Jeb Bush, the 43rd governor of Florida and the only Republican ever to be re-elected to that post, will give his views on the current state of key political initiatives at Tuesday’s General Session.
While in office, Bush championed major reforms in several controversial government programs. In education, he favored private-school vouchers and proposed requiring all third graders to pass a reading test before moving on to fourth grade. Addressing environmental concerns, he accelerated restoration of America’s Everglades, the largest project of its kind in the world, thereby saving the habitat of 60 threatened and endangered species and providing a long-term supply of drinking water for 8 million South Florida residents.
While his name has been mentioned as a potential candidate for U.S. president, Bush scoffs at the idea of running for the office that both his father and brother held. “I’m not running for anything,” he said in a recent interview with The New York Times. Instead, Bush has worked to gain bipartisan support for what he calls “the Florida formula” for education. For example, he and President Obama jointly appeared this spring at a Miami school, and he has teamed with Bob Wise, a former Democratic governor of West Virginia, to promote online education.
Bush has been involved in new education bills and laws in nine states from Indiana to Utah based on his Florida policies. He has elicited the support of 10 state school superintendants for his national foundation, Chiefs for Change. He also organized a summit in Washington, D.C., under the auspices of another of his initiatives, the Foundation for Excellence in Education, which has been supported by Bill Gates and other educational philanthropists as well as for-profit education technology companies.
As president of Jeb Bush and Associates, Bush serves on the boards of CNL Bancshares and Tenet Healthcare Corporation. He has appeared on television as a guest on Fox and Friends, the American Experience, and Larry King Live.
His most recent book, The Seamless City: A Conservative Mayor’s Approach to Urban Revitalization That Can Work Anywhere, was published in April 2011.
Bush graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Latin American studies. He and his wife Columba live in Miami and have three adult children.
Tuesday’s General Session will also feature the traditional parade of attendees who have achieved the Certified Protection Professional, Physical Security Professional, and the Professional Certified Investigator designations in the past year. Awards will also be presented by Christina Duffey, CPP, president of the Professional Certification Board.