How to become e pluribus unum 

June 1, 2023

By Michael Cooper  We call ourselves the United States of America, but we’re anything but united these days.   The divisions aren’t about the issues. Instead, we’re sorting ourselves by culture, education level, negative partisanship, and the choice to associate only with those whom we agree with. That’s not healthy for our democracy or sustainable.  But we […]


PLS Spotlight: Thear Suzuki

January 14, 2020 | Thear Suzuki (‘19) and | Alfia Ilicheva (‘19)

Alfia Ilicheva, Co-Founder of WIN: Women in Innovation, talks with fellow Scholar Thear Suzuki, Americas Advisory Talent Leader at Ernst and Young, about her life and experience during the PLS program in 2019. Alfia Illicheva: Who are you and what do you do? Thear Suzuki: I inspire courageous actions in others so they can lead […]


Updates from the 2019 Annual Meeting

October 31, 2019 | J. Eric Wilson (‘18), | Kelly Wolfe (‘18), | Adeeti Gupta (‘19), | Marta Michelle Colon (‘17) and | Jamila Thomas (‘19)

Last week, Presidential Leadership Scholars from the past five years gathered in Washington D.C. to attend the 2019 PLS annual meeting. During the meeting, Scholars shared how PLS helped them become more effective leaders and why they think the program is unique. What makes PLS different from other leadership programs? How did PLS impact you […]


Lessons in Civility

August 23, 2019 | Scott Eisner (‘19)

Scholar Scott Eisner reflects on his experience in the PLS program With the culmination of the 2019 class of the Presidential Leadership Scholars (PLS) program, we now turn of the page to the next chapter of our lives. Lives that were inspired by presidents who gave this country their all in an effort to shape […]


Dinner For Six

August 9, 2019 | Alfia Ilicheva (‘19), | Dilafruz Khonikboyeva (‘19), | Jamila Thomas (‘19), | Scott Eisner (‘19), | Vivian Greentree (‘19) and | Dan Savage (‘19)

How a dinner during the PLS program inspired six strangers to discover a shared American identity The Presidential Leadership Scholars (PLS) program enables a deep, one-of-a-kind leadership experience that equips changemakers across the nation with leadership lessons and insights from the presidential experiences of Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon […]


Presidents Bush and Clinton Visit Big Thought

June 28, 2019

Today, President George W. Bush and President Bill Clinton visited Byron Sanders, CEO of Big Thought and Presidential Leadership Scholar (PLS) Class of 2017, at one of Big Thought’s youth programs that uses visual, performing, and digital arts to help young people improve job skills, gain a positive self-image, and increase social and emotional development.


The Power of Persuasion

June 26, 2019

Lessons in leadership from the Presidential Leadership Scholars program: Session 5 Last week, the 2019 Class of Presidential Leadership Scholars met for the fifth time at the LBJ Presidential Library on the campus of the University of Texas. There, Scholars heard from President Johnson’s daughter, Luci Baines Johnson, his granddaughters Nicole Covert and Catherine Robb, […]


Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton at PLS Fifth Anniversary Celebration

June 20, 2019

Presidents joined by Presidential Leadership Scholars from across the United States who are tackling the most pressing issues of our time.


Applications Open for Sixth Class of Presidential Leadership Scholars

June 3, 2019

Applications open through August 31, 2019 for the 2020 class of Presidential Leadership Scholars


Decision Points

May 23, 2019

Lessons in leadership from the Presidential Leadership Scholars program: Session 4 “I’m a big believer in [America’s] values. I believe in the dignity of every human being. I believe that every human being should be listened to. And I know that every free society yields to peace.” -President George W. Bush This month, President George […]


Running to Remember: Lisa’s Story

May 22, 2019 | Lisa Hallett (‘18)

I am the Executive Director of wear blue: run to remember and, more importantly, a proud Army wife. I grew up with my husband, John, in Northern California. We attended the same small Catholic elementary school, and over the years, built a strong friendship. On December 27, 2003, I married Captain John Hallett, a West […]