George W. Bush Presidential Center
Exhibits & Events
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.
Speakers at the 2021 Forum on Leadership
Vice Chairman and President, Strategic Growth, Mastercard; United States Trade Representative (2013 – 2017)
Mike Froman serves as vice chairman and president, Strategic Growth for Mastercard. In that role he is responsible for growing strategic partnerships, scaling new business opportunities, and advancing the company’s efforts to partner with governments and other institutions to address major societal and economic issues. He and his team drive financial inclusion and inclusive growth efforts and work to develop new businesses key to the company’s strategic growth. Mike is chairman of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and is a member of the company’s management committee.
Prior to joining Mastercard, Mike was affiliated with the Council on Foreign Relations and continues to serve as a distinguished fellow. In September 2018, Mike joined the Board of Directors of The Walt Disney Company. From 2013 to 2017, Mike served as the U.S. Trade Representative, President Barack Obama’s principal advisor and negotiator on international trade and investment issues. During his tenure, Mike worked to open foreign markets for U.S. goods and services, reach landmark trade agreements and enforce the rights of American workers, farmer and firms. From 2009-2013, he served at the White House as assistant to the President and deputy national security advisor for international economic affairs.
Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Mike held several executive positions at Citigroup, including CEO of its international insurance business, COO of its alternative investments business and head of its infrastructure and sustainable development investment business. He helped shape the company’s strategy in China, India, Brazil and other emerging markets.
Earlier in his career, during the Clinton Administration, he worked at the White House and the Treasury Department. Mike received a bachelor’s degree in public and international affairs from Princeton University, a doctorate in international relations from Oxford University, and a law degree from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.
Founder and Executive Director, Annunciation House
Ruben Garcia founded Annunciation House in El Paso, Texas, which aids immigrants fleeing violence in Mexico and Central America. Since its founding in 1978, Annunciation House has provided beds and meals and made the bus or plane reservations migrants need to complete the last part of the journey to U.S. cities and towns. As the shelter’s director, Garcia has continually brought compassion to the forefront of migration in Texas’ border city for over four decades.
Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics, Harvard University
Edward Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1992. He regularly teaches microeconomics theory, and occasionally urban and public economics. He has served as Director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, and Director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston. He has published dozens of papers on cities’ economic growth, law, and economics. In particular, his work has focused on the determinants of city growth and the role of cities as centers of idea transmission.
He received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1992. His books include Cities, Agglomeration, and Spatial Equilibrium (Oxford University Press, 2008), Rethinking Federal Housing Policy (American Enterprise Institute Press, 2008), Triumph of the City (Penguin Press, 2011), and Survival of the City: Mass Flourishing in an Age of Social Isolation (Penguin Press, forthcoming in Spring 2021).
Founder and CEO, Vinli Inc.; Presidential Leadership Scholars Class of 2019
Mark discovered technology at a young age thanks to a couple of computers donated to his school by the United Nations. Born and raised in Lebanon, Mark founded his first tech company by the age of 17, and built award-winning technology systems before his 21st birthday. After moving to the U.S. to study at the University of Detroit Mercy, Mark led the development of a connected car project for the US Army. With aspirations to create a better world through technology, Mark co-founded Dialexa, a Technology, Research and Creation firm where he helped build more than 42 products. Its internal incubator, Dialexa Labs, has spun out four companies including Vinli, the world’s leading connected car platform, Robin, the world's first robotic mowing service, and Rosy Wellness, the first-of-its-kind platform offering women a holistic approach to sexual health and wellness.
Today, Mark is the Chief Executive Officer of Vinli, and sits on the board of Vinli, Dialexa, Robin Technologies, Rosy, Aim7, and UNICEF USA (Great Plains Region). He is also a Presidential Leadership Scholar (PLS), an instrument-rated pilot, and a member of YPO. When he’s not in Dallas, Mark is sharing his story on the global stage, and advocating for children and refugee rights.
Tad and Dianne Taube Director, Hoover Institution; 66th United States Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice is the Tad and Dianne Taube Director of the Hoover Institution and the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy. In addition, she is a founding partner of Rice, Hadley, Gates & Manuel LLC, an international strategic consulting firm. From January 2005 to January 2009, Rice served as the 66th Secretary of State of the United States, the second woman and first black woman to hold the post. Rice also served as President George W. Bush’s Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (National Security Advisor) from January 2001 to January 2005, the first woman to hold the position.
Rice served as Stanford University’s provost from 1993 to 1999, during which time she was the institution's chief budget and academic officer. As provost, she was responsible for a $1.5 billion annual budget and an academic program involving 1,400 faculty members and 14,000 students. In 1997, she also served on the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender-Integrated Training in the Military. From February 1989 through March 1991, Rice served on President George H.W. Bush’s National Security Council staff. She served as Director, then Senior Director, of Soviet and East European Affairs, as well as Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. In 1986, while an International Affairs Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, Rice also served as Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
As Professor of Political Science, Rice has been on the Stanford faculty since 1981 and has won two of the university’s highest teaching honors – the 1984 Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 1993 School of Humanities and Sciences Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching.
She has authored and co-authored numerous books, most recently To Build a Better World: Choices to End the Cold War and Create a Global Commonwealth (2019), co-authored with Philip Zelikow. Among her other volumes are three bestsellers, Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom (2017); No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington (2011); and Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family (2010). She also wrote Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft (1995) with Philip Zelikow; edited The Gorbachev Era (1986) with Alexander Dallin; and penned The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army, 1948-1983: Uncertain Allegiance (1984). In 1991, Rice co-founded the Center for a New Generation (CNG), an innovative, after-school academic enrichment program for students in East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park, California. In 1996, CNG merged with the Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula, an affiliate club of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). CNG has since expanded to local BGCA chapters in Birmingham, Atlanta, and Dallas. Rice remains an active proponent of an extended learning day through after-school programs.
Since 2009, Rice has served as a founding partner at RiceHadleyGates LLC, an international strategic consulting firm based in Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. The firm works with senior executives of major companies to implement strategic plans and expand in emerging markets. Other partners include former National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley and former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates.
Rice currently serves on the boards of Dropbox, Inc., an online storage technology company; C3.ai, an AI software company; and Makena Capital Management, a private endowment firm. In addition, she is Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and a trustee of the Aspen Institute. Previously, Rice served on various additional boards, including those of: the George W. Bush Institute; the Commonwealth Club; KiOR, Inc.; the Chevron Corporation; the Charles Schwab Corporation; the Transamerica Corporation; the Hewlett-Packard Company; the University of Notre Dame; the Foundation for Excellence in Education; the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; and the San Francisco Symphony. In 2013, Rice was appointed to the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, formerly the Bowl Championship Series. She served on the committee until 2017.
Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Rice earned her bachelor's degree in political science, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Denver; her master’s in the same subject from the University of Notre Dame; and her Ph.D., likewise in political science, from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Rice is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and has been awarded fifteen honorary doctorates.
54th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Paul Ryan was the 54th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. In office from October 2015 to January 2019, he was the youngest speaker in nearly 150 years. During his tenure as Speaker, Ryan spearheaded efforts to reform our nation’s tax code, rebuild our national defense, expand domestic energy production, combat the opioid epidemic, reform our criminal justice system, and promote economic opportunity. As chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee he worked to protect health care choices, advance free trade, and strengthen the economy. Before that, Ryan served as chairman of the House Budget Committee where he outlined revolutionary blueprints to balance the federal budget and pay off the national debt. In 2012, he was selected to serve as Governor Mitt Romney’s Vice-Presidential nominee. Ryan was first elected to Congress at age 28 and represented Wisconsin’s First District for two decades. In 2019, Ryan launched the American Idea Foundation, a non-partisan, not for profit organization that expands economic opportunity by partnering with local organizations and academics to advance evidence-based public policies. In 2020, Ryan was named as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Executive Network Partnering Corporation and in 2021, he was named as a Partner at Solamere Capital. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Fox Corporation, of SHINE Medical Technologies LLC, and of UniversalCIS. Ryan also serves on the Advisory Board of Robert Bosch GmbH and is a senior advisor with Teneo. He is a Professor of the Practice at the University of Notre Dame and a visiting fellow in the practice of public policy at the American Enterprise Institute. Ryan serves on the Board of Trustees of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute and on the Board of Directors for the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Paul and his wife Janna have three children: Liza, Charlie, and Sam. He holds a degree in economics and political science from Miami University in Ohio and was also awarded an honorary doctorate by the University.
Strategic Advisor, Mayer Brown; United States Trade Representative (2006-2009)
Susan C. Schwab is a strategic advisor in Mayer Brown’s International Trade practice and offers cross practice and cross office counsel to Mayer Brown’s clients on a wide range of issues and policies. Ambassador Schwab also serves as a professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy. She previously served as Dean and as President of the University System of Maryland Foundation between 1995-2006. Prior to her tenure at the University of Maryland, Ambassador Schwab served as Motorola, Inc.’s Director of Corporate Business Development, working in negotiation and strategic planning on behalf of the company in China and Asia. In 2006, Ambassador Schwab was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the United States Trade Representative, during which she served as President Bush’s principal trade advisor, negotiator, and spokesperson on trade issues. During her tenure as the USTR, Ambassador Schwab successfully opened markets for US products and services in every region of the world, and across a variety of business sectors and industries. She concluded the US’s Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Peru, Colombia, Panama and South Korea and launched the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks.
Ambassador Schwab holds a B.A. in Political Economy from Williams College, a Master in Development Policy from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in Public Administration and International Business from The George Washington University.
United States Senator (R - SC)
As a leader on tax reform, education and job training, and innovative ideas to reinvest in our nation’s distressed communities, United States Senator Tim Scott brings a unique perspective to the United States Senate. Growing up mired in poverty in a single parent household, Tim says that he is living his mother’s American Dream, and through his Opportunity Agenda works every single day to ensure every American family has the opportunity to succeed. Senator Scott has served the great state of South Carolina in the U.S. Senate since 2013, and brings with him a mission to positively affect the lives of a billion people with the message of hope and opportunity.
Growing up poor in a single-parent household in North Charleston, South Carolina, Tim watched his single mother work 16-hour days as a nurse’s assistant to keep him and his brother afloat. As a freshman in high school, Tim nearly failed out, flunking four classes. However, the next year, he met his mentor named John Moniz who shared life-changing ideas and the basic principles of business with Tim. Through hard work, education, innovation, and with the discipline his mother gave him, he began the process of turning his life around. The lessons gleaned from his mentor still guide Tim today: you can think your way out of poverty, and financial independence is a stepping-stone for success. Having a job is a good thing, but creating jobs is a great thing.
An unbridled optimist, Tim believes that despite our current challenges, our nation’s brightest days are ahead of us. During his time in office, he has been a tireless advocate for creating more opportunities for families living paycheck-to-paycheck and helping children who are mired in poverty have access to quality education. He launched his Opportunity Agenda, a legislative package aimed at achieving these goals, as well as the Senate Opportunity Coalition, a group of Senators committed to helping those in need.
Tim also knows that in order for our nation to prosper, we must get our spending and national debt under control. He has sponsored balanced budget amendments throughout his time in Congress, and will continue working to restore fiscal sanity in Washington. Prior to public service, Tim built a successful small business of his own. He was first elected to Charleston County Council, to the South Carolina State House, and the U.S. House of Representatives. In January 2013, Tim was sworn in as a United States Senator from South Carolina, and was re-elected in January 2017.
Global Client Service Partner, Ernst & Young; Presidential Leadership Scholars Class of 2019
Whether at work, at home or in the community, Thear’s personal purpose is to inspire courageous actions in others so they can lead more impactful lives. Thear is a Global Client Service Partner at Ernst & Young with 25 years of professional services experience. She started her career at Accenture, where she spent 16 years helping clients deliver large and complex technology transformation programs as well as leading the US Technology Delivery Architecture practice. Thear joined in 2012, where she has served as Regional Consulting Managing Partner and Americas Consulting Talent Leader. Thear’s extensive experience serving clients, operating a business, and leading Talent, gives her a broad perspective on the people, process and technology elements needed for business success.
Thear is passionate about increasing leadership and philanthropic capacity in herself and others to improve lives and communities. At EY, Thear serves on the Americas Inclusiveness Advisory Council, and she champions leadership development programs that build inclusive, innovative, and courageous leaders for the 21st century.
Thear is active with non-profit organizations that develop leaders and lifts up others. With the Texas Women’s Foundation, Thear served 6 years on the Board of Directors, 2 years as Co-Chair of the Economic Leadership Council and a proud founding member of the Orchid Giving Circle. Thear serves on the SMU Lyle Engineering School Executive Board, the Dallas Holocaust & Human Rights Museum Board, the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Committee, the National Asian/Pacific Islander Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship Board, Co-Chair for the 50/50 Women on Boards – Dallas initiative, and is a member of the International Women’s Forum.
Thear is a 2019 Presidential Leadership Scholar and has received several recognitions, including the SMU Women's Symposium Profiles in Leadership award, the Nomi Network Abolitionist award, Women Leaders in Consulting award, WING’s Mentors & Allies award, National Association of Asian American Professionals 100 award and most recently named one of the most powerful business leaders in North Texas 2021 by DCEO.
Thear earned her Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering with Biomedical Engineering Specialization from Southern Methodist University. She lives in Plano, Texas with her husband Eric and their four sons.
Founder and CEO, Chobani
Hamdi Ulukaya is founder and CEO of Chobani, one of the fastest growing food companies in the last decade and a pioneer for the natural food movement. Raised in a dairy-farming family in a small village in eastern Turkey, Ulukaya launched Chobani in 2007 with the mission of making better food more accessible. In less than five years, Chobani became the No. 1–selling Greek Yogurt brand in the U.S. with more than a billion dollars in annual sales. Chobani has been named to Fortune’s ‘Change the World’ list of companies, was honored with a Salute to Greatness Award by The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change and named one of the ‘Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality’ by the Human Rights Campaign.
Ulukaya has always made helping people and having a positive impact on communities a priority for Chobani. From the beginning, the company has donated a portion of its profits to charitable causes, many of them in Idaho and New York where its products are made. A champion of reducing income and wealth inequality nationwide, Ulukaya advocated in support of a proposal to increase the minimum wage in New York that ultimately became law. In addition, Ulukaya implemented a groundbreaking profit-sharing program for the company’s 2,000 employees. He also took the rare step in manufacturing of instituting a six week, fully paid parental leave program for all of the company’s mothers and fathers.
In 2016, Ulukaya launched the Chobani Food Incubator to mentor and support socially responsible food entrepreneurs and further deliver on the company’s mission to provide better food for more people. A devoted humanitarian, Ulukaya founded the Tent Partnership for Refugees to mobilize the private sector to improve the lives and livelihoods of the more than 25 million refugees around the globe. He also signed the Giving Pledge and committed the majority of his personal wealth to the cause. For these efforts, he was named an Eminent Advocate by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and received the United Nations Foundation Global Leadership Award, among other recognitions.
Ulukaya is also an Oslo Business for Peace Award and George H.W Bush Points of Light Award recipient, a Global Citizen Prize winner, and was named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for his work on the refugee crisis and his innovative approach to business. Ulukaya sits on the board of the Pathfinder Village and is a member of the B Team, a collective of global leaders working to inspire dialogue and business action for a fairer, greener and more human economy. A big fan of independent films and the Turkish soccer team Fenerbahce, Ulukaya lives in New Berlin, N.Y.
S.M. Wright II
Co-Founder, President, and CEO, S.M. Wright Foundation
Reverend S.M. Wright II has dedicated himself to the calling of providing for the physical and spiritual needs of the South Dallas community. For 25 years, since the age of eighteen, Reverend Wright has served as pastor of the People’s Missionary Church, a church house that is nearly a century old, alongside his brother, Reverend Calvin Wright.
In 1998, he co-founded and has since served as president and CEO of the S.M. Wright Foundation, whose mission is to provide support and stability to underprivileged children and less fortunate families. Named for Reverend Wright’s father, legendary Texan Sylvester Marilyn Wright, Sr., the S.M. Wright Foundation provides hunger relief, economic empowerment, and assistance in the areas of education, health, and social services through programs such as Beds for Kids, which provides beds and furniture for families in need. In addition, Reverend Wright and the S.M. Wright Foundation provide assistance with economic-related issues, such as starting a business and investing for retirement.