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January 01 2010

President Barack Obama Taps John Hope Bryant to Serve on the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability

New Council will advise the President on making the American public more financially literate and making financial literacy relevant to the economy and everyday life

Washington, D.C. – November 16, 2010
– The White House announced the appointment of Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant to the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability. The newly created Council, created by Executive Order 13530 and composed of two ex-officio Federal officials and 12 non-governmental members appointed by the President, is slated to convene its first meeting on November 30, 2010.

“Ensuring that all Americans have equal access to the American Dream is my life’s work,” said business bestselling author Bryant. “Being given the opportunity to work with the Obama Administration in finding ways to help Americans rise out of this economic crisis is a challenge I fully embrace.”

The Council, chaired by John W. Rogers Jr., will advise President Obama on the best approach to protect and promote financial literacy and economic empowerment in American households.

Members of the Council include those from the private, public and nonprofit sectors to "greatly serve the American people as they work to improve financial literacy and promote services that will benefit consumers," the President said in the statement. “I look forward to their sound advice on these issues as we work together in the months and years ahead.”

Through his social advocacy work, Bryant has been a voice for the underserved and under-resourced in America and globally since 1992 and been recognized for his work by five U.S. Presidents. His nonprofit Operation HOPE has serviced more than 1.2 million people in financial literacy, including 500,000 youth through the award-winning Banking on Our Future program.

By making financial literacy a priority in low-wealth areas, Bryant has successfully led the way to bringing the concept of financial literacy onto the national stage.  Due to his work as an advisor to the White House, then President, Bush created the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy by Executive Order in 2008 where Bryant served as vice-chairman of the Council and chairman of the Committee on the Under-served.   

Through his work on the Council, many bills focused on financial literacy were introduced in Congress. Bill HR1325 by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee was directly inspired by the work of the Council and Operation HOPE; and House Resolution 65 by Congresswoman Diane E. Watson strives to bring financial literacy into the lives of more Americans and to make it a legislative priority.

The Council will convene its first meeting to discuss organizational matters and strategic areas of focus. It will be held on  November 30, 2010, at 2pm in the Cash Room of the Main Treasury Building, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C..