Opening Breakfast, WSIA Business Meeting and Awards with Special Guest, President George W. Bush

Monday, February 25 | 7:00 - 9:00 a.m. | Potomac Ballroom

Schedule of Events

6:30 a.m. - Doors open and coffee service will be available 
7:00 a.m. - Breakfast will be served
7:15 a.m. - Doors close and all attendees must be seated by this time
7:30 a.m. - Session begins

There will be no admittance after 7:15 a.m.  Bag restrictions will be in place.  A valid photo ID will be checked against Summit badges prior to entering the session. Session is closed to the press and no personal photography or recording permitted.

Special Guest

George W. Bush served as 43rd President of the United States of America from 2001-2009. As Commander in Chief, President Bush worked to expand freedom, opportunity, and security at home and abroad. He entered office with a robust domestic agenda. His first initiative as President was the No Child Left Behind Act, a bipartisan measure that raised standards in schools, insisted on accountability in return for federal dollars, and led to measurable gains in achievement – especially among minority students. Faced with a recession when he took office, President Bush cut taxes for every federal income taxpayer, which helped lead to an unprecedented 52 straight months of job creation. New free trade agreements enacted by the Bush Administration opened up American goods and services to new markets of more than 130 million consumers. Additionally, President Bush worked with Congress to modernize Medicare with a prescription drug benefit and introduced market forces to the healthcare system by establishing Health Savings Accounts. The Bush Administration also focused on a variety of environmental issues, including efforts to reduce emissions and create the world’s largest marine protected area.

Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, President Bush responded with a comprehensive strategy to protect the American people and wage a global war on terror. His administration built global coalitions to remove violent regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq that threatened America, liberating more than 50 million people from tyranny. Recognizing that liberty and hope are the best alternative to the extremist ideology of the terrorists, he provided unprecedented American support for young democracies and dissidents in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and elsewhere. President Bush also launched global HIV/AIDS and malaria initiatives that have saved millions of lives, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.

President Bush grew up in Midland, Texas, as the eldest son of Barbara and George H.W. Bush – later the 41st President of the United States. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School. President Bush also served as a pilot in the Texas Air National Guard. Following business school, he returned to Midland and met Laura Welch. They were married in 1977. After working in the energy business in West Texas for several years, President Bush moved to Dallas and joined a group of partners that purchased the Texas Rangers baseball franchise. In 1995, he was sworn in as the 46th Governor of Texas.

After the Presidency, President and Mrs. Bush founded the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas. The Bush Center is home to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the George W. Bush Institute, a nonpartisan public policy and leadership development center that engages communities across the United States and around the world by developing leaders, advancing policy, and taking action to solve today’s most pressing challenges.

President Bush is the author of three bestselling books: Decision Points (2010), 41: A Portrait of My Father (2014), and Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors (2017), a collection of oil paintings and stories by President Bush honoring America’s military heroes.

He and Laura are the parents of twin daughters: Barbara, married to Craig Coyne, and Jenna, married to Henry Hager. The Bushes are also the proud grandparents of Margaret Laura “Mila” and Poppy Louise Hager. The Bush family also includes two cats, Bob and Bernadette, as well as Freddy the dog.

Moderator

Jenna Hager is a contributing correspondent on NBC's Today show and an editor-at-large for Southern Living magazine. 

She is also the author of The New York Times best seller Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope, which she wrote after traveling to Latin America in 2006 as an intern with UNICEF. Ana's Story is based on the life of a 17-year-old single mother with HIV, who struggles to shield her child from the life she had of abuse and neglect.

Hager remains involved with UNICEF and is currently the chair of its Next Generation initiative, which is dedicated to reducing childhood deaths around the world.

Hager holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin. She is also co-author of the children's books Read All About It! and Our Great Big Backyard. Hager also co-authored Sisters First, a New York Times best seller.

Hager is the daughter of former U.S. President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. In 2008, she married Henry Hager. Jenna and Henry are the proud parents of their daughters, Margaret Laura "Mila" and Poppy Louise Hager.

The Keynote Session is part of the E.G. Lassiter Lecture Series and is sponsored by the WSIA Education Foundation.