Kenneth A. Hersh

Ken Hersh

President and Chief Executive Officer
George W. Bush Presidential Center

Since 2016, Ken Hersh has served as president and CEO of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, a nonpartisan institution housing the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the George W. Bush Institute. The Bush Center’s mission is to promote policy solutions and public engagement that ensure opportunity for all, strengthen democracy, and advance free societies.

He is the Co-Founder and former CEO of NGP Energy Capital Management, one of the largest natural resources private equity investment firms, managing over $20 billion of cumulative committed capital since 1988. NGP is recognized as the pioneer of energy private equity, developing a business plan to invest in the energy field that, today, has been replicated by dozens of firms worldwide. From 1988 until 2016, under his leadership, NGP invested over $12 billion and earned a 27-year annualized rate of return of 30%, making it one of the nation’s leading private equity firms. From 2012 until 2023, he was a Senior Advisor to the Carlyle Group’s natural resources division. In 2023, the Oil and Gas Investor magazine inducted Ken into its Hart Energy Hall of Fame as one of the top 50 “pioneering men and women who have shaped energy over the last half century.”

Mr. Hersh also manages his family investment office, investing in sectors across the economy and sits on the boards of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club and numerous private companies. In addition, he serves on the Hoover Institution’s Board of Overseers, and is a member of both the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Council of the American Enterprise Institute. Mr. Hersh served on the Advisory Council of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business from 2009 through 2015. In 2023, he became the inaugural Distinguished Executive in Residence at SMU’s Cox School of Business.

Mr. Hersh is a frequent writer and speaker on topics ranging from economics and geopolitics to the energy industry and financial markets. In 2023, he released his book, The Fastest Tortoise: Winning in Industries I Knew Nothing About, which chronicles his life’s lessons evolving from his many business and personal experiences.

In 2023, he received the Ernest C. Arbuckle Award, the highest honor presented by Stanford’s Graduate School of Business to recognize excellence in management leadership. Among other lifetime achievement recognitions, he received the 2020 L. Frank Pitts Energy Leadership Award presented by SMU’s Cox School for his leadership and innovation in energy, and the Oil & Gas Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.

Mr. Hersh is also very involved in the nonprofit arena through the efforts of the Hersh Foundation. He sits on the boards of the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation, the Dallas Citizens Council, the Southwestern Medical Foundation, and the Baylor Scott & White Dallas Foundation, and serves on the Advisory Council of The Asian American Foundation. From 1998 through 2015, Mr. Hersh served on the board of St. Mark’s School of Texas, holding numerous positions including President from 2010 through 2012.

In 2023, Mr. Hersh was recognized with the World Affairs Council’s H. Neil Mallon Award for his contribution to the region’s global presence. In 2019, he received the Henry Cohn Humanitarian Award, presented by the Anti-Defamation League for advancing the cause of human rights, dignity, and equal opportunity. In 2015, he received the St. Mark’s School of Texas Distinguished Alumnus Award.

In April of 2024, he received the Horatio Alger Award which is given to individuals whose lives and actions demonstrate outstanding character, a commitment to helping others and the power of the human spirit. Along with this recognition, he is now a lifetime member of the Horatio Alger Association.

A native of Dallas, Texas, he graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University with a degree in politics and earned his MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where he graduated as an Arjay Miller Scholar.

58 Results
Read the article Top moments from Forum on Leadership 2024.
Apr 19, 2024

Top moments from Forum on Leadership 2024

By: Ken Hersh
Watch our favorite moments from the 2024 Forum on Leadership, a landmark gathering that develops, recognizes, and celebrates leadership by bringing together notable voices for in-depth discussions on today’s pressing issues.
Read the article Forum on Leadership 2024: Voices of Freedom, with program introduction by Ken Hersh.
Apr 18, 2024

Forum on Leadership 2024: Voices of Freedom, with program introduction by Ken Hersh

Featuring: Natalie Gonnella-Platts, Joseph Kim, Ken Hersh
When freedom is under attack, oppressed people’s most powerful tool is often their voice and the voices of others. Brave individuals rise up and risk their safety and comfort to demand respect for human rights and speak truth to power every day. This panel features activists pushing back against authoritarian threats around the world.