Eskew quits White House, but will stay in DC

WASHINGTON: Tucker Eskew, chief strategist for global communications at the White House, has resigned his post effective December 7.

WASHINGTON: Tucker Eskew, chief strategist for global communications at the White House, has resigned his post effective December 7.

Eskew cited the recent birth of his second son as his primary reason for stepping down. The White House has yet to name a successor for him.

The South Carolina native will remain in Washington and launch his own consulting shop, where he is likely to "build on his experience" as a leader of international communications, he told PRWeek. He has also accepted an invitation to serve as an adviser to President Bush's 2004 reelection campaign.

Eskew, 42, joined the Bush team in 2000 as communications director for the South Carolina primary. Following the election, Eskew became director of the White House Office of Media Affairs, which serves specialty press and outside-the-beltway publications.

Two months after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Bush sent Eskew overseas to coordinate the Coalition Information Center with 10 Downing Street, the administration's first attempt to manage global news cycles on a 24-hour basis. Upon returning in March 2002, Eskew formalized those efforts by launching the White House Office of Global Communications (OGC).

Last week, Eskew considered the challenges he faced in the White House.

"We have come a long way in clarifying and coordinating, and making compassionate the communications about America post-September 11," he said. "But as a result of years - if not decades - of charges and misleading impressions about America going unchallenged, we still have a long way to go."

Eskew pointed to the recent confirmation of former US Ambassador to Morocco Margaret Tutwiler as undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, as well as the imminent launch of Mideast TV, a US-supported 24-hour Arab news network, as signs that the US' efforts are moving in the right direction.

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