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Buffalo State grad who was first woman White House deputy chief of staff to give talk Wednesday

Evelyn Lieberman, a 1966 graduate of SUNY Buffalo State College who was the first woman to serve as White House deputy chief of staff, will return to her alma mater Wednesday to present “This American Life,” a behind-the-scenes look at her work in the highest levels of government, with the biggest names in American politics.

The presentation, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 7 p.m. in the Burchfield Penney Art Center’s Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Auditorium. A question-and-answer period will follow the talk.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in education from Buffalo State, Lieberman taught high school English for four years. An unforeseen move to Washington, DC, led to a job as a librarian at Georgetown University, followed by a series of public relations positions at several high-profile national advocacy agencies and a stint as press secretary to then-Senator Joe Biden.

In the White House, she served as a key adviser to President Bill Clinton and Chief of Staff Leon Panetta. She was assistant to the chief of staff in the Office of the First Lady, advising Hillary Clinton and later she was appointed adviser to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Lieberman currently serves as director of communications and external affairs for the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex.