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Anita McBride

Anita B. McBride

Former Assistant to President George W. Bush & Chief of Staff to First Lady Laura Bush

Anita McBride is the Executive-In-Residence at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies in the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, DC. At American University, Anita directs the programming of national conferences on the legacies of America’s First Ladies and their historical influence on politics, policy, and global diplomacy. Additionally, Anita is an advisor to the George W. Bush Institute at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, as well as a strategic consultant to global nonprofit organizations.

Previously, McBride served as an assistant to President George W. Bush and Chief of Staff to First Lady Laura Bush from 2005 until 2009. She directed the staff’s work on the broad range of domestic and global initiatives in which Mrs. Bush was involved. These initiatives included supporting US foreign policy objectives in human rights, women’s empowerment, and global health and education.

Anita has nobly served in the White House for two decades and three presidential administrations. McBride was the Director of White House Personnel under President Ronald Reagan and President George H.W. Bush. She was also the Director of the U.S. Speaker’s Bureau at the United States Information Agency and the White House Liaison at the U.S. Department of State.

Building upon her experience of working with First Lady Laura Bush, Anita co-founded the RAND African First Ladies Initiative and Fellowship Program. This program partners with Africa’s first ladies, supporting their efforts to become champions of change for health and education and economic empowerment in their countries. Other organizations Anita is involved in are the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council, which is a historic public-private partnership (P3) between the U.S. and Afghan governments, Georgetown University, and private-sector institutions to help Afghanistan’s women rebuild their country and reclaim their place at the center of post-Taliban society.  She is a member of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, and served as Chair for two years.  Additionally, she serves on the Laura W. Bush Women’s Initiative Policy Advisory Council at the Bush Institute.  She also serves on the board of the White House Historical Association and the National Italian American Foundation.

Anita received her B.A. in International Studies from the University of Connecticut and studied international relations and foreign languages at the University of Florence in Italy and at American University. She is a recipient of the University of Connecticut’s President’s Award of Distinction, American University’s Alice Paul Award and the National Guard and Reserve’s Patriot Award. She is a frequent commentator on network and cable news and contributes to several publications including Politico and Daily Beast.