2016 Annual Report
Extraordinary things happen when people join forces for a common cause.

Powerful avenues of dialogue and discovery are opened as we all reflect what is best about America. At the George W. Bush Presidential Center, this is our core belief. We are dedicated to bringing people, ideas, and initiatives together to produce global impact.

Our resources and facilities encourage people to gather and take action. Our unique, nonpartisan events and programs unite people across the aisle to solve universal challenges. And our experience verifies that real change comes about through collaboration. Working in concert, we can truly shape a better future.

Letter from the Chief Executive Officer
Now in my second year,

I am both honored and humbled to lead the outstanding team of devoted professionals here at the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the beautiful Southern Methodist University (SMU) campus. The team's dedication and talent have been energizing as we focus on issues central to the conversations of the day.

Kenneth A. Hersh
President and Chief Executive Officer
Kenneth A. Hersh, President and Chief Executive Officer

Inspired by the vision and values of President and Mrs. Bush, we execute our mission through our three Impact Centers: Domestic Excellence, Global Leadership, and our Engagement Agenda. The first two comprise the important work of the Bush Institute, while the third encompasses the entirety of our great institution.

Domestic Excellence

A great nation should have strong economic growth, outstanding education, support and honor for its veterans, and robust development of future leaders. I am proud of the depth of our work, which last year included free trade and immigration, school leadership and accountability, and helping our post-9/11 veterans and their families make a successful transition to civilian life, including addressing the issues of employment and invisible wounds.

Global Leadership

The United States should not wither from its responsibility of being the global leader. Not only does our leadership abroad improve the lives of millions of people worldwide, but it is also in our strategic and security interests here at home. In that spirit, we have been active in the fight against cervical and breast cancer in Africa, a voice for the oppressed in North Korea, and a force for the empowerment of women in emerging economies.

Engagement Agenda

A key component of our mission is to engage communities in the U.S. and around the world. In 2016 we hosted more than 200,000 visitors at our wonderful Library and Museum and Native Texas Park. We continued to welcome sold-out audiences at topical and entertaining Engage events, and our expert staff was highly visible, speaking at notable events across the country. Finally, we launched a collection of timely and insightful Bush Center digital publications, including The Catalyst, the Bush Center Briefing, and the weekly Five for Friday.


In addition to these major highlights, I have traveled the country over the last 12 months, meeting supporters of President and Mrs. Bush, our many financial and program sponsors, and the wonderful Bush-Cheney Alumni. The reception has been amazing.

Finally, a note of thanks. The team here is second to none. Since I arrived, we have engaged in a long-range strategic planning and budgeting process, revamped our communications strategy, and designed a capital campaign, all while executing on the best programming around. The Bush Center team exemplifies what it means to work for a service organization committed to the greater good.

“A great nation should have strong economic growth, outstanding education, support and honor for its veterans, and robust development of future leaders.” Kenneth Hersh

For that, I am thankful. I am grateful for the support of Holly Kuzmich, our Executive Director of the Bush Institute. She has been an incredible partner this past year, and her dedication to our mission is a key element of our continued success. We continue to benefit from a wonderful partnership with SMU.

It has been an honor to take on this role and build upon the work of my predecessors. President Bush's principled leadership is a guide for us as we strive to honor the example he has set.

I look forward to further establishing the Bush Center as a global thought leader as we engage the world to develop leaders, advance policy, and take action to address today's most pressing challenges.

Thank you so much for your continued support and engagement.

All the best,

Kenneth Hersh

Domestic Excellence
Together We Are
Invisible Wounds

When President Bush first saw Israel “DT” Del Toro at Walter Reed in 2005, he was in a coma, an IED blast having left him with burns covering more than 80 percent of his body. Doctors said there was a one-in-five chance he would survive, and no chance he would ever walk or breathe on his own. But DT had other plans. When he woke up from his coma, he vowed to recover and live a full and productive life.

President George W. Bush speaking with Israel “DT” Del Toro and family at the 2016 Invictus Games.
President George W. Bush speaking with Israel “DT” Del Toro and family at the 2016 Invictus Games.

After more than a hundred surgeries, DT didn’t just recover—he reenlisted, becoming the first Air Force technician to do so after a 100 percent medical discharge. He also found success and acclaim as the first world-class parathlete in the Air Force and the top American athlete in his class in three sports at the Invictus Games, an international adaptive sporting event founded by Prince Harry for wounded service members and veterans.

That’s where President Bush and DT crossed paths again.

“I want the opportunity to give everybody a voice and be able to change the narrative because our stories have tragedy within them, but they are stories of triumph at the end of the day.” Air Force Sgt Israel “DT” Del Toro

During the 2016 Invictus Games, the Bush Institute hosted the first Invictus Games Symposium on Invisible Wounds. Attended by more than 200 veterans, thought leaders, and influencers, the event served to kick off the Bush Institute’s focus on the invisible wounds of war, such as post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, and saw the release of original survey results regarding the relationship between returning warriors and the public in the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom. Attendees witnessed a discussion between President Bush, Prince Harry, and DT about the role of sports in recovery, and medical and policy experts followed with talks about the challenges of rehabilitation and reintegration for wounded service members.

Helping servicemen and women succeed takes warriors, caregivers, influencers, and the public coming together as a unified force for good.

Global Leadership
Together We Are
For Freedom

Grace Jo grew up under North Korea's communist dictatorship. “We had no food, no freedom, and no opportunities,” she said. “I endured threats to my life all the time. I lost my father, grandmother, and two younger brothers to hunger. I almost died of starvation.”

Grace Jo on a panel discussion during the Forum on Freedom in North Korea event.
Grace Jo on a panel discussion during the Forum on Freedom in North Korea event.

Today, Grace lives near Washington, D.C. and attends classes at Montgomery College while running a nonprofit she founded with her sister to support other North Korean refugees. “We try to let people around the world know about the tyranny and suffering that goes on there,” she said.

“Freedom is a universal human desire – and a force for peace and prosperity in the world.” President George W. Bush

The Bush Institute’s Human Freedom Initiative is focused on standing with Grace and human rights advocates like her. In a groundbreaking, nonpartisan effort in the United States to improve the human condition in North Korea, the Bush Institute is leading a coalition of government, industry, NGO, academic, and entertainment sectors. And at a North Korea policy forum at the Bush Center in November, Mrs. Bush announced the creation of a scholarship for North Korean refugees rebuilding their lives in the United States. Ending one of the worst human tragedies of our time is a cause all members of a free society can support.

Engagement Agenda
Together We Are
In Conversations

Lorne Michaels, creator and executive producer of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, spent an evening at the Bush Center to kick off the 2016 Engage public programming series and the debut of the Path to the Presidency exhibit. In his on-stage conversation with Willie Geist of NBC News, Michaels explored the history of Saturday Night Live political impersonations, offering an insightful and sharp-witted look at the relationship between the show, politics, and presidential candidates.

“There’s always been political comedy,” said Michaels. “For me, it’s one of the great strengths of the country – that we make fun of our leaders, we make fun of religion, we make fun of all those things. [It’s] a safety valve, the thing that allows us to be a country with some level of confidence.”

“For me, it's one of the great strengths of the country – that we make fun of our leaders.” Lorne Michaels

The Engage public programming series invites authors, thought leaders, and innovators to the Bush Center to interact with visitors through stimulating lectures and discussions. As a forum for diving into issues and policy areas that matter, the series brings diverse perspectives together under one roof and satisfies a public interest in open dialogue. And the audience for such events keeps growing, with more than 3,200 attendees and all programs sold out in 2016.

Lorne Michaels being interviewed in the Path to the Presidency exhibition.
Lorne Michaels being interviewed in the Path to the Presidency exhibition.


Education Reform Initiative
“The work that the Bush Institute did is important for education policymakers, for city leaders, for parents, for citizens, and for voters because for the first time ... we have got all these cities in one place, and racking and stacking their performance on so many different levels.”
Dallas Mayor
Mike Rawlings
Liberty and Leadership Forum
“At my workplace, I have applied lessons from [Liberty and Leadership Forum] leadership sessions to influence others by helping them see the big picture of what we're trying to accomplish, helping others be successful as a way of achieving my own success, and how a principled leader should think, act, and work with others.”
Htet Htet Oo
2017 Liberty and Leadership Graduate
Economic Growth
“Amid the heated rhetoric surrounding U.S.-Mexico relations, the Bush Institute continues to provide top-notch analysis and data on North America’s economic competitiveness and integration. If you haven’t had a chance, I highly recommend checking out their North America scorecard to see how we rank on a variety of indicators against other regions.”
Antonio Garza, Former U.S.
Ambassador to Mexico
Presidential Leadership Scholars
“While I pride myself on being open-minded, I was exposed to perspectives in this program that challenged my worldview and made me reconsider the meaning of real impact.”
BJ Goergen, 2016 Presidential
Leadership Scholar
The Bush Institute collaborated with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes to release the Veteran Employment Transition (VET) Roadmap, with more than 75,000 copies distributed to military bases across the country. The Roadmap provides transitioning service members and veterans with resources to navigate the employment landscape and succeed in the civilian workforce.
Nearly 70% say they’ve achieved or have made substantial progress toward the Personal Leadership Project goals they set prior to the program.
More than 95% of scholars report significant growth in their inspiration and sense of purpose as leaders, most of which they attribute to PLS.
72% Say PLS was very or extremely influential in their achievements since graduation.
42% of Scholars have taken on a new role since graduation.

Young Leaders in the Liberty and Leadership Forum recognized growth in their leadership ability over the course of the program.

Two young leaders ran for Parliament in Burma, one of whom was elected.

All three cohorts have indicated an increase in the diversity of their networks since participating in the program.

88% of Attendees reported a high level of satisfaction and would strongly recommend the program to others.
Through Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, our affiliate global nonprofit whose vision is that all women have access to high quality prevention screenings for cervical and breast cancer:
119,226 girls have been vaccinated since 2013.
370,124 women have been screened for cervical cancer since 2013.
25,663 women have been treated for cervical precancer since December 2011.
More than $831,000 has been distributed to 128 school libraries in 30 states across the country through The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries.
Since 2002 the foundation has awarded over $13.4 million to more than 2,500 schools across the country.
The Bush Institute Expense Report
The Bush Institute’s work develops leaders, advances policy, and takes action that achieves measurable results in a fiscally responsible manner.
Domestic Excellence
Global Leadership
Institute Administration and Evaluation
George W. Bush Presidential Center
F I N A N C I A L   R E V I E W

Since opening its doors in 2013, the Bush Center has focused on initiatives that perpetuate the core vision and values of President and Mrs. Bush.

While successfully managing its expenses, the Bush Center continues to receive tremendous support from individual, corporate, and foundation donors and entered 2017 in a healthy financial condition.

In 2016, the Bush Center allocated more than 84 percent of its total expenses in support of these initiatives and our engagement agenda, maintaining a sustainable business model.

By Source (Dollars in Millions)
Gifts from Bush Center Supporters, Net of Expenses*
Bush Center Endowment Payment
Presidential Center Operations, Net of Expenses**
Includes expenses relating to direct mail campaigns.
Includes revenues from museum and facility rental operations, less associated direct expenses and those administrative expenses allocated to these operations.
(Dollars in Millions)
Program Services
Fundraising and External Affairs
Foundation Administration
Support Operations
Expenses before depreciation, other non-cash charges; funding of SMU Endowment, provisions for uncollectable contributions receivable, and distribution of Laura Bush Foundation grants. Also excludes all direct expenses and those administrative expenses allocated to museum and facility rental operations and expenses relating to direct mail campaigns.

Board of Directors

Board Members
  • Donald L. Evans, Chairman
  • Laura Bush
  • Harlan Crow
  • Henry Hager
  • Kenneth A. Hersh
  • Bill Hickey, Treasurer
  • Ray L. Hunt
  • John W. Johnson
  • Joel Kaplan
  • Mark Langdale
  • David Miller
  • Pam Patsley
  • Jeanne L. Phillips
  • Caren Prothro
  • Craig R. Stapleton
  • Larry D. Thompson
  • R. Gerald Turner, Ph.D.


2016 Organizations and Foundations
  • Anonymous
  • 7-Eleven, Inc.
  • Amarillo National Bank
  • American Airlines Charity Golf
  • American Friends of The Royal Foundation
  • AT&T
  • The Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Inc.
  • Bass Foundation
  • Bell Helicopter, a Textron Company
  • BMO Financial Group
  • BNSF Railway Foundation
  • The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation
  • The Brown Foundation, Inc.
  • CFP Foundation
  • CME Group Foundation
  • The Columbus Foundation
  • Convoy of Hope
  • Dallas Southwest Osteopathic Physicians, Inc.
  • Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District
  • DeBoer Foundation, Inc.
  • The Dow Chemical Company
  • Embrey Family Foundation
  • Emergent BioSolutions
  • Encore Live, LLC
  • ExxonMobil Corporation
  • FedEx Corporation
  • Fisher House Foundation, Inc.
  • The Fondren Foundation
  • Freeport-McMoRan Foundation
  • E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation
  • General Mills Foundation
  • Hamon Charitable Foundation
  • Healthcare Highways
  • H-E-B
  • The Hersh Foundation
  • Highland Capital Management, L.P.
  • Huneed Technologies
  • Impala Asset Management
  • J. C. Penney Company, Inc.
  • Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc.
  • KJ Choi Foundation
  • Lon Smith Roofing
  • La Quinta Inns & Suites
  • Major League Baseball
  • McCormick Foundation
  • The Miles Foundation
  • The Moody Foundation
  • Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
  • National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.
  • Nick Brock Antiques
  • NRG Energy
  • Oceanic Heritage Foundation
  • ORIX Foundation
  • Penske Foundation, Inc.
  • Peter G. Peterson Foundation
  • Presqu’ile Winery
  • Property Casualty Insurers Association of America
  • QIAGEN Inc.
  • The Rainwater Charitable Foundation
  • The Real Estate Council &
    The Real Estate Council Foundation
  • Sid W. Richardson Foundation
  • Russell Tether Fine Arts Associates, LLC
  • Sammons Enterprises, Inc.
  • SAP America, Inc.
  • Sewell Automotive Companies
  • Southern Botanical
  • SRS Raise The Roof Foundation, Inc.
  • Roy and Christine Sturgis Charitable Trust
  • The J.T. and Margaret Talkington Charitable Foundation
  • Thompson & Knight Foundation &
    Thompson & Knight LLP
  • Trek Bicycle Corporation
  • UBS Financial Services, Inc.
  • USAA
  • Veritex Community Bank
  • The Vestcor Companies, Inc.
  • Westwood Trust
  • Zotec Partners
Thank You
Thank you for your commitment and dedication to the George W. Bush Presidential Center. Your support enables us to engage in communities around the world by developing leaders, advancing policies and taking action to solve today’s most pressing challenges.