Institute for Corean-American Studies

Patrick Butler
Vice President
The Washington Post Company

Patrick Butler is vice president of the Washington Post Company, with responsibilities for public policy, new business development, community service, and special corporate projects.

He is also the founder and president of Newsweek Productions, Inc., which produces factual programming for PBS, MSNBC, CNBC, National Geographic Channel, A&E, the History Channel, Discovery Networks, and American Movie Classics. Watergate Plus Thirty: Shadow of History, broadcast on PBS in July 2003, won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational Program.

Pat is The Post Company’s liaison with Yomiuri Shimbun and JoongAng Ilbo, the company’s publishing partners in Japan and Korea, and he has organized international conferences for the Post Company on US relations with India, Korea and Japan. He is currently coordinating a media industry effort to enact a federal “shield law” balancing the public’s right to know with its interest in the fair administration of justice, and enabling journalists to protect the confidentiality of their sources.

Pat was previously Washington vice president of Times Mirror (1985-1991), the Los Angeles-based media company (since acquired by Tribune Company) whose flagship newspaper is the Los Angeles Times. He was a founder of the Times Mirror Center for The People & The Press (now the Pew Research Center), which conducts public opinion research on press, political, policy and international issues. Pat was also a coordinator of Times Mirror’s American Agenda project, chaired in 1988 by Presidents Ford and Carter.

From 1982 to 1985, Pat was president of Patrick Butler and Company, a communications consulting firm whose clientele included Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Howard Baker, Bob Dole, Henry Kissinger, James Baker, Cary Grant, the Secretary of Health & Human Services, the Secretary of Labor, the Department of Agriculture, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, Bristol-Myers, American Express, Times Mirror and RCA, among others.

He earlier served as staff vice president – editorial services and staff vice president – government relations for RCA Corporation and as director of corporate public relations for Bristol-Myers Company.

In government service, Pat was a speechwriter, associate editor of the White House Editorial Office, chief political speechwriter, and transition director of speechwriting and research for President Gerald R. Ford.

Pat was associated for ten years with Senator Howard H. Baker, Jr., of Tennessee, serving as special assistant to the Senate Republican Leader, policy director for Baker for President, consultant to the Senate Majority Leader, acting press secretary to the Majority Leader, and consultant to the White House chief of staff.

He was legislative director and chairman of the Impeachment Task Force for U. S. Representative for Lawrence J. Hogan, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, during the Nixon impeachment proceedings.

Pat was nominated by President Reagan and confirmed by the United States Senate as a member of the National Council on the Humanities. He was chairman of the Council’s Public Programs Committee, which recommends funding by the National Endowment for the Humanities for public television and radio documentaries (including The Civil War), museum exhibitions and other programs.

He was chairman of PCS Action, a coalition of companies promoting the creation and licensing of Personal Communications Services (PCS), a family of new digital wireless telecommunications technologies. Pat served on the steering committee of the Media Companies Group, a coalition of companies with interests in both broadcast and cable television. He was chairman of the staff management committee of the CEO Forum on Education & Technology, a group of companies and education organizations seeking to better integrate technology in the learning process.

Pat is chairman of the Dean’s Advisory Council of the American University School of Communication and a member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for the National Archives, the Pew Research Center, the Maryland Public Television Foundation, the Media Institute (and chairman of its Independent Media Project), the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), the Children’s Charities Foundation, the Greater Washington Sports Alliance, and SOME (So Others Might Eat). He is also a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of Tennessee College of Communication and Information.

Pat was appointed to the White House Millennium Council by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and has also served on the Board of Governors of Ford’s Theatre, the Board of Trustees of Alfred University, the Learning Channel’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Math and Science Education, the Centennial Committee of the Old Executive Office Building, the Advisory Board of Children’s Express, and the Board of Directors of Friends of Cancer Research. He is a member of the Judson Welliver Society of former presidential speechwriters.

Beginning his career in high school as a reporter for the Chattanooga News – Free Press, Pat then covered politics and City Hall for The Chattanooga Post. He later served as assistant director of public information for the Appalachian Regional Commission and as press secretary and environmental policy advisor to U.S. Representative Wilmer "Vinegar Bend" Mizell of North Carolina, helping save the New River in a landmark environmental protection case.

After majoring in political science at the University of Tennessee, Pat earned a Master of Arts degree (with distinction) in Communication at American University in Washington, DC, where he has taught graduate courses on The Press and Politics and on 21st Century Journalism. He also studied finance and accounting at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Pat has been accepted as a Fellow of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He delivered a lecture on government and media at the 75th anniversary celebration of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in October 2005.

In 2004, Pat was honored as a DC-CAPtain by the DC College Access Program for his role in securing passage, reauthorization, and funding for the DC College Access Act, under which the federal government pays the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition for DC students attending public colleges and universities nationwide.

He is married to Donna Norton Butler, production coordinator of Washington Parent magazine. They live in Bethesda, MD, and have three daughters – Katharine, Anna and Sydney.

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This page last updated 2/8/2007 jdb

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