Obama advisor Joshua DuBois to leave Office of Faith-based and Neighboorhood Partnerships

Hamil R. Harris TWP Joshua Dubois speaks to ministers at a 2009 D.C. Council reception held in his honor. President … Continued

Hamil R. Harris


Joshua Dubois speaks to ministers at a 2009 D.C. Council reception held in his honor.

President Obama announced Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast that Joshua DuBois, head of his Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships would be leaving the post, effective Friday.

DuBois was 26 when he was chosen by the president to serve as director. Obama has often mentioned the inspiration he finds in DuBois’ daily Scripture e-mails, making the faith-based office director an informal spiritual adviser to the president.

A White House official said that DuBois is leaving the White House to author a book of devotionals for leaders based on the ones he sends the president. DuBois will be teaching at New York University and plans to launch a new organization with Michael Wear, who led faith outreach for the president’s 2012 campaign. Wear, who has been working as an assistant to DuBois, also is leaving.

Over DuBois’ tenure, the office been criticized for failing to address one of the core issues around government funded programs run by religious organizations–that of faith-based hiring and firing. A 2012 report left “critical questions unanswered” about how the government could work with religious groups within the limits established by the First Amendment. DuBois at the time called the findings “an important step” and said the recommendations would “strengthen the government’s relationship with faith-based organizations in a manner that protects religious liberty and the separation of church and state.”

In a recent post for On Faith, John J. DiIulio Jr., who served under President Bush as the first director of White House faith-based office, praised the office under DuBois’ leadership and its progress on issues like child hunger, while acknowledging the inherent church-state tensions in the faith-based mission.


Elizabeth Tenety Elizabeth Tenety is the former editor of On Faith, where she produced "Divine Impulses," On Faith’s video interview series. She studied Theology and Government at Georgetown University and received her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. A New York native, Elizabeth grew up in the home of Catholic news junkies where, somewhere in between watching the nightly news and participating in parish life, she learned to ponder both the superficial and the sacred.
  • slowe111

    I hope this office remains VACANT after his departure. I hope this office is dissolved. It is unnecessary and offensive to the secular government.

  • Deist1

    I wonder if some of the devotionals from the Bible DuBois sent Obama were anti-child such as Psalm 137:9 which reads “Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.” Or if they were scriptural warnings about using the US to serve Israel such as Isaiah 60:12 which says that God said any nation that will not serve Israel “shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.” (Even though Obama gets bad press about not being pro-Israel enough the fact remains he’s done more than any US president to promote Israel with cash taken from American tax payers, etc.)

    The American founder and Deist Thomas Paine was right when in his landmark thought provoking book on God, Deism and religion, The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition, he called for a revolution in religion based on our God-given reason and Deism.

    Progress! Bob Johnson

  • ckw

    It makes sense. Why would our president, the new messiah, need a spiritual advisor? Jesus didn’t need one after all. For that matter neither did the Buddha.

  • ckw

    Almost no government in recorded history has been secular, why should ours be?

  • Sir Rods

    Religion has no place in American politics. Having this office violates our constitution.

    Only 26 out of around 200 governments in the world are non-secular.

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