Evelyn S. Lieberman, 71, a public-relations specialist in Washington who as deputy chief of staff under President Bill Clinton helped arrange a job transfer for Monica S. Lewinsky after becoming uneasy about the junior staffer's frequent presence around the Oval Office, died Dec. 12 in Washington.

The cause was pancreatic cancer, said a friend, Julie Mason.

Ms. Lieberman was known in the capital as the consummate public-relations professional, an adviser who assiduously worked to support her powerful bosses, including, at times, defending them from self-inflicted wounds.

"She is absolutely protective of your interests and she is always totally, unabashedly frank with you," Vice President Biden, who had a long career as a senator from Delaware and who employed Lieberman as his Capitol Hill press secretary, once told the Washington Post. Whenever Biden said something "stupid," he recalled, she would close his door and ask in spirited fashion why he had done so.

Her accomplishments included serving, from 1997 to 1999, as the first female director of Voice of America, the government broadcasting institution, and later as the first undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs at the State Department.

At her death, Ms. Lieberman was a senior adviser and assistant to the secretary for external relations at the Smithsonian Institution, where she had worked closely with leaders of the sprawling cultural organization for the last 13 years, assisting in major projects including the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian.

Ms. Lieberman met the Clintons in the 1980s while serving as director of public affairs at the Children's Defense Fund, the nonprofit advocacy organization where Hillary Clinton was a board member.

After Bill Clinton's election as president in 1992, Ms. Lieberman joined the White House as assistant to the chief of staff in the first lady's office. She later became deputy assistant to the president and deputy press secretary for operations before being named, in 1996, assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff - the first woman to serve in that role. - Washington Post