The head of the White House office of faith-based and community initiatives resigned to become president of St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa. home to the largest Christian monastery in the world.
Jim Towey, who directed the faith-based office since 2002, announced his resignation Tuesday at a press conference with his wife and two representatives from St. Vincent.
Ill leave this office, after proudly serving here for four years, deeply grateful for the results and accomplishments that weve received, said Towey.
Throughout his tenure, Towey has overseen the allocation of billions of federal dollars to religious charitable groups. This year alone, $742 million have been dedicated to the Presidents compassion initiatives that put faith-based organizations on level ground with strictly secular public service groups.
Towey said he knows the faith-based program will continue after his leave and said he believes the programs will run after Bushs term ends.
I believe [the faith-based initiatives] have taken root, he said. I don't believe a successor President can come in and say, let's set the clock back on civil rights and start discriminating again against faith-based charities
At the White House, Towey succeeded Democrat John J. Dilulio Jr., a University of Pennsylvania politics professor who resigned in August 2001 after struggling with Congress and conservatives over the direction and procedures of the program.
Towey plans to stay in office until June 2 or until a new candidate can fulfill his position.
St. Vincent is a liberal arts college located about 35 miles east of Pittsburgh and with 1,600 mostly Catholic, Jewish and Evangelical students.