Today the George W. Bush Foundation announced the appointment of Margaret Spellings to serve as its president effective September 3, 2013. Spellings, the former U.S. Secretary of Education and White House Domestic Policy Advisor during the George W. Bush Administration, is president and CEO of Margaret Spellings and Company, a Washington, D.C. consulting firm that provides strategic guidance to philanthropic and private sector organizations. She also serves as president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
Spellings will oversee all aspects of Bush Foundation activities, including leadership of the George W. Bush Institute, management of George W. Bush Presidential Center business operations, and collaboration with the National Archives and Records Administration, which operates the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. The appointment of Spellings, one of the nation’s premier thought leaders in public policy, marks a new stage of development for the Bush Center’s policy arm, the Bush Institute.
“Laura and I are thrilled that Margaret Spellings is coming home to Texas to join us at the Bush Center,” said President George W. Bush. “Margaret is a smart, capable, effective leader who gets results. Her policy and management experience will inform and enhance our work at the Bush Institute. We look forward to working with her to advance freedom and expand opportunities for individuals at home and across the globe.”
“I look forward to collaborating with the Bush Center staff and Bush Institute scholars, engaging with the esteemed SMU faculty and students, and working once again with President and Mrs. Bush to deliver effective programming and policy initiatives in the areas of education, global health, economic growth, and human freedom,” said Spellings. Spellings, who moved with her parents from Michigan to Houston, Texas when she was in the third grade, considers Texas home. She added, “I’m thrilled to be returning to my beloved state to join the terrific team at the Bush Center.”
As head of Margaret Spellings and Company, Spellings works with leading philanthropic organizations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Goldman Sachs Foundation, and provides strategic guidance for organizations such as the Boston Consulting Group. As president of the Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the U.S. Chamber’s non-profit affiliate, Spellings works with the nation’s top industry leaders and corporate executives to advance America’s global competitiveness. Her experience leading the Chamber’s foundation and directing its work as a think tank on emerging issues in business will serve her well in this new role.
Spellings will work with Mark Langdale, the current president of the Bush Foundation, who will continue to serve as a member of the Bush Foundation board of directors, and James K. Glassman, the Bush Institute’s founding executive director, who will transition to an advisory role this fall. Spellings will assume the responsibilities of both positions.
“Mark Langdale and Jim Glassman have been outstanding leaders for the George W. Bush Presidential Center,” said President Bush. “As President of the George W. Bush Foundation, Mark helped build the Bush Center from scratch. He recruited a talented and dedicated team, led a successful capital campaign, and oversaw the design and construction of our fabulous new building. Jim Glassman, founding executive director of the Bush Institute, has been a visionary and dynamic force behind the creation of programs that are already making a positive, measurable impact in the world. Laura and I are deeply grateful for the service of our friends. We are proud of what we have achieved together and are excited about the future.”
The Bush Center was dedicated on April 25, 2013, and the Museum and Library opened to the public on May 1. Langdale was tapped by President and Mrs. Bush in 2008 to serve as the Bush Foundation’s president responsible for the development and launch of the Bush Center, which included oversight of a $500 million capital campaign that achieved its goal this spring. Jim Glassman, former undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, is credited for launching the Bush Institute in 2009, which has more than a dozen active programs that are making a critical impact domestically and internationally.
Dr. R. Gerald Turner, president of Southern Methodist University (SMU) and Bush Foundation board member, noted that “the Bush Center’s positive impact on SMU has already been realized through our collaboration with the Bush Institute. SMU has worked with Margaret Spellings on important education issues such as teacher preparation, and we look forward to welcoming her to her new home on SMU’s campus.”
Margaret Spellings is a familiar face to SMU. In 2009, she received the inaugural Simmons School Luminary Award for her work in both national and Texas education, was a guest of the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series and served as the keynote speaker at the 2005 dedication ceremony of the School of Education and Human Development.
From 2005 to 2009, Spellings served as the U.S. Secretary of Education where she oversaw an agency with a nearly $70 billion budget and more than 10,000 employees and contractors. As a member of the President’s Cabinet, she led the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), a historic national initiative to provide enhanced accountability for the education of 50 million U.S. public school students. As the Domestic Policy Advisor to the President (2001-2005), Spellings helped create NCLB and crafted policies on education, immigration, health care, labor, transportation, justice, housing, and other elements of the President's domestic agenda. Prior to her service in the White House, she was senior advisor to then-Governor George W. Bush of Texas, led governmental and external relations for the Texas Association of School Boards, and has served in key positions at Austin Community College and with the Texas Legislature. She graduated from the University of Houston with a bachelor's degree in political science.
About the George W. Bush Presidential Center:
The George W. Bush Presidential Center is home to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, which is operated by the National Archives and Records Administration, and the George W. Bush Institute. The Bush Institute, founded by President and Mrs. Bush in 2009, is a public policy center with the mission of advancing freedom by expanding opportunities for individuals at home and abroad. The work of the Bush Institute is inspired by the principles that guided the Bushes in public life. The Bush Center complex is located on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and also includes a 15-acre park, a full-service restaurant, Café 43, and a museum store. To learn more about the Bush Center, please visit www.bushcenter.org, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.