NEFE CEO and Financial Literacy Community Meet with President Bush

On April 25 in the White House, seven leading financial literacy experts, representing a variety of local, national, and international organizations, met with President George W. Bush and key members of his Cabinet to discuss the need to improve financial literacy in America. This meeting with the President, held during National Financial Literacy Month, was the first time in U.S. history that a sitting President has called a meeting on financial literacy as a national priority in and for America.

At the conclusion of the White House meeting, President Bush directed Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to chair a Cabinet-level working group to design and deliver a proposed action plan to the President within two months. The seven organizations involved in the meeting collaborated to produce and deliver a list of recommendations to Secretary Paulson for launching a national financial literacy campaign. The recommendations call for sustained presidential leadership in financial literacy efforts, change in educational infrastructure, and integration of financial education into the workplace.

Reflecting on the discussion, Ted Beck, president and CEO of NEFE, said “A national agenda crafted by many partners, with the support of the President, will reach a greater number of Americans more effectively than any one of us working alone. Now is the time to mobilize our collective knowledge to reach all Americans, especially those who are underserved.”

Also included in the meeting were John Hope Bryant, founder, chairman, and CEO of Operation HOPE; David Chernow, president and CEO of JA WorldwideTM; the Reverend Dr. Robert V. Lee III, founder, chairman, and CEO of FreshMinistries, Inc.; David Mancl, president of the Wisconsin Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy; Harriet May, president and CEO of the Government Employees Credit Union; and Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, president of the Charles Schwab Foundation.

The President was joined in the meeting by key members of his Cabinet, including Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Alphonso Jackson, U.S. Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral, and Treasury Secretary Paulson