Our Program

Presidential Leadership Scholars serves as a catalyst for a diverse network of leaders brought together to collaborate and make a difference in the world as they learn about leadership through the lens of the presidential experiences of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon B. Johnson.

Each year, a diverse group of mid-career professionals begin a journey to hone their leadership abilities through interactions with former presidents, key administration officials, leading academics, and business and civic leaders.

Scholars put their learning into action through a personal leadership project, intended to solve a problem or pressing issue in their community, country, or the world. They gain the skills necessary to work across divides and develop a network that spans traditional geographic, professional, political, and economic boundaries.

PLS challenges pre-existing perceptions and inspires the Scholars to lead lasting, positive change.

Our Partners

The George W. Bush Presidential Center is located on the campus of SMU in Dallas, Texas. The Bush Center is home to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the George W. Bush Institute. The Bush Institute, founded by President and Mrs. Bush in 2009, is a public policy center with the mission of advancing freedom and cultivating leaders by expanding opportunities for individuals at home and abroad.

The Clinton Foundation improves lives across the United States and around the world by working together with partners to create economic opportunity, improve public health, and inspire civic engagement and service. The Foundation also operates the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas, which provides year-round cultural and educational opportunities and is home to the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum.

The George Bush Presidential Library Foundation on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, promotes civic literacy and increased historical understanding of our national experience, and fosters a community of public service and volunteerism. In addition to sponsoring its own programs, the Foundation provides program and financial support to the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.

The Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports the LBJ Presidential Library and the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. One looks to the past and the other to the future, providing an ongoing legacy for President Johnson’s accomplishments and his vision for our nation, including civil rights, voting rights, the war on poverty, education, Medicare, environmental protection and more.

Program Supporters

The Presidential Leadership Scholars program is made possible by the generous support of our founding partners.

W.W.Caruth Logo The Miles Foundation Logo Moody Foundation Logo

Program Features

Leadership Methods

Studying evidence-based methods of leadership at each Module in the program.

Presidential Leadership

Reviewing a variety of presidential leadership experiences from each administration that illustrate various aspects of the models and methods.

Distinguished Speakers

Hearing from distinguished speakers, including former presidential administration officials, business leaders, social entrepreneurs, and luminaries from across the country, to discuss different aspects of leadership.

Personal Leadership Project

Working on a project that focuses on a new or existing civically relevant initiative in which the Scholar is involved.

Scholar Network

Cultivating a growing network of principled and solutions-oriented Scholars who are having a demonstrated impact in their communities.

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 20 days of on-location instruction and interaction, coupled with pre- and post-module assignments and evaluations. In addition, Scholars form meaningful relationships with one another and learn from each other’s divergent views and backgrounds.


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 our program supporters.

Session 1: Opening Week

Tuesday, February 6th – Saturday, February 10th
Washington, D.C.

Session 2

Thursday, March 8th – Saturday, March 10th
George H.W. Bush Presidential Center
College Station, TX

Session 3

Thursday, April 12th – Saturday, April 14th
William J. Clinton Presidential Center
Little Rock, AR

Session 4

Thursday, May 10th – Saturday, May 12th
George W. Bush Presidential Center
Dallas, TX

Session 5

Thursday, June 14th – Saturday, June 16th
Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Center
Austin, TX

Session 6: Closing & Graduation

Tuesday, July 10th – Friday, July 13th
William J. Clinton Presidential Center
Little Rock, AR

Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee of the Presidential Leadership Scholars program contributes to the breadth and depth of expertise supporting this innovative education program.”

Alexis M. Herman, Chair

Chair and Chief Executive Officer, New Ventures

Carlos M. Gutierrez, Co-Chair

Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group (ASG)

Joshua Bolten

President and Chief Executive Officer, The Business Roundtable

Sylvia Ma. Burwell

President, American University

James W. Cicconi

Former Senior Executive Vice President, AT&T

Tom Johnson

Chairman Emeritus, LBJ Foundation Board of Trustees

Thomas F. “Mack” McLarty, III

Chairman, McLarty Associates

Constance Berry Newman

Member, Bush School Advisory Committee

Lyndon L. Olson, Jr.

Vice Chairman, LBJ Foundation Board of Trustees

Roger B. Porter

IBM Professor of Business and Government, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Margaret Spellings

President, University of North Carolina

Larry Temple

Chairman, LBJ Foundation Board of Trustees

Kenneth A. Hersh, Ex-Officio

President and Chief Executive Officer, George W. Bush Presidential Center

Bruce Lindsey, Ex-Officio

Counselor to the Chair of the Board, Clinton Foundation

Statements by President George W. Bush and President Bill Clinton on the passing of George H.W. Bush