Former President George W. Bush to Headline 2012 Leadership Forum

COLUMBUS, Ga. – As Columbus State University’s sixth annual Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum closed Aug. 30, officials announced that former President George W. Bush will headline next year’s event, continuing a forum tradition of bringing nationally known speakers to Columbus.

The full lineup for the 2012 forum on Aug. 27-28 includes:

  • George W. Bush, 43rd president of the United States
  • Dan Amos, chairman and chief executive officer of Aflac Inc.
  • James Carville and Mary Matalin, a husband-and-wife team widely recognized as the nation’s best-known political consultants and commentators
  • Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense for two presidents (George W. Bush and Barack Obama)
  • Teresa Tomlinson, mayor of Columbus

“Obviously we are excited to have another stellar lineup of speakers for 2012,” said Ed Helton, director of CSU’s Cunningham Center for Leadership Development. “From world influencers to locally grown leaders, next year’s forum will have something to offer everyone. Mr. Bush will be the first former president we have had here, and it will certainly be entertaining to host James Carville and Mary Matalin at an event that falls just a couple months before a national election.”

Registration for the Aug. 27-28, 2012 forum will soon be possible at or

The Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum is an annual event of Columbus State University's Cunningham Center for Leadership Development, which strives to develop and empower generations of leaders with the integrity and skills to respond effectively to the evolving challenges they will face.

The forum’s namesake, Jim Blanchard, is the retired chairman and CEO of Synovus Financial Corp., a financial services company that’s a partner with CSU in staging the forum.