The Program

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 Scholar Experience

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.  

Program Schedule

  • Session 1: Opening Week: Tuesday, February 2nd – Saturday, February 6th
  • Session 2: Thursday, March 10th – Saturday, March 12th
    Location: George H.W. Bush Presidential Center, College Station, TX
  • Session 3: Thursday, April 7th – Saturday, April 9th
    Location: William J. Clinton Presidential Center, Little Rock, AR
  • Session 4: Thursday, May 19th – Saturday, May 21st
    Location: George W. Bush Presidential Center, Dallas, TX
  • Session 5: Thursday, June 16th – Saturday, June 18th​
    Location: Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Center, Austin, TX
  • Session 6: Closing and Graduation: Tuesday, July 12th – Saturday, July 16th​


  • Presidential History: Discussions with prominent presidential scholars, former administration officials, and other relevant commentators provide historical context and background regarding each president and the times in which he led.
  • Leadership Models & Method: Scholars are introduced to evidence-based models and methods on different aspects of leadership, which are explored throughout the session.
  • Presidential Leadership: Building on the models and methods as a reference point, scholars drill down on the topic of each session with an in-depth examples from each president.
  • Distinguished Speakers: Each session features distinguished speakers, including former presidential administration officials and leaders from across the country, to discuss different aspects of leadership.
  • Leadership Skill-Building: Scholars apply the methods and lessons learned from Presidential leadership with the opportunity to receive feedback and guidance from the expert faculty, program staff, and fellow Scholars.
  • Presidential Leadership Project: Scholars work on a 6-month Personal Leadership Project that focuses on a new or existing civically relevant initiative in which the Scholar is involved.
  • Library Tour: During each session, the group will tour the library and museum of the hosting presidential center.


The curriculum concentrates on four leadership abilities:

  • Engaging Others Through Vision and Communication
  • Making Decisions
  • Working Collaboratively to Influence and Persuade Stakeholders
  • Building Working and Strategic Partnerships

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.



View the Program Schedule

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:

  • George W. Bush Presidential Center: Dallas, TX
  • William J. Clinton Presidential Center: Little Rock, AR
  • George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum: College Station, TX
  • Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Center: Austin, TX


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.

More questions? View FAQs.