updated 6/17/2005 4:34:09 PM ET 2005-06-17T20:34:09

Bruce S. Gordon, who has built a reputation as a shrewd businessman, will likely be named the new president and CEO of NAACP when the board of the 96-year-old civil rights group meets later this month, according to The Washington Post.

Gordon, 59, would replace Kweisi Mfume, who stepped down from the post in December, if approved by the NAACP’s board of directors June 24.

“I am a candidate. I am very interested in the opportunity. I think it’s an excellent fit in terms of my background, my skills and my experience,” Gordon told the Post.

If approved, Gordon would head the nation’s oldest civil-rights organization, which is now riddled with debt and internal problems. Along with increasing membership, the next leader would be tasked with improving the image of the NAACP, which some critics contend has been less effective in recent years.

The NAACP was recently the object of an IRS investigation into the organization’s tax-exempt status, and former President Kweisi Mfume, who is running for a U.S. Senate seat in Maryland, was accused of promoting women with whom he had personal relationships, bringing more unwanted publicity for the association.

Gordon, who was named “Executive of the Year” by Black Enterprise magazine and ranked as one of Fortune’s “Most Powerful Black Executives,” has received several awards for his work mentoring young Black executives. Unlike many of his predecessors, he is not a major civil-rights figure.

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