Federal City Digest

Federal City Digest: Eitel Withdraws as CNCS Nominee

Maria Eitel was picked to head the office that oversees AmeriCorps.
Maria Eitel was picked to head the office that oversees AmeriCorps. (By Charles Dharapak -- Associated Press)
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

National Service Nominee Bows Out

The White House pick to head the federal government's national service agency has withdrawn her nomination for unspecified health reasons, becoming the latest candidate to bow out of consideration for a senior administration post.

Maria Eitel, president of the Nike Foundation, was named by President Obama on April 21 to head the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees AmeriCorps, Volunteers in Service to America and other similar service groups. But agency officials told employees in an e-mail late last week that Eitel will remain at the Nike Foundation because of a "previously unknown health condition," our colleague Dan Eggen reports.

"Our thoughts are with Maria as she focuses on her personal health," acting chief executive Nicky Goren wrote in the e-mail, which was first noted on the Youth Today Web site. "Finding leadership for the Corporation continues to be a very high priority for the White House."

Obama had announced Eitel's nomination on the same day that he signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009, which will allow the agency to more than triple the size of AmeriCorps over the next eight years and create a new volunteer corps to work on conservation, education, health-care and veterans issues.


-- President Obama, having overnighted in Las Vegas, stays there for a green-economy event before traveling to Los Angeles for a Democratic National Committee fundraiser.

-- Vice President Biden is also in the West, where he will deliver the commencement address to the graduating class of the Air Force Academy at its Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs. His wife, Jill Biden, is traveling with him and will visit with active-duty military spouses and veterans at Fort Carson, known as the Mountain Post.

-- Economic temperature-takers will want to look at April's existing-home sales numbers, released today by the National Association of Realtors.

-- The Department ofHealth and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families' Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation kicks off its three-day Annual Welfare Research and Evaluation Conference at the Capital Hilton. Also, the American Enterprise Institute hosts a forum titled "Can We Put Poor Men to Work?" featuring key speakers from government -- including the Obama administration -- the academy and a variety of think tanks.

-- It's that time of year again: The annual Scripps National Spelling Bee continues today, with 293 competitors vying to be among 50 semifinalists. The semifinalists will compete from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. tomorrow, and the finalists will take the stage to compete at 8 p.m.

-- The Senate, House and Supreme Court are not in session.

-- Garance Franke-Ruta federalcity@washpost.com

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