WHFFA News

  • President Appoints Robert “Mike” Duncan as Chair of the PCWHF

    President Trump has appointed Mr. Robert “Mike” Duncan as Chair of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. Mike brings a deep understanding of the White House Fellows program to this role, having served as a member of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships under President George W. Bush. Mike has held a range of leadership positions in various professional and nonprofit organizations over the course of his career. His has been the chairman of the board of directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority; chairman of the Republican National Committee; chairman of the board of trustees at Alice Lloyd College; chairman for the Center for Rural Development in Somerset, Kentucky; chairman and director of the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program; president and CEO of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity; president of the Kentucky Bankers Association; and a director of the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank. Mike is also the founding chairman of American Crossroads. He and his wife, Joanne, are 1974 graduates of the University of Kentucky College of Law.

    Mike sent the following message to the members of the WHF community:

    “It is an incredible honor to serve as the seventeenth Chair of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. I’m truly humbled to be appointed by President Donald J. Trump to lead the nation’s preeminent leadership program, and as a former Commissioner from 2001-2006, I have a genuine appreciation for the rich history surrounding the White House Fellowship, its mission, and the legacy of leadership and mentorship entrusted to us. Together, I am confident we will build on the program’s impeccable reputation and its foundation to provide future Fellows’ a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will support their contributions to our nation as well as the public good for generations to come.  

    In the months and years ahead I look forward to working closely with my fellow Commissioners, with the Director and Staff of the Commission Office, and with what I am sure will be a great many White House Fellow alumni. All of us share a passion, commitment, and shared sense of responsibility for this program. And, just to pause for a moment, I think it’s worth mentioning we are less than a month away from “Selection Weekend”. With that in mind, I would just like to send out my personal thanks to Elizabeth Pinkerton, Ashley Keenan, and Kathy Greene in the Commission Office for their exceptional effort over the month ahead as we prepare for the selection of the White House Fellows Class of 2017-18. 

    Let me also say an advance a word of thanks to my fellow Commissioners. The preparation for “Selection Weekend” – as those of you who have done it already know – is significant. But so worth it. To Dr. Kermit Jones, as President of the White House Fellows Foundation and Association, we look forward to having you join us at Nationals next month. Finally, let me extend my thanks to the previous Chair of the Commission, Ms. Mary Zients, to the previous Director of the PCWHF, Ms. Jenny Kaplan, and to the Interim Director, CAPT Cara LaPointe, USN, for their exceptional stewardship of the program through the recent Presidential transition, and for ensuring a seamless hand-off to Elizabeth Pinkerton and her team as they have come on board. 

    The bipartisan commitment of the entire team to the betterment of the program reflects exactly the core ideal of fellowship John Gardner envisioned when he and President Johnson created the program 53 years ago. My thanks to you all, and to all the members of the White House Fellows community. And now, onward!” 

    Robert “Mike” Duncan

    Chair of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships
    May 8, 2017
    posted: May 16, 2017
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