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Former President Bush Announces New Fellows for Policy Institute; Work to Begin in January

February 3, 2013

The George W. Bush Institute, a think tank that is part of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, today announced five appointments, including its first Senior Fellow, nationally renowned education scholar Professor James Guthrie. Simultaneously, Southern Methodist University, site of the Bush Presidential Center, has named Guthrie a full professor in its Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. He will begin working at SMU and the Bush Institute on January 1.

The appointments were announced by former President George W. Bush as he and Mrs. Laura W. Bush outlined their vision for the Institute, a center for scholarship and action that will focus on four major areas: education, global health, human freedom and economic growth. The Institute’s programs will also seek to empower women and social entrepreneurs. The Institute is part of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which also includes a library and museum. All the Institute’s programs will work to link scholarly research with practical results.

Professor Guthrie will become the Bush Institute’s Director of Education Policy Studies and will direct a program of research into ways to improve the quality of school leaders, including principals and administrators. Currently, Guthrie is Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy and Director of the Peabody Center for Education Policy at Vanderbilt University, whose education school was ranked number-one in the country this year by U.S.News & World Report.

“James Guthrie’s contributions to the field of education are legendary. His timely scholarship targets the obstacles that schools must overcome to provide all children access to high-quality education. His presence on our faculty will immediately shine a spotlight on SMU Simmons School’s efforts to address some of education’s most pressing challenges,” said David Chard, the Leon Simmons Dean of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. “Dr. Guthrie's appointment, confirmed by a vote of our faculty, recognizes his outstanding scholarship on education policy development and the critical role of leadership in effective education," said Dean Chard.

"Jim Guthrie is one of the nation's most eminent thinkers on questions of educational leadership, education policy, and school reform. His presence instantly makes the Bush Institute's education program a force deserving of notice on the national stage," said Frederick Hess, Director of Education Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute and Executive Editor of Education Next magazine.

Eric Hanushek, Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, said of Dr. Guthrie: “The unique attribute he brings is his continual insistence on evidence-based policy, something he did long before anybody even invented a term for it.”

Guthrie has authored or co-authored 20 books and more than 200 scholarly articles on education. He was a Professor for 27 years at the University of California at Berkeley.

Former President Bush announced two other appointments in education: Sandy Kress, an Austin lawyer who formerly served as president of the Dallas Independent School District’s board of trustees and an advisor to President Bush on the No Child Left Behind Act, will become a Fellow and Director of Policy Development and Outreach. Beth Ann Bryan, also of Austin, will become an Education Policy Associate. Bryan has served in a number of education practitioner and policy roles, most recently as Vice Chairman of the National Board for Education Sciences.

Former President Bush also announced the appointment of the Institute’s first Fellow in global health, Mark Dybul, M.D. Formerly U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, Dr. Dybul will retain his position as a Distinguished Scholar at Georgetown University and, on behalf of the Bush Institute, lead a program that will research the best ways to deliver health care to pregnant women, newborns and children in impoverished areas of Africa and Asia.

Finally, President Bush announced the appointment of Oscar Morales as the Institute’s first Fellow in Human Freedom. In 2007, Morales used Facebook to launch a movement against the FARC, the violent extremist group that has been terrorizing Colombia for decades. He will help to convene a global conference next year that will bring together cyber-dissidents from around the world to share best practices.

“We are excited to begin the unique work of the George W. Bush Institute,” said Ambassador James K. Glassman, the Institute’s Director. “Next year will be a busy one that will bring great minds to the Institute, and advance the principles of freedom, opportunity, responsibility and compassion across the world.” Ambassador Glassman previously served as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, was a fellow for 12 years at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington and, before that, publisher of The Atlantic Monthly and New Republic magazines and editor of the congressional newspaper Roll Call. He was appointed as the Institute’s first Director in September.

On Feb. 22, 2008, SMU was officially named the site of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. Located five miles north of downtown Dallas, SMU is a private university of nearly 11,000 students from throughout the United States and 90 other countries.