The White House named its new council for the faith-based office late on Friday afternoon.
Some big mainline Protestant names here, including Presiding Bishops Hanson and Jefferts Schori of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and Episcopal Church, respectively. Also of note: Leith Anderson, head of the National Association of Evangelicals;  Dr. Frank S. Page, president emeritus of the Southern Baptist Convention; Father Larry J. Snyder of Catholic Charities USA; the Rev. Joel C. Hunter, senior pastor of Northland, a Church Distributed; the Rev. Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners; and Richard Stearns, president of World Vision.
President Obama appointed Joshua DuBois, a former associate pastor and advisor to the President in his U.S. Senate office and campaign Director of Religious Affairs, to lead this office. "Joshua understands the issues at stake, knows the people involved, and will be able to bring everyone together – from both the secular and faith-based communities, from academia and politics – around our common goals," said President Obama.
The Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships will focus on four key priorities, to be carried out by working closely with the President’s Cabinet Secretaries and each of the eleven agency offices for faith-based and neighborhood partnerships:
- The Office’s top priority will be making community groups an integral part of our economic recovery and poverty a burden fewer have to bear when recovery is complete.
- It will be one voice among several in the administration that will look at how we support women and children, address teenage pregnancy, and reduce the need for abortion.
- The Office will strive to support fathers who stand by their families, which involves working to get young men off the streets and into well-paying jobs, and encouraging responsible fatherhood.
- Finally, beyond American shores this Office will work with the National Security Council to foster interfaith dialogue with leaders and scholars around the world.