardeleben Tutwiler. [4]

"Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, Ms. Tutwiler is a graduate of the University of Alabama, and has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University’s School of Communications. She has received several awards for public service and is the youngest person ever to be inducted into the Alabama Hall of Honor." [5]

"Tutwiler worked on Gerald Ford's 1976 presidential campaign and in President Reagan's Treasury Department before serving the elder Bush as State Department spokesperson, the first woman ever to hold the post. During the Florida recount that followed the 2000 presidential election, Tutwiler coordinated the Bush campaign's media strategy from Tallahassee. At the time of her nomination, she was serving as an unpaid communications consultant in the White House.

"Prior to joining Bush's recount effort, Tutwiler worked in media relations for the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), an influential trade group for the wireless telecommunications industry." [6]

Career Chronology

  • Bookkeeper, First National Bank of Birmingham (1974)
  • Office Manager and Executive Secretary to the Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party (1974)
  • Assistant Office Manager for the Fund for Government Investors, Washington (1975)
  • Executive Director of President Gerald R. Ford's Committee for Alabama (July 1975 to July 1976)
  • Lobbyist, National Association of Manufacturers for Alabama and Mississippi (1977 and 1978)
  • Assistant to Chief of Staff James A. Baker III and Deputy Assistant to the President for Political Affairs (1981-1985)
  • Member, U.S. Delegation to the World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the UN Decade for Women in Nairobi, Kenya (1985)
  • Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and Public Liaison, U.S. Department of the Treasury (1985-1989)
  • Senior Advisor for the Transition team of the U.S. Department of State (November 1988 to January 1989)
  • Consultant, Department of State (briefly)
  • Assistant Secretary of State (March 1989-August 1992)
  • Assistant to the President and Special Adviser for Communications, (President George H.W. Bush) (August 1992-January 1993)
  • Director, Legg Mason Inc., Baltimore-based securities brokerage and money managment firm (August 1995)
  • Senior Vice President for Public Affairs, then President, Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (1995-2000)
  • Trustee, Kenmore Association, Fredericksburg, Virginia (1996-1999)
  • Assistant to the President and Special Adviser for Communications (President George W. Bush) (January-June 2001)
  • Ambassador to Morocco (March 2001-October 2003) (replaced Edward Gabriel)
  • Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, State Department Office for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (October 2003-June 30, 2004)
  • Executive Vice President for Communications and Government Relations, New York Stock Exchange (effective July 12, 2004)
  • Head of public relations at Merrill Lynch (effective December 17, 2007)

Other affiliations

SourceWatch resources

External links


  1. "Merrill Taps Tutwiler," O'Dwyer's PR Daily (sub req'd), December 11, 2007.
  2. Press release, "Merrill Lynch Names Margaret D. Tutwiler Head of Communications & Public Affairs," Merrill Lynch, December 11, 2007.
  3. Advisory Board, High Atlas Foundation, accessed April 3, 2010.