The Presidential Leadership Scholars program was developed to increase social good in communities large and small through leadership development, with the belief that a certain kind of leadership is necessary to solve the many complex challenges we face in society. By participating in the program, we believe that Presidential Leadership Scholars will share an inspired and heightened sense of service and purpose, and will use the abilities they develop to lead and achieve on a higher level than they would otherwise.
Our program is unique because it draws upon the resources of the presidential centers of George W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon B. Johnson. The executive-style program takes scholars to each participating presidential center to study and put into practice varying approaches to leadership. Scholars learn from the former presidents, key administration officials, and leading academics. They further hone their leadership abilities through interactions with mentors, a vibrant network of peers, and others who can help them make a greater impact in their communities.
At each presidential center, sessions focus on a specific core leadership ability that is illustrative of the many competencies of that president. The curriculum draws from the resources of each presidential center that relate to key leadership moments from each administration, and provides insights from how each president addressed pressing challenges. It also incorporates in-depth analyses of how leaders across all sectors address similar types of challenges.
The program requires a six-month commitment. During that time, the class meets for an opening week session and one extended weekend per month during the following five months.
Scholars are chosen because of their desire and capacity to take their leadership strengths to a higher level in order to help their communities and our country. Scholars attend sessions where they not only hear from compelling experts, but receive feedback and support towards their personal leadership development.
During the program, Scholars work on a Personal Leadership Project aimed at improving the civic or social good by addressing a problem or need in a community, profession, or organization. These projects leverage the Scholars’ existing knowledge and experience with the skills and competencies learned throughout the program to produce exceptional results.
The curriculum concentrates on four leadership abilities:
Participants learn about critical abilities of leadership through lectures, group classes, simulations, and small breakout sessions. In total, the program encompasses approximately 100 to 120 hours of learning at various locations.
Guest speakers from a range of sectors are a key part of the curriculum. A unique aspect of this program is that Scholars will hear from senior-level members of presidential administrations, including the periodic involvement of Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
Course sessions are led by distinguished professors and practitioners representing a variety of perspectives on leadership. Renowned presidential scholars focus on critical moments within our Nation’s history, using them to illustrate examples of effective leadership.
The Scholars initially gather for an opening week session. In the following months, they attend four weekend sessions at each of the presidential centers. The program concludes with a final session and a closing ceremony.
The locations of the centers are:
The four presidential centers are committed to ensuring that leaders across the country can participate in this program at no cost to the Scholars. Tuition, housing, meals, and travel during the sessions in the host center’s city are fully funded by contributions from foundations, corporations, and generous donations.