Press Release

2024 Class of Presidential Leadership Scholars Announced

Ninth annual class comprised of 60 accomplished leaders including servicemembers, educators, physicians, public servants, and corporate professionals; program begins on Jan. 24 in Washington, D.C.

Jan. 24, 2024 – Today, the Presidential Leadership Scholars (PLS) program announced the 60 Scholars who will form the program’s ninth annual class. For nearly a decade, PLS has served as a catalyst for a diverse network of established leaders brought together to collaborate and make a difference in the world.  The program enables them to learn about leadership through the lens of the presidential experiences of George W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon B. Johnson.

The class was selected after a rigorous application and review process. Scholars were selected based on their leadership growth potential and their personal leadership projects aimed at improving civic engagement or social good by addressing a problem or need in their community, the country, or the world.

Over the course of several months, Scholars will travel to each participating presidential center to learn from key former administration officials, business and civic leaders, and leading academics. They will study and put into practice varying leadership principles and exchange ideas to help maximize their impact in the communities they serve.

The program kicks off today, Jan. 24, in Washington, D.C.

The latest class joins an active network of nearly 500 Scholars who are applying lessons learned through the program to make a difference in the United States and around the world. Examples of these Scholar-led efforts include: addressing the medical and mental health needs of youth; leading a global campaign to safeguard the world’s land and oceans; and addressing a labor shortage critical to a community’s safety.

Scholars have consistently reported remarkable growth in skills, responsibilities, and opportunities for impact since the program began in 2015. For example, 91% of Scholars said their confidence in how they lead social change has improved as a result of PLS.

2024 Scholars:

  • Lawrence Adjah, Founder and Chairman, Family Dinner Foundation, Dallas, TX
  • Sherra Bennett, Equity Officer, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, Little Rock, AR
  • Henish Bhansali, Chief Medical Officer, Medical Home Network, Chicago, IL
  • Matthew Boyer, Senior Director of Global Business Development Operations, General Motors Defense, Arlington, VA
  • Dorian Burton II, Managing Partner, Southern Reconstruction Fund, Raleigh, NC
  • David Callaway, Chief of Crisis Operations and Sustainability, Atrium Health, Charlotte, NC
  • Keely Cat-Wells, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Making Space, Tujunga, CA
  • Stephanie Chao, Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Surgery, Stanford School of Medicine, Hillsborough, CA
  • Justin Coppedge, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Operations, Texas 2036, Dallas, TX
  • Jose De La Cruz, State Government Affairs Manager, Microsoft, San Antonio, TX
  • Emily Desai, Deputy Director of International Affairs and Trade, California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, Sacramento, CA
  • Moses Dixon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Central Massachusetts Agency on Aging, Inc., Shrewsbury, MA
  • Anashua “Rani” Elwy, Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University; Research Career Scientist, VA Bedford Healthcare System, Wellesley, MA
  • Kevin Ferguson II, Founder and Managing Partner, Starlight Haven, Fairfield, AL
  • Keith Fernandez, Head of Social Impact Communications, DoorDash, Washington, DC
  • Angie Fetherston, Consultant, McKinsey and Company, Washington, DC
  • Anna Beth Gorman, Chief Executive Officer, Women’s Foundation of Arkansas, North Little Rock, AR
  • Catherine Hampel, Vice Chair of Finance and Administration, UCSD Health Department of Psychiatry, Encinitas, CA
  • Keith Hensley, Director, Head of Enterprise Business Development, Uber Technologies Inc., San Francisco, CA
  • Francisco Hernández-Cáceres, Film and Television Producer, Country Roads Studios, Youngstown, OH
  • Mayme Hostetter, President, Relay Graduate School of Education, New York, NY
  • Patrick Jacob, State Equal Employment Manager and Commander, Arkansas National Guard, Sherwood, AR
  • Harmony Jones, Pro Bono Counsel, Steptoe, Chesapeake Beach, MD
  • Philip June, Program Manager and Vice President – P-8 Poseidon Programs, The Boeing Company, Los Angeles, CA
  • Michael Kopko, Chief Executive Officer, Pearl Health, New York, NY
  • Nina Kshetry, President and Founder, Ensaras, Inc., Champaign, IL
  • Kai Kung, Co-Chief Executive Officer, San Joaquin A+, Pleasanton, CA
  • Nanxi Liu, Chief Executive Officer,, Los Angeles, CA
  • Lauren Macmadu, Head of External Relations, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
  • Amy Marden, People Initiatives and Humanitarian Operations Lead, SOS International LLC, Alexandria, VA
  • Larissa Martinez, Founder and President, Women’s Public Leadership Network, Alexandria, VA
  • Olga Martinez Hickman, Executive Director, Bachman Lake Together, Fort Worth, TX
  • Owen McCarthy, President and Co-Founder, MedRhythms, Gorham, ME
  • Joyce Meng, Founder and Portfolio Manager, FACT Capital, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Givology, Jackson Heights, NY
  • Heather Mercer, Founder and President, Global Hope, Garland, TX
  • Shane Morrison, Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery, Seattle Children’s Hospital and University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  • Todd Mosher, Director, Blue Origin, Seattle, WA
  • Amol Naik, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Resurgens Strategies, Atlanta, GA
  • Megan O’Hare, Chief of Staff, National Audubon Society, Rockville, MD
  • Sandra Ostad, Director of Development, CitySquare, Dallas, TX
  • Sarah Paden, Vice President and Chief Political Director, Progressive Policy Institute, Washington, DC
  • Nitzan Pelman, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Climb Hire, Berkeley, CA
  • Tamika Perry, Chief Executive Officer, Dallas Hope Charities, Dallas, TX
  • Victor Petenkemani, Interim Dean, Mercy University School of Business, New Rochelle, NY
  • Julie Radford, Founding Partner, R6 Consulting, Dallas, TX
  • Ralph Rosado, Village Manager, North Bay Village, Miami, FL
  • Danielle Rugoff, Head of Movement Activation and Partnerships, Starts With Us, Dallas, TX
  • Nuwan Samaraweera, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Talent Solutions, P33 Chicago, Oak Park, IL
  • Edgar Santana, Deputy Secretary to the Governor, NYS Governor’s Office, Yonkers, NY
  • Neeti Sanyal, Vice President, Artefact, Arlington, VA
  • Mary “Libby” Schroeder, Associate Professor of Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, Whitefish Bay, WI
  • Hallie Shoffner, Chief Executive Officer, SFR Seed, Little Rock, AR
  • Shashank Sinha, Medical Director, Cardiac Intensive Care Unit; Director, Cardiovascular Critical Care Research; Inova Schar Heart and Vascular, Fairfax, VA
  • Kezia Stegemoeller, Senior Manager, Trustees’ Philanthropy Fund Fidelity Charitable, Dallas, TX
  • Amanda Stricklen, Clinical Information Analyst Staff Specialist, Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan, Dexter, MI
  • Wade Swenson, Medical Director, Lakewood Health System, Fergus Falls, MN
  • Timothy “Tito” Torres, Co-Founder and Partner, Arena Advantage Group; Executive Director, Moral Compass Federation, Alexandria, VA
  • Carolina Veira, Chief Executive Officer, The Strategic Group, Pembroke Pines, FL
  • Alicia Vermaele, Executive Director, The Starbucks Foundation and Director, Global Philanthropy and Community Engagement, Starbucks Corporation, Seattle, WA
  • Robert Watson, Deputy Director, Harvard EdRedesign Lab; Lecturer on Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA


About Presidential Leadership Scholars

Presidential Leadership Scholars is a partnership among the presidential centers of George W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon B. Johnson. To learn more, visit For updates about the Presidential Leadership Scholars, use #PLScholars and follow @PLSprogram on Twitter (X).