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What’s Next: Policy Recommendations from the Bush Institute

January 19, 2017 4 minute Read by William McKenzie
Stabilizing the world. Growing the economy. Encouraging innovative leadership. These challenges are front and center as the nation prepares for a new administration and Congress. In a two-part series of recommendations, the George W. Bush Institute is offering solutions for the next four years in each of these areas.

Stabilizing the world. Growing the economy. Encouraging innovative leadership. These challenges are front and center as the nation prepares for a new administration and Congress. In a two-part series of recommendations, the George W. Bush Institute is offering solutions for the next four years in each of these areas.

On the global front, drawing upon the expertise of Bush Institute directors and initiatives, we present proposals to promote human rights and stability in North Korea, expand the progress in eradicating and controlling deadly diseases around the world, and elevate the leadership of First Ladies as a way to solve problems at home and abroad.  Domestically, we present proposals to make NAFTA a tool for greater prosperity, empower veterans and their families to successfully reenter civilian life, and improve student progress across the country.

Domestic Excellence

North America: Making NAFTA A Tool for National Prosperity


The North American Free Trade Agreement has been a positive force for the United States, but NAFTA can be improved to help drive greater economic growth. Matthew Rooney, director of the Bush Institute’s Economic Growth Initiative, outlines five ways to update and strengthen this important agreement between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.
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Veterans: Empowering Veterans to Successfully Re-enter Civilian Life

Most of America’s 21 million-plus veterans will transition smoothly into civilian life. Yet too many veterans and their families face challenges as they re-enter civilian life. Colonel Miguel Howe, USA, Ret., who directs the Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative, offers a strategy that would allow the new Trump administration to help virtually all of them lead and serve their country as civilians.
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Education: How to Help Students Progress


Education issues didn’t receive much attention during the presidential campaign, but they deserve attention now. Holly Kuzmich, executive director of the Bush Institute, recommends ways to create a robust federal education agenda, including giving families options for their children’s education, ensuring schools measure student progress, developing strong principals, and making data and research a priority.
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Global Leadership

North Korea: Human Rights and Security Issues Must Go Together

The United States needs an active, two-pronged strategy for North Korea, concentrating on the nuclear threat as well as human rights in the oppressive nation.  Lindsay Lloyd, deputy director of the Bush Institute's Human Freedom Initiative, details how to combine those two and why they must go together. 
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First Ladies: Using Their Platform for Impact

First Ladies have a platform that allows them to spotlight problems and solutions at home as well as abroad. Natalie Gonnella-Platts, deputy director of the Bush Institute's Women's Initiative, offers a guide to the East Wing of the incoming Trump administration, showing how First Ladies in the U.S. and around the world have best used their platform for the common good. 
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Global Health: Building on America's Leadership

The U.S. has made progress in fighting AIDS and cervical cancer around the world through such initiatives as the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief. But the U.S. cannot afford to let up in the quest for improving global health care. Celina Schocken, CEO of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, a Bush Institute affiliate, explains how the U.S. can lead this campaign. 
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Author

William McKenzie
William McKenzie

William McKenzie is editorial director for the George W. Bush Institute, where he also serves as editor of The Catalyst: A Journal of Ideas from the Bush Institute.

Active in education issues, he co-teaches an education policy class at SMU’s Simmons School of Education and Human Development. He also participates in the Bush Institute’s school accountability project.

Before joining the Bush Institute, the Fort Worth native served 22 years as an editorial columnist for the Dallas Morning News and led the newspaper’s Texas Faith blog. The University of Texas graduate’s columns appeared nationwide and he has won a Pulitzer Prize and commentary awards from the Education Writers Association, the American Academy of Religion, and the Texas Headliners Foundation, among other organizations. He still contributes columns and essays for the Morning News and The Weekly Standard.

Before joining the News in 1991, he earned a master’s degree in political science from the University of Texas at Arlington and spent a dozen years in Washington, D.C. During that time, he edited the Ripon Forum.

McKenzie has served as a Pulitzer Prize juror, on the board of a homeless organization, and on governing committees of a Dallas public school. He also is an elder of the First Presbyterian Church in Dallas, where he lives with his wife and their twin children.

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