Since 1906, the American Red Cross has had as part of its structure an office of President. United States President Woodrow Wilson agreed to serve in this position in 1913, establishing a tradition followed by all subsequent presidents that they become Honorary President of the American Red Cross.
That title was changed to Honorary Chairman in 1947.
The American Red Cross welcomes President Barack Obama as the organization’s Honorary Chairman. In this capacity, his duties include appointing the chairman of the Board of Governors and designating members of his Administration to serve on the Red Cross Cabinet Council. As honorary chair, the President’s signature is on the American Red Cross Certificate of Merit National Lifesaving Award, the organization’s highest award for people who have used the skills they learned in Red Cross courses to help save or sustain a life.