Obama library board shifts members

By Lindsay Welbers
Staff Writer

President Barack Obama named his half-sister and a former senior advisor as members to the board of the foundation that will choose the location of the presidential library.

The foundation also pushed the date it will announce a shortlist of potential hosts back to mid-September. It still expects to have chosen a site by 2015.

David Plouffe and Maya Soetoro-Ng were named to the Board of Directors, which also includes Kevin Poorman and Kenwood resident Martin Nesbitt.

Julianna Smoot removed herself from the board to focus on fundraising.

Soetoro-Ng is a resident of Hawaii. She works as a specialist for the Matsunaga Institute for Peace and has worked with Hawaii’s public schools to engage them in their surrounding communities and created peace education programs.

Plouffe served as senior advisor to Obama until January 2013 and was his campaign manager in the 2008 election. He is a resident of Washington, D.C.

Smoot served as the National Finance Director for the Obama for America campaign and as Deputy Campaign Manager during his re-election campaign. During both election cycles she set new fundraising records.

“There are few people who know the president’s life and vision better than the individuals joining our Foundation team today,” said Nesbitt, chairman of the Chicago-based foundation, in a statement. “President Obama deeply trusts their advice, judgment, and expertise, and we are confident that his future Presidential Library will be stronger for their input.”

The University of Chicago submitted its bid to host the library on the South Side on the June 16 deadline set by the foundation. New York City and Hawaii are also bidding to host it.