(CNN)President Joe Biden will nominate Michael D. Smith to serve as the chief executive officer of AmeriCorps, the nation’s main public service program, the White House confirmed Tuesday.
Smith currently serves as the executive director of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance — an initiative launched by former President Barack Obama in 2014 to address opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color. Smith is also the director of youth opportunity programs at the Obama Foundation. CNN was first to report Smith would be Biden’s nominee to lead AmeriCorps. Smith will need Senate confirmation to lead the federal agency. AmeriCorps receives both federal and private funds and has about 270,000 members and volunteers serving across the country. Smith said in a statement: “I’ve seen firsthand how service, and this extraordinary federal agency, can uplift and transform — in my life and countless others. If confirmed, I could not be more proud to have the honor to support the hundreds of thousands of AmeriCorps members and alumni whose hearts full of grace and souls generated by love enrich and inspire kids and communities/children and families in greatest need every day.”Read More”For the past eight years, I’ve had the privilege to work alongside President Obama and our My Brother’s Keeper family to reduce barriers and expand opportunity for boys and young men of color and their families. No matter where I go, the proudest title I will ever hold is my brother’s keeper. I have never been more optimistic about how this mantra that became a movement will continue to grow,” Smith said. During the Obama administration, Smith was appointed special assistant to the President and senior director of Cabinet affairs for the My Brother’s Keeper initiative. He managed the initiative and the interagency task force at the White House. Prior to joining the Obama White House, Smith was the director of the Social Innovation Fund, which is another Corporation for National and Community Service program. He was also senior vice president of social innovation at the Case Foundation, where he focused on bridging the digital divide in America and increasing access to computers and the internet. Smith is a Senior Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity and is a member of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Alumni Hall of Fame. He also serves on the board of directors of Results for America and Venture Philanthropy Partners.Former President Donald Trump targeted AmeriCorps for elimination when he was in office and put forward a budget proposal that would have cut the Corporation for National and Community Service, which houses AmeriCorps and other national service initiatives. Smith’s nomination was praised by AnnMaura Connolly, the president of Voices for National Service, a coalition of national and local service programs and state service commissions. “With decades of executive experience working to improve communities and to create opportunities for young people, Michael Smith is the perfect person to work with the 70,000 nonprofit organizations across the country that leverage national service as a results-driven strategy to meet community challenges — and a way to invest in Americans of diverse backgrounds,” Connolly said in a statement.