NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous gave notice to the organization’s Board of Directors on Sunday. Jealous, who has been with the organization for five years, will carry his current position through the end of 2013. He will formally announce the move to his staff Monday morning.
Roslyn M. Brock, Board Chairman, thanked Jealous for his leadership, “We thank President Jealous for his time leading the Association… Under his leadership, the NAACP has built a highly competent staff that will carry our mission forward and meet the civil rights challenges of the 21st century. Our board, staff and volunteer leaders throughout the country deeply appreciate his sacrifice.”
A good leader knows when to step up & when to step down. After 5 years leading the @NAACP, I’ve decided to move on at the end of this year
— Ben Jealous (@BenJealous) September 8, 2013
During Jealous’ tenure in the nation’s largest civil rights organization their numbers have grown exponentially. He is credited with stabilizing a financially troubled NAACP and modernizing the organization which was accused of being out of touch with current trends.
Speaking on his success in the organization and future plans, Jealous said, “I am proud to leave the Association financially sound, sustainable, focused, and more powerful than ever. Beginning next year, I look forward to pursuing opportunities in academia to train the next generation of leaders and, of course, spending a lot more time with my young family.” He is currently looking into possible positions at academic institutions which are close to home.
USA TODAY interviewed Jealous who expressed a desire to spend more time with his children and wife, Lia Epperson, a civil rights lawyer. Jealous, pictured above with one-year-old son Jack in July, cites a few instances that prompted the move. His daughter, Morgan, reminded him that she had a promise he would only do the job for five years. Then, two blocks from home and anticipating a non-travel week, he learned of the death of Trayvon Martin and found himself traveling regularly down to Florida over subsequent months.
Brock was actually informed of the decision last Wednesday, “Truly we were surprised,” she revealed. “We’re disappointed that he’s leaving at this time,” she said the NAACP understands the decision but, “we were expecting him to be with us seven years,” based on a contract that had just started.
[Image via Ben Jealous Facebook.]