Assistant to President George W. Bush and chief of staff to First Lady Laura Bush
Anita B. McBride is currently an executive in residence at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies in the School of Public Affairs at American University. She 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 with primary responsibility for the First Lady’s work to support US foreign policy objectives in human rights, women’s empowerment, global health, and human freedom. McBride's White House service spans two decades and three presidential administrations, including 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 support their efforts to become champions of change in their countries as well as train their staff in strategies for establishing and managing an effective First Lady’s office. McBride is an advisor to the George W. Bush Institute at Southern Methodist University and the Sine Institute for Policy and Politics at American University. She is a member of several organizations, including the US-Afghan Women's Council, the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, the White House Historical Association, the International Republican Institute's Women's Democracy Network, and the National Italian American Foundation. She is also a founding advisor to RightNow Women PAC which seeks to recruit and support women to run for federal elective office. McBride is a frequent print, radio and on-air commentator on first ladies, presidential transitions and White House history.