Richard D. Blumenthal '67 will be named as the new director of Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), a sagging "War on Poverty" program. Blumenthal was Editorial Chairman of the CRIMSON, and lived in Leverett House.
Blumenthal's formal nomination, which should come within the next several weeks, will draw him from Marine Corps Reserve boot camp at Parris Island, S.C. If approved by the Senate for his $38,000-a-year job, he will be the youngest man to hold a Presidential appointment at that level. Blumenthal is 24 years old.
Rumors of Blumenthal's impending nomination have been floating around Washington for the past three months. An earlier choice for the post, William Ford, a Michigan black, declined the job for personal reasons. Blumenthal had been working as a White House aide, where he came to the attention of Donald Rumsfield, director of the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO).
Blumenthal's youth seems to be a positive factor in his selection. He was described by White House colleagues as bright and attuned to his generation. He'll need more than the support of the Administration; VISTA, a community organizing program modeled on the Peace Corps, has been poorly funded since its inception. It has also been attacked periodically for funding black and white radicals.
Rumsfield expects that it will take several months for the nomination to be cleared by the Senate, because of a crowded Congressional calendar.