Red Cross president quits in Katrina feud
NEW YORK – Shortly before witnesses and lawmakers at a congressional hearing assailed the charity’s response to Hurricane Katrina, the president of the American Red Cross announced her resignation Tuesday because of friction with the board of governors. Red Cross spokesman Charles Connor said the board was not unhappy with how Marsha Evans handled the hurricane crisis before her resignation, “but had concerns about her management approach and coordination and communication with the board.” It was the second time in three years that such feuding led to a leadership change after a national disaster. At the hearing in Washington, lawmakers said the charity’s uneven response to Katrina calls for major changes in how the Red Cross coordinates with local groups, handles its finances and distributes aid to the disabled. A Louisiana congressman even suggested the possibility of stripping the Red Cross of its dominant role in major relief campaigns. Jack McGuire, executive vice president of the charity’s Biomedical Services, was named interim president while a search for Evans’ permanent successor is conducted. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Evans, a retired Navy rear admiral, ran the Girl Scouts of the USA before she took over at the Red Cross in August 2002 when the organization was shaking off criticism of how it handled some donations sent in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. Her Red Cross predecessor, Dr. Bernadine Healy, had resigned under pressure from the board, partly because of disagreements over whether money coming in after the terror attacks should be placed in a separate fund or a general disaster fund. Some donors were upset that $200 million was set aside for victims of future terrorist incidents. Healy, now a health columnist with U.S. News & World Report, said in a telephone interview that her departure and Evans’ removal reflected serious problems in how the 50-member Red Cross board addresses its internal conflicts and deals with its top executives. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!