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Wofford appointed chair at America's Promise. (Newsline).

Harris Wofford, former U.S. senator and a key figure in organizing The Presidents' Summit in 1997 that launched America's Promise - The Alliance For Youth, is now its chairman.

Wofford replaces Marc Racicot, the former Montana governor who recently left America's Promise (AP) to head the Republican National Committee.

Wofford, who until 2001 served as the chief executive of the Corporation for National and Community Service, has been actively involved in the third sector for many years. He helped create the Peace Corps more than 40 years ago. Most recently he chaired the Working Group on Human Needs and Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, which in January released a report outlining 29 recommendations about human needs in addition to faith-based and community initiatives.

Wofford said he was merely preparing to pen a couple of books when America's Promise President and CEO Peter A. Gallagher convinced him that becoming chairman was an offer he could not refuse. Wofford had been serving on the board since March, 2001 and he officially became chairman on January 18.

The short book, Wofford said, "which pulls all the service ventures very much under the overarching challenge of America's Promise but including (the Corporation for) National Service, including service learning," will be written in the days and nights over the next several months.

As for the other book, "My adventures in the 20th century" will have to wait, he said, because, "I'm going to be immersed in the 21st century for a little while."

Gallagher said, "Harris was our first, and frankly, only choice, and we were so fortunate that he agreed to be our chair."

Wofford said his immediate goals for AP include keeping the Five Promises intact and working to make communities across the country aware of them. In addition, he wants to be as much help as he can in working with the partners, the nonprofit organizations, and governments at all levels, and corporations, and faith-based organizations, the people who have committed themselves already and new commitments that will be made.

"Since I'm not General (Colin) Powell or Mother Teresa, or someone like that, just by their presence, generates that kind of power ... it has to be a collegial, cooperative enterprise," Wofford admitted.

Wofford said that he plans on staying "for the long haul" but suspects his service time to be up within two years. In the meantime he said when he's not pushing AP across the nation he'll begin writing the first of his two books.

"I will be ready to step aside whenever we find a better person to pick up the torch," a humble Wofford said. "But I assume at least two years of my life are stretched out before me unless we find that right person to pick up the torch."
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Author:Carpenter, Clint
Publication:The Non-profit Times
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2002
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