• The Passing of Jocelyn White Martin, former Director of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships

    The White House Fellows regrets the passing of Jocelyn White Martin. Jocelyn was the Director of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships from 2001 to 2005. Her family prepared the following words in celebration of her life. Also included below is a remembrance from Jack LeCuyer who worked closely with Jocelyn throughout her years as Director of the Commission. This photo of Jocelyn – along with several of her Fellow Director’s – was taken at our Annual Leadership Conference in 2017.

    Jocelyn White Martin, of Palm Beach, FL, Washington, DC, and Paris, France, passed away on February 1, 2020 surrounded by her loving family after suffering a ruptured brain aneurysm. Mrs. Martin was beautiful both inside and out. Her smile would light up a room and her laugh was contagious. She loved life and her family. She was a loyal friend to so many. Her family and friends will miss her greatly. She married Robin Bradley Martin on June 9, 2012. They were the love of each other’s lives and lived life to the fullest in the time they had together. Mr. Martin passed away on March 21, 2019. They are now happily reunited.

    Born on June 6, 1953 to George M. and Louise G. White, she graduated from Laurel School in Shaker Heights, OH in 1971 and from St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY in 1975 with a B.A. in Government. A former businesswoman and entrepreneur with a background in strategic communications and government relations, she founded Environmental Issues Management, Inc. (EIM), an environmental and risk communication consulting firm in 1990. She worked on over 100 environmental projects across the country and trained numerous corporate executives in risk communication. EIM’s clients were in the top 50 of the Fortune 500 companies. In 1998 EIM was sold to Dames and Moore. While running EIM, Mrs. Martin, along with partners, started a sister company, Remedial Technologies Network, LLC (RTN). RTN’s first product was the Remediation Information Management System, which provided information on innovative, emerging and existing technologies for cleaning up hazardous waste sites. RTN was later sold to John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

    Mrs. Martin served in The White House as Director of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships from 2001-2005. After leaving The White House, she served as a consultant to the Ambassador from Qatar on the $100 million Qatar Katrina Fund, which supported health care, housing and education projects to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Additional work included: serving as a Vice President at APCO Associates, the Arnold & Porter Consulting Group, where she oversaw the firm’s legislative, regulatory, public relations and grassroots coalition building activities; serving in President George H. W. Bush’s Transition Office; serving in The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs during the Reagan Administration as Andrew H. Card’s Deputy; serving as Manager of Regulatory Affairs for the Can Manufacturers Institute; working as a paralegal for Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. and working for the Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. She also held internships in the offices of Senator William B. Saxbe (R-OH), Senator Bennett Johnston (D-LA), Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, Committee on House Administration and the House Rural Development Subcommittee.

    Mrs. Martin was passionate about giving back to her community. At the time of her death she was a member of the Board of Trustees of The Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach, FL. Other community service included the Allocation Committee for the Town of Palm Beach United Way; Board of Directors, the National Conference on Citizenship; National Council of Advisors, Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress; Volunteer with Molly, her beloved certified pet therapy dog, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center; Member, Smithsonian Luncheon Group; Member, Washington Opera Business Council; Board of Directors, Columbia Hospital for Women; Leadership Committee, The Salvation Army’s Turning Point Project for Women and Children; Board of Trustees, Westmoreland Congregational Church; Sunday School Teacher at Westmoreland Congregational Church; Volunteer Child Life Support Assistant, Children’s National Medical Center; and Volunteer Tutor, East End Neighborhood House, Cleveland, OH. Mrs. Martin’s interests included bridge, golf, creative writing and history. In addition, she was a member of the Metropolitan Club, Washington, DC; the Chevy Chase Club, Chevy Chase, MD; the Sulgrave Club, Washington, DC; the Bath & Tennis Club, Palm Beach, FL; the Everglades Club, Palm Beach, FL and Cercle de l’Union Interalliée, Paris, France. Survivors include her sister Stephanie Bradford, Stockbridge, MA; brother Geoffrey White, Guilford, CT; sister Pamela White, Washington, DC; stepchildren Christopher Martin, Dana Martin and Catherine Jain, all of Washington, DC, their spouses and a step-grandson; four nieces and a grandnephew.

    Generous to the end, Mrs. Martin gave the gift of life to three people through organ donation. A private burial will be held for the family. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in her memory to The Jocelyn and Robin Martin Memorial Lecture at The Society of the Four Arts, 100 Four Arts Plaza, Palm Beach, FL 33480. Published in The Palm Beach Daily News on Feb. 16, 2020

    Remembrance from Jack LeCuyer (WHF Class of 1977-78): Jocelyn White Martin assumed the responsibilities of Director of the White House Fellows Program in the period immediately following the contested election of 2000. She rallied support for the program, to include getting a new Commission on board in May 2001 and selecting the WHF class of 2001-02. Jocelyn continued to support the White House Fellows Program following her tenure as Director. She often attended the Annual Leadership Conference and was a significant financial donor to the Campaign for the White House Fellows. Jocelyn provided the following thoughts about her tenure with the White House Fellows Program during our 50th Anniversary Celebration in November 2015.

    “The class of 2001-2002 started on September 5, 2001. Six days later, just as the class arrived at Airlie House for the pre-fellowship year retreat, the events of September 11, 2001 began to unfold. The event changed the nature of the White House and the experience of the White House Fellows. The atmosphere prior to 9/11 was quite relaxed in the White House and the Departments and Agencies. Understandably, this all changed overnight to a tense and more controlled environment. Suddenly, the Commission had special radios in its offices to warn of an attack and I and my staff kept flat shoes under our desks so we could evacuate fast without the encumbrance of high heels.”

    “On September 20, {2001} the families of victims of Flight 93 all met with the President in the East Room. He spent time with them individually. They departed through the East Corridor where staff lined up to give them their condolences as well. One elderly family member stopped and said, “You are all so beautiful, such beautiful young people. If they could see all of these beautiful people that they probably died to save they would be so happy.” This was a moving and emotional experience that was not an expected part of running the White House Fellows Program.”

    “Needless to say, 9/11 temporarily created a vacuum for the White House Fellows in many of the placements. This would change quickly and some would be busier in more interesting assignments than they ever imagined.”

    “About a week after 9/11, we had the first Anthrax attacks. This resulted in a change to the way mail was processed in the White House, impacting the application process. Everything was delayed and we had to extend the application deadline. We also had to change the address to which the applications were sent and then we had to physically have the applications collected and delivered to us. They still went through a screening process that left many of them dried out and brittle. We will never know if we actually received them all. After this event, we began plans for having the applications submitted on-line in the future.”

    “After we went to war in Afghanistan and then Iraq, some of the Fellows I had in my classes went off to fight. I suppose this same thing happened during the Viet Nam war as well. The Fellows office sent care packages to Iraq and Afghanistan every Christmas. September 11 and the wars overshadowed the Fellows’ experiences during the time I served as director.”

    “I thought it was important that the Fellows have a substantive meeting with the President and not just a “grip and grin”. Clay Johnson {and President Bush’s best friend}, who oversaw the White House Fellows office, was very supportive of the idea. Clay was very committed to the White House Fellows program and was instrumental in getting us time early on with the President.”

    “The first meeting was held on July 31 with the class of 2000-2001, a transition year class. Nothing was off limits. The Fellows all had a chance to ask a question. The President loved their questions and really became engaged in answering them. We had a scheduled time of fifteen minutes and when Clay tried to end the meeting, the President kept on going until we had been with him for forty minutes. During the first meeting, the President thanked each member of the Military for their service. Looking back, I find this interesting as it happened before 9/11.”

    “The President loved meeting with the Fellows and wanted to meet two or three times a year with each class. Future meetings lasted as long as an hour and a half. The President continued to meet with each class of Fellows and invited some to Camp David and to Texas for biking.”

    We shall miss Jocelyn’s participation and enduring support of the White House Fellows Program. May she rest in peace. – Jack LeCuyer


    We extend our deep condolences to Jocelyn’s family and to all the White House Fellows whose lives she touched.

    posted: February 25, 2020
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