The Strategerist podcast highlights compassion and optimism through conversation with newsmakers, leaders, and people working to change the world.
June 14, 2022
Yuval Levin -- Strength Through America's Democracy
America is a diverse country. Diverse in many senses of the word – from race, to regionality, to religion, to political views, and all points in between. Dr. Yuval Levin, Director of Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies at AEI, explains that from the inception of our government to today, this diversity has been both the fundamental challenge to solve as well as its fundamental strength.
May 13, 2022
Gary Cohn -- Overcoming Obstacles, Taking Risks, and Growing From Failure
Gary Cohn, the 11th Director of the National Economic Council, former president and chief operating officer at Goldman Sachs, and current Vice-Chairman at IBM, struggled as a student because of dyslexia. But he tells us how the challenges he faced helped him learn about risk -- and how to not fear failure.
May 6, 2022
Dr. Deborah Birx -- Leading the Pandemic Response
In 2019, as Dr. Deborah Birx was preparing PEPFAR budgets, she was looking at rich county-by-county infectious disease data in sub-Saharan Africa when word began circulating of a novel virus that could threaten the globe. A few months later, as she moved into her role as White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, she was able to take the lessons she learned from years of experience in global health and brought them to the U.S. pandemic response.
April 1, 2022
Gyasi Chisley - Health, Health Care, and Equity
Gyasi Chisley, 25-year health care executive, discusses health, health care, and equity -- and how we can all work together to build better health care in underserved zip codes.
February 18, 2022
Governor Bill Haslam -- Passion, Compromise, and Finding Solutions
As Americans, we're passionate about our country and its policies. We all want this to be the best place to live. And we might feel strongly that our solution or idea is the best one, leading to frustration when others don't see things the same way. Bill Haslam, the Sammons Enterprises Fellow at the George W. Bush Institute, often had to make difficult decisions and tackle complex problems as Governor of Tennessee -- and reminds us that "sometimes, the other fella might be right."
January 21, 2022
David Beasley -- The Mission Against World Hunger
As the Nobel Peace Prize recipient for 2020, the United Nations World Food Programme provides desperately needed rations to every corner of the globe, no matter how dangerous the situation. Executive Director David Beasley leads the organization and shares what he has seen on the ground, why he won't give up the hope of eradicating hunger, and why we should all be united in joining him on the mission.
December 6, 2021
Andi Ball and Suzy Fields -- Christmas at the White House
Suzy Fields, an interior designer who volunteered at the White House, and Andi Ball, Chief of Staff to Mrs. Laura Bush in the White House, sat down with us to talk about the hard work -- and beauty -- that is Christmas at the White House.
November 8, 2021
Major Matt Zeller -- Repaying a Life Debt
While Major Matt Zeller was deployed to Afghanistan, an Afghan interpreter named Janis saved his life in combat. Years later, Matt is still committed to the Afghan people, working to help as many people like Janis and his family as he can.
October 30, 2021
Jay Nordlinger -- Around the World
As senior editor for The National Review, Jay Nordlinger writes on politics, foreign affairs, and a variety of other topics on his mind. We discuss one of his biggest passions: hearing -- and sharing -- the stories of the people around the world fighting for freedom and human rights in their countries. We also dive into a number of other topics, including the state of conservatism, space travel, and more.
October 18, 2021
Nina Rees -- Giving Parents School Choices
Nina Rees and her family immigrated to the United States from Iran in large part because of the American education system. Now the president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, Nina discusses charter schools and the power of choice for parents in determining their children's educational path.
October 7, 2021
Amy Webb -- Teaching Children to Love Differences
Author Amy Webb discusses her family’s experiences that inspired her books, When Charley Met Emma and Awesomely Emma, which address important lessons of diversity and inclusion – as well as kindness toward people who are different.
September 10, 2021
Secretary Donald Evans -- Remembering 9/11
20 years ago, then-Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans watched the terrorist attacks of 9/11 unfold alongside the rest of a shocked Nation. He shares his recollections from that day, and the ensuing the days, of a government mobilized against an active threat -- including his experience as the "designated survivor" in the presidential line of succession.
July 30, 2021
Spence Geissinger -- Behind the Scenes at the 2008 Beijing Olympics
In 2008, President George W. Bush traveled to Beijing, China to support the athletes representing the United States at the 2008 Olympic Games. Spence Geissinger headed up the operations and logistics planning for that trip. Spence takes us behind the scenes of the extensive planning, negotiating, and improvising that goes into essentially picking up the White House and placing it in a foreign country -- and shares memories from that remarkable trip.
July 20, 2021
Evan Smith -- The Non-Profit Newsroom
Evan Smith, founder and CEO of the non-profit Texas Tribune, believes strongly that providing information to voters is critical to a healthy democracy. We discuss the constantly evolving media landscape and how the Texas Tribune has adapted as a newsroom and a business.
June 8, 2021
Speaker Paul Ryan -- Finding Common Ground
Paul Ryan, the 54th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, takes us behind the scenes of Capitol Hill and into the Speaker's chair -- discussing leadership lessons, legislative accomplishments and disappointments, and finding common ground.
May 4, 2021
Joseph Kim -- From North Korea to the Bush Institute
Joseph Kim shares with us the incredible hardships of life in North Korea, how he was able to escape to the U.S., and how he stays optimistic through it all.
April 22, 2021
Dina Powell McCormick -- From Cairo to the White House
Dina Powell McCormick's immigrant journey began when her parents moved their family from Cairo, Egypt, to the United States when Dina was a child, hoping to ensure that their daughter would have opportunities that weren’t possible in their native country. The sacrifices that came with moving to a new land paid off: Dina's journey took her to the White House, where she was a trusted advisor to President George W. Bush – who painted her for his latest project, Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants.
April 14, 2021
Ambassador Derek Mitchell -- Burma's Past, Present, and Future
Derek Mitchell, President of the National Democratic Institute and former Ambassador to Burma, joins us to talk about this inflection point in Burma’s history.
April 6, 2021
Angela Dominguez -- Sharing the Immigrant Experience with Children
Children’s book author Angela Dominguez was born in Mexico City but grew up in the United States. Her childhood was in many ways shaped by that blending of cultures. In Stella Diaz Has Something to Say, she created a story that shares the immigrant experience in a way that children can relate to.
March 30, 2021
Bob Kendrick -- Lessons from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
Bob Kendrick, President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, explains that even though segregation and racism forced the formation of the league, the story is ultimately one of triumph. And the lessons we can learn from those baseball players are very much applicable today.
March 23, 2021
#ThisIsOurShot -- Drs. Sunny Jha, Loren Robinson, and Jay Bhatt
Doctors Sunny Jha, Loren Robinson, and Jay Bhatt are on the front lines in their communities in the fight against COVID-19. But thanks to vaccines that are now available, they see a light at the end of the tunnel. They've witnessed first hand the pain caused by COVID-19, the progress we’ve made in a short amount of time, and the fear in patients as vaccine distribution ramps up. But, the science is clear: the vaccines are safe, and #ThisIsOurShot to bring the pandemic under control.
March 16, 2021
Marissa Castro Mikoy and Haley Coates-Huseman - Jubilee Park and Community Center
Jubilee Park and Community Center is using innovative, cohesive methods to try to gain equal opportunity for South Dallas residents. Marissa Castro Mikoy and Haley Coates-Huseman join the Strategerist to discuss the work Jubilee Park and Community Center is doing in its community.
March 8, 2021
Aya Chebbi - International Women's Day
As a 22-year old, Aya Chebbi’s voice was at the heart of the democratic revolution in Tunisia in Northern Africa. Now, 10 years later, she is still committed to fighting for human rights — including gender equity here on International Women’s Day.
December 22, 2020
Nicole Bibbins Sedaca - Democracy's Strength
Nicole Bibbins Sedaca, Bush Institute Kelly and David Pfeil Fellow, discusses the principles of our democracy and how we can all work to ensure its health.
December 22, 2020
Wendy Kopp - Teach for All
Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach for America and co-founder and CEO of Teach for All, discusses her passion for maximizing the potential of kids worldwide.
December 8, 2020
Renée DiResta - How Online Content Finds You
Renée DiResta, Research Manager at the Stanford Internet Observatory, explains how algorithms try to deliver content that you’ll find interesting and relevant — and how that leads to your online world looking very different from your neighbor’s online world.
December 1, 2020
Roda Ahmed - Inspiring Young Readers
In 2018, Roda Ahmed published Mae Among the Stars — the story of Mae Jemison, the first African American woman to travel to space. In the short time since then, the book has inspired countless children and taught them to always follow their dreams.
November 17, 2020
J.D. Crouch -- The USO's Continued Mission
For 80 years, the USO has worked to connect service members to family and home. CEO J.D. Crouch discusses the ongoing work of serving our nation's warriors -- and how the organization with a global footprint is adapting to a global pandemic.
November 10, 2020
Melissa Stockwell -- From Wounded Warrior to World Champion
In this Veteran's Day episode, we talk to U.S. Army Second Lieutenant Melissa Stockwell -- the U.S. first female to lose a limb in combat and now Paralympic Games medalist -- about her journey representing America both before and after active duty.
November 3, 2020
Hannah Song -- Liberty in North Korea
Hannah Song, CEO of Liberty in North Korea, dreams of a day when all of the people of North Korea can enjoy freedom -- and is doing everything she can to make that come true, one individual at a time.
October 27, 2020
Mark Cuban and Daymond John -- Inspiring a New Generation of Entrepreneurs
Mark Cuban and Daymond John are inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs. They sat down to trade laughs, behind-the-scenes stories, and business insights -- including how to adjust in the covid economy -- during the season four debut of The Strategerist.
July 21, 2020
Hector Barreto - Entrepreneurship and Immigrants
Hector Barreto grew up in an entrepreneurial immigrant family that believed in hard work — his father even enrolled him in his "executive training program," which early on consisted of waiting tables in the family restaurant. That training must have taken hold, as Hector eventually headed up the small business administration in the Bush Administration and today serves as Chairman of the Latino Coalition.
July 14, 2020
Bob Chapman - People-First Businesses
Many of us spend a majority of our waking hours at work -- and that stress often bleeds into our home lives. Bob Chapman, CEO of Barry Wehmiller ardently believes that business leaders do themselves a disservice when they don’t put employees first. And yes, that does mean forgoing the old adage that the customer is number one.
July 7, 2020
Dr. Juliet Garcia - The Richness of the Texas-Mexico Border
Dr. Juliet Garcia is a product of the Texas-Mexico border. She was born in Brownsville, Texas, to parents who diligently saved $10 at a time to make sure she got a college education. Not only did she get that education, she eventually became the first Mexican-American female to head a U.S. college or university.
June 30, 2020
Tom Luce - Education, Opportunity, and Civil Rights
Tom Luce's long career has taken quite a few turns: from private sector lawyer (where he once escorted the Magna Carta across the Atlantic as a carry-on), to state government, to national education policy, and now to the non-profit sector. At each turn, he has stayed committed to a core belief: all Americans deserve opportunities brought through a quality education.
June 18, 2020
Pastors Bryan Carter and Jeff Warren - A Conversation on Race
Pastors Bryan Carter and Jeff Warren represent churches from opposite sides of Dallas but have formed a friendship based on all the things that they have in common. And when their hometown has needed unifying voices, these two have stepped up — directly addressing race and equality.
May 26, 2020
Clayton Kershaw and Ellen Kershaw - Baseball, Leadership, and Giving Back
Three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw and wife, Ellen, split time between their native home of Dallas and their adopted home of Los Angeles. And through the lens of their nonprofit, Kershaw’s Challenge, they’ve seen both communities rise up to try to help.
May 19, 2020
Mark Suzman - Leading the Gates Foundation Fight Against Coronavirus
Mark Suzman, CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is leading the organization as it goes all-in on helping find ways to fight the coronavirus — and he’s more than optimistic about the progress.
May 12, 2020
Anne Chow - Keeping People Connected
As CEO of AT&T Business, Anne Chow is leading an organization that is playing a big role in many of our daily lives. And she is doing so from a place of optimism about what the world can accomplish when we work together.
May 5, 2020
William McNulty - Veterans with a New Mission
Just because a veteran has left active duty military service doesn’t mean that they’ve given up their sense of duty. As communities struggle with the far-reaching effects of COVID-19, Team Rubicon volunteers are building field hospitals, delivering food to neighborhoods in need, and doing everything they can to help. Team Rubicon USA co-founder and Team Rubicon Global CEO William McNulty tells us more.
April 28, 2020
Sherrie Westin - Sesame Street's Work Around the World
Sesame Street has been using its special brand of magic to teach kids everywhere important lessons for decades. We go behind the scenes of Sesame Street with Sherrie Westin, President of Social Impact and Philanthropy for Sesame Workshop.
April 21, 2020
Dr. Matt Mishkind - Mental Health Care Without Leaving Home
Sheltering in place doesn't mean you can't get mental health care -- in fact, we all likely need it more than ever. We talk to Dr. Matt Mishkind about the world of mental healthcare, delivered remotely.
April 14, 2020
Episode 06: Holly Kuzmich- Education in the COVID-19 Era
Executive Director of the George W. Bush Institute Holly Kuzmich spent 7 years working on policy in the Bush Administration — particularly education policy. And as we wade into uncharted waters with so much classroom time being missed by students, she explains what federal, state, and district education leaders have to be thinking about — both for the future when schools reopen, as well as how to tackle problems in the here and now.
April 9, 2020
Episode 05: Get Shift Done - Innovation and Problem Solving
Americans everywhere are finding ways to help their communities during the coronavirus pandemic. And problem solvers like Anurag Jain and Patrick Brandt are even forming partnerships across industries — on the fly — to deliver solutions quickly. Get Shift Done pairs out of work hospitality workers with nonprofits who have lost their volunteer workforce.
April 7, 2020
Episode 04: Jan Langbein - Supporting Community Resources
Nonprofit organizations that directly help people in need are still tirelessly working to continue to support their communities. Jan Langbein, CEO of the Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support in Dallas, returns as a guest on the Strategerist to detail how increasingly dangerous the situation is for those in an abusive home. But she also reminds us how people and communities are pulling together to support each other.
March 31, 2020
Episode 03: Bill McKenzie — The Media's Role in a Crisis
Bill McKenzie’s career in journalism has taken him from the backroads of Texas covering George W. Bush’s gubernatorial campaign to a Pulitzer Prize-winning series of editorials on economic disparity in Dallas. Now a senior fellow at the Bush Institute, Bill was in the newsroom on 9/11 — and shares that experience as we face another national emergency.
March 24, 2020
Keith Hennessey — Leadership in Difficult Times
Keith Hennessey was director of the U.S. National Economic Council and a key advisor to the president as the financial crisis hit the U.S. economy in 2008. He’s been inside the White House during a major crisis — and has seen a recovery.
March 17, 2020
Jean Becker — Barbara Bush's Pearls of Wisdom
Jean Becker spent almost 30 years working alongside Mrs. Barbara Bush. She recently reached out to Bush family and friends to collect the advice that Mrs. Bush had given them over the years, which turned into Pearls of Wisdom.
December 10, 2019
Sgt. First Class Michael Rodriguez— From Special Forces to CEO
Sgt. First Class Michael Rodriguez is a Green Beret that grew up in a military family, is now a military parent, and is even a military spouse -- and he's currently President and CEO of the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation.
December 3, 2019
Episode 12: Mrs. Laura Bush
First Lady Laura Bush shares memories from her childhood that led to her passion for conservation, memories from Christmas at the White House, and her recent trip to Jordan.
November 19, 2019
After Hours: The Duties of Citizens
As a part of our democracy, our rights as citizens also come with responsibilities. How can we as individuals make our union a stronger one?
November 12, 2019
Episode 11: Alexander McCall Smith
"Sandy" has taken millions of readers to the heart of Botswana through his best-selling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. We explore the beautiful African nation his characters live in and what book he considers a must-read.
November 5, 2019
Episode 10: Congressman Dan Crenshaw
Congressman Crenshaw went from Texas to Venezuela as a kid, the Middle East and Afghanistan as a Navy SEAL, and recently to SNL and Capitol Hill. We discuss Central America and his transition from the military.
November 5, 2019
Episode 09: Dylan Tête— Building A Community of Resilience
Dylan Tête is building the Bastion Community of Resilience, a community in New Orleans where military families who need assistance can find the support they need.
October 29, 2019
Episode 08: General Peter Pace— Lessons in Leadership
General Peter Pace shares with us what he learned from the battlefields of Vietnam to his post as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff.
October 22, 2019
Episode 07: Margaret Spellings— A Life in Education Policy
Former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings shares what she would focus on if she was running for president and the nickname she got saddled with in the 90’s.
October 15, 2019
Episode 06: Admiral James Stavridis— The Voyage of Character
What can we learn about ourselves in this era of social media by reading the stories of past admirals and seafarers? We talk leadership with Admiral James Stavridis.
October 8, 2019
Episode 05: Karen Hughes— Clarity, Conviction, and Compassion
Karen Hughes was a key counselor to President Bush, but is proudest of the titles wife and mother. She shares how she balanced it all and found ways to put family first.
October 1, 2019
Episode 04: Marne Levine— From D.C. to Silicon Valley
Facebook's Marne Levine shifted from D.C. to Silicon Valley in 2010 and had to learn to put her love of paper and memos aside. But her D.C. experience has helped her in the tech-driven world.
September 24, 2019
Episode 03: Justice Neil Gorsuch
Justice Neil Gorsuch takes us behind the scenes of the Supreme Court and discusses his New York Times bestselling book, A Republic, If You Can Keep it.
September 17, 2019
Episode 02: Ambassador Deborah Birx— Creating an AIDS-free World
Deborah Birx serves as the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator -- and talks about her unique career path and how the U.S. has helped save millions of lives in Africa.
September 10, 2019
Episode 01: Dana Perino
After her time at the White House, Dana Perino became comfortable speaking on behalf of others – including the 43rd president. But as she transitioned into TV roles, she had to develop her own voice.
August 15, 2019
After Hours: Technology for Good
Has technology revolutionized our education system and job market for the good? Bush Institute experts to discuss technology’s influential role in our everyday lives.
August 2, 2019
After Hours: Millennials— America’s Bridge Builders
A panel of Bush Institute millennials discuss how this generation wants to be bridge builders during a tumultuous time, and, of course, avocado toast.
July 5, 2019
Episode 29: Ed Lazear— America's Economy
We go in-depth on economic policy with Stanford economist Ed Lazear, who worked on the 2017 tax reform bill. He explains how it has helped put the country on a faster growth track.
June 28, 2019
Episode 28: Byron Sanders— Helping Youth Chart Their Path
After his time as a Presidential Leadership Scholar, Byron Sanders became CEO of Dallas nonprofit Big Thought. He tells us about Presidents Bush and Clinton’s visit to Big Thought -- and how PLS changed his life.
June 21, 2019
Episode 27: Ian Bremmer— Around the World
On a college trip to Russia as a 16-year-old, Bremmer learned that the world is a complicated global community. We chatted about that trip, foreign affairs, his puppet side project.
June 14, 2019
Episode 26: Dr. Robert Gates— Former Secretary of Defense
Dr. Robert Gates made history by serving as Secretary of Defense for both Presidents Bush and Obama. He talks about the transition and what he learned while serving under eight presidents.
June 6, 2019
Episode 25: Mark Updegrove— LBJ's Legacy
LBJ unexpectedly became 36th president at a pivotal moment in American history. We explore his leadership with the CEO of the LBJ Foundation Mark Updegrove.
May 31, 2019
Episode 24: Jan Langbein— CEO of Genesis Women's Shelter and Support
Jan Langbein discusses how she transformed Genesis from a seven-room shelter to a full-service response center for victims of domestic violence.
May 24, 2019
Episode 23: Nate Boyer – U.S. Army Green Beret and Former Football Player
Before famously suggesting to Colin Kaepernick that he kneel instead of sit for the national anthem, Boyer had been an actor, joined the military, and played football. We chat his life journey and taking risks.
May 17, 2019
Episode 22: President George W. Bush
We sat down with President George W. Bush to discuss leadership, humor, and even the arts – specifically, his painting and dancing.
May 13, 2019
Episode 21: Jimmy Walker
Six-time PGA Tour winner Jimmy Walker talks about his time playing at the Warrior Open and his passion photographing the night sky.
May 10, 2019
Episode 20: Medal of Honor Recipient Sal Giunta
We sat down with the Medal of Honor recipient and Team 43 golfer to talk about his experience at the Warrior Open and the unique healing properties of golf.
May 3, 2019
Episode 19: Richard Casper
Marine Richard Casper got in touch with his creative side to battle PTS and traumatic brain injury. The co-founder of Creativets talks veteran transition -- and performs a song.
May 3, 2019
Episode 18: Secretary Michael Chertoff
What do companies do with data they collect? Former U.S. Secretary Michael Chertoff answered our questions, including why businesses are interested in your grocery shopping and fitness habits.
April 26, 2019
Episode 17: Dan Gilbert
Detroit native Dan Gilbert was forced to watch his hometown become a shell of its former self. But as his businesses saw success, he became a central figure in Detroit's revitalization.
April 26, 2019
Episode 16: Anne Finucane
Societies are stronger when women have access to the tools and financial resources they need. Bank of America's Anne Finucane is working to move the world toward that goal.
April 19, 2019
Episode 15: Gary Sinise
Award-winning actor and director Gary Sinise, famous for his role as Lt. Dan in Forrest Gump, shares how he found his calling: to see that those who defend this country are never forgotten.
April 12, 2019
Episode 14: Joshua Bolten
Joshua Bolten served as White House Chief of Staff from 2006 to 2009. We chat about why laughter was key to making the job feel less heavy and how he decompressed after the White House.
April 5, 2019
Episode 13: #SabotagingDemocracy
We chat with the German Marshall Fund's Laura Rosenberger and Jamie Fly, who have done extensive research on why the U.S. and other countries are under attack from Russia and China.
March 29, 2019
Episode 12: Ambassador Roya Rahmani
We chat with the first female ambassador of Afghanistan to the U.S. about her childhood prior to Taliban rule and her optimism for a peaceful future for Afghanistan.
March 22, 2019
Episode 11: Congressman Will Hurd
We chatted with Congressman Will Hurd about immigration, the CIA, and why he decided to Facebook Live a 36 hour road trip with Democrat Beto O’Rourke.
March 8, 2019
Episode 09: Connie Duckworth
In 2004, the former Goldman Sachs exec founded ARZU Studio Hope, an organization empowering women in Afghanistan by providing jobs, education, and healthcare.
March 1, 2019
Episode 08: Bill Browder
Bill Browder is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s number one enemy. We chat about his campaign to expose Putin and Russian government officials for corruption and human rights abuses.
February 22, 2019
Episode 07: Ambassador Antonio Garza
Former Ambassador to Mexico Garza discusses trade and immigration with our southern neighbor, having grown up along the Texas-Mexico border the grandson of Mexican immigrants.
February 15, 2019
Episode 06: Cokie Roberts
Cokie Roberts chats about the transformation of D.C. and journalism — for the better and worse — and how she ended up in Tanzania interviewing First Ladies Bush and Obama.
February 6, 2019
Episode 05: Henry Cisneros
Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros discusses what makes San Antonio special and how its welcoming culture can be a model for the nation.
January 23, 2019
Episode 04: Niloofar Rahmani
Like all women under Taliban rule, Captain Rahmani was forbidden basic rights. But her story is one of courage, as she became the first female fighter pilot in the Afghan military after the fall of the Taliban.
January 23, 2019
Episode 03: James Farmer
The conservationist, interior designer and best-selling author is saving the world one plant at a time. We chat robotic bees, the beauty of native plants, and life as a business owner.
January 23, 2019
Episode 02: Harris Faulkner
Fox News' Harris Faulkner is a proud military brat. We chat about her father’s time serving in the Army, which included three tours in Vietnam, and how her mom was a pillar of support and strength.
January 23, 2019
Episode 01: Carly Fiorina
Carly Fiorina rose from secretary to CEO of a Fortune 50 company. We discuss her childhood and how living in Ghana influenced her perception of democracy.