View Header


                     Office of the Press Secretary
                         (Aboard Air Force One)
For Immediate Release                                     August 9, 1999


President Clinton today announced that he has named J. Terry Edmonds to be Assistant to the President and Director of Speechwriting. "Terry Edmonds has already served my administration with great distinction," said the President, "and I am looking forward to the invaluable contribution he will make in this new role."

This appointment marks a return to the White House for Edmonds, who previously served in the speechwriting office, from 1995 through 1997, first as Special Assistant to the President and later as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Speechwriting. Since December of 1997, he has served as Associate Commissioner for External Affairs with the Social Security Administration, and under the leadership of Harvard Professor Christopher Edley, he has been helping the President draft a report to the nation on building One America in the 21st Century. Mr. Edmonds also took a leave of absence from the White House in 1996 to serve as a Senior Advisor for Speechwriting on the Clinton-Gore campaign. He was the first African-American presidential speechwriter and, upon assuming his new position, will be the first African-American Director of Speechwriting.

Prior to joining the White House in 1995, Mr. Edmonds was Deputy Director of Speechwriting for Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala. He also has more than 24 years of experience as a public affairs and feature writer in both the public and private sectors. He served as Press Secretary for then-Maryland Congressman Kweisi Mfume and also served as Director of Communications for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. He is a graduate of Morgan State University, and lives in Columbia, Maryland with his wife, Antoinette.