Late Thursday, the Barack H. Obama Foundation, dedicated to building a presidential library in the President’s honor, is dropping the middle initial “H” and will now be called the Barack Obama Foundation.
A spokesman for the newly named organization said that a Google internet search of “Barack H. Obama Foundation” does not take the searcher to the Library foundation site. Instead, it leads to a foundation dedicated to Obama’s father, who had the same name.
The name was deliberately changed, said a foundation spokeswoman. “We think it’s pretty clear which organization is which, but we wanted to eliminate the potential for any confusion.”
The Barack H. Obama Foundation is a charity organization founded by President Barack Obama’s half-brother Abon’go Malik “Roy” Obama. In the past, the organization has come under fire, even prompting an official IRS investigation. According to its website, the mission of the organization is to provide a wide range of development and humanitarian programs for impoverished Kenyans. However, there is little evidence of the charity’s actual accomplishments.
So far, the decision on a location for Obama’s library has not been made. Chicago, New York, and Hawaii are all possible destinations. “Our goal is to build a library of which the whole country, and hopefully the whole world, can be proud,” said Marty Nesbitt, a member of the foundation board. “Our vision is to create a space that reflects President Obama’s values and priorities throughout his career in public service and serves as [a] force for good in the surrounding community and throughout our world.”
Chicago could become a front-runner because of its deep pockets. Illinois House Speaker and Democratic Party Chair Michael Madigan announced a bill that would devote $100 million in state funding toward an Obama library project.