The president has nominated former Iowa Congressman Jim Leach to lead the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Leach, a Republican who represented eastern Iowa in congress for three decades, endorsed Democrat Barack Obama’s bid for the presidency in August of 2008. Obama has nominated Leach to serve as the chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The N.E.H. was created in 1965 and it awards millions of dollars worth of grants to support cultural programs. In a prepared statement, Obama called Leach a “valued and dedicated public servant.”
Obama said the National Endowment for the Humanities “gives the American public access to the rich resources of our culture.” Obama has asked congress to set aside over $171 million for the agency for the next budgeting year.
Leach is currently a professor at Princeton, his alma mater. Leach was rumored to be among the candidates Obama was considering to be ambassador to China, but Obama asked another Republican — Utah Governor Jon Huntsman — to take that post. Huntsman speaks Mandarin Chinese.