President and CEO George W. Bush Presidential Center

My Day

Two years ago, Ken Hersh became the head of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. A co-founder, advisory partner, and chairman of NGP Energy Capital Management and senior advisor to The Carlyle Group’s natural resources division, Hersh spends his days bouncing in and out of meetings at his different offices around town. But he also makes time for hands-on nonprofit work, like stuffing backpacks for military families.

6:00 am

Wakes up and hits the treadmill for a 60-minute workout.

7:45 am

Dials in to his quarterly conference call with The Carlyle Group. “Personnel from all over the world discuss the latest economic and investment development trends,” he says.

8:15 am

Arrives at the Bush Center to check his email and go over his schedule for the day.

9:00am - 10:30am

Hersh heads to a meeting at the Communities Foundation of Texas, for which he has served as a board member since 2015.

11:00 am

Meets with Hannah Abney, vice president of external affairs; Ioanna Papas, manager of external affairs; and Andrew Kaufmann, deputy director of external affairs. They brief Hersh on their upcoming podcast, “The Strategerist,” which gives newsmakers and experts a platform to share perspectives on current events.

11:30 am

Meets with Pat Mordente, director of the national archives and records administration, to discuss the opening of center’s holiday exhibit, “Deck the Halls: Welcome All” on November 15.

1:00 pm

Meets with Kelley Jiou, campaign planning and development manager, for an update on the 2019 Forum on Leadership, an annual event at the Bush Center. Before the meeting, he runs down to the Courtyard Café. “Look, I’m one minute early,” he says, with a big smile on his face and a plate of chicken salad in his hand.

2:00 pm

Takes a break from back-to-back meetings to hop on a conference call with the George W. Bush Foundation board’s operations committee.

3:15 pm

Hersh prepares a backpack for military families with Disney and Blue Star Families.
Alice Zhang

Stops by the first floor of the Bush Center, where Blue Star Families and Disney representatives are stuffing backpacks for military families. Joining other Bush Center staff members, Hersh takes time out of his day to help out—and shake hands with Mickey Mouse.

4:15 pm

Hersh holds office hours once a week so that staff members are able to meet with him without first making an appointment.
Alice Zhang

It’s office hours, a period built into Hersh’s schedule so anyone can talk with the CEO. Hersh also takes time to prepare his staff for a meeting with former President Bush later in the week.

7:05 pm

Hersh often attends a baseball game, as he’s a part-owner of the Texas Rangers. But tonight he and his wife take the night off. “Given my wife Julie’s theater and mental health advocacy, plus my other nonprofit and think-tank activities—combined with Hersh Foundation events—we’re usually busy three to five nights a week,” he says. “When we get the chance to do something fun, like a Rangers game, we take the opportunity. But tonight we will take a break.”

Related Content


Our D CEO Weekly newsletter helps you stay up to speed with breaking news, interviews with industry leaders, and market insights from the editors of D CEO.