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The Work of the Office: White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Joshua DuBois describes the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and gives a few examples of its daily work.

President Obama announced the creation of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships on the 17th day of the President’s new Administration. Since then, our Office has been pretty busy! I thought it'd be helpful to give you a little context on what we've been up to.

  • Our office is situated within the Domestic Policy Council. This placement allows our office to have close interaction with governmental leadership on issues of importance to nonprofit organizations, from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to the President’s Budget.
  • The President has tasked this office with focusing on four special priorities: involving faith-based and neighborhood groups in the economic recovery, promoting responsible fatherhood, fostering interfaith cooperation and building common ground to reduce unintended pregnancies and the need for abortion, along with the White House Council on Women and Girls.
  • The Office also coordinates the President's Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. This Advisory Council is a group of 25 leaders from both faith-based and non-sectarian organizations, each serving 1-year terms. The Advisory Council forms recommendations on how the Federal Government can more effectively partner with faith-based and neighborhood organizations.
  • The White House Office also coordinates and works with 11 Centers and 1 Strategic Advisor placed in Departments throughout government to implement the President’s priorities for this office. Each Center works to connect its own agency to local faith-based and neighborhood organizations. For example, our Center at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) connects local organizations and groups preparing to respond to disaster situations to the ongoing activities at DHS and FEMA. Our Center at the Department of Education works to connect that Department with local organizations to provide after-school programs. So each Center is an important link between the federal government and local neighborhood organizations.

Our Office has been active on numerous fronts, from coordinating President Obama’s fatherhood initiative  to working with the National Security Council on President Obama’s ‘New Beginnings’ speech given in Cairo, Egypt to Muslim communities around the world. We also engage faith-based and neighborhood organizations on a range of issues, from the upcoming 2010 Census through our office at the Department of Commerce to foreclosure counseling at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Our job is to make sure that the Federal Government is coming into responsible interaction with local nonprofit organizations. We look forward to working with you on these priorities!