President Mark D. Gearan has accepted an invitation to serve as a member of the Host Committee for the 2010 National Conference on Volunteering and Service, which will take place in New York City in June, 2010. The City is co-hosting the conference with the State of New York, the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Points of Light Institute. The Host Committee is chaired by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
In welcoming Gearan to the Committee, Mayor Bloomberg wrote, “We look forward to using the conference to build on the outstanding achievements of the past year.” He noted the signing of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, as well as NYC Service, and the Cities of Service coalition.
The annual conference is presented by the Points of Light Institute and the Corporation for National and Community Service. It is the nation’s largest such conference on service and civic engagement and is anticipated to draw more than 4,000 volunteer and service leaders and social entrepreneurs from around the world.
The volunteer host committee helps guide the planning, execution, and promotion of the conference. Other New York and national leaders from the nonprofit, national service, education, foundation, corporate, and philanthropy sectors will serve on working committees to support the conference’s operations, program, fundraising, external relations, and community engagement efforts.
“Last’s year’s conference unleashed a jolt of civic energy that is powering new and creative ways of solving problems through service,” said Nicola Goren, Acting CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “This year, with New York City as our home, the conference will be a watershed moment in driving expansion, innovation, and impact for a new era of service.”
A former director of the Peace Corps and a member of the Board of Directors for the Corporation for National and Community Service, Gearan is a frequent speaker on the topic of service among undergraduate students, a group he notes has a deep desire to give back to the community. This winter, he was a speaker at a national conference on public service titled, “What’s Wrong with Public Service? A Challenge for Higher Education” held at Dickinson College, and was the recent featured speaker at the Harvard-Radcliffe Club of Western New York during “The Harvard Affair to benefit the Summer Community Service Fellowship.”
Gearan has been president of Hobart and William Smith since 1999. He was deputy chief of staff and director of communications in the White House during the Clinton administration. Gearan serves on the boards of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, The Partnership of Public Service and as Chair of the Annapolis Group. He is a member of the Leadership Council of ServiceNation and is the past chair of National Campus Compact. A native of Gardner, Mass., Gearan earned his B.A. in government cum laude at Harvard University and law degree at Georgetown University. He is also the recipient of 12 honorary degrees.
The Corporation for National and Community Service supports what it refers to as “the American culture of citizenship, service and responsibility.” The organization describes itself as a catalyst for change and champion for the ideal that every American has skills and talents to give. The Corporation is the nation’s largest grantmaker supporting service and volunteering. CNCS provides community service opportunities through programs such as Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs.