What They Are Saying: Elected Officials and Nonprofit Leaders Applaud New AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Earlier this month, Michael D. Smith officially started as the new Chief Executive Officer of AmeriCorps. Nominated by President Biden in June 2021, he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on December 8, 2021.
Biden-Harris Administration officials, elected officials, and nonprofit leaders have applauded Smith, highlighting his experience, qualifications and extensive expertise.
See below for what they are saying:
Administration and Elected Officials
“Michael’s exemplary commitment to service is inspiring,” said Ambassador Susan Rice. “I admire the dedication and innovation he brought to programs like My Brother’s Keeper, and I look forward to seeing him lead AmeriCorps at a time when elevating national service is vital to the success of our democracy.” [Release, Twitter, 1/10/22]
"As AmeriCorps members continue their remarkable work to help communities rebuild from this pandemic, I'm pleased to see Michael Smith take the helm with bipartisan support in the Senate. Michael brings a strong record of innovation on national service programs, and I'm confident he'll strengthen the diverse functions of AmeriCorps, including climate resilience, hunger relief, housing support, education, and public health. This is a transformational moment for AmeriCorps and its 270,000 members, and I am eager to see how Michael will guide the program into its next chapter. I look forward to working closely with him as he takes up that important task,” said Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), co-chair of the National Service Congressional Caucus. [Release, 12/8/21]
“AmeriCorps members have a significant impact on their communities, doing everything from supporting veterans transitioning to civilian life to empowering students in the classroom. Michael Smith will continue our nation’s enduring commitment to service and volunteerism as AmeriCorps’ CEO,” said Dr. Bill Cassidy (R-LA).
“Michael Smith is a dedicated and passionate servant-leader, and I am extremely pleased to see him take the helm of AmeriCorps," said Representative David Price (NC-04). “His record and commitment to national service will be critical in continuing AmeriCorps' important work, and I look forward to working with him closely."
"I am pleased to welcome Michael Smith as CEO of AmeriCorps, as we continue to support the agency’s tremendous work,” said Representative Doris Matsui (CA-06). “Over the past 2 years, we have seen AmeriCorps grow and bridge important gaps in our local communities. Michael’s experience working with AmeriCorps in the Obama Administration and his leadership in the nonprofit space will help further AmeriCorps’ mission and American national service." [Twitter, 1/13/22]
Advocacy Group and Non-Profit Leaders
“We are tremendously grateful to the bipartisan Senators who confirmed Michael Smith to lead the AmeriCorps agency today. Michael is the right person to lead AmeriCorps as the country continues to recover from the pandemic, which exacerbated so many of the longstanding problems facing communities across the country. Voices for National Service enthusiastically supports Michael as CEO for AmeriCorps. With decades of executive experience working to improve communities and to create opportunities for young people, Michael 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,” said AnnMaura Connolly, president of Voices for National Service. “National service stands at the precipice of receiving an historic investment through the Build Back Better Act, and we can think of no better person to lead AmeriCorps through this transformational growth. Michael’s energy and passion for creating lasting change and putting people at the center of solving the problems facing their communities, combined with his broad-ranging expertise, including at the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, the Social Innovation Fund, and the Case Foundation, make him an ideal candidate to lead AmeriCorps. His deep personal commitment and his unparalleled record of achievement is what’s needed today at the Agency’s helm.” [Release, 12/8/21]
“We are thrilled to congratulate former RFA Board Member Michael D. Smith, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be the next CEO of AmeriCorps,” said Michele Jolin, CEO and Co-Founder of Results for America and David Medina, COO and Co-Founder of Results for America. “Michael - who served as the Executive Director of the My Brother's Keeper Alliance and Director of Youth Opportunity Programs at the Obama Foundation - is a data-driven leader who is committed to investing in what works. During the Obama Administration, Michael was part of the team that designed and launched the My Brother’s Keeper initiative, a national call to action to build safe and supportive communities for boys and young men of color where they are valued and have clear pathways to opportunity. As Director of the Social Innovation Fund at AmeriCorps, Michael managed the SIF’s largest funding competition, introduced its first Pay for Success grant program, and oversaw a portfolio of more than $700 million in public-private investments, supporting the scaling of more than 200 nonprofits. We were excited to join other results-driven leaders who supported his nomination, and look forward to working with him to expand AmeriCorps’ evidence-based work and grantmaking!
“New Profit and America Forward congratulate Michael D. Smith on his confirmation by the U.S. Senate to serve as the next CEO of AmeriCorps. Our community has had the privilege of working alongside Michael Smith for years. He exemplifies the type of leader our country and AmeriCorps deeply need: a fearless visionary, a champion of inclusion and equity, and a believer in the inherent power and potential existing in communities that have been overlooked and underinvested in for too long. Michael has the unique ability to build collective will and support for expanding national service, which is a powerful tool for advancing equity; providing pathways to greater economic mobility; expanding our capacity to support community-based projects and priorities; and securing a more inclusive, sustainable recovery from COVID-19,” said Deborah Smolover, executive director of America Forward and managing partner of New Profit. “New Profit and America Forward stand ready to partner with Michael to advance a bold, inclusive vision for national service that is centered in equity, lifts up all of our communities, and moves all of America forward.” [newsletter]
“We at ASC trust that Michael D. Smith shares our belief that national service and volunteerism can play a prominent role in addressing the pressing challenges facing the country — from racial inequities to learning loss, from the climate crisis to disaster resiliency, and from long-term pandemic recovery to infrastructure development,” said Kaira Esgate, America’s Service Commissions CEO. [Release, 12/9/21]
“Service Year Alliance applauds the Senate for confirming Michael Smith as CEO of the AmeriCorps agency earlier today. After a monumental year for national service, with investments in AmeriCorps through the American Rescue Plan, the creation of a new Public Health AmeriCorps, and the possibility for major expansion with the Civilian Climate Corps, Michael Smith is set to lead the agency through a new phase of growth,” said Kristen Bennett, chief strategy officer of Service Year Alliance. “Michael’s long experience working with the nonprofit sector in pursuit of equity-driven reforms make him the right leader for this pivotal moment. He has the opportunity to lead the way in reimagining national service, so that every young person in America has the ability to serve and through that service is set on a pathway towards employment and further education. We look forward to his leadership, and are eager to work in partnership with him and the agency to bring young people together in common purpose as we recover from the pandemic and begin a new era for national service in America.” [Release, 12/8/21]