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The George W. Bush Institute Announces New Director of Economic Growth and First North American Competitiveness Working Group

September 4, 2015

DALLAS, Texas

The George W. Bush Institute is pleased to announce the addition of Matthew M. Rooney as the new Director of the Economic Growth Initiative and the first North American Competitiveness Working Group to take place September 3, 2015.

Formerly the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Mr. Rooney will lead the Institute as it focuses its economic initiative on the issue of North American economic integration.  At the Bush Institute, we believe that North America has enormous potential as a global powerhouse. We can be energy independent, we can lead the world in innovation, we can provide vast opportunity for our citizens, and we can grow our economy.  With that in mind, Mr. Rooney will concentrate preliminary efforts in the following three areas:

North America Scorecard: The Bush Institute is developing a “North America Scorecard” in order to benchmark North America’s performance in international rankings on issues like business climate, innovation, openness to trade and good governance against the performance of other major countries and trade groupings.  North American economic integration—and the combined economic power of the region--are the key to America’s global competitiveness, and the Scorecard will help focus policy attention on ways that we can sharpen our competitive edge in cooperation with Canada and Mexico.

Conference: To unveil the Scorecard, the Bush Institute will host a major conference on North America in November 2015. The conference will gather thought leaders from the United States, Canada, and Mexico to reflect upon the past decade and look forward to how the three countries can further enhance continental collaboration and economic growth.

North American Competitiveness Working Group: The Bush Institute is inviting prominent thought leaders from business, government, and academia to analyze challenges and opportunities in energy infrastructure and regulation, human capital and workforce development, border infrastructure, and other key areas.  We intend to present an agenda of specific, achievable policy recommendations to advance our competitiveness through continental economic collaboration, culminating with the presentation of the working group’s recommendations to continental policymakers in early 2016. 

On September 3, 2015, the Bush Institute will host the first working group session to focus on how practical policy steps to more closely integrate our economies could foster stronger growth and job creation. Throughout the day, experts from across the North American region will focus on the opportunities and challenges in the energy sector and on the United States, Mexico, and Canada’s cross-border infrastructure and human capital development challenges. Two additional working group sessions will take place before presentation of the final product in early 2016.

For more information about the North America Competitiveness Working Group, please contact media@bushcenter.org.

About the Bush Institute:

Housed within the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the George W. Bush Institute is an action-oriented, nonpartisan policy organization with the mission of cultivating leaders, fostering policies to solve today’s most pressing challenges, and taking action to save and change lives. It raises current and thought-provoking issues and builds programs to address the challenges facing our nation and our world. The work of the Bush Institute is inspired by the principles that guided the Bushes in public life: education is the foundation of a successful life; freedom is a universal human desire; free enterprise is the engine of economic prosperity; and every human life is precious.