Journalist and Clinton White House aide Peggy A. Lewis ’77 will give the keynote address at Cap and Gown Convocation on Saturday, September 27 at 5:00 p.m. in Notre Dame Chapel. She currently teaches broadcast journalism at Howard University. Her remarks will focus on civic engagement and the Presidential campaign.
Lewis fulfilled a life-time ambition to teach when she became a full-time member of the faculty in the Department of Journalism in the School of Communications at Howard University in the fall of 2003. She took her first class in broadcast journalism at Howard when she was an undergraduate at Trinity, and spent nearly 20 years as a broadcast journalist before embarking on a career in public service which included working for President William Jefferson Clinton, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman, Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman, and the Alliance for Retired Americans.
Lewis was the director of communications for the Children’s Defense Fund from September 1999 to May 2002. She was responsible for the Children Defense Fund’s overall communications efforts, including public relations, marketing, publications, and the website. She oversaw Marian Wright Edelman’s activities with national, state and local media as well as the organization’s media outreach on all policy and grassroots initiatives.
Prior to the Children’s Defense Fund, Lewis served as deputy assistant secretary for public affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor under Secretary Alexis M. Herman, where she oversaw the Department’s media and publications operations. Lewis held two positions at the White House, first as director of specialty press for President Bill Clinton and then as assistant to the chief of staff to the First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. She was director of communications for the Alliance for Retired Americans.
Before government service, Lewis was an award-winning journalist. She spent 13 years as a reporter and anchor for the ABC affiliate in Miami, WPLG-TV. She covered Haiti, urban issues, local politics, and all issues pertaining to children and minority communities. She began her career in radio, at WTOP-AM, an all news radio station in Washington, D.C. She was also a writer at WCBS-AM all news radio in New York and a television reporter at the CBS affiliate in Tampa, Florida, WTVT-TV.
Lewis has been an active member of the community. She spent nine years as a Big Sister with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and was president of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Greater Miami. In 1994, she was named the National Big Sister of the Year. She was also president of the South Florida Association of Black Journalists (1991-1993) and is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, and the Broadcast Educator’s Association.
Lewis is currently a doctoral student majoring in history. Her research includes the impact of broadcasting on the Civil Rights movement. In May 2007 she received a master’s in history from Howard University. Her thesis was “The Anatomy of Slave Resistance.” A native of Washington, D.C., Lewis earned a bachelor of arts in English from Trinity in 1977. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, the Broadcast Educators Association, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and The Links Inc. She successfully completed the U.S. Marine Corps Marathon in October 2000.
Cap and Gown Weekend
Saturday, September 27 and Sunday, September 28