CNCS Chief Nominee Corvington Clears Committee

Corvington, Obama's pick to lead CNCS

Patrick Corvington, Barack Obama’s pick to become the C.E.O. of the Corporation for National and Community Service, was approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee earlier today.

His nomination may see the floor of the Senate as early as next week — if he’s supported there, he’ll be able to start his new job early in the new year.

It’s been over a year that David Eisner left his position at CNCS, when his Chief of Staff Nicola Goren stepped up to serve as Acting C.E.O. Last month Eisner assumed his new role at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, as its new President and CEO.

Corvington, who has been working in leadership development and nonprofit capacity building at the Annie E. Casey Foundation has a strong record of interest in next-generation social change leadership—for example, co-authoring studies Ready to Lead: Next Generation Leaders Speak Out and Next Shift: Beyond the Nonprofit Leadership Crisis, and supporting the work of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network.

Groups he’s been involved with like the social innovation fellowship Echoing Green and the nonprofit education organization American Humanics have soundly endorsed Obama’s choice to head CNCS. Read the CNCS press release announcing his nomination earlier this year.

In addition to overseeing the work of AmeriCorps programs, the Corporation may soon take on new responsibilities outline in the Kennedy Serve America Act that was signed into law earlier this year and is making its way through the appropriations process in Congress. And Corvington seems to bring a good mix of issue knowledge to take a leadership role with these new issues.

For example, the CNCS appropriation may offer funding for a Social Innovation Fund to support innovative nonprofits that have proven the success of their model and need assistance to scale up and leverage private-sector funding; a Volunteer Generation fund to support grants to states and nonprofits to recruit, manage and support volunteers and strengthen the nation’s volunteer infrastructure; and possibly a token amount of funds for the Nonprofit Capacity Building program, to provide organizational development assistance to small and mid-size nonprofit organizations.

This week, a joint House-Senate conference approved $1.149 billion for CNCS, and today the House of Representatives passed the FY 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act, moving the appropriations process forward. If the Senate follows suit, then the Corporation can move forward with planning and implementing the Serve America Act. Read more about the budget here.

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