Jonathan Holifield

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Monday named a lawyer and former NFL player as executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, as the administration faces criticism from those institutions of promises unkept.

Jonathan Holifield, who also writes and consults on the topics of innovation and inclusiveness, told leaders and students that HBCUs must contribute more to the American economy.

“There is no path to sustain new job creation, shared prosperity and enduring national competition without the current and increased contributions of historical black colleges and universities,” Holifield told students at the Old Executive Office Building next to the White House.

His appointment answers one complaint from the leaders HBCUs, who are making their second visit to the White House this year amid strains with the Trump administration over unfulfilled promises.