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Former Think Tank Scholar and State Department Official James K. Glassman Named to Head Bush Institute

February 3, 2013

The George W. Bush Foundation announced today that Ambassador James K. Glassman, a public policy scholar, diplomat, and journalist, has been named the founding executive director of the George W. Bush Institute, an action-oriented think tank that will be an integral part of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. Located on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, the Center will also include the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

The appointment was jointly announced by Secretary Donald L. Evans, Chairman, and Ambassador Mark Langdale, President, of the George W. Bush Foundation.

“I am excited about the chance to build an Institute that will focus on issues of passionate interest to President and Mrs. Bush and of vital importance to the future of our country,” said Glassman, who, until January, served as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. “The Institute will link serious academic research to practical programs that will improve the lives of people around the world.”

President George W. Bush commented: “Laura and I are delighted to have Jim Glassman join us to develop a world-class institute that will promote policies and programs rooted in the core ideals of freedom, opportunity, responsibility, and compassion.”

Glassman’s initial responsibility will be to recommend a slate of Bush Institute research and programming to commence in spring 2010.

“Jim possesses a rare combination of talents and experiences as a diplomat, scholar, author, entrepreneur, and leader,” said Langdale. “He is the ideal person to work with President and Mrs. Bush during the formative stage of the Institute to set strategy, prioritize opportunities, and attract scholars and philanthropic partners to build a solid foundation for years to come.”

The Bush Institute will operate independently of SMU but will leverage opportunities for collaboration with SMU faculty and students on the sharing of ideas, research, and programs.

“We look forward to working with Ambassador Glassman as he develops the Institute’s programs of discussion and research. Under his leadership, the Institute will provide unique opportunities for students, faculty, and other scholars who wish to participate in its endeavors. It will be an important addition to the resources of Dallas as a city of global significance,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “The entire George W. Bush Presidential Center will be a unique resource for dialogue and discovery regarding an unprecedented era in U.S. history. We welcome Ambassador Glassman and his wife, Beth, to our community.”

Prior to entering government, Glassman was a fellow for 12 years at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., where he specialized in economics and technology and edited AEI’s magazine The American.

Glassman has had a long and distinguished career in media management, serving as editor and CEO of the congressional newspaper Roll Call, president of the Atlantic Monthly, executive vice president of U.S. News & World Report, and publisher of New Republic.

From 1993-2004, Glassman was an op-ed and investment columnist for The Washington Post and also has served as moderator of two weekly television series, “Capital Gang Sunday” on CNN and “TechnoPolitics” on PBS. In 2007, Glassman received Senate confirmation as chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees Voice of America, Alhurra TV, and other taxpayer-funded international media. He is the author of two books on finance, with a third to be published in April.

Glassman’s appointment has garnered widespread praise among public policy scholars across the political spectrum.

Christopher DeMuth, former president of AEI and a budget official in the Reagan administration, called Glassman’s appointment “an important development. It means that American political life is going to be enriched by a new institutional presence that is serious and vivacious in advancing human freedom.”

Dr. Robert Litan, senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution, vice president for research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation, and veteran of the Carter and Clinton administrations, called Glassman “an ideal choice” to head the Bush Institute. Litan added that Glassman brings to the position “a wealth of experience from his backgrounds in investing, business, journalism, the think tank world, and government service, which will immediately help establish the Bush Institute as a major new force in the public policy arena.”

Dr. Robert Shapiro, Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs during the Clinton administration, said of Glassman’s appointment, “The Bush Institute is fortunate to have an individual of his integrity and insight who can make this exciting new institution a center of serious academic study.”

And Dr. Eliot Cohen, Counselor to the Secretary of State for President George W. Bush, greeted the announcement by saying, “Jim Glassman has had a remarkably distinguished career in journalism and public service. I know of no one who understands better the importance of making the case abroad for the United States and her values, or who can do a better job of it. He is a terrific pick to lead the Bush Institute.”

Glassman resigned on August 31 as president of the World Growth Institute, a non-profit organization that promotes policies to achieve prosperity, mainly in developing countries. He is a member of the board of directors of the Washington Hospital Center Foundation and the International Center for Religion and Democracy. A graduate of Harvard University, he is married to Beth Glassman and has two children, two stepchildren, and three grandchildren.

The George W. Bush Presidential Center will be located on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and will house the George W. Bush Institute, along with the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the offices of the George W. Bush Foundation.

The George W. Bush Presidential Library will be the official archive of President and Mrs. Bush’s presidential and gubernatorial records as well as the papers of cabinet members and key decision makers within the administration. The Museum will tell the story of the Bush presidency within the context of the historic challenges of the first decade of the 21st century and how President and Mrs. Bush worked to advance the core governing principles of freedom, opportunity, responsibility, and compassion.

The Bush Institute will continue to promote these principles through research, discussion, scholarship, and action.

The site of the George W. Bush Presidential Center occupies a prime location in the heart of a rapidly-growing city in the middle of the country. Located just five miles north of downtown Dallas on approximately 25 acres on the SMU campus, the Center will overlook the downtown skyline and occupy a highly-visible site along the eastern entrance to campus.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field regional airport will provide easy access to the George W. Bush Presidential Center. Local visitors may access the Center from Dallas North Central Expressway or by using the Dallas Area Rapid Transit system, with two stations located within one mile of the site.

Groundbreaking for the facility is scheduled for the fall of 2010, with the opening and dedication in the spring of 2013.