The directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service todaty elected Mark Gearan, president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, N.Y., to be the new chairman, succeeding interim chairman Stephen Goldsmith on June 1. That’s the same day that Goldsmith joins the administration of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as his top-ranking administrator.
The meeting of the board – which currently has only eight of its authorized 15 members – took place today in Washington. At the same time, Eric J. Tanenblatt of Atlanta, senior managing director of the international law firm McKenna, Long and Aldridge, was elected vice chairman, effective immediately.
The elections follow the traditional bipartisan leadership roles of the corporation, with the chairman being from the president’s political party and the vice chairman being from the opposition.
Goldsmith assumed the post of temporary chair of the board last fall after Alan D. Solomont resigned in anticipation of becoming the U.S. ambassador to Spain, a post he assumed in January. Goldsmith’s move up left the corporation without a vice chairman.
Gearan was first appointed to the board by President Bill Clinton, was reappointed by President George W. Bush in 2004 and began his current five-year term in 2007. Gearan was director of the Peace Corps under Clinton, for whom he also served as an assistant and as White House deputy chief of staff.
Tanenblatt served at the Peace Corps under President George H.S. Bush, and at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. More recently, he served as chief of staff to Georgia Gov. Sonny Perduce (R) and as a longtime adviser to former Sen. Paul Coverdell (R-Ga.).
The board sets overall policy and direction for CNCS and its programs, which include AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and Learn and Serve America.
Officials said today there is no indication when President Barack Obama will nominate new members to the board; there will be eight vacancies when Goldsmith leaves. The board can have no more than 50 percent of its members (plus one person) from any one political party and members must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.