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Director of Specialty Media for the Office of Media Affairs
Consultant for Non-Profit Organizations
Government Affairs Specialist
Republican National Convention
Hispanic Magazine.com - June 2003 - Leading Latinas - Mercedes Viana
Mercedes VianaHispanic Magazine.com - June 2003 - Leading Latinas - Mercedes VianaOften speaking Spanish from her phone in the Old Executive Office Building (adjacent to the White House), Mercedes M. Viana is the voice of the White House for many "specialty media" outlets.Viana worked with Hispanic media on then-Governor Bush's presidential campaign and on the inaugural committee.Before getting involved with the Bush team, she was the Washington representative for Florida International University.She attended FIU as an undergraduate, earning a bachelor's degree-and Summa Cum Laude honors-in political science in 1994.Viana received a master's of public administration degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., in 1997.Her job in the White House, she says, is full of surprises."There is no average day.Every day is dealing with different issues that affect the Hispanic community, or the other portfolios that I deal with."The media outlets Viana works with are wide-ranging-everything from women's-interest magazines to religious publications; from the glossy Glamour to the Spanish-language television network Telemundo to the Christian magazine World. Her message, however, is no different than the president's, no matter who she is talking with."The message is the same, just sometimes in a different language," says Viana.Literally. And don't let her name fool you into thinking she's just a political softie.She's "dead-on when it comes to effective communications," says Barbara Ledeen, director of outreach at the Senate Republican Conference.On issues such as the Miguel Estrada nomination fight in the Senate, says Ledeen, Viana "keeps mistakes from happening.It's "a very good investment" to have people like Viana on the White House team, says Manuel Miranda, an aide to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.Viana is married to Matt Schlapp, another key administration official, special assistant to the president and deputy director of political affairs, working under Karl Rove.The White House's "top-down" emphasis on family, faith, and "keeping yourself physically and mentally sound" is an important part of the administration, and essential to her functioning, says Viana, a Catholic."We feel very blessed."And not just about their marriage."It has been such an honor to serve such a strong, solid leader."For Viana, the daughter of a Cuban dissident, it is the only place she can imagine being at this moment in history."My father has been an incredible role model and inspiration in my life.He has taught me about the importance of freedom," says Viana."President Bush," she says, "carries that same value.He appreciates freedom; he values freedom.That's why it's so easy and such an honor to work for this president-because I believe that.It is so important in all our lives, and I grew up knowing that." To top off her busy and successful young life, Viana is also at work on the next generation of faithful freedom lovers-Mercy and Matt's first child is due this month.
Tomb&Associates : Public Affairsâ€¢Communications
Mercedes Viana Schlapp Mercedes Viana Schlapp is a consultant for non-profit organizations and political campaigns.She specializes in grassroots outreach, Hispanic media and communications strategy.Mercy served as a regional communications director and a surrogate for the Bush-Cheney ‘04 campaign.She also worked as Director of Specialty Media for the Office of Media Affairs at the White House, serving as the President's Spanish spokesperson for over two years.She appeared regularly on Spanish language television and participated in radio and print interviews for national and regional media outlets.During her tenure at the White House, she coordinated several historic Hispanic initiatives including the first presidential Spanish radio address, which aired on national and local Hispanic stations; the launching of the first White House Spanish website and the first Presidential Spanish address to the people of Cuba.During the 2000 Presidential campaign, Mercy served as a press secretary for the Republican National Committee Victory 2000, where she organized Hispanic surrogate press.She worked as a spokesperson for the 54th Presidential Inaugural Committee, coordinated Hispanic media and wrote the Presidential Inaugural Media Guide.Starting her career in Washington, D.C., in Representative Lincoln Diaz-Balart's office, Mercy left the Hill in 1997 and joined the D.C. office of Andersen Consulting (now known as Accenture).She then worked two years as a government affairs specialist for Florida International University.
Bush, White House snub Congressional Black Caucus
White House spokeswoman Mercedes Viana said she would check with the president's scheduling staff before answering NNPA questions about the letters.Chiding the president, Rep.
Mercedes Viana Schlapp and Yohana de la Torre will be two Hispanic CJ's who will take an in-depth look at how President George W. Bush's policies are improving the lives of Hispanic Americans.Mercedes worked as Director of Specialty Media for the Office of Media Affairs at the White House, serving as the President's Spanish language spokesperson for more than two years.Yohana presently serves as the Outreach Media Coordinator for the Republican National Committee.Prior to working at the RNC, she was a reporter for a season sports show on Miami's local NBC affiliate.She also worked at the Miami Herald and Primer Impacto at Univision Network.
Línea Abierta Programs for May 2003
Mercedes Viana, spokesperson for the White House, comments on these developments.In these interviews, White House's spokesperson Mercedes Viana and Congressman Xavier Becerra (D-LA) comment on the tax-cut plans debated in Washington, and suspended Mexico-U.S. talks on Social Security benefits.White House's spokesperson Mercedes Viana defends nominee Miguel Estrada.