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President Bush Appoints Members to the American Red Cross Cabinet Council


Today, the White House announced that President Bush has appointed seven members to the newly formed American Red Cross Cabinet Council. The Council will provide advice and counsel on relevant issues that affect the Red Cross mission and serve in an advisory role to the American Red Cross Board of Governors.

The members of the Cabinet Council include: The Honorable Carlos Gutierrez, Secretary of Commerce; The Honorable Robert M. Gates, Secretary of Defense; The Honorable Margaret Spellings, Secretary of Education; The Honorable Michael O. Leavitt, Secretary of Health and Human Services; The Honorable Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Security; The Honorable Condoleezza Rice; and Admiral Michael Mullins, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“The American Red Cross greatly values its partnerships which include community, humanitarian and governmental partners at the local, state and federal levels. The Cabinet Council will serve as a critical resource to the Red Cross Board in support of the organization’s life-saving mission,” said Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, Chairman of the American Red Cross. “On behalf of the Board of Governors, I would like to welcome these distinguished Council members and I thank President Bush and Members of Congress for their support.”

After an extensive self-examination and comprehensive review of its governance practices in early 2006, the Board of Governors unanimously approved several recommended changes to modernize its 60-year-old governance structure and to enhance its ability to support the critical mission of the Red Cross in the 21st Century. One of these changes was to transition seven of the presidentially appointed Red Cross Governors to a newly created Cabinet Council. Other significant changes included:

* Reduce the 50-member Red Cross Board to 12 - 25 members by 2009 and to 12 - 20 members by 2012.
* Establish a new Office of the Ombudsman that will provide annual reports to Congress.
* Clarify the role of the Board to focus solely on governance and strategic oversight.


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