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Millicent Williams, who had been head of Serve DC, the mayoral volunteerism concern, will be the new executive director of the Children and Youth Investment Trust Corp., sources tell LL.
The appointment of a mayoral insider by the nonprofit’s board marks the culmination of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty‘s move to assert more control over CYITC, which, since its establishment in 1999, has been charged with supporting youth services by pooling public and private money and issuing grants. Why might Fenty want more control? Most of the organization’s money has been provided by the District government—-according to the organization’s 2006 tax return, it received $18.8 million in government funds and less than $4 million from other sources.
Last Thursday, in a move that set tongues wagging, Fenty replaced the high-powered chair and vice-chair of the board: The chair was none other than Federal City Council CEO John W. Hill, head of the organization that speaks for the city’s business and political elites. The vice chair was Diane Bernstein, long active in child welfare causes and—-with her husband, businessman Norman Bernstein—-a well-regarded philanthropist.
Both Hill and Bernstein had been on the CYITC board since the corporation’s founding in 1999; their terms had expired late last year, but had stayed on pending their successors’ appointments. With their departure, the board’s taking a steep hit in prestige, with top business and policy leaders giving way to lower-profile folks with closer ties to the mayoral administration.
The timing of the power move was somewhat suspicious, considering that the CYITC’s executive director, Greg Roberts, recently announced he’ll be leaving next month to take a job with the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville.
Replacing Hill and Bernstein, who had been on the board are Clark Ray, the director of the Department of Parks and Recreation, and Lisa Simpson, a program manager with AARP. Late last year, Fenty also appointed his deputy mayor for education, Victor Reinoso, to the board, as well as James Carter, an analyst who works on youth issues for the mayor’s office. Three other members of the seven-member CYITC board are appointed by the D.C. Council.
Last week, the board voted Simpson as its new chair, with Carter as secretary, according to CYITC spokesperson Ellen London.