Wise Words from a Washington Political Insider

Evelyn Lieberman, ’66, gave a captivating speech to a packed auditorium at the Burchfield Penney Art Center at Buffalo State on Wednesday, April 1, 2015.

During her presentation, she offered several “life rules” to members of the audience:

  • Be kind to others
  • Stand up for yourself
  • Tell the truth – “Nothing is more important,” Lieberman noted.
  • Work for what you want in life – “A dream is a wish without action,” she said.
  • If you don't mind who gets the credit, then more work can get done
  • No crying at work – “The focus is more on your tears, and not the issue at hand,” Lieberman commented.

She also provided a behind-the-scenes glimpse into life working in politics, and took questions from the audience following her presentation.

"The most important thing is to open yourself up to opportunities," Lieberman said. “There’s no such thing as planning your career path,” she noted.

src="https://alumni.buffalostate.edu/image/news/lieberman_conway-turner-web.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 5px;" title="Buffalo State President Katherine S. Conway-Turner and Evelyn Lieberman, '66" width="320" />After earning her bachelor’s degree in education from Buffalo State, Lieberman taught high school English in Hicksville, NY, for several years - but an unforeseen move to Washington, DC, prompted a career change.

Throughout her illustrious career, Lieberman has worked at the highest levels of government with the biggest names in American politics. As the first-ever female to be named White House deputy chief of staff, Lieberman served as a key adviser to President Bill Clinton and Chief of Staff Leon Panetta. She also served as assistant to the chief of staff in the Office of the First Lady, advising Hillary Clinton. Later, she was appointed adviser to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

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

Update: Buffalo State College mourns the passing of Evelyn S. Lieberman, ’66, SUNY Hon. D.H.L., ’14, who died on December 12, 2015 in Washington, D.C., after a battle with cancer. She was 71. Read more.