Evelyn Lieberman was a widely-respected and successful government public relations official when she was confirmed as director of the Voice of America in 1997. She was known to have strong organization and communication skills, crucial while serving as Senator Joe Biden’s Press Secretary, Assistant to First Lady Hillary Clinton’s Chief of Staff, first White House Deputy Chief of Staff, and as the first Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.
Lieberman’s earliest work was as an English teacher, then later as a science librarian and public relations professional. While director of public affairs at the Children’s Defense Fund, she met board member and future first lady Hillary Clinton. She was press secretary to Senator Joseph Biden from 1988 to 1993. After Bill Clinton’s election to president, Lieberman joined the White House as assistant to the chief of staff in the first lady’s office, then later deputy assistant to the president and deputy press secretary for operations. Later, as President Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Lieberman concentrated on White House operations and administrative functions. It was as Deputy Chief of Staff that Lieberman famously dismissed former intern Monica Lewinsky for “spending too much time around the West Wing.”
While at VOA, Lieberman presided over expansion of worldwide English into a 24-hour-a-day production and launch of the Macedonian Service and production of television news to Serbia and Bosnia in the wake of Yugoslavia’s breakup.
After leaving VOA, Lieberman served as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State, then Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Her final contribution was as Director of Communications and Public Affairs at the Smithsonian Institution, from 2002 until her death in 2015. She oversaw internal and external communications, the Office of Government Relations, the Office of Special Events and Protocol, and the Office of Visitor Services, and served under five Secretaries (chief executives) of the Smithsonian.