Obama Foundation Online for Library

Photograph by Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg

U.S. President Barack Obama arrives at an event at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 31, 2014.

Every president needs a library.

A Barack H. Obama Foundation has been created to start the fundraising and logistical work needed for an eventual presidential library for America’s 44th president with the goal of selecting a site in early 2015.

Three longtime Obama supporters — Martin Nesbitt, J. Kevin Poorman and Julianna Smoot — said in a statement today that the foundation had been created “in order to begin planning President Obama’s future Presidential Library.”

Nesbitt, Poorman and Smoot will manage the library planning process and serve on the foundation’s board of directors.

“The Barack H. Obama Foundation is tasked with planning the development of a Presidential Library that reflects President Obama’s values and priorities throughout his career in public service: expanding economic opportunity, inspiring an ethic of American citizenship, and promoting peace, justice, and dignity throughout the world,” the group said in its statement.

“Additionally, the foundation envisions a facility that, through its mission, initiatives, and physical and virtual presence, can become an anchor for economic development and cultivate a strong relationship with the library’s surrounding community,” the statement continued.

In February, the foundation will release a request for qualifications (RFQ), which will solicit interest and enumerate the core elements and criteria for the site selection process.

In May, the foundation will issue a request for proposals (RFP) to the most competitive entities, requesting comprehensive proposals for evaluation. The foundation says it expects to reach a decision and select a site in early 2015.

The group says the foundation would manage “an open and accessible library planning process, in line with President Obama’s longstanding commitment to transparency and fairness.”

For the remainder of Obama’s term, the foundation said it would follow strict donation guidelines in line with those adopted by the president for his campaigns. The Foundation will not accept donations from entities or organizations other than those also operating under section 501(c)(3), and it will also not accept support from foreign nationals, currently registered federal lobbyists or foreign agents. In addition, the foundation said it will disclose all donors and donations over $200 on a quarterly basis. The disclosures will be made public on the foundation’s website on the FEC quarterly reporting schedule.

Additionally, the board will organize fundraising activities for the foundation, the foundation said. The president, First Lady and White House staff will not participate in fundraising efforts during the remainder of the president’s term, the group said.

“I’m humbled and honored that President Obama has entrusted me to lead this effort,” Nesbitt, one of the president’s closest friends, said in the statement. “The president’s future library will one day serve as an important part of our nation’s historical record, and our mission is to build a library that tells President Obama’s remarkable story in an interactive way that will inspire future generations to become involved in public service.”

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