Top moments from Forum on Leadership 2023

Learn more about Ken Hersh.
Kenneth A. Hersh
Ken Hersh
President and Chief Executive Officer
George W. Bush Presidential Center

Watch our favorite moments from the 2023 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.

1. The home front

“Global leadership abroad requires that we have our act together here at home..… Our domestic political division rivals our greatest external threats today.”
Ken Hersh, President and CEO, George W. Bush Presidential Center



2. The importance of education

“Research shows that children who are read to from an early age are more likely to begin reading on their own at an early age. There’s a long-term benefit linked to their success in school and in life. For many children, though, reading for entertainment has become less common. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the number of American children who say they read for fun is at the lowest level since the mid-1980s. And nearly 70% of students in the fourth and eighth grades now read below grade level, to the lowest level since the 1990s. These findings are heartbreaking. And for many parents, they are shocking as most parents believe that their children are doing fine. We must do better for our children.”
Mrs. Laura Bush



“Education really matters…. It’s integral to our prosperity. I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that U.S. growth has slowed down so much in the 21st century at the very same time that our educational attainment is slowing down.”
Nicholas Eberstadt, Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy, American Enterprise Institute


3. Grievance politics has run its course

“We can do better, and when we collectively believe we can do better, we will. This is why I believe that grievance politics has run its course.”
Glenn Youngkin, Governor of Virginia


4. On technology

Hong Kong “users were being very smart about communication and organizing where to go protest by getting on [dating apps] and telling people to get on these apps and they were using it not to date but to have one-on-one conversations – like thousands and thousands of them – to mobilize and tell people where to go. So I’ve been pretty impressed to see how people can use a basic platform to do something that we didn’t certainly intend for it to do.”
Mandy Ginsberg, CEO, Match Group (2018-2020); Director, Uber Technologies; Director, ThredUp; Operating Partner, Advent International



“We have to stop taking data from sources that have bias. We can’t have the machines replicate the worst of us because that’s also in the domain of what we could teach it.”
John Donovan, CEO at Qudit Investments; former CEO at AT&T Communications


5. On trade

“Trade needs to be balanced. I use the word balanced on purpose because fair trade and free trade have gotten to be kind of political terms and they sort of mean the extremes. It should be balanced in the sense that other countries ought to play by the rules.”
Rob Portman, former U.S. Senator