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First Ladies Association for Research and Education (FLARE) Announces AnitaMcBride as the 2022 Lewis L. Gould Award Recipient

First Ladies Association for Research and Education (FLARE) Announces AnitaMcBride as the 2022 Lewis L. Gould Award Recipient

August 22, 2022

Washington, D.C. – Anita B. McBride, former Chief of Staff for First Lady Laura Bush and currently Executive in Residence and Director of the First Ladies Initiative at American University’s School of Public Affairs, today received the 2022 Lewis L. Gould Award. The annual award, presented by FLARE, recognizes distinguished contributions to the field of First Lady research and education, and a commitment to excellence while furthering the study of American First Ladies. 

Ms. McBride served in three presidential administrations over a period of two decades with a front row seat to history. She is a nationally respected authority on the impact of First Ladies and their legacies. As Director of the First Ladies Initiative at American University, she has led the planning and execution of national conferences on First Ladies, and is a frequent speaker, panelist, moderator, print source contributor and news commentator on First Ladies and White House history. She is also one of the founders of FLARE and recently co-authored the first college textbook on teaching a course on First Ladies and their legacies to be released in fall 2022.

In responding to this honor, Ms. McBride said, “In accepting this award, I would like to acknowledge the nation’s First Ladies, from Martha to Jill, for their service as women leaders in our country and for the contributions they have made to our national story.”

The Lewis L. Gould award is inscribed "For Anita McBride's exceptional and innovative efforts in promoting research and education that build upon Dr. Gould' s pioneering work in the study and understanding of American First Ladies."

The award presentation can be viewed at:


Dr. Myra Gutin, President of FLARE and a First Ladies scholar: “First Ladies today are more visible because of Anita McBride’s effort. I cannot think of a more worthy person to give this award to.”

Dr. Vicky Wilkins, Dean of American University’s School of Public Affairs: “It is no surprise to me that Anita is being recognized for her commitment to excellence around the study of First Ladies. Our students learn so much from her every day about public service and we are so grateful for her being part of the SPA and American University community.”

Stewart McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association: "On behalf of the White House Historical Association, our heartfelt congratulations to Anita McBride. She is an incredible public servant, an expert and academic leader not only in the field of American First Ladies, but on the White House and United States presidencies. I thank her for all she does for the White House Historical Association, her leadership, her example to others, her friendship to so many, and to me personally, for being such an inspiration."

Dr. Katherine A.S. Sibley, First Ladies scholar and professor of history and director of American Studies at St. Joseph’s University: “Anita’s pioneering scholarship and her undaunting promotion of the work of others and the study of First Ladies stand unparalleled. In her noteworthy career, she has both created and encouraged the development of new scholarship and fostered the public’s broader appreciation of the significance of First Ladies.”

Nancy Kegan Smith, FLARE Vice President and First Ladies scholar: “In her public outreach activities, her appearances at both academic and popular programs, or her interactions with former and current First Lady and their staffs, Anita McBride is a worthy advocate of the importance of First Ladies and their lasting legacies.”

About FLARE: The mission of FLARE is to create and sustain a network to promote and publicize research and education about the contribution, lives, impact, and lasting legacy of U.S. First Ladies. FLARE celebrated its one-year anniversary in June 2022. Learn more at, Twitter @FirstLadiesARE, Facebook and YouTube.

Media Contacts:

Myra Gutin 

Nancy Kegan Smith

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