Stephen Goldsmith, interim board chairman of the Corporation for National and Community Service, has been named New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s chief deputy for operations and plans to leave the board. Bloomberg made the announcement on Friday.
A professor of government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Goldsmith is to assume his new post June 1. In a posting today on Twitter, Goldsmith had he is “excited about work to come.”
Goldsmith’s departure will leave what is supposed to be a 15-member board with just seven members. President Barack Obama has not made any appointments to the board.
Goldsmith, who had previously served as chairman under President George W. Bush, became interim chairman in October when Alan D. Solomont resigned as board chairman in anticipation of becoming Obama’s ambassador to Spain. Solomont assumed that post early this year.
Although there are provisions in the bylaws for the vice chairman to assume the chairman’s position when the chairman resigns and to serve until a new chairman is chosen by the board, there is no vice chairman, so it is unclear who will succeed Goldsmith as chairman.
Board members must be confirmed by the Senate, and no more than 50 percent of the board plus one member – or eight members of a full board – can be of one political party. According to the bylaws, a majority of the appointed board members constitutes a quorum, which will now be just four members.
The board serves as an integral part of the CNCS management, and is in charge of reviewing policies and programs recommended by the chief executive officer, Patrick Corvington. Corvington himself was sworn in less than three months ago, more than a year after Obama took office.
Goldsmith has already resigned from Washington-based McKenna Long & Aldridge, a legal and consulting firm, where he was a senior strategic adviser and independent consultant in the Global Infrastructure and Public-Private Partnerships practice.
The reduction of the CNCS board to less than half its authorized strength comes as the corporation is charged with a rapid expansion over the next several years, up to a volunteer strength of 250,000. Obama’s 2011 budget request includes funding that would raise the number of AmeriCorps members to 105,000, compared to the 75,000 when Obama took office.
Goldsmith, a Republican, served two terms as mayor of Indianapolis and is considered an expert in government innovations. However, he has never lived in New York and his appointment as the number 2 person in the Bloomberg administration has drawn criticism politicians and local New Yorkers for his lack of familiarity with the city.