Gearan Serves on White House Council – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Gearan Serves on White House Council

Through an executive order issued by the White House on Tuesday, HWS President Mark D. Gearan will serve on the newly established White House Council for Community Solutions.  The 25-member council, appointed by President Barack Obama, will provide advice to President Obama on the best ways to mobilize citizens, nonprofits, businesses and government to work more effectively together to solve specific community needs. 

The executive order stipulates that the chair of the Board of Directors of Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) shall also serve on the Council. Gearan, former director of the Peace Corps, has served as chair of the CNCS since June 1. Gearan was first appointed to the CNCS board by President Clinton in 2000, was reappointed by President Bush in 2004, and began serving his current term in 2007. 

 “These impressive men and women have dedicated their lives and careers to civic engagement and social innovation,” said President Obama. “I commend them for their outstanding contributions to their communities, and I am confident that they will serve the American people well in their new roles on the White House Council for Community Solutions.  I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”

In addition to providing advice to the President on solving specific community needs, the White House Council for Community Solutions has been tasked with three key functions: enlisting leaders in the non-profit, private, and philanthropic sectors to make progress on key policy goals; providing strategic input and recommendations to help the federal government promote greater innovation and cross-sector collaboration; and honoring and highlighting those making a significant impact in their own communities.  The Council is composed of leaders from non-profits, corporations and foundations who are committed to social innovation and civic engagement.  

Other council members include: Patty Stonesifer, chair of the Board of Regents for the Smithsonian Institution; Byron Auguste, senior partner at McKinsey & Company; Diana Aviv, president and chief executive officer of Independent Sector; Paula Boggs, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary of Starbucks Coffee Company; Jon Bon Jovi, chair of the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation; John Bridgeland, chief executive officer of Civic Enterprises; Jim Canales, president and chief executive officer of The James Irvine Foundation; Scott Cowen, president of Tulane University; John Donahoe, president and chief executive officer of eBay Inc.; Michael Fleming, executive director of the David Bohnett Foundation; David Friedman, lead director and chair of Edison Properties/HNB Private Trust; Jim Gibbons, president and chief executive officer of Goodwill Industries International; Michele Jolin, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress; Michael Kempner, founder, president, and chief executive officer of MWW Group; Steven Lerner, founder and managing partner of Blue Hill Group; Maurice Lim Miller, founder, chief executive officer, and president of the Family Independence Initiative; Laurene Powell Jobs, founder and chair of the Emerson Collective; Norman Rice, chief executive officer of The Seattle Foundation; Kristin Richmond, co-founder and chief executive officer of Revolution Foods; Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation; Nancy H. Rubin, co-chair of Amnesty International’s 50th Anniversary; Paul Schmitz, national chief executive officer of Public Allies; Jill Schumann, president and chief executive officer of Lutheran Services in America; Bobbi Silten, chief foundation officer of Gap Inc.; and Bill Strickland, president and chief executive officer of Manchester Bidwell Corporation.

Gearan also serves on the boards of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and The Partnership of Public Service. He is a member of the Leadership Council of ServiceNation and past chair of both the Annapolis Group and the National Campus Compact. Gearan has been an active figure in politics since the 1988 Dukakis presidential bid, when he served as manager for Dukakis’ campaign, as well as Press Secretary at the campaign’s national headquarters.  After Clinton won the nomination for president, Gearan became Al Gore’s campaign manager during his run for vice presidency.  During the Clinton Administration, Gearan served as White House Deputy Chief of Staff, and was eventually promoted to Assistant to the President and Director of Communications. Gearan went on to serve as Director of the Peace Corps before joining HWS as president in 1999.