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First Ladies Initiative

  • Anita McBride, left, and Greta Van Susteren, right
  • McBride spoke to Running Start’s 2017 Spring Star Fellows.
  • Anita McBride, center, with a group of Reagan Fellows at the Decatur House.
  • Penn Law Event
  • Anita McBride speaks at the next administration Fedstival. To her right are David Eagles and Paul Bock.
  • 2016 Concordia Summit
  • EY-Barclay's Event
  • Anita McBride, center, with the Mt. Vernon Leadership Fellows Class.
  • Cuisine and Foreign Policy
  • Left to right: Melanne Verveer, Tina Tchen, Anita McBride, and ABC News's Claire Shipman (Photo credit: Mara D'Amico)
  • Afghan Voices of Hope event on March 15th at USIP with former First Lady Laura Bush
  • The panel and John Viola toasting the new Ambassador from the Republic of Italy, Armando Varricchio
  • Anita McBride

Events with First Ladies Initiative Director
Anita McBride

Events Archive

2017 Events

  • Guest Lecture (Washington, DC) - McBride spoke at Professor Richard Benedetto’s class in the American University School of Public Affairs about media coverage of America’s First Ladies (April 5).
  • Canadian Electricity Association Luncheon (Washington, DC), Panelist - McBride spoke on a panel with Mack McLarty, former Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton, about their insights on the Trump Administration (April 4).
  • Remarks to Running Start’s Spring Fellows (Washington, DC), Speaker - McBride spoke with the Spring Fellows of Running Start about her journey through the public sector. Running Start is a non-profit that supports women leaders in public service (March 17).
  • Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation Fellowship Program (Washington, DC), Speaker - McBride served as a Ronald Reagan Guest Lecturer for the Reagan Foundation's Fall 2016 Leadership and the American Presidency Fellows. The lecture was at the Decatur House, and McBride spoke on presidential leadership within the first 100 days of office (March 9).
  • APCO Worldwide International Women’s Day Panel (Washington, DC), Panelist - McBride presented on a panel with Margery Kraus, chairman of APCO Worldwide, and Lisa Osborne Ross, managing director of APCO in D.C. McBride spoke about the role of the First Lady on the global stage (March 8).
  • Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Luncheon (Washington, DC), Moderator - McBride moderated a conversation with NBC‘s Greta Van Susteren at the International Republican Institute and Women's Democracy Network’s annual event (March 2).
  • Guest Lecture (Washington, DC) - McBride spoke at Professor Laura Cox Kaplan’s class in the American University School of Public Affairs. Professor Cox Kaplan's class is about the ways in which women navigate in the political sphere (February 11).
  • Presidential Leadership Scholars Dinner (Washington, DC) - McBride presented opening remarks at the Presidential Leadership Scholars Dinner at the Decatur House. The Presidential Leadership Scholars is a project of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the Clinton Foundation, the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation, and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, and this dinner was organized by the George W. Bush Presidential Center (February 10).
  • Annual National 4-H Conference (Washington, DC) - McBride presented on a panel at the annual National 4-H Conference (January 18).

2016 Events

  • On Behalf of the President: Presidential Spouses and White House Communication Strategy Today - Anita McBride will join a panel discussion following a lecture with author Lauren Wright. The event will take place at The George Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas (November 14).
  • The Transfer of Power: Ensuring a Smooth Presidential Transition, Speaker - Anita McBride joined this panel presented by Bloomberg Government that discussed the behind-the-scenes work of the presidential transition teams (October 27).
  • National Press Foundation (Washington, DC) - McBride spoke at a National Press Foundation Capitol Hill Issues Briefing on the presidential transition process. The panel consisted of David Eagles, Director of the Center for Presidential Transition at the Partnership for Public Service, and Bill Galston, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute, along with Executive-in-Residence, Anita McBride (October 17). Read Anita's blog following the briefing on Dispatches from the Campaign Trail.
  • University of Pennsylvania Law School (Philadelphia, PA) - McBride spoke alongside Harvard Law professor and former federal judge, Nancy Gertner at a Penn Law Critical Global Conversation, Gender and the 2016 Presidential Election: The Global Impact. The event was sponsored by American Constitution Society for Law & Policy, and Penn Law Women's Association (October 14).
  • Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation Fellowship Program (Washington, DC) - McBride served as a Ronald Reagan Guest Lecturer for the Reagan Foundation's Fall 2016 Leadership and the American Presidency Fellows. The lecture was at the Decatur House, and McBride spoke on presidential leadership within the first 100 days of office (October 11).
  • Fedstival | The Next Administration, Panelist - Anita McBride spoke on the panel, "Preparing for the Presidential Transition," sharing insights on previous transitions, and what the next administration will look like. (October 6)
  • Concordia Summit, Panelist – Anita McBride served as a panelist at the 2016 Concordia Summit's panel entitled, "Global Women's Empowerment: How Achieving Gender Equality Affects More Than Women." The panel included Cherie Blair, Founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, H.E. Monica Geingos, First Lady of the Republic of Namibia, Jim Jones, Community Investment Programs Manager at ExxonMobil, and Kathy Calvin, President and CEO of the United Nations Foundation (September 20).
  • EY and Barclays Women’s Event, Speaker – Anita McBride led a moderated discussion entitled, "Women In Politics: Leadership in a Changing Political Landscape," hosted by Ernst & Young and Barclays. McBride spoke about women in leadership and politics and career development (September 19).
  • Legacies of America’s First Ladies: In Service to Our Nation, Conference Chair – Anita McBride chaired the 2016 Legacies of America’s First Ladies conference, hosted by the American University School of Public Affairs in partnership with Joining Forces, the George W. Bush Institute, the White House Historical Association, the National Archives, the National Archives Foundation, and the American University Library. The conference highlighted first ladies' historical commitment to helping America's veterans, service members, and military families. First Lady Michelle Obama and former First Lady Laura Bush participated in a moderated discussion at the conference, along with other historians, journalists, and veterans (September 16).
  • AU Kogod School of Business, “Best Ideas to Grow the Economy” - Anita McBride joined business leaders and policymakers to participate in a discussion on economic growth (July 21).
  • The Global Oval Summit, panelist - Anita McBride, served as a panelist and discussed the importance of global health policy in the next administration alongside Congressman Dan Donovan and Dr. Toby Cosgrove at The Global Oval Summit, hosted by CARE Action, the Better World Campaign, and the ONE Campaign (July 20).
  • U.S. Department of State, “What a Trump White House Might Look Like” - Anita McBride participated in a foreign press briefing and discussed topics such as Donald Trump’s potential relationship with Congress, his foreign policy, and Melania Trump’s Convention speech (July 19).
  • American University’s Office of Alumni Relations Reception at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Panelist (July 18).
  • Mount Vernon Leadership Fellows Class of 2016 - Anita McBride spoke to a group of rising college juniors about her career experience, leadership in Washington, DC, and professional development opportunities (July 5).
  • Laura W. Bush Women’s Initiative Policy Advisory Council – Anita McBride, Advisory Council Member and Chair of the First Ladies Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute led a discussion on the status of the First Ladies Initiative at the Laura W. Bush Women’s Initiative Policy Advisory Council meeting (June 29).
  • American University School of Communications COMM-420: Topics in News Media, Guest Lecturer – Anita McBride served as a guest lecturer in Richard Benedetto’s Topics in the News Media class (April 4).
  • American University's School of Public Affairs and Concordia Partnership Forum - Opening Remarks, Washington, DC (March 30)
  • Georgetown University Institute of Politics and Public Service - Panelist, "Inside the East Wing: A Conversation about the modern Office of the First Lady and the evolving role of the ultimate partner-in-chief," Washington, DC (March 30)
  • The White House Historical Association in partnership with The Embassy of Italy and the National Italian American Foundation - Panelist, "Italy in the White House: A Conversation on Historical Perspectives," Washington, DC (March 2)
  • NAM Board of Directors Meeting - Panelist, "The Challenges Awaiting #45: What's on the Desk of the Next President?," Naples, FL (February 29)
  • AU College Republicans - Speaker on the state of the primary race and on working in the White House (February 3)

2015 Events

  • George W. Bush Presidential Center - Panel moderator, "A Christmas Conversation: Entertaining at the White House," Dallax, TX (December 1)
  • Brookings Institution - Remarks to the Executive Leadership Program on "Decision Making in the White House," Washington, DC (November 16)
  • Running Start - Guest Speaker, Weekly Mentorship Guest Speaker Program, Washington, DC (November 13)
  • Georgetown University - Keynote Remarks, Rising Afghan Women's Initiative (RAWLI) graduation ceremony for 15 Afghan women participants (October 9)
  • Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board - Addressed EUR/EURASIA students, scholars, alumni, and Fulbright-Clinton fellows at Pre-Departure Orientation (July 31)
  • The White House Historical Association - Moderated a panel on the Kennedy Rose Garden (July 28)
  • U.S.-Italy Fulbright Commission - Provided remarks for an event in collaboration with the National Italian American Foundation and the US Consulate in Milan (June 24)
  • The White House Historical Association - Introductory remarks celebrating a new publication of First Ladies: Presidential Historians on the Lives of 45 Iconic American Women (May 20)
  • American University - Panelist, "Nerd Prom" Film Screening & Panel Discussion (April 27)
  • American University - Opening remarks, Conflict Cuisine: Kitchen as the New Venue for Foreign Policy (April 21)
  • American University School of Public Affairs - Guest lecturer in Andrew Kline's Public-Private Partnership class (April 13)
  • American University - Moderator, KPU Wonk Award (April 8)
  • Afghanistan Fulbright Seminar on Social Entrepreneurship and Leadership Development - Keynote remarks, Miami University of Ohio, Oxford, Ohio (April 3)
  • American University School of Public Affairs - Guest lecturer in Professor Richard Benedetto's Politics of Mass Communication class (April 1)
  • National Organization of Italian-American Women and the Italian Club of the Washington College of Law of American University - Speaker, Career Conversations for Young Professionals. Joint appearance with ambassador in residence, Connie Morella. Washington, DC (April 1)
  • American University College Republicans - Speaker, "Inside the Bush Administration," Washington, DC (March 31)
  • American University School of Communications - Guest lecturer in Professor Corinne Hoare's Crisis Communications class, Washington, DC (March 31)
  • Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars - Panelist, "Discussion with White House Insiders on Press, Politics and Public Policy," Washington, DC (March 27)
  • Hofstra University, Study of the American Presidency Conference on the George W. Bush Presidency - Panelist, "The Leadership of First Lady Laura Bush," Long Island, NY (March 24-26)
  • Meridian International Center, Council on Women's Leadership and George W. Bush Institute's Women's Initiative Fellowship - "Speed mentoring" program for Tunisian fellows. Washington, DC (March 17) 
  • Concordia Partnership Celebration Dinner, Global Partnerships Week - Introductory Remarks, Washington, DC (March 9)
  • International Women's Day Summit, "Celebrating Global Women." Cosponsored by the International Republican Institute and the Diplomatic Courier. Moderator, panel on women's political participation. Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Washington, DC (March 4)
  • National Governors Association - Spouse's Program. Presenter, "Legacies of America's First Ladies." Washington, DC (February 22)
  • Children's National Healing Garden Launch Event - Member, advisory committee and liaison with first ladies for program in honor of first ladies' involvement with Children's National Health System (formerly Children's Hospital), Washington, DC (February 5) Announced by First Lady Michelle Obama on February 9.
  • "The Widow Lincoln" at Ford's Theater - Post-performance discussion on the changing role of the First Ladies over the past 150 years with Pat Krider, executive director of the National First Ladies Library (February 3)

2014 Events

  • Learning Tour in Cambodia hosted by the humanitarian antipoverty organization CARE - Joined a delegation of international influencers and policy-makers including Ambassador Bill Todd, Congresswoman Kay Granger, AU PhD candidate and Fulbrighter Erin Moriarty, Congressman Ander Crenshaw, Fulbrighter Anne Crylen, Congressman Mike Quigley, Cambodian Fulbright Alumnus Ratana Sopha (November 21-26)
  • Linking Men, Peace, and Security to the UNSCR 1325 Agenda - Participated in a panel discussion on gender in peacebuilding hosted by the U.S. Institute of Peace (November 17)
  • "Our War" Performance - Read monologues as part of the Arena Stage's series with notable Washingtonians, including AU President Neil Kerwin, reflecting on the repercussions of the U.S. Civil War. (November 2 and November 8)
  • International Republican Institute - Joined a delegation traveling to Ukraine to observe parliamentary elections (October 26)
  • American Council of Life Insurers - Delivered remarks on "Partnership in Politics and Public Service: The Contributions and Legacies of America's First Ladies" (October 21)
  • Classes without Quizzes - Was featured in AU Alumni Weekend discussion on the legacies of America's first ladies. (October 18, 2:00pm)
  • Fulbright Afghanistan Fall Enrichment Seminar - Delivered remarks welcoming Afghan Fulbrighters at event hosted by American University's Intercultural Management Institute (October 16)
  • 2014 Concordia Summit – Presented a session on decision-making in the White House for the "Office Hours" seminar at the summit. (September 29)
  • National Governors Association - Will deliver remarks on "First Spouse Diplomacy: Defining Your Unique Role and Public Image" (September 18)
  • Investing in Our Future at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit - Assisted in planning of First Spouses program and participated in executive training session for First Spouses' senior advisors (August 5 – 6)
  • Institute for Economic Empowerment for Women - Delivered a keynote speech for the Peace Through Business International Women's Economic Summit in Dallas, TX (July 29)
  • Brookings Institution - Participated in a training session on decision-making in the West Wing for federal executives (June 9)
  • United States Institute of Peace - Participated in a panel discussion, “Adding Women to the Leadership Equation in Afghanistan: Lessons Learned from the U.S. – Afghan Women’s Council’s Rising Afghan Women Leadership Initiative.” (May 20)
  • McCain Institute Sedona Forum – Moderated a panel with women leaders in the democracy movement in the Middle East. The forum took place in Arizona. (April 25 – 27)
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers' Aspire to Lead - Participated in PwC Women's Leadership Series through a live webcast, which partnered with author and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (April 24)
  • Camp David panel at Arena Stage – Participated in a panel on first families and historic events at Camp David (April 12)
  • United Nations Education for All Initiative – Participated in Executive Strategy Session hosted by Sarah Brown, wife of former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown (April 10)
  • State Legislative Leaders Foundation – Delivered remarks on role of first ladies and participated in a panel on presidential leadership at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas. (March 27 – 29)
  • Afghan Rising Women Leaders Training – Doha, Qatar. Member of the leadership training team sponsored by the US/Afghan Women’s Council and Georgetown University. (March 8 – 13)
  • Bethesda Wednesday Morning Group – Delivered remarks to a local women’s forum about first ladies and reflections of working in the White House. (February 19)
  • C-SPAN First Ladies: Influence and Image Series Review – Participated in final summary segment of the yearlong series. (February 18)
  • American Women Writers National Museum 2nd Anniversary Program – Delivered a presentation on the topic of first ladies and the press. (February 12)

2013 Events

American University

  • AU Honors Program Tea Talk – Identified Afghan experts and U.S. State Department officials to present a panel entitled “Afghanistan and the Path to Peace Through Education.” Also served as panel moderator. (November)
  • American Women: Conversations with AU’s Most Inspiring Women –Interviewed for this newly formed American University speaker series, formed by Professor Iris Krasnow and AU Vice-Provost Phyllis Peres. (March)
  • Future of U.S. Foreign Policy panel at AU – Moderated a panel as a part of American University’s presidential inauguration-themed events. (January)

Outside of American University

  • US/Afghan Women’s Council and Georgetown University co-host Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton to discuss advancing Afghan women – (November)
  • State Government Affairs Council Leaders’ Policy Conference – Delivered remarks on the Legacies of America’s First Ladies at a plenary session in Florida. Also was a featured guest at a luncheon discussion with elected leaders and their spouses. Also participated in an AU Faculty on the Road luncheon with alumni (November)
  • “Love in Afghanistan” at Arena Stage – Participated in a panel discussion as part of a play that examines the progress made by Afghan women as well as the challenges they continue to face since the fall of the Taliban. (October)
  • Women's Congressional Staff Association – Participated in a panel with Jackie Norris, former Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama, to discuss working in the East Wing and work-life balance in the White House. (September)
  • Virginia Delegate Barbara Comstock’s Young Women’s Leadership Program – Spoke with middle and high school student participants in Comstock’s (Virginia’s 34th district) program, which focuses on personal and career development. (August)
  • George W. Bush Institute African First Ladies Summit - Participated in developing and organizing the program in Tanzania. (July)
  • American Consulate-General in Florence – Featured guest and speaker for Women in Leadership Initiative as well as the Fulbright Program in Italy. (March)
  • Harvard University – Invited by the Kennedy School of Government – Institute of Politics Women in Leadership Series, to speak on the role of First Ladies in American politics. (April)
  • White House Historical Association – Featured discussant on White House Perspectives panel held during the launch event for the C-SPAN/WHHA television series First Ladies: Influence and image. (February)

2012 Events 

  • Republican National Convention – Participated in multiple interviews as a White House and First Lady expert in Tampa, FL. (August)
  • Running Start’s National Young Women’s Political Leadership Program: International Women in Politics (July)
  • The National Archives’ Women in Leadership Series (June)
  • The National Constitution Center’s Leadership Series (June)
  • The Richmond Historical Society (May)
  • The International Conference on Women’s Leadership in Serbia (April)
  • The Meridian International Women’s Diplomatic Series (March)