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  • George W. Bush Presidential Center

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  • Through our three Impact Centers -- Domestic Excellence, Global Leadership, and our Engagement Agenda -- we focus on developing leaders, advancing policy, and taking action to solve today’s most pressing challenges.

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Kenneth Hersh Named President & CEO of the George W. Bush Presidential Center

May 13, 2016
Holly Kuzmich Named Executive Director of the George W. Bush Institute and Senior Vice President of the George W. Bush Presidential Center

DALLAS – The George W. Bush Foundation today named Kenneth Hersh president and chief executive officer of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.  With the appointment he also joins the Bush Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Hersh, who begins his duties on May 31, succeeds Margaret Spellings, who departed in February to become president of the University of North Carolina System.

 “Ken has been an outstanding executive and strategic thinker with proven results in the private sector and in our community for many years,” said President George W. Bush.  “His skills and experience will serve him well as he leads our world-class team at the Bush Center in our ongoing efforts to generate consistently high returns on philanthropic capital.  Ken shares our values and has the right set of skills to help ensure the work of the Bush Center will be sustained for generations.  Laura and I have watched Ken develop as a leader for more than 25 years and are excited that he has agreed to come on board.”

Hersh, 53, is chairman of NGP Energy Capital Management, a private equity firm he co-founded in 1988 that has grown to over $15 billion in cumulative committed capital under management. Since 2012 he has served as a senior advisor to The Carlyle Group, a global asset management firm, where he assisted in the execution of the firm’s natural resources investment strategies. Hersh will continue to serve as chairman of NGP and sit on the Investment Committees of the NGP and Carlyle natural resources and infrastructure funds.

“Ken is an extraordinary business innovator, manager and leader, as well as a generous philanthropist and dedicated patriot, and the Bush Center is indeed fortunate to have his many talents working on its behalf,” said David Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of The Carlyle Group.  “I look forward to working with him in his continuing Carlyle and his new Bush Center capacities.”

As a Dallas native and current resident, Hersh has been an active participant in Bush Center programs since its opening on the SMU campus in 2013.

 “It is an honor and privilege to have been asked by President Bush to serve in this capacity,” Hersh said. “The Bush Center serves the country by hosting the Bush Presidential Library and Museum as well as advancing the core principles of President and Mrs. Bush of freedom and personal responsibility through the George W. Bush Institute. I am energized by the challenges and opportunities ahead and look forward to building upon the great momentum of this young institution. It is amazing how much has been accomplished since the Center opened just a few short years ago.”

Holly Kuzmich, who has served as interim president of the Bush Center since March and who has been senior vice president since 2013, has been named executive director of the George W. Bush Institute, which focuses its work on developing leaders, fostering policy and taking action to solve our most pressing challenges and improve the quality of people’s lives here and around the world. Kuzmich continues as senior vice president of the Bush Center.

“Holly has done a fantastic job leading the Bush Center through this period of transition,” said President Bush.  “We’re fortunate to have her lead our policy efforts in her new, expanded role as executive director of the Bush Institute. She is a strong leader who has a sharp mind and a caring heart, precisely the qualities needed to guide our policy work.”

Hersh is a member of the World Economic Forum, the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Council of the American Enterprise Institute. In addition, he is on the Dean’s Council of the Harvard Kennedy School. From 2009-15, he served on the Advisory Council of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.  In 2014, he was recognized as Master Entrepreneur of the Year for the Southwest Region by Ernst & Young. He is a frequent lecturer at industry functions covering topics relating to the energy, corporate finance and private equity sectors.

“The George W. Bush Presidential Center is a tremendous asset, enriching our campus through its programs, research and opportunities for involvement by our faculty, students and staff,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “As president of the Bush Center, Ken Hersh will bring the background and skills that SMU fosters, ranging from global entrepreneurship to leadership in education. We welcome him to our extended University family and look forward to continuing our active and productive relationship with the Bush Center under his leadership.”

Hersh has also been very involved in the nonprofit arena both nationally and locally on a personal basis and through the efforts of The Hersh Foundation, his family’s private foundation. He serves on the boards of the Communities Foundation of Texas, Baylor Health Care System Foundation and the Texas Rangers Baseball Club. He is also a member of the Dallas Citizens Council. From 1998 through 2015, Ken served on the board of St. Mark’s School of Texas, his alma mater, where he held numerous positions including President from 2010 through 2012. In 2015, he received the St. Mark’s School of Texas Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Prior to co-founding NGP, Hersh began his career in the investment banking division of Morgan Stanley & Co., where he was a member of the firm’s energy group specializing in oil and gas financing and merger and acquisition transactions. He holds an undergraduate degree in politics from Princeton University and an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

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About the George W. Bush Presidential Center:

Rooted in the guiding principles of President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush, the George W. Bush Presidential Center engages communities in the United States and around the world by developing leaders, fostering policy, and taking action to save and change lives. The Bush Center is home to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, operated by the National Archives and Records Administration, and the George W. Bush Institute, the non-partisan, public-policy arm of the Bush Center. The Bush Center is located on the campus of SMU in Dallas, Texas, and includes a 15-acre park, a full-service restaurant, Café 43, and a museum store.