Presidential Speechwriters to Speak at Dartmouth


The Institute for Writing and Rhetoric will host its fourth annual event on "The Art of Presidential Speechwriting" February 25. This year, we welcome Don Baer, former speechwriter for President Bill Clinton, and Clark Judge, former speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan.

Baer served as Director of Speechwriting and Research and Chief White House Speechwriter, among other roles, for President Clinton. He worked on every State of the Union address from 1995-2000 and many other major Presidential addresses, and he was an important part of Clinton’s 1996 successful re-election effort. Baer is now Worldwide Vice Chairman of Burson-Marsteller, a strategic communications firm, and Chairman of Penn, Schoen & Berland, a research firm.

Judge served as Speechwriter and Special Assistant to President Reagan and Vice President Bush. Among other responsibilities, he was a member of the Moscow Summit speechwriting team, lead writer for the Toronto Economic Summit, and Judge helped shape the White House approach to the 1988 presidential campaign, won by George Bush. Judge is founder and managing director of the White House Writers Group, Inc. and an opinion journalist, with work appearing in such publications as Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and

As part of the day’s events, the speechwriters will conduct a public Q&A session in Carson L01 from 4-5pm.

Prior to this public event, Baer and Judge will hold a workshop for Dartmouth Speech students and join them and other special guests for lunch. The speechwriters will also visit a public speaking course.

“In past years, our students have really appreciated the chance to meet with presidential speechwriters, and they’ve learned from their stories and advice,” Josh Compton, Assistant Professor of Speech in the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric, said. “It’s an opportunity to study this unique, influential intersection of writing and speaking.”