The Clinton Foundation will get new leadership in the form of longtime Clinton ally and former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala as it continues to face ongoing questions about its foreign fundraising practices, former President Bill Clinton announced in Coral Gables, Florida on Friday.
The news of Shalala’s new role comes as the foundation has caused all-but-certain 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton some political trouble in the final weeks before her expected campaign roll-out. Republicans have latched onto reports that the foundation resumed accepting money from foreign governments after Clinton left the State Department in 2013 — a policy which the organization said it would review if Clinton pursues the White House — and to her use of a personal email address as Secretary of State.
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And the foundation has also come under scrutiny with the swift departure of CEO Eric Braverman, a close ally of Chelsea Clinton.
Additionally, it was discovered that the foundation had accepted donations from companies that were simultaneously lobbying the U.S. government while Clinton was working as secretary of state.
Shalala, 74, announced in September that she would resign from her position as president of the University of Miami at the end of the school year after 14 years leading the university. She reportedly will move to New York to lead the nonprofit, which is officially named the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation.
Shalala served as HHS secretary for all eight years of Bill Clinton’s presidency, and she joins the Clintons in Miami over the weekend as her school hosts a foundation event. By leaving the foundation in her hands as Hillary Clinton prepares to run for president, the family hands off their $2 billion global philanthropic enterprise to a long-standing friend with fundraising experience of her own.
The former cabinet secretary has raised nearly $3 billion during her tenure in Miami, garnering a reputation as a skilled financial operator. The foundation will likely need such leadership over at least the next two years, as Clinton will not be able to directly raise money for it while tapping donors to fund her own presidential ambitions.
She joined her husband and daughter at the helm of the organization after leaving the State Department in 2013, and headlined on Wednesday what is likely to be the foundation’s last major fundraising event before her campaign.
In choosing Shalala, the Clintons tapped an official with significant management experience — she also served in top roles at Hunter College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison — and a reputation for not being a rubber-stamp after opposing Bill Clinton’s welfare law when he was president.
But she has also been helpful for Hillary Clinton, hosting her at a friendly appearance in Coral Gables in February 2014 as Clinton was gaining momentum as a presidential hopeful.?
Hillary Clinton and Shalala, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008 by President George W. Bush, served on the board of the Children’s Defense Fund for years together.
Correction: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Pally’s name.Contact with post author