Another White House Exit: Obama’s Head of The Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Departs

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February 11, 2013 ‐ By Ann Brown
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Yet another person is leaving President Obama’s administration. Obama’s official liaison to faith-based organizations, Joshua DuBois, 30,  has decided to call it quits in order to write a book.

While Obama said he urged DuBois to stay on, many D.C. insiders say that the agreement was mutual.

DuBois headed an office that was expanded significantly from the George W. Bush years, reports The Washington Post. But despite the growth of the office, many criticized DuBois for a lack of experience and a lack of follow through.

DuBois was just 26 when appointed by Obama to run the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The Office works with 12 federal agencies. The staff increased from about 30 to 45 during DuBois’ tenure, and Obama formed a faith-based advisory council of leaders from faith-based social service organizations. “It led college campus programs on interfaith issues and worked to help faith-based programs helping fathers. It also created a program to train State Department workers abroad on religion and foreign policy,” reports the Post.    

Obama changed the course of the office, which was started by President George W. Bush. Under Bush, the office “proved contentious because many critics said the office and its actions often violated the constitutional separation of church and state,” says The New York Times.  Obama, however,  appointed advisory councils that represented a broad range of religious leaders, including conservative evangelicals and openly gay ministers.

DuBois, a Pentecostal minister, engaged religious leaders to address broad social goals such as reducing unwanted pregnancies, helping people cope with the economic downturn, encouraging fathers to take responsibility for their children, and improving child and maternal health.

DuBois also served as an unofficial in-house pastor to the president, sending Obama an e-mail each morning with Bible passages intended to prompt reflection or prayer. DuBois will author a book of devotionals for leaders based on the ones he sent the President each day. DuBois will also be teaching at New York University. He also aims to create an organization to help government, nonprofit, and private institutions develop partnerships with religious groups to solve social problems.

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