Leadership In Action


Engaging and supporting first ladies from around the world to effectively use their unique platforms to improve lives in their countries
Each first lady has a unique platform and a podium to speak to the needs and challenges of the people in her country.”

– Mrs. Laura Bush

Guided by President and Mrs. Bush's belief that women are catalysts for positive change, Mrs. Bush Launched the First Ladies Initiative (FLI) at the 2013 African First Ladies Summit in Tanzania. The FLI collaborates with first ladies and connects them with organizations and thought leaders to advance issues impacting women and children. In addition, the initiative provides first ladies and their staff with training to identify opportunities for sustainable change and ways to expand their networks, promote dialogue, and share best practices.

In 2017, The FLI released a first-of-its kind report titled, A Role Without a Rulebook: The Influence and Leadership of Global First Ladies. The report expanded the limited research on first ladies and women’s leadership by exploring the potential influence of first ladies, the challenges women face in realizing their potential, and their ability to overcome these challenges to make an impact.


Equipping school districts to find, support, and keep effective principals
The United States faces a shortage of high-quality school leaders at a time when the importance of principals is more critical than ever.”

– President George W. Bush

Research shows that principals account for 25 percent of a school’s total impact on student achievement. But each year, over 20 percent of principals leave their schools, retire, or leave the profession, requiring districts to find new principals — often without the right kind of pipelines or plans in place.

Rooted in President and Mrs. Bush’s belief that “excellent schools must first have excellent leaders,” the education reform team at the Bush Institute developed the School Leadership Initiative, formerly known as the Alliance to Reform Education Leadership (AREL), to dramatically improve the way our nation's principals are prepared and supported.

Over the course of a three-year period, the Bush Institute is working hand-in-hand with four school districts — Fort Worth Independent School District (Texas), Granite School District (Utah), Chesterfield County Public Schools (Virginia), and Austin Independent School District (Texas) — in a District Cohort to help them implement best practices on principal talent management strategies identified in research by our experts.

As a result of participating in the District Cohort, the Bush Institute expects two levels of outcomes:

1.Districts will have a stronger pool of effective principals who stay longer in their schools.

2.Districts will be contributing to a body of work that has the potential to help educators and students across the country.

Leadership matters and working with the Bush Institute will help us accelerate and become one of the top districts in the state and country.”

– Dr. Kent Scribner, Superintendent, Fort Worth Independent School District

Our work will impact:


Highlighting the resilience and continued leadership of our wounded warriors and their families
We will crown a champion. More importantly, we will honor all those who serve and sacrifice to defend our freedom.”

– President George W. Bush

As part of a larger set of programs to support veterans in the transition to civilian life, Team 43 Sports showcases the courage, commitment, and resilience of our men and women injured in post-9/11 service. The program underscores the importance of sports in the rehabilitation process for these warriors.

The Bush Institute hosts two events featuring injured servicemen and women: the W100K, a high-endurance mountain bike ride, and the Warrior Open, a highly competitive golf tournament. Since 2011, more than 180 warriors have participated.

Through these events, which include the personal participation of President Bush, the Bush Institute connects the warriors with resources to assist in their transitions and helps them develop their networks. Team 43 represents the millions of service members, veterans, and their families who served our country honorably and lead our communities in new and meaningful ways as civilians.

The program reminds us we are not forgotten, our sacrifices were not in vain, and that helping us towards a successful transition is a major priority.”

– Dave Smith (Team 43)