I was very excited a few minutes ago to read that the Obama Administration has finally announced its choice for CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).  CNCS is the nation’s largest grantmaker supporting service and volunteering. Through their Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, they provide opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to express their patriotism while addressing critical community needs.  Since the Corporation’s inception:

  • More than 1 billion volunteer service hours have been generated by Senior Corps volunteers;
  • More than 400,000 individuals have served through AmeriCorps; and
  • More than 1 million high school students participate annually in service-learning initiatives funded by Learn and Serve America.

I have been an external consultant/trainer to CNCS and its programs for 14 years helping insure that participating organizations are excellent stewards of federal and local resources.  My areas of focus have included performance measurement and evaluation, board development, creating strategic partnerships with businesses, leadership, organization development, strategic planning, and using technology as a management tool.  Not only has CNCS (and the programs it funds) been one of my long-term clients (thus helping pay the bills), they have also been a source of inspiration for me as I am constantly impressed by the commitment and passion of the folks on the ground in local communities (and in DC) who truly believe in the power of service and volunteerism in addressing the social ills of our times.  Especially since I have worked so much with programs looking at their impact, I have had the opportunity to “see behind the curtain” and see the documented successes of how national service has made significant differences throughout the country.  I am a big fan of AmeriCorps, VISTA, Senior Corps, NCCC, and Learn and Serve.

Lately, it has been of concern to me that, in a time of great new focus on service and volunteerism under the Obama Administration and with the passing of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, that a new CEO had not yet been announced.  I have felt like opportunities to ride the momentum were slipping away.  So it was with true pleasure I read first on Echoing Green’s website about the nomination of Patrick Corvington to be the next CEO of CNCS.

I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting or working with Patrick, I really like what I read about his background.  “Patrick was tapped in 2005 to serve as a Senior Associate at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Patrick has co- authored publications such as Ready to Lead: Next Generation Leaders Speak Out and Next Shift: Beyond the Nonprofit Leadership Crisis. He is a sought after thought leader and speaker on issues of nonprofit sector leadership and capacity and has presented keynote speeches, plenary discussions and workshops at Independent Sector, The Council on Foundations, The Corporation for National and Community Service conference, The Michigan Nonprofit Association, The Ohio Nonprofit Association, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, The Alliance for Nonprofit Management and New Profit’s Gathering of Leaders.

Patrick has worked with grassroots faith-based and community-based organizations, system reformers in fields such as education, child welfare, and justice, and national networks like Independent Sector, The United Way, and The Alliance for Children and Families. Prior to joining the Foundation, Patrick was Executive Director of Innovation Network, a non-profit agency whose mission is to build the evaluation and results capacity of the non-profit sector. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers and The Nonprofit Workforce Coalition in addition to Echoing Green.”

Clearly Patrick is a guy with a lot of great experience and vision and will bring many new ideas and connections to the table.  I wish him the very best and stand ready to be of support to the agency and the programs it supports as we enter this next, very exciting chapter.  There are many new ideas brewing about how to better engage the business sector, so you will definitely be hearing more about this from me!

Go here for the Echoing Green article and for the CNCS press release.