WASHINGTON (AP) — The NAACP's board is forming a search committee to find the next president and CEO for the nation's largest civil rights organization, its chairwoman said Monday.
Chairwoman Roslyn Brock said during a conference call that she expects the change in leadership to be an orderly transition. Outgoing NAACP President Benjamin Jealous also used the call to elaborate on his desire to spend time with his children, a reason he cited in his announcement the previous day. His departure is effective Dec. 31.
Brock says the board is disappointed Jealous is leaving after five years during which he was credited with boosting the organization's finances and increasing stability. Still, she said staff members left energized after a meeting with Jealous on Monday.
"The NAACP is alive, and it's well," Brock said. "We have a strategic plan in place that will guide our work for the next 50 years."
Jealous said during the call that he signed a new contract last year that was negotiated to keep him at the NAACP for a maximum of three more years. He says there was a clause allowing him to leave sooner because he was wrestling with the need to spend more time with his family.
He said he'd promised his daughter several years ago that he needed five years to do important work at the NAACP before he could return home and be fully engaged with the family. His daughter, now 7, reminded him each year of his promise.
"It just became clear during the month of August that I needed to go ahead and keep my promise to my daughter," he said.