Washington, DC – The U.S. Senate today unanimously confirmed Wendy Spencer as Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).
Spencer will take the helm of the agency at a time when CNCS resources are in great demand. Both those who serve and those who benefit from the agency's programs recognize the critical role volunteerism and national service plays in meeting community needs, building nonprofit capacity, and expanding service opportunities for all Americans.
“As a leader, Wendy is known for uniting diverse groups and organizations to work on common goals,” said Laysha L. Ward, Chair of the CNCS Board of Directors. “Wendy has the experience and reputation to drive the CNCS mission to help solve local problems, support vulnerable citizens, and strengthen communities throughout the United States. I also want to thank Robert Velasco for his tireless and exceptional service as the Acting Chief Executive Officer. The entire board of directors truly appreciates his outstanding leadership during this transition.”
Spencer, a well-known and proven leader in the field of national service, joins CNCS from the Florida Governor's Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, commonly known as Volunteer Florida. As CEO of Volunteer Florida since 2003, Spencer was responsible for managing federal and state grants, setting policy and program priorities, providing training and monitoring, coordinating volunteers and donations in times of disaster, and promoting service and volunteering across the state.
In 2006, Spencer was appointed by President Bush to the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation along with 24 leading advocates for volunteer service across America. She received the coveted Governor's Award at the 2005 Florida Governor's Hurricane Conference for her leadership in response and recovery work due to the record setting disasters throughout the state the previous year. This past year, she was elected by her peers to serve as Chair of the American Association of State Service Commissions.
Spencer previously served as Director of the Florida Park Service, where she oversaw natural resource and recreation management for Florida's 158 state parks, managed by 1,600 staff and supported by 5,000 volunteers and 80 citizen support organizations. Spencer also was Campaign Director of the United Way of the Big Bend and Director of Marketing for the Macon County, Georgia, Chamber of Commerce, among other positions.
“With strong leadership skills, wide-ranging management expertise, extensive knowledge of the nonprofit sector, and decades of experience in the field, Wendy will lead CNCS and the larger service field to higher levels of impact, innovation, and excellence -- making service more effective at meeting national and local needs,” said acting CEO Robert Velasco, II, who will remain at CNCS and return to his position as the agency's Chief Operating Officer.
President Obama has made service a central tenet of his Administration and called on every American to volunteer in their local communities. The President's focus has resulted in key accomplishments including passage of bipartisan Serve America Act, launch of United We Serve, and the creation of the Social Innovation Fund and the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance.