Perspectives on Systematic Racism

June 23, 2020

Presidential Leadership Scholars are lending their voices to provide perspective on the systemic racism in this country and share thoughts towards progress.


Statements by President George W. Bush and President William J. Clinton

June 3, 2020

Statement by President George W. Bush: Statement by President William J. Clinton:


Notes from the Field: Sunny Jha

May 22, 2020

Over the past several months, we have learned much about ourselves at a tremendous cost. As an anesthesiologist at an academic medical center in Los Angeles, I saw the emerging COVID-19 pandemic as a 9/11 type event for our medical community that would require a prolonged battle against an invisible enemy. As a 2018 Presidential […]


Notes from the Field: Judge Scott Schlegel

May 18, 2020

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Presidential Leadership Scholar Judge Scott Schlegel rapidly scaled his existing tech-stack so that court cases could continue in Louisiana by conducting hearings via Zoom and developed a text-based Chatbot for specialty court probationers. When courthouses shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a unique challenge occurred.  Courts around the globe had […]


Nomi Network Program Graduates Spearhead COVID-19 Response

May 15, 2020 | Diana Mao (‘15)

By Diana Mao and Kristin Bruce On a typical day in Bihar, India, a mother wakes up to feed her children and sends them off to grade school—if she can afford it. She goes to draw water for her family from a nearby well in their village. Like many women here, she is illiterate. She […]


Update on 2020-2021 Programming

May 5, 2020

Because of the challenges posed to travel by COVID-19, the 2020 Presidential Leadership Scholars program has been postponed for the current class until the spring of 2021.  Due to this postponement, the program will not be opening an application again until the summer of 2021.    Please email us at if you have any questions.


Notes from the Field: Q&A with Michael Hole

April 27, 2020 | Michael Hole (‘19)

Michael Hole, MD, MBA is a first-generation college graduate and former social worker turned Harvard- and Stanford-educated physician, professor, author, researcher and serial entrepreneur in Austin, Texas. See below for excerpts from our conversation with Dr. Hole about his efforts, especially during COVID-19. Tell us about your job at The University of Texas. I’m very […]


Notes from the Field: Even Though We’re Apart, We’re Together In This Fight

April 14, 2020 | SreyRam Kuy (‘17)

In the middle of lockdowns and social distancing, it can feel like the world has shut down.  It hasn’t.  Filled with bursts of ingenuity, compassion and collaboration, life still goes on. I was operating on a perforated colon cancer, and in the midst of my rapid fire shouts of “6 more liters of sterile irrigation” […]


COVID-19 + Cyber Crime

April 8, 2020 | Kristin Judge (‘17)

During my journey with the PLS class of 2017, I was able to obtain a 501c3 status and funding to start the Cybercrime Support Network. Our public-private partnership is giving a voice to victims of cybercrime and online fraud and providing resources to report, recover and reinforce security after an attack. PLS Scholars continue to […]


What Matters Most?

April 6, 2020 | Jane Henzerling (‘17)

Prioritizing time to support our children’s education during COVID-19 closures. We can’t do it all.  That much has become clear, if it wasn’t already.  Managing our work and home lives is challenging enough in typical times; throw a pandemic into the mix, and it can be enough to tip the scales to “unmanageable,” even if […]


It’s all one song.

April 3, 2020

Class of 2020 Scholar Maria Kim reflects on the current state of the world, lessons learned so far from the PLS program, and her hopes for the future. That’s what Neil Young barked back at the man in the audience who shouted “It all sounds the same!”. The songs, how they turn, their lazy S […]