Today I was proud to participate in the inaugural meeting of the U.S. President's Council on Financial Literacy as the Council's vice chairman, serving with my new friend and respected colleague, chairman Charles Schwab, CEO of the Charles Schwab Corporation, at the U.S. Department of the Treasury in Washington, D.C.
It was an important watershed moment for me, as I have been advocating and encouraging the President and the Bush Administration to make financial literacy a priority for the whole of America, and particularly low-wealth Americans and the under-served communities we serve at Operation HOPE, which I founded and serve as chairman and chief executive officer. U.S. President George W. Bush signed an Executive Order creating the Council on January 22nd, 2008, "making financial literacy official U.S. policy." The Council reports to President Bush and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, who was also key in getting this President's Council approved and up and running quickly. Read the official U.S. Treasury Department press release about today's meeting here.
In addition to Chairman Schwab, other speakers at today's meeting included U.S. Congresswoman Judith Biggert, co-chair of the House Financial Literacy & Education Caucus, U.S. Treasurer Anna Cabral, Assistant Secretary David Nason and Deputy Assistant Secretary Dan Iannicola. Several esteemed Council members, including HOPE board member Don McGrath, chairman of Bank of the West, also attended and contributed substantively to the meeting.
Today was the start of something very special. Stay tuned for specific and ongoing action, and announcements of results from the President's Council on behalf of all Americans.
Onward with HOPE
John Hope Bryant
Vice Chairman, U.S. President's Council on Financial Literacy
Chairman and founder, Operation HOPE