May 30, 2007

Concern Over Appointment of Red Cross Ombuds

A blog written by Terence Stamp, president of Charity Navigator, reveals that Beverly Ortega Babers has been appointed the first ombudsman for the Red Cross. (The news has not been reported by the mainstream press and is not mentioned at the Red Cross website.) Stamp was probably one of the few outside of the ombuds profession to be interested in who would become the Red Cross ombuds. However, he is concerned because Babers is a political ally of Mark Everson, the new Red Cross President and CEO.
So what’s my problem with Ms. Babers? It’s in where she worked last week. Before being appointed by new Red Cross CEO Everson to serve as the lone independent voice and the donor’s eyes and ears at America’s most-important non-profit, in effect the person charged with making sure the group is playing by the rules and honoring the public trust, Ms. Babers was Mark Everson’s Chief of Staff at the IRS. She comes to the new job as his right-hand woman. And despite her credentials, she owes her new job and her large pay raise to Mark Everson. Am I really supposed to believe that she will be fiercely loyal to donors, staffers, employees, and aid recipients first, and not to Everson and his position of power and influence?

(Trent Stamp's Take.)

(Related post Bush Signs Legislation Creating Red Cross Ombuds.)

1 comment:

  1. Stamp's right. Even if Babers practices to standards, she will surely be perceived as biased. Without the trust of stakeholders, her effectiveness is compromised from the outset.