Anita McBride

Advisory Council Member, WDN
Anita McBride Headshot

With service spanning more than 30 years as a White House advisor, chief of staff, diplomacy advisor and human rights advocate, the influence of Anita McBride’s body of work is recognized in Washington and around the globe each day. Through her appointments to posts including the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, George W. Bush Presidential Library and Institute and the Board of the White House Historical Association, among others, McBride brings a powerful, non-partisan impact to all of the projects and programs in which she is involved.

Currently, McBride is Executive-in-Residence at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies in the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, DC, where she directs programming and national conferences on the legacies of America’s first ladies and their historical influence on American politics, policy and global diplomacy. She also serves as an advisor to the university’s president and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations.

She served as an assistant to President George W. Bush, as well as Chief of Staff to First Lady Laura Bush. McBride directed the first lady’s travel to 67 countries in four years to support U.S. foreign policy objectives in human rights, women’s empowerment, global health and education, and human freedom, including historic visits to Afghanistan, the Middle East and the Thai-Burma border.

She co-founded the RAND African First Ladies Initiative and Fellowship program, partnering with African first ladies to support their efforts as champions of change in their countries, as well as train their staff and advisors in strategies for managing an effective first lady’s office.

She is an advisor to the Laura W. Bush Women’s Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute and a consultant to several other global non-profit institutions. She also is a member of the US-Afghan Women’s Council, the International Republican Institute’s Women’s Democracy Network, the National Italian American Foundation, and is a Founding Advisor of Right Now Women PAC.

McBride began her political career as a campaign volunteer for Reagan for President in 1980 and went on to work as a finance field representative for Senate and House campaigns as well as the Reagan-Bush campaign in 1984. She is a consultant to HBO’s Emmy-award winning series, Veep, and is a frequent speaker, print source, contributor and news commentator on the operations and history of the White House and its occupants.

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