• Resource Guide

    A Role Without a Rulebook

  • At local, national, and global levels, women’s leadership matters. From grassroots advocates to first ladies to elected leaders, this guide aims to inspire those committed to positive change in their communities and countries.

“Women around the world serve as catalysts for change.”
– Mrs. Laura Bush

About this Guide

Informed by recommendations in A Role Without a Rulebook: The Influence and Leadership of Global First Ladies, this guide spotlights best practices and inspirational insights to support change-makers working to improve lives around the world.

The guide draws from the experience and thought leadership of advocates, innovators, and experts from diverse sectors and backgrounds, including the Bush Institute’s own mission of developing leaders, advancing policy, and taking action to solve today’s most pressing challenges.

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.

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