SMU-Bush Center Partnerships

SMU and the Bush Center engage in wide-ranging academic partnerships that provide students, faculty and the community-at-large with unique and life-changing opportunities to work alongside global experts on solutions to some of the most pressing international and domestic challenges and bring the community to campus for compelling programs. 

Some examples of recent collaborations include:

Cox School of Business

The Niemi Center

The Niemi Center at the Cox School of Business hosts Niemi fellowships, which develop undergraduate and graduate students into principled leaders, driving positive change and growth in the global economy and working in collaboration with the Bush Institute to create a “real-world” research project over the academic year.

learn more

Eric Bing

Professor Eric Bing

Simmons’ Professor of Applied Physiology and Sport Management Eric Bing has collaborated with the Bush Institute for 10 years on global health concerns.


Dedman School of Law

Raggio Lecture Series

Dedman Law has co-hosted several Raggio lectures with the Bush Center, including with former senators Claire McCaskill and Kelly Ayotte.

View Series

mustangs statue

Postdoctoral fellowships and exhibits

The Lyle, Moody and Meadows schools have all partnered with the Bush Center on postdoctoral fellowships at the Bush Institute and exhibits at the Bush Museum. Together, these initiatives have strengthened and empowered Mustangs, helping to establish the next generation of leaders.

Learn more

students walking

Bush Center Internships

Over the past five years, more than 100 SMU students have served as interns at the Bush Center, gaining valuable experience as they work alongside policy experts in veteran transition, economic empowerment, women’s advancement, freedom and democracy, immigration, and other fields.

Learn more

veterans lapel pins

SMU Veterans

SMU students who are military veterans work with the Bush Institute to raise awareness for helping veterans transition back into civilian life. Rita Kirk, William F. May Endowed Director, Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility and Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs, serves on the Bush Institute’s Advisory Council to lend her expertise on veterans and military families.

Learn More

Bush Presidential Center

George W. Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative

The George W. Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative was launched in 2018 and combines the public policy expertise of the Bush Institute and the academic expertise of SMU. The joint initiative draws from economic policy-making experience at the highest levels and from cutting edge academic research to identify ideas for promoting innovation, entrepreneurship, and faster, more inclusive growth through global competitiveness and sound immigration policy. Dr. Cullum Clark serves as a Director of the Initiative and an adjunct faculty in economics at SMU.

Learn More

William McKenzie

William McKenzie, senior editorial advisor at the Bush Center, won a Pulitzer Prize while with the Dallas Morning News for his reporting on the geographical economic disparities in Dallas. He also teaches journalism classes on the SMU campus – and occasionally brings the 43rd President as a guest speaker. McKenzie and Dr. Eva Chiang, the Managing Director of Leadership and Programming at the Bush Institute, serve as adjunct professors at SMU in the Simmons School. Other Bush Institute staff have served as guest lecturers at SMU classes.

view Publications

The Presidential Leadership Scholars program

The Presidential Leadership Scholars program, supported by the Bush Institute, brings together trailblazers from the nonprofit, military, public and private sectors. The Presidential Leadership Scholars program draws on the resources of the George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, William J. Clinton, and Lyndon B. Johnson presidential centers, enabling mid-career professionals to hone leadership skills through interactions with former presidents, key administration officials, leading academics and business leaders.

learn more