New Class of Scholars to be named in January; 121 alumni celebrated for Personal Leadership Projects

Today the Presidential Leadership Scholars (PLS) announced that the third annual class of emerging leaders will meet beginning on Tuesday, February 7th. The PLS program is a unique leadership development initiative that draws upon the resources of the presidential centers of William J. Clinton, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon B. Johnson and has mobilized 121 emerging leaders from a wide array of backgrounds to address some of the most complex societal challenges in America.

Over the course of 2017, the PLS Scholars will engage in an executive style program where they will learn from the experience and leadership of the four affiliated presidents, and work on their own personal leadership projects, aimed at increasing social good by addressing a problem or need in a community, profession, or organization.

The 2017 Program Schedule includes:

  • Session 1 – Opening Week: February in Washington, D.C.
  • Session 2: March at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Center in College Station, TX
  • Session 3: April at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, AR
  • Session 4: May at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, TX
  • Session 5: June at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Center in Austin, TX
  • Session 6 – Closing and Graduation: July at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, TX

Each class of scholars represents a diverse group of professionals from a variety of backgrounds, geographies, and professional areas including private, public, non-profit, military, and academia, creating a dynamic group experience that fosters cooperation and collaboration.

Through the PLS program, participants have connected with some of the best minds in the study of leadership and benefited from the assets of the participating presidential centers and insights of the former Presidents and people who served with them. In addition to Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, this includes speakers such as former First Lady Laura W. Bush, the Right Honourable Tony Blair, former Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman, former Secretaries of Commerce Don Evans, and Carlos Gutierrez, Governor Terry McAuliffe, former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, former Chiefs of Staff Andrew Card, Erskine Bowles, Joshua Bolten, and John Sununu, former Counselor to President Johnson Larry Temple, Mark Cuban, members of the Little Rock Nine.

In just two years, the PLS program has significantly impacted the ability of the scholars to implement change in their communities. Scholars say PLS was influential in their achievements; on average, in the last year, each scholar has reached over 125 beneficiaries through their programs. By accomplishing things like improving our nation’s schools, supporting transitioning members of the military, bringing poverty relief to communities around the globe, or implementing practical business solutions to enhance public and private partnerships, these projects leverage the Scholars’ existing knowledge and experience with the skills and competencies learned throughout the program.

Read about six Scholar alumni making a difference here.

To learn more about the Presidential Leadership Scholars program, visit For any questions about the program or upcoming events, please reach out to and

For more information, please contact:

Contact: Sara Horowitz, 212-348-0360,
Contact: Brittney Bain, 214-200-4309,