The Program

In an unprecedented partnership, the presidential centers of George W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon B. Johnson bring together leaders from across the non-profit, military, public, and private sector fields to learn leadership lessons first-hand from the four presidencies.


The Presidential Leadership Scholars (PLS) program draws on the strengths and leadership initiatives of the four affiliated presidential centers. By including a roster of presidential centers – two Republican and two Democratic – and by enjoying the engagement of former presidents from both parties, the program creates a rare opportunity to instill in our Scholars a brand of principled leadership that transcends diverse backgrounds.

  • President Bill Clinton, Prime Minster Tony Blair, and President George W. Bush at the PLS 2016 class graduation.
    President Bill Clinton, Prime Minster Tony Blair, and President George W. Bush at the 2016 class graduation.
  • Scholars collaborate at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, Texas.
    Scholars collaborate at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, Texas.
  • The 2017 class at College Station with Secretary Andrew Card, Timothy McBride and Constance Berry Newman. (Grant Miller / Presidential Leadership Scholars)
  • President Bill Clinton speaks during Module 3 in 2017. (Grant Miller / Presidential Leadership Scholars)
  • The Little Rock Nine engage in a conversation at the graduation of the 2016 class of Scholars at Little Rock Central High School. (Grant Miller / Presidential Leadership Scholars)

This executive-style education series creates a life-long network for Scholars and fosters opportunities for leaders to emerge ready to offer solutions to pressing national problems. The program is designed to develop a new generation of leaders who are focused on solving society’s toughest challenges and creating measurable change in their communities, our Nation, and the world.

These diverse, high performing mid-career professionals take their leadership strengths to a higher level and graduate from the program emboldened with the practical skills necessary to drive solution-oriented action. Along the way, they build a network that spans geographic, professional, and societal boundaries, challenges pre-existing perceptions and pre-conceived notions, and demonstrates the power of working together to achieve lasting positive change.

“The Presidential Leadership Scholars program is trying to reframe the value of understanding. It provides insights from presidents and their administrations and staffs, and even sparks future unexpected partnerships.”
- Ramsey Green ('15)

The Scholar

The Presidential Leadership Scholars program is designed for leaders from diverse backgrounds who share a commitment to facing society’s greatest challenges.

  • Scholars collaborate at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas
    Scholars collaborate at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas.
  • President Bush and President Clinton offer congratulations at the 2015 graduation ceremony. (Grant Miller / Presidential Leadership Scholars)
  • The 2016 class with President Clinton, President Bush, and Prime Minster Blair in front of Little Rock Central High School. (Grant Miller / Presidential Leadership Scholars)

Participants bring a diversity of perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences, and benefit from a dynamic learning experience that stresses the importance of cooperation and collaboration.

During the program, Scholars put their learning into action through a Personal Leadership Project (PLP), intended to help achieve the program’s ultimate desired outcome of increasing social good.

“We're all Americans coming together with a deep commitment to social and civic improvement. Americans willing to listen, to discuss challenges, and to learn from each other - despite and because of our differences.”
- SreyRam Kuy ('17)

PROGRAM FEATURES

Uniquely non-partisan and action oriented, the program promotes the bold and principled leadership necessary to solve the 21st century’s most pressing challenges.

CURRICULUM & LOGISTICS

Featuring course sessions led by distinguished professors and practitioners representing a variety of perspectives on leadership, the Presidential Leadership Scholars program comes at no cost to accepted participants.

 

The curriculum focuses on four core leadership skills: Vision and Communication, Decision Making, Persuasion and Influence, and Strategic Partnerships. Spread over six months, the sessions involve approximately 120 hours of on-location instruction and interaction. In addition, Scholars are encouraged to form meaningful relationships with one another and to learn from each other’s divergent views and backgrounds. By connecting a new class of Scholars each year, the Presidential Leadership Scholars program also aims to build a strong and diverse alumni network that can put the lessons of cooperation and collaborative problem-solving to use in a variety of sectors and inspire a new kind of leadership.

2018 Schedule and Costs

This six-month commitment, from February thru July, includes an opening week session and one extended weekend per month during the following five months.

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.

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