President Intends to Nominate Chu to Lead NEA

President Intends to Nominate Chu to Lead NEA

From: Isaac Brown, Legislative Counsel
Vol. 14:03
February 13, 2014

Yesterday, the White House announced that President Obama intends to nominate Dr. Jane Chu, president and chief executive officer of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri, to lead the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

The announcement comes as welcome news to arts advocates who have been concerned about the lack of an appointment to lead the agency, which has been without a head since Rocco Landesman stepped down in December 2012. At NASAA, we’re pleased that the White House has put forth a nominee to fill this important position. NASAA and state arts agency leaders look forward to working closely and collaboratively with the next NEA chairman to broaden, deepen and diversify meaningful participation in the arts throughout the United States.

The timing of a possible confirmation for Chu is unclear. Today, Congress begins a week-and-a-half-long recess. When it returns, Chu will meet privately with members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee, which has jurisdiction over the NEA, to discuss her vision for the agency.

Should those meetings go well, recent history indicates that her nomination could bypass a hearing by the committee and go straight to the floor for consideration by the U.S. Senate. Recent confirmations of NEA heads have taken three to four months, but because this announcement comes after most cabinet posts have been filled, it is possible that Chu could win Senate approval on a faster timetable.

NASAA will keep you informed of progress.