President Obama Nominates Jim Leach to Head NEH

By Jacqueline Trescott
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 3, 2009; 2:06 PM

President Obama today said he would nominate former Republican congressman Jim Leach, who represented Iowa for 30 years, as the new chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

During his terms in the House of Representatives Leach founded and served as the co-chair of the Congressional Humanities Caucus and he was also the chairman of the House Committee on Banking and Financial Services. After he left Congress in 2007 Leach taught at Princeton University and was the interim director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

The endowment, created in 1965, supports the country's endeavors in scholarship and teaching, principally in the areas of history, literature and philosophy. In the fiscal 2010 budget the president sent to Congress last month, he requested $171. 3 million for the agency, an increase of $16 million over the last appropriation.

In a statement today, President Obama said, "I am confident that with Jim as its head, the National Endowment for the Humanities will continue on its vital mission of supporting the humanities and giving the American public access to the rich resources of our culture. Jim is a valued and dedicated public servant and I look forward to working with him in the months and years ahead."

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