• George W. Bush Institute

    Global Leadership

  • To lead globally, it is imperative that we promote global health, advance the causes of freedom and democracy around the world, and work to empower women.

Women's Initiative Team

Contact the Women's Initiative team: womensinitiative@bushcenter.org

Media Inquiries: Miriam Spradling, media@bushcenter.org

See the Team

In the Spotlight: A Role Without a Rulebook: The Influence and Leadership of Global First Ladies

The George W. Bush Institute’s First Ladies Initiative and the International Center for Research on Women examined the expanding role of first ladies, their leadership on critical issues, the challenges they face in leveraging this unique platform, and how first ladies overcome those challenges to make a difference on critical issues at local, national, and global levels.

The research profiles 14 first ladies and includes interviews with 11 current and former first ladies from around the world, providing unique case studies for women’s leadership more broadly. The report was completed with generous support from Exxon Mobil.


More than 40 current and former First Ladies, including First Lady Michelle Obama and Mrs. Cherie Blair, have participated in Initiative summits, collaborative meetings, and other program related activities 

First Ladies Initiative


Our Team


75% of adult Afghan women cannot read or write or do basic math

Afghan Women's Project