As a fellow with the Bush Institute’s Women’s Initiative, Anita McBride is helping support global First Ladies in using their platforms effectively to improve the list of women and children in their countries. McBride is also working to amplify the findings of the First Ladies Initiative’s report A Role Without a Rulebook: The Influence and Leadership of Global First Ladies.
McBride’s service spans more than 30 years as a White House advisor, chief of staff, diplomacy advisor, and human rights advocate. Currently, she is Executive-in-Residence at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies in the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, DC, where she directs programming on the legacies of America’s first ladies and their historical influence on politics, policy and global diplomacy. She also serves as an advisor to the university’s president and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations.
McBride served as an assistant to President George W. Bush, as well as Chief of Staff to First Lady Laura Bush. She directed the first lady’s travel to 67 countries in four years to support U.S. foreign policy objectives in human rights, women’s empowerment, global health and education, and human freedom. She co-founded the RAND African First Ladies Initiative and Fellowship program, working with African first ladies as they championed change in their countries and enhanced the effectiveness of their staffs and offices. She is a member of the US-Afghan Women's Council, the International Republican Institute’s Women’s Democracy Network, the National Italian American Foundation, and is a Founding Advisor of the RightNow Women PAC.