On November 12, 2008, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced that Chairman Bruce Cole will leave the Endowment to join the American Revolution Center as its President and CEO, effective in January 2009. Cole’s current term was not set to expire until December 2009.
Appointed NEH Chairman by President George W. Bush, Cole was confirmed by the Senate in 2001, and reconfirmed in 2005 for a second term. Cole is the longest serving Chairman in the history of the Endowment. Since the position requires Senate confirmation, the Obama administration will be nominating Cole’s successor.
During the recent 2008 National Humanities and Arts Medals ceremony at the White House, President George W. Bush awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal to Chairman Cole.
The Presidential Citizens Medal was established on Nov. 13, 1969, to recognize U.S. citizens who have performed exemplary deeds of service for the nation. The medal is bestowed by the President and is one of the highest honors the President can confer upon a civilian, second only to the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Since it was established by Executive Order in 1969, approximately 100 people have been awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal.