In January, the Presidential Leadership Scholars (PLS) Class of 2022 convened for the first time virtually. Through multiple sessions and conversations, Scholars received an introduction to the program and gained a leadership foundation for the rest of the program year and beyond.

Meet the Presidential Leadership Scholars Class of 2022 here.

Scholars heard from several featured speakers and PLS Faculty on topics such as diversity, equity, and inclusion; community building; leadership in the interpersonal context; and more.

Dr. Mike Hemphill, Director of Academic Programming, Clinton Foundation

“The times you need influence through collaborative leadership are frequently the times you don’t want to.”

Keith Hennessey, Lecturer of Economics, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University; Former White House Senior Economic Advisor   

Dr. Michel O’Leary, Professor, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University 

“I think when it comes to leadership in general, and in particular team leadership where we have 50 years of really solid research and 100 years of research more generally, that the best leaders are the ones who take seriously the science of human behavior and collaboration and then layer on top of that their own wisdom, scars, lessons learned and bring both those things to bare.”

Dr. Ella Washington, Professor of the Practice, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University  

“Diversity, equity, and inclusion, is not just the job of HR. Really for us to see impact, it has to be both a top down and bottom up process.”

Holly Kuzmich, Executive Director, George W. Bush Institute 

“Alumni of this program will do almost anything to be helpful to you…Know that PLS is a special group of people who treat each other like family. They will do almost anything for you. If you go visit the city they live in, they would love to see you and talk with you and get to know you, so take advantage of that.”

Stephanie S. Streett, Executive Director, Clinton Foundation 

“Seek out people; seek out opportunities… Really take the opportunity to engage with your fellow cohort members on an individual basis.”

Todd Connor, CEO, Bunker Labs; PLS Class of 2016

“Great leadership in my view transcends the leaders. Great leaders lead communities behind them.”

Tynesia Boyea Robinson, President and CEO, CapEQ; PLS Class of 2018

“There’s something about the combination of the intersection and the interaction with these individuals – who are just humans who happened to do extraordinary things – that just rippled across the whole PLS experience. Every day I got to work with 58 other humans doing extraordinary things that I was in awe of, but I was also starting to learn about all the bruises and the kinks and the flaws and the failures we all have… and that it’s a similar humanity, a similar thing that unites us all.”

To learn more about the Presidential Leadership Scholars program, visit For updates about the Presidential Leadership Scholars, use #PLScholars or follow @PLSprogram on Twitter and Instagram.