Obama nominates new NEH chairmain

The president has nominated Jame Leach as the National Endowment for the Humanities chairman. Some observers may be surprised by the choice (Leach is a Republican)–but I doubt party lines mean much for our small national agency. What we’re most interested in is a chairman who will see the value of our work with the general public at the state and local level, as much as the research and scholarly projects NEH also supports.

Fortunately, we’ve had the opportunity to showcase AHF to three of the last four NEH chairs—Lynne Cheney, Sheldon Hackney and Bruce Cole—all of whom spoke at our fall awards luncheon. We hope to see Mr. Leach of Iowa here in the future!

Here is an excerpt from a White House press release dated June 3, 2009:

President Barack Obama has nominated James Leach as the next chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Jim Leach served as a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Iowa for 30 years. He founded and co-chaired the Congressional Humanities Caucus, which is dedicated to advocating for the humanities in the House of Representatives and to raising the profile of humanities. Mr. Leach and his Democratic co-founder, Rep. David Price of North Carolina, received the Sidney R. Yates Award for Distinguished Public Service to the Humanities from the National Humanities Alliance in 2005. Since leaving Congress in 2007, he has taught at Princeton University and served as the interim director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Written by: Bob S.