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White House Conference on Families Appointment of Wilbur J. Cohen as Chairman.

April 14, 1978

The President today announced that HEW Secretary Joseph Califano has appointed Wilbur J. Cohen as Chairman of the White House Conference on Families. Cohen is dean of the School of Education at the University of Michigan and a forester Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare.

Cohen, 64, of Ann Arbor, Mich., was with the Social Security Administration from 1935 to 1956, serving as Director of the Division of Research and Statistics front 1953 to 1956. From 1956 to 1969, he was a professor of public welfare administration at the University of Michigan.

Cohen served as Assistant Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare from 1961 to 1965, as Under Secretary from 1965 to 1968, and as Secretary from 1968 to 1969. Since 1969 he has been dean of the School of Education at Michigan. He is resigning as dean effective June 30 of this year, but will remain with the university as a professor of education and public welfare administration.

Cohen is the author of several books and numerous articles on social security. He is considered one of the pioneering leaders in the development of social security in the United States, and was also an early advocate of the Medicare program.

The White House Conference on Families, scheduled for December 9-13, 1979, will explore all facets of family life in America. President Carter has termed the family "both the foundation of American society and its most important institution."

In announcing the Conference, the President said last January 30:

"The main purpose of this White House Conference will be to examine the strengths of American families, the difficulties they face, and the ways in which family life is affected by public policies. The Conference will examine the important effects that the world of work, the mass media, the court system, private institutions, and other major facets of our society have on American families."

Jimmy Carter, White House Conference on Families Appointment of Wilbur J. Cohen as Chairman. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/245168

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