Head of White House Faith-based office to depart this week

In his comments Thursday, Obama credited DuBois for his role in keeping him connected to his faith.

"Every morning he sends me via email a daily meditation — a snippet of Scripture for me to reflect on.  And it has meant the world to me," Obama said.

DuBois' office was established in 2001 by President George W. Bush, but ran into immediate controversy from civil-liberties groups that argued it violated the separation of church and state. DuBois released a report last year detailing safeguards the White House had put into place to prevent potential First Amendment violations, but watchdog groups complained the document did not do enough to resolve outstanding issues.