The Bush Center

Distinguished Leader Speaker Series

Strong leadership is not bound by a position or title. Great leaders can influence the world at any level.
Each year, our George and Barbara Bush Center for Scholars and Leaders host a Distinguished Leader Speaker Series. This year, on February 1, 2022, we were privileged to have Jean Becker and Jim McGrath join us for our assembly. Within the hour and a half, we had together, Jean and Jim shared behind-the-scenes stories about a man driven by service and love. We discovered so much about President George H.W. Bush, who Jean worked side-by-side with for 25 years as his Chief of Staff, and Jim as his longtime spokesperson and friend. Jean and Jim shared some of the most interesting and unexpected moments of Bush’s Legacy. Most importantly, Jean and Jim's stories affirmed many values we share, motivated by helping others and having a little fun along the way. We also presented the Distinguished Service Medal to Jean Becker and Jim McGrath for Public Service. To watch a recording of our live stream, click here. To purchase Jean Becker's book, The Man I Know, click here
Jim and Jean, thank you for your insightful comments and stories of what it means to serve the 41st president and his wife, and through them, our nation.

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  • Jean Becker's Bio

    In her role as Chief of Staff, Jean Becker witnessed the fascinating story of George Herbert Walker Bush's life post-presidency, including being present during his death and subsequently serving as master of ceremonies at his state funeral. Written by one of the people closest to a former president, 'The Man I Knew: The Amazing Story of George H. W. Bush's Post-Presidency' gives readers an inside look at the highs and lows of running a presidential office from the inside.
  • Jim McGrath's Bio

    Longtime spokesperson and friend of George Herbert Walker Bush, Jim McGrath experienced history firsthand during Bush's tenure as president and as the Bush family returned to Houston. During his time in the Executive Office of the President, McGrath served as a staff writer and editor from 1991 to 1993. As President George H. W. Bush's post-White House spokesperson, he served him for a quarter-century, composing hundreds of speeches, statements, and video presentations for President Bush in dozens of foreign countries and throughout the United States.

About Our Series

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  • Mission of Distinguished Leader Speaker Series

    The George and Barbara Bush Center for Scholars and Leaders hosts this event to feature speakers who have made significant contributions as leaders or in the study of leadership.

    The series highlights Houston Christian's commitment to education and leadership. It also provides an opportunity to reach out to our community. Proceeds from the luncheon or breakfast fund the speaker to make this unique educational opportunity possible and benefits Houston Christian High School's leadership programs.
  • History of Speakers

    We have welcomed the following Distinguished Leader Speakers to our campus to share their unique stories and insights on leadership.
    2022 - Jean Becker & Jim McGrath
    2021 - Jerry Mitchell
    2019 - Daren Neely 
    2018 - Josh Sundquist 
    2017 - Jessica Jackley
    2016 - Mary Kate Cary
    2016 - Brian Ivie
    2015 - Eric Metaxas