Anita B. McBride is executive-in-residence at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies in the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, D.C. She directs programming and national conferences on the legacies of America’s first ladies (the First Ladies Initiative) and their historical influence on politics, policy, and global diplomacy.
McBride’s White House service spans two decades and three presidential administrations. McBride previously served as assistant to President George W. Bush and chief of staff to First Lady Laura Bush from 2005 to 2009, directing the staff’s work on the wide variety of domestic and global initiatives in which Mrs. Bush was involved. She had primary responsibility for the First Lady’s efforts to support US foreign policy objectives in human rights, women’s empowerment, global health and human freedom. She directed Mrs. Bush’s travel to 67 countries in 4 years including historic visits to Afghanistan, the Middle East and the Thai-Burma border. She served, as director of White House Personnel under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush and as director of the U.S. Speaker’s Bureau at the United States Information Agency.
Also under President George W. Bush, McBride served as a special assistant for White House Management; as senior advisor in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Organizations and as the State Department’s White House liaison.
McBride co-founded the RAND African First Ladies Initiative and Fellowship program, partnering with Africa’s first ladies to champion change for health and education, and to train their staff and advisors in strategies for establishing and managing an effective First Lady’s office.
She served as a fellow to the Bush Institute’s First Ladies Initiative and continues to serve as an advisor to the Laura W Bush Women’s Initiative.
She is a member of the US-Afghan Women’s Council, the International Republican Institute’s Women’s Democracy Network, the National Italian American Foundation, and a Board Member of the White House Historical Association. She served 11 years as a member of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, one of the longest-serving members in the program’s history. McBride was a consultant to HBO’s Emmy award-winning series, Veep, and is a frequent speaker, print source, contributor and news commentator on White House history, its occupants and presidential transitions. She is a recipient of numerous awards including the United States National Guard and Reserve’s Patriot Award; the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic