Bush Says Bennett Is His Choice As First ‘Czar’ of War on Drugs

January 18, 1989 1 min read

Washington--President-elect George Bush last week named former Secretary of Education William J. Bennett to be the first federal “drug czar.”

Mr. Bennett spoke often on drug issues as secretary, and reportedly sought the post actively.

The job of director of national drug-control policy was created by last year’s omnibus anti-drug bill.

The responsibilties detailed by the legislation include setting national drug policy; advising the President; evaluating federal drug-control budgets; coordinating anti-drug activities among federal agencies and between the federal government and state and local governments; annually evaluating national anti-drug efforts; and heading, with the secretary of education, a National Council on Drug-Free Schools.

Mr. Bush also announced last week the creation of a new position on the White House staff to coordinate his proposed national youth-service program.

Gregg Petersmeyer, senior vice president and director of General Atlantic Energy Corporation in Denver, will serve as deputy assistant to the Presi4dent for national service.

Mr. Petersmeyer will be responsible for promoting programs in which both young people and the elderly can help the disadvantaged.

He will also be responsible for developing recommendations on the creation of a national youth corps for public service, which would enable volunteers to earn cash credits toward college tuition.

According to a spokesman for the transition team, some aides have already begun calling Mr. Petersmeyer the “thousand points of light” man, in reference to the phrase from Mr. Bush’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention last summer.

The President-elect also appointed Roger B. Porter as assistant to the President for economic and domestic policy.

Mr. Porter, a Harvard University professor and former policy advisor to Presidents Gerald R. Ford and Ronald Reagan, will advise the Chief Executive on such domestic issues as education, housing, and urban planning, the spokesman said.--jm & lj

A version of this article appeared in the January 18, 1989 edition of Education Week as Bush Says Bennett Is His Choice As First ‘Czar’ of War on Drugs