Veterans & Military Families

Veteran Leadership Program Details



Throughout the Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program, participants will hear from a variety of nationally known and distinguished professionals, educators, and experts on topics related to veteran and military family transition.

2024 Schedule

The Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program is a five-month program beginning in June and concluding in October. Each module is two – four days per month. Four of the modules take place in Dallas, with the remaining module in an additional city to be announced at a later date.

Module One:                 June 25 – 28, 2024
Module Two:              July 17 – 19, 2024
Module Three:           August 14 – 16, 2024
Module Four:             September 17 – 20, 2024
Module Five:              October 16 – 19, 2024

Program Cost

The Bush Institute is committed to ensuring that leaders from across the country can participate in this program at no cost.  Tuition, housing, meals, and travel during the modules are fully funded by generous contributions from program partners and funders.


The Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program targets accomplished leaders (active duty military service members, veterans, military spouses, and civilians) from a wide range of sectors who are working to improve outcomes for veterans and military families through professional and/or community engagement. Candidates are likely to hold a variety of roles including board member or leader of a veteran-serving nonprofit, a funder or corporate leader engaged in veteran-specific initiatives, as well as those serving in all levels of government.


Selection Process

Candidates will be assessed by their application submission, recommendations, and essays. After review, select candidates will then be invited to participate in final interviews. Finalist notifications will be made and interviews will be held in March 2024, and final acceptance notifications will be distributed in April 2024.

We are looking for leaders who:

  • Demonstrate leadership in their careers and/or communities and are ready to take that leadership to the next level
  • Have made an impact in the military-connected community, their place of employment, or society at large
  • Possess a strong commitment to serving veterans and their families
  • Are enthusiastic about new endeavors and the veteran ecosystem
  • Have high potential to create a substantial impact
  • Demonstrate an ability to self-assess with humility and understand their strengths and weaknesses as a leader
  • Have a moderate-to-high-level of expertise in one or more issues relevant to supporting the military-connected community
  • Effectively work with others to achieve real results
  • Will actively participate in the Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program network to exponentially increase its combined impact


The Bush Institute combines a unique set of resources and opportunities to deliver world-class leadership development programs. The program has the following elements:

A Diverse Network of Peers 

By bringing together individuals from different backgrounds, participants grow a large and diverse network.

A successful class is not simply a collection of the most qualified individuals. Bush Institute cohorts are rich in diversity along every dimension: gender, ethnicity, geography, ideology, religion, and more. They are also carefully constructed to bring together individuals in positions of influence across a variety of sectors — private, public, nonprofit, academic, media, policy, etc. — and the benefits of these diverse classes compound with our diverse alumni networks.

This deliberate diversity shapes the priorities, values, aspirations, and opportunities for participating leaders in at least two important ways. First, it broadens people’s mindsets by exposing them to a wider spectrum of thought, experiences, solutions, and collaborators than they would encounter on their own. Participants also clarify and refine their core values, which often illuminates previously untapped approaches to solve complex societal challenges.

The opportunity to work with dozens of capable and committed leaders who are very different than oneself is often a life-changing experience.

These diverse groups often yield uncommon and unexpected partnerships between groups of people who would never collaborate in most circumstances.

Access to Resources

As participants travel to the Bush Institute and other sites, they gain access to exceptional global leaders and resources including former presidential administration officials, business leaders, world leaders, and luminaries.

This network of individuals and partners allows participants to learn from others and expands opportunities for networking and collaboration.

Personal Leadership Projects

Each program participant comes into the Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program with a Personal Leadership Project in service of an issue they are deeply passionate about related to veterans and military families. These projects are designed to allow them to implement what they learn in the program in service of improving outcomes for veterans and military families across the United States.

Leadership Curriculum

The Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program features a unique leadership curriculum designed to teach participants the essential skills to be an impactful leader.

While all participants enter the program with some experience, often even training in leadership, the Bush Institute has developed a core leadership curriculum to teach the most fundamental skills every leader must master to be successful, especially in advancing social change. These include:

  • Vision and communication
  • Decision-making
  • Persuasion and Influence
  • Developing strategic partnerships and collaboration, especially by working across traditional divides

The content for each topic is tailored within the program and drawn from the best leadership thinking, research, and experience. Curriculum is taught by world-class faculty and leadership experts throughout the modules.

Inspiration and Exposure

One of the most powerful results of the Bush Institute’s Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program is the degree to which participants adopt a more expansive view of their role as a leader to drive change. This outcome is the result of at least three essential factors.

Throughout the course of the program, participants repeatedly engage – often in intimate and informal settings – with a wide range of extraordinary leaders and experts. This begins with potential opportunities to interact with President and Mrs. Bush, whose wisdom, enthusiasm, experience, and encouragement is inspiring for program participants. In addition, our programs include regular involvement from world-renowned experts and leaders, including alumni from the Bush administration, who share insights about leadership and the specific skills or issues the participants are learning about at the time. Participants say exposure to these individuals is both insightful and illuminating.

Participants report their greatest source of inspiration, motivation, energy, and creativity came from their cohorts and the alumni network. Through these interactions, participants motivated each other, learned from each other, and ultimately inspired one another to be better, do more, and aim higher.

In parallel, the program emphasizes extraordinary leaders must have the humility to recognize their own weaknesses and be vulnerable to accomplish something that requires more capacity and capability than they currently possess. In most circumstances, comparing the accomplishments of others with one’s own deficiencies is demoralizing, not edifying. But participants reported having the opportunity to explore challenges and shortcomings with people they trust and respect was a powerful experience. It creates hope and aspirations to become better leaders who are mindful of others.

The combination of extraordinary participants with one-of-a-kind resources, opportunities, interactions, and experiences generates significant outcomes. The Bush Institute’s leadership development programs produce well-rounded, principled leaders dedicated to leading social change by using their experiences and opportunities to create remarkable results.

Frequently Asked Questions

During that time, participants meet for two – four days per month. Four of the modules take place in Dallas, with the remaining module in an additional city to be determined.

Please note that some participants may need to travel the day before a module begins in order to arrive in time for the start of the session. The Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program was designed so that participants could remain in their jobs while in the program, but we encourage you to discuss the opportunity with your employer and ensure their support for the schedule that is required of accepted participants.