America’s Promise Alliance announces appointment of John S. Gomperts as new president and CEO

Veteran of education, government and service sectors has long association with America’s Promise

America’s Promise Alliance has named John S. Gomperts as its new president and CEO. He succeeds Marguerite Kondracke, who has served in that position since 2004. Gomperts, currently director of AmeriCorps, will oversee the day-to-day work of the organization and provide strategic direction for the Alliance’s mission to improve the lives of America’s young people. This includes leading Grad Nation, a large and growing campaign of dedicated individuals, organizations and communities working together to end the school dropout crisis.

The presidential search began in October 2011 and was led by America’s Promise Board Chair Alma Powell and Alliance Trustees Chair Brian Gallagher, CEO of United Way Worldwide, with the support of executive recruitment firm Korn/Ferry.

“John’s unique combination of experience, passion and understanding of the issues we work on every day make him the very best leader for our work,” Mrs. Powell said. “Having been a part of the movement that launched America’s Promise back in 1997, John is not only familiar with where we’ve come from, but his leadership roles at several of our partnership organizations give him a unique and invaluable vision for where we have to go to prepare our children for the promising futures they all want and deserve, and to help our country become a Grad Nation.”

Gomperts’ association with America’s Promise began when he served as Chief of Staff to Harris Wofford, the CEO of the Corporation for National & Community Service, and one of the key conveners of the Summit for America’s Future. In that role Gomperts was part of the team that organized the historic gathering in Philadelphia in April 1997 that launched America’s Promise. Gomperts helped draft the Summit Declaration signed by Presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford and Nancy Reagan representing her husband President Ronald Reagan that day, and subsequently by President George W. Bush. The Summit Declaration, which states “we owe a debt of service to fulfill the God-given promise of America and our children,” served as the founding principles and purpose of America’s Promise and unveiled, for the first time, the organization’s Five Promises: caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, an effective education, and opportunities to help others.

“I’m deeply honored to be joining America’s Promise as its next president and CEO,” Gomperts said. “Having seen this organization in action from the very beginning and over the last 15 years, I believe it’s never been stronger and I’m energized by the opportunities we have ahead of us to change outcomes for youth. I have always believed that serving this country and our communities is the greatest thing we can do with our lives. And it is a very special calling to help make sure that every American, especially every young American, can participate in the promise of America. I am thrilled to take on this new role with a great team and an exceptional partnership network.”

Gomperts has served in a series of leadership roles in the government, nonprofit, and service sectors. Besides serving as Chief of Staff at America’s Promise founding partner the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), he was Chief Operating Officer at the Public Education Network (PEN), where he led efforts around community-based school reform and raising awareness of the need for high quality public education for all young people. Gomperts left PEN in 2003 and returned to the service movement where he’s remained since. Between 2003 and 2010, as Chief Executive Officer of Experience Corps and President of Civic Ventures, Gomperts led national efforts to enlist the time and talents of America’s older generation to help meet the challenges facing children and youth.

Gomperts was appointed Director of AmeriCorps in June 2010. In that role, he has been responsible for overseeing the largest program at CNCS which engages more than 70,000 Americans in intensive service annually benefitting thousands of nonprofits and communities across the country. During his tenure at AmeriCorps, Gomperts helped implement the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, increased community impact, and enhanced the AmeriCorps member experience.

“As a founding partner of America’s Promise, we’re pleased that someone so connected to the original mission of the organization is coming aboard to lead,” Gallagher said. “With all the challenges our nation is facing, our work is more important than ever and we look forward to working with John as he takes the helm.”

Upon stepping down as president and CEO, Marguerite Kondracke will continue to provide counsel and support to America’s Promise as a senior advisor. Regarding the selection of her successor, Kondracke said, “I could not be more pleased that John will be the next president and CEO of America’s Promise. I’m deeply proud of the work the organization has accomplished, and with John’s passion and gifted leadership, our impact will be even greater in the future.”