Director, External Affairs

at George W. Bush Presidential Center
Location 2943 SMU Boulevard, Dallas
Date Posted April 20, 2021
Category Public Relations
Job Type Full-time



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 Director, External Affairs oversees the development and maintenance of communications strategies and messaging across the Bush Center, including the George W. Bush Institute, to reach Bush Center key audiences including: donors and prospective donors; subject matter experts and other Bush Institute influencers; Bush Center visitors; Bush-Cheney alumni; and the media. Specific duties include but may not be limited to:


  • Develop, implement, and evaluate an audience-centric integrated communications strategy for the Bush Center that recognizes emerging issues and matches appropriate communications opportunities and solutions.
  • Oversee the day-to-day activities of the external affairs office, including budgeting, planning product output, and development.
  • Monitor Bush Center communications channels to ensure message consistency and audience appropriateness.
  • Serve as spokesperson and ensure consistency of media relations efforts across Bush Center lines of business.
  • Plan, write, and edit communications pieces for the organization, including opinion editorials, press releases, brand copy, etc.
  • Act as the Vice President, External Affairs appointee in the Vice President’s absence.

Team Management and Development

  • Recruit new team members and manage existing team to support the development and execution of assigned functions.
  • Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values learning and a commitment to excellence.
  • Mentor and develop staff using a supportive and collaborative approach on a consistent basis.
  • Establish and monitor staff performance and development goals, assign accountabilities, set objectives, establish priorities, and conduct performance appraisals.
  • Oversee third-party vendors, as required.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

The qualified candidate will possess (a/an):

  • Bachelor’s degree, ideally with a focus in journalism, communications, marketing or a related field.
  • Minimum of ten years’ experience; previous direct experience in the Bush Institute’s areas of engagement is beneficial.
  • Demonstrated experience and leadership in managing operations as well as a comprehensive, strategic communications, media relations, and marketing program to advance an organization’s mission and goals.
  • Experience leading and motivating teams with multiple levels of reports through periods of building, accelerated growth, change and transition.
  • Ability to travel as necessary.
  • Commitment to the mission and vision of the Bush Center.

Additionally, the qualified candidate will:

  • Have the ability to be flexible, deal with ambiguity and make decisions using sound judgment.
  • Be creative and thoughtful regarding the utilization of new technologies.
  • Evidence a make-it-happen spirit and collaborative team style.
  • Be able to balance demands of multiple priorities.
  • Ability to handle sensitive information with the highest degree of integrity and confidentiality.
  • Be an innovative thinker, with a track record for translating strategic thinking into action plans and output.
  • Demonstrate a courteous and professional demeanor to all levels of employees and stakeholders.

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.

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