by Frederick H. Lowe
She becomes the second woman to hold the post
The Board of Directors of the NAACP on Sunday named Lorraine C. Miller the organization’s interim president and chief executive officer, replacing Benjamin Todd Jealous, who resigned.
Jealous addressed the board for the final time last weekend during its meeting in Las Vegas.
“This is a moment of great change and great opportunity for the NAACP,” said Roslyn M. Brock, NAACP chairman. “We are excited to work with Lorraine C. Miller during this time of transition. We are confident that Lorraine will serve the association with a steady and experienced hand as we welcome the search for the next president and CEO.”
Miller, who is a commercial real estate broker with Keller Williams Realty Inc., a national and international real estate franchise firm based in Austin, Texas, said she is honored to be selected for the job.
“I look forward to continuing the path forged by Chairman Brock and President Jealous in the months ahead. These are important times, and the important work of the NAACP will go on,” Miller said.
She lives in the Washington, D.C., area. Miller has worked for House Speakers Nancy Pelosi, Tom Foley and Jim Wright. Miller, a member of the NAACP’s national board of directors, will assume day-to-day duties Nov. 1, 2013. Jealous tenure with the NAACP ends Dec. 31, 2013. Although some news organizations are hailing Miller as the NAACP first female national president, she is not. That honor belongs to Enolia P. McMillan who served as president from 1984 to 1990. McMillan played a key role in getting the NAACP to move its headquarters to Baltimore, Md., from New York. Her presidential role was largely ceremonial, but she wielded considerable influence over the organization’s day-to-day activities.
The street near the NAACP’s Baltimore branch is named Enolia P. McMillan Way. She died in 2006 at 102.
National NAACP Board members Rev. Theresa Dear of Bartlett, Ill., and Lamell McMorris of Washington, D.C., will lead a search committee to find Jealous’ permanent replacement.
The board also inked a five-year deal with TV One to televise the NAACP Image Awards.