President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush have launched the Presidential Leadership Scholars program, a partnership between the presidential centers of William J. Clinton, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush and Lyndon B. Johnson.

The goal of the Presidential Leadership Scholars program is to help participants develop the skills needed to become highly-effective leaders. The inaugural class will begin in February 2015. Online applications and referrals will be accepted at through October 27, 2014.

“Effective leadership is an important skill for individuals looking to make a positive difference in the world and change lives,” said Bruce Lindsey, Chair of the Clinton Foundation’s Board of Directors. “The Presidential Leadership Scholars Program is designed to foster the next generation of leaders, whether they choose to work in government, business, or philanthropy. The program’s unique curriculum includes an unprecedented assembly of leaders across four presidential administrations, spanning over 45 years.”

The program’s interactive and dynamic curriculum incorporates:
• Pre-eminent scholarship and best practices;
• Distinguished faculty from the presidential centers’ affiliated universities: SMU, Texas A&M, University of Texas and the Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas, and other renowned academic institutions, including Georgetown University;
• Leadership examples and participation from the private, public, non-profit, and military sectors; and,
• Active engagement from guest speakers across a number of presidential administrations.

The Presidential Leadership Scholars Program will focus on a variety of facets of leadership skills, including vision and communication, decision-making, persuasion and influence, and coalition building. The program will also benefit from periodic participation of former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. The curriculum draws from presidential centers’ archives and other resources related to leadership and decision-making moments from each administration.

"Leadership is always a critical need," said Margaret Spellings, president of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. “I’m excited about the opportunity that lies before us: a program that will train highly motivated people with a track record of leadership from across all sectors and backgrounds – private, public, non-profit, military and academia – to apply the lessons, concepts and ideas they learn through the program to the complex opportunities and challenges that lie before them.”

Throughout the program, scholars are encouraged to form long-term relationships with one another and to learn from each other’s divergent views and backgrounds. By connecting a new class of scholars each year, the Presidential Leadership Scholars Program also aims to build a strong and diverse alumni network that can put the lessons of cooperation and collaborative problem-solving to use in a variety of sectors. 

The program begins with an intensive four-day instructional program held at Mt. Vernon, where participants will learn about leadership models in general, and presidential leadership in particular.

In the months following, an extended weekend class sessions will be held at each of the participating presidential centers: the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas; the William J. Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas; the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas; and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas. Scholars will be able to maintain their full time employment while participating in the program. Spread over six months, the sessions encompass approximately 120 hours of instruction.

The first class of scholars will be selected by the end of the year. Applicants may come from the private, public, non-profit, and military sectors and should generally have 10 years of professional experience. Successful applicants will demonstrate a strong record of professional and community achievement, a commitment to continued growth as a leader, a passion for serving an even broader role in society and a collaborative spirit that is open to new ideas and approaches.

The four presidential centers are committed to offering this opportunity to selected participants regardless of their financial means. To honor this commitment, program tuition, accommodations, meals and travel to the course sessions are funded by generous contributions from foundations, individuals and corporations, including the Moody Foundation, the Miles Foundation, and the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation. The Presidential Leadership Scholars program also benefits from an Advisory Committee, made up of notable alumni from each presidential administration, which contributes to the breadth and depth of expertise supporting this innovative leadership program. Members of the advisory committee are: The Honorable Joshua Bolten, Chair; The Honorable Alexis M. Herman, Co-Chair; The Honorable James W. Cicconi; The Honorable Carlos Gutierrez; The Honorable Tom Johnson; The Honorable Vilma S. Martinez; General (Ret.) Stanley A. McChrystal; The Honorable Constance Berry Newman; The Honorable Lyndon Olson; Dr. Roger B. Porter; The Honorable Donna E. Shalala; Dr. Laura Tyson; The Honorable Bruce Lindsey, Chairman of the Board for the Clinton Foundation; and, The Honorable Margaret Spellings, ex-officio.

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