Interviews for permanent post to be conducted in the fall

WASHINGTON — The White House on Wednesday named Texan librarian Robert Martin to serve as acting topper of the National Endowment of the Arts while President Bush hunts around for a permanent pick.

Martin will be wearing two hats when taking over for current NEA chair Bill Ivey, a holdover Clinton appointee who will step down in early September.

Last month, the U.S. Senate confirmed Martin as Bush’s choice to head up the Institute of Museum and Library Services, an independent federal agency that administers grants to the country’s libraries and museums.

Washington insiders say that the White House selected Martin to serve as acting chair of the NEA because to serve as the acting head of a federal agency, a person must have a Senate confirmation under his or her belt.

President Bush and his staff are expected to hold another round of interviews this fall for the NEA post.

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