Bush Says Bennett Is His Choice As First ‘Czar’ Of War On Drugs
President-elect George Bush recently announced the appointment of former Secretary of Education William J. Bennett as the inaugural federal "drug czar." During his tenure as secretary, Mr. Bennett frequently addressed drug-related matters and actively pursued this position. The role of director of national drug-control policy was established through the omnibus anti-drug bill passed last year.
As outlined in the legislation, the responsibilities of this position include establishing national drug policies, providing advice to the President, evaluating federal budgets for drug control, coordinating efforts to combat drug abuse among federal agencies and between the federal government and state/local governments, conducting annual assessments of national anti-drug initiatives, and leading a National Council on Drug-Free Schools alongside the secretary of education.
In addition, President-elect Bush also announced the establishment of a new role within the White House staff to oversee his proposed national youth-service program. Gregg Petersmeyer, senior vice president and director of General Atlantic Energy Corporation in Denver, will assume the position of deputy assistant to the President for national service. Mr. Petersmeyer’s responsibilities include promoting programs that involve both young people and the elderly in assisting the underprivileged.
Furthermore, he will be tasked with developing recommendations for the creation of a national youth corps focused on public service, which would allow volunteers to earn cash credits to be used toward college tuition. Members of the transition team have already referred to Mr. Petersmeyer as the "thousand points of light" man, alluding to a phrase used by President-elect Bush in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention last summer.
Additionally, President-elect Bush appointed Roger B. Porter as assistant to the President for economic and domestic policy. Mr. Porter, a professor at Harvard University and former policy advisor to Presidents Gerald R. Ford and Ronald Reagan, will provide guidance to the Chief Executive on various domestic issues, including education, housing, and urban planning.