December 11, 2003 - Cincinnati Post: USA Freedom Corps Head John Bridgeland stepping down

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By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Thursday, December 11, 2003 - 7:12 pm: Edit Post

USA Freedom Corps Head John Bridgeland stepping down

USA Freedom Corps Head John Bridgeland stepping down

Bush adviser stepping down
Cincinnati native plans 'to try to be better dad' By Michael Collins
Post Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON -- After nearly four years at President Bush's side, Cincinnati native John Bridgeland feels that he has accomplished many of the goals he set out to achieve.

Now he's moving on to the next challenge: Being a good father to his three children.

"It's important for me to be an engaged father with my kids," Bridgeland said. "I'm leaving now and am going to try to be a better dad."

Bridgeland, director of the White House USA Freedom Corps Office, said Wednesday he will leave the administration at the end of the year. He said he intends to take some time off to be with his wife, Maureen, and their three children next year before deciding his next career move.

Bridgeland, 43, has been a highly respected and trusted adviser of Bush since joining up with Bush's presidential campaign in 2000.

"I appreciate and thank John for his friendship and wise counsel," the president said. "This good man has touched many people through his dedicated service."

Bridgeland, a Harvard graduate who grew up in Indian Hill, started on the policy staff of Bush's presidential campaign in early 2000. He also served as deputy assistant to the president for domestic policy, director of the Domestic Policy Council and as assistant to the president.

In January 2002, Bush named him head of the USA Freedom Corps, which is responsible for boosting volunteerism across the country. He reported directly to the president.

"He has worked tirelessly to strengthen a culture of service in America and to ensure that we all love our neighbors as we want to be loved ourselves," Bush said. "His work has had a positive and vitally important impact on government, nonprofit and community service organizations, businesses, and many men, women and children who need a helping hand."

Before going to work for the White House, Bridgeland spent five years as chief of staff for Rep. Rob Portman, R-Ohio. In 1998, he left Portman's office and formed his own company, CivicSolutions, a public policy consulting firm.

Bridgeland said the highlight of his years with Bush happened right after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. "I was in the Oval Office with the president, and we were about to launch an initiative called Communities of Character.

"The president looked at me and said, 'Bridge,' and these were exactly his words, 'I want an initiative that fosters a culture of service, citizenship and responsibility. We're at a really important time in history.' And in the aftermath of that, my whole job changed."

That push for renewed volunteerism eventually evolved into USA Freedom Corps.

Bridgeland said he decided to leave the White House now because he felt Freedom Corps had achieved its goals and because he didn't want to be away from his children -- ages 13, 9 and 5 -- at critical stages in their lives.

Bridgeland said he hasn't decided if he and his family will move back to Cincinnati.

And though he hasn't determined his next career move, he said he's confident that he will remain in public policy.

"I'll always remain interested in public service, and I know I'll be back again because I love what I'm doing," he said. "I have loved serving this president in this rare moment of history. That craving stays with me."

Publication Date: 12-11-2003

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Story Source: Cincinnati Post

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; USA Freedom Corps



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