Press Release

Bush Center Announces Bono as Inaugural Recipient of Medal for Distinguished Leadership

April 2018 Forum on Leadership to bring leaders from across all sectors to the Bush Center to examine solutions to today’s most pressing issues

(Dallas, TX) — The Bush Center today announced the Forum on Leadership, a new landmark annual gathering hosted by President George W. Bush and Mrs. Bush, that will develop, recognize, and celebrate leadership by bringing together leading voices for in-depth discussions on today’s pressing issues. The first Forum will be held April 18-20, 2018 at the George W. Bush Presidential Center. 

The three-day gathering will be highlighted by the presentation of the inaugural George W. Bush Medal for Distinguished Leadership, which will be awarded to Bono, the lead singer of U2 and cofounder of ONE and (RED), for his humanitarian contributions in the area of poverty and preventable disease, particularly among the world’s most vulnerable populations.

“Bono’s passion for ending poverty and disease is the real deal. He uses his celebrity not for personal gain, but to improve and save lives,” said President Bush. “I am thankful for his big heart and for his leadership, and I am proud that he will be the first recipient of the Medal for Distinguished Leadership.” 

The George W. Bush Medal for Distinguished Leadership will be awarded annually to an individual who has made an impact on the global community, has inspired others to action, and who has demonstrated a sustained commitment to improving the lives of others. Bono, through his lobbying for the creation of President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and his ongoing work in the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease through the two organizations he cofounded, ONE and (RED), is the model by which others are measured. His leadership has saved millions of lives on the continent of Africa. 

Other Forum on Leadership sessions will include former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke, former Speaker of the House John Boehner, AEI President Arthur Brooks, Governor John Hickenlooper, former Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson, and Dr. Condoleezza Rice.  Additional participants, details and leadership honorees will be announced in the weeks ahead.

“Leadership is the thread that runs through all of the work of the Bush Center. The goal of the Forum on Leadership is to explore the crucial need for leadership in our society, particularly as our Nation faces critical foreign and domestic challenges,” said Ken Hersh, president and CEO of the Bush Center. “With this signature annual event, we’ll recognize individuals for outstanding leadership in their fields and their communities, and we’ll investigate how we promote leadership while navigating geopolitical challenges like governing in a complex world, education, economic growth, veterans’ transition, and the coming challenges of technological disruptions. 

The Forum on Leadership is by invitation only. For more information, please visit