Wendy Spencer, CEO for the Corporation for National and Community Service, will be the featured speaker at Palm Beach Atlantic University’s Fall Commencement at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.
The event is open="open" to graduates and guests who hold tickets. More than 250 candidates for bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the West Palm Beach, Orlando, Wellington and online campuses will participate in the ceremony.
CNCS is a federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, the Social Innovation Fund and other programs. Together these programs engage more than 5 million Americans in service and volunteering to improve lives, strengthen communities and foster civic engagement. Spencer was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate as CEO in April 2012.
In June 2013, President Obama named Spencer as the co-chair of the President’s Task Force on Expanding National Service. The Task Force is an Administration-wide effort to establish public-private partnerships that create more opportunities for Americans to participate in national service. Under her leadership, CNCS launched new partnerships, including FEMA Corps, School Turnaround AmeriCorps, STEM AmeriCorps, VetSuccess AmeriCorps and Financial Opportunity Corps; increased the agency’s focus on veterans and military families; and led the national service response to a number of severe disasters.
Her efforts to engage elected officials include creating the annual Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service, a nationwide bipartisan effort engaging more than 2,800 mayors in recognizing the impact of national service and expressing appreciation for Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and volunteerism.
Spencer’s management career spans 30 years and includes leadership roles in government, nonprofits and the private sector. She has served in both Democratic and Republican administrations. Prior to coming to Washington, D.C., she served as the CEO of the Florida Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism where she connected national service and volunteer strategies to meet state prioritized needs. Spencer coordinated volunteer efforts in response to disasters, including eight record-breaking storms from 2004 to 2005. Additionally, she served as the director of the Florida Park Service, where she oversaw natural resource and recreational management for 158 state parks spanning 600,000 acres.
Spencer has held professional roles in many organizations, including the United Way, the Chamber of Commerce, and in the banking and insurance industries. Among many honors, she has received the prestigious Governor’s Award from Gov. Jeb Bush for her disaster work.