Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson has named Elizabeth Seale as the director of the department's newly created Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Seale was formerly vice-chairman of the board of the Texas Department of Human Services. HHS created the center at to establish a level playing field for all faith-based and community organizations applying for federal grants.
"The President's initiative to improve funding opportunities for faith-based and community organizations has my enthusiastic support," said Secretary Thompson. "Elizabeth brings real-life experience and understanding of the important role that faith-based and community organizations play in serving the individual needs of local communities. I feel confident that she will provide the leadership and dedication necessary to realize the center's mission and to improve the breadth of services available to people at the community level."
HHS will submit its first annual report to the White House on the department's implementation of faith-based initiatives by July 29, 2001. The report will include an analysis of the barriers that prohibit full participation of faith-based and other community organizations in federal funding and proposed plans to reduce those barriers, a summary of the technical assistance that the department will make available to faith-based and community organizations to facilitate their participation in HHS programs, and information on the development of objectives to measure the department's success.