Jay Williams, a former mayor of Youngstown, Ohio who was later tapped by President Obama to lead part of the Department of Labor’s auto recovery office, will take over on July 17 as president of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the 92-year-old community group with nearly a billion dollars in assets, reports the Hartford Courant.

Mr. Williams arrives at a precarious time for the city and region, as the state is in the midst of a fiscal crisis and mainstay Aetna’s recent announcement that it is moving its headquarters to New York City. Mr. Williams said the organization will continue its increased funding and sees his role as building upon the success the organization has already achieved, while striving to make it more proactive and creative in its lending approach for the challenging times ahead.

Shortly before his selection the HFPG Board set up a strategy to establish three key priorities for the foundation: “vibrant communities,” “learning from birth to college” and “family economic security.” Mr. Williams is adamant that he be out in the community more than he’s at his desk in order to be an active leader of the organization, and hopes to make the foundation a national model.

New Hartford Foundation President Promises To ‘Roll Up Our Sleeves And Get Involved’