Rooted in the guiding principles of President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush, the George W. Bush Presidential Center engages communities in the United States and around the world by cultivating leaders and advancing policies to solve today’s most pressing challenges. The Bush Center is home to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, which is operated by the National Archives and Records Administration, and the George W. Bush Institute, the non-partisan, public-policy arm of the Bush Center. The Bush Center is located on the campus of SMU in Dallas, Texas, and also includes a 15-acre park, a full-service restaurant, Café 43, and a museum store.


Housed within the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the George W. Bush Institute is an action-oriented, nonpartisan policy organization with the mission of cultivating leaders and advancing policies to solve today’s most pressing challenges. It raises current and thought-provoking issues and builds programs to address the challenges facing our nation and our world. The work of the Bush Institute is inspired by the principles that guided the Bushes in public life: education is the foundation of a successful life; freedom is a universal human desire; free enterprise is the engine of economic prosperity; and every human life is precious.


Essential Responsibilities

The Senior Program Manager is primarily responsible for the planning and implementation of initiatives and programs that foster policy and action to advance free societies around the world.  The Senior Program Manager will support the Director of Human Freedom and other team members in driving strategic objectives and results across the global policy portfolio. Specific responsibilities include, but may not be limited to:


Program Strategy and Implementation

  • Support development and implementation of the Human Freedom and Global Policy strategy; conduct due diligence to develop options, ensure meaningful results, manage risks, and support informed decision-making.
  • Conduct and oversee research and policy analysis on issues related to democracy, strengthening of institutions, and American leadership and engagement overseas, and support the development of research, policy products, and position papers on these topics. This position may also support related global policy projects in the Bush Institute.
  • Develop and maintain a robust network of relevant thought leaders, stakeholders, and partners.
  • Develop written work plans and timelines for projects under management.
  • Manage the tracking and reporting of information for evaluation and performance management across the Human Freedom Initiative and other Institute programs, where relevant; ensure program plans align with outcomes tracked.
  • Collaborate with colleagues on the design and implementation of global leadership programming.
  • Collaborate with External Affairs to create communications plans and develop content across the Human Freedom Initiative.
  • Oversee the work of relevant independent contractors.
  • Track performance against the annual program budget.


General Human Freedom Program/Institute Responsibilities

  • Work collaboratively with the Director of Human Freedom and other team members to support a positive and productive work environment.
  • Collaborate with Event Operations, External Affairs, Development, and other departments on meetings, events, communications plan, outreach, and donor stewardship.
  • Coordinate and execute events that support the work of the Bush Institute.
  • Assist the team in planning and coordinating Advisory Council meetings.
  • Contribute content for web, social media, print, and other distribution channels as needed.
  • Complete other duties and tasks as assigned.

 Knowledge, Skills and Abilities


The qualified applicant will possess (a/an):

  • Bachelor’s Degree in applicable field; an advanced degree would be a strong plus.
  • Minimum of five years of experience in policy, nonprofit, consulting or similar fields, particularly in democracy promotion, human rights, foreign policy or related fields.
  • International experience (work, study abroad, significant travel) and proficiency in a foreign language is preferred.
  • Successful track record in project management, including strong research and analysis skills, program plan development, goal setting and tracking, effective resource management, effective communication and managing for results.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills; experience creating reports and presentations, delivering presentations, and sharing information and ideas with others.
  • Creative problem-solving abilities that generate new ideas and can adjust plans to meet changing needs.
  • Experience supporting complex projects with multiple, diverse, and international stakeholders.
  • Commitment to the mission, vision and guiding principles of the Bush Center.


Additionally, the ideal candidate will:

  • Possess a make-it-happen spirit, with a collaborative style and strong work ethic in an entrepreneurial and fast-paced environment.
  • Demonstrate political savvy and discernment related to confidentiality and cultural sensitivity.
  • Have a professional network with related experts.
  • Be able to moderately travel as needed.
  • Be willing to work out of our Dallas, TX office.


The George W. Bush Presidential Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages candidates of all backgrounds to apply for this position.


Physical Demands


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 15 pounds. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit stationary at a desk and use computer equipment.


Position:             Senior Program Manager, Human Freedom

FLSA Status:      Exempt

Reports to:         Director, Human Freedom

Department:       Institute 

Division:             Human Freedom