Former White House, NPR Staffers Join SMPA as Distinguished Fellows

School of Media and Public Affairs welcomes Tony Fratto and Barbara Bradley Hagerty.

September 02, 2014
Tony Fratto, former deputy White House press secretary under President George W. Bush, and Barbara Bradley Hagerty, former correspondent for National Public Radio, will join the George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs as distinguished fellows for the 2014-15 academic year. The program brings professionals from media, political communication and public affairs to SMPA each year to participate in class discussions, public events and career advising. 
“The School of Media and Public Affairs is thrilled to bring these professionals and their exceptional experience to our academic community,” said SMPA Director Frank Sesno. “The perspectives and insights into the fields of journalism and political communication that Tony and Barbara will provide to our students are invaluable and reflect the opportunities that make SMPA so unique.”
Mr. Fratto is managing partner at Hamilton Place Strategies, a Washington-based strategic communications and crisis management consultancy. He served as deputy assistant to the president and deputy press secretary to Mr. Bush from September 2006 to January 2009. He has also worked as an assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of the Treasury and as a communications specialist for the Bush-Cheney campaign.
"I'm incredibly excited and honored to join the GW family as a distinguished fellow this year,” said Mr. Fratto. “I hope I can share everything I've learned along the way, but I also know I'll be learning a lot. It's going to be a terrific year."
Ms. Hagerty worked for NPR for the last 18 years, earning several national awards for her coverage of politics, legal affairs and religion. She wrote the 2009 New York Times best-seller “Fingerprints of God” and is currently working on a book about the science of how to thrive in midlife, to be published next year by Riverhead books. Ms. Hagerty has received two Gracie Awards from the Alliance for Women in Media, a National Headliner Award and the Religion Newswriters Association’s Radio/Podcast Religion Report of the Year Award. She was also selected for a Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellowship in Science and Religion in 2005.
“I'm delighted to be working with GW's students at this point in journalism's evolution—a sort of Wild West of the news business when everything is up in the air,” said Ms. Hagerty. “I look forward to seeing how we can mesh the bedrock values of traditional journalism — honesty, insight, bull-doggedness—with the fresh, smart approach of new media. It should be a great ride.”
Beginning with the 2015-2016 academic year, the distinguished fellows program will be endowed as the Terker Distinguished Fellows in Media and Public Affairs. Bruce and Cindy Terker, parents of a 2013 SMPA graduate, initiated the distinguished fellows program in 2010. 
Ms. Hagerty and Mr. Fratto join the ranks of past fellows, who include Sen. Robert Bennett, director and White House videographer Arun Chaudhary, CBS White House correspondent Major Garrett, New York Times journalist Bob Herbert and former under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs Tara Sonenshine.