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Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
Photo of Former Director Jim Towey
Jim Towey

Jim Towey
Former Director, White House Office of Faith-Based & Community Initiatives, 2002-2006

Jim Towey was appointed in 2002 by President Bush to lead the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and served until May 2006. He also advised on church-state and compassion issues, and reported directly to the President.

Prior to his appointment, Towey spent ten years as a senior advisor to Republican U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield and Democratic Governor Lawton Chiles, serving the latter as secretary of Florida’s health and social services agency and its 40,000 employees. After leaving state government he created a planning document called Five Wishes that today helps millions of families maintain human dignity at the end of life. Towey’s work in support of those in need has led to numerous honors including six honorary doctorates and an award from Pope John Paul II.

Most significant in Towey’s life, however, was his work and friendship with Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Towey met Mother Teresa in 1985 and went on to serve as her legal counsel for 12 years. He lived for a year in Mexico in one of Mother Teresa’s missions and in 1990 worked full-time in her Washington, DC AIDS home. He had the privilege to travel on occasion with Mother Teresa to see first-hand her faith and compassion in action.

Towey and his wife, Mary, have five children.