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Grant Miller for the White House Historical Association

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Mar 31, 2022 Washington, D.C.

The White House Association released a new episode of the 1600 Sessions podcast today, “The Next Generation: What the White House Means to Me,” to announce its inaugural program, Next-Gen, a group of more than fifty influential young professionals from a wide variety of fields, bound together by a passion for history, civics, and education.

Watch the episode here.

The Next-Gen Leaders include presidential descendants, members of Forbes’ 30 Under 30, CEOs, military officers, a White House correspondent, a former Miss America, and several other individuals held in high esteem in their respective fields. Members will take part in a year-long cohort and attend Association events, in-person and virtual programming, and quarterly meetings.

“The Next-Gen Leaders initiative is for those who understand the importance of exploring the history of the White House and want to learn more, so that they may inspire their peers to do the same,” said Stewart D. McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association. “We are excited to welcome such a diverse and inspirational group of young professionals as our inaugural Next-Gen Leaders.”

In this podcast episode, White House Historical Association President and podcast host Stewart McLaurin speaks with eight of the Association’s new Next-Gen Leaders at the Association’s recent Presidential Sites Summit in Dallas, Texas, which was a gathering of presidential sites including birthplaces, childhood homes, museums, and libraries.

Podcast guests include: Emily Bedard, Creative Director at Foster Reeve Architectural & Ornamental Plaster; Genevieve Bellaire, Founder and CEO of Realworld; Royce Dickerson, MBA Candidate at the Manderson Graduate School of Business at the University of Alabama; Giacomo Ferragamo, Intern at the White House Historical Association and History Major at Georgetown University; Lindsay Moynihan, History and Women's Studies Double Major at the University of Maryland, College Park and Intern with National History Day; Dean Vu, Business Administration Student with a Finance Concentration at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth; Sean Sandrock, Undergraduate Student at Eureka College and volunteer at the Ronald Reagan birthplace; and Tyler Burkhardt, Undergraduate Student at the University of Texas at Dallas.

The Next-Gen Leaders were asked about their interests in the Next-Gen Leaders initiative, as well as their impressions of the historic White House.

“You don't have to be historian to be a lover of history,” said Dickerson. “And it's finding ways to have that exposure, but then also to make things and events that happen at the White House relevant to any ordinary American or non-American, knowing that the things that happened there are applicable to anyone and everyone.”

The Next-Gen Leaders also spoke about their personal connections to the Executive Mansion. Ferragamo said, “[My grandmother] had this picture of her meeting Laura Bush in her office back in Italy. And she spoke about it with such pride, and it was really an honor for her to have come to America and been to the White House and met the First Lady and the President. And so very early on, I understood the importance of the house and the individuals that live there.”

The inaugural Next-Gen Leaders cohort has four co-chairs who serve in an honorary capacity, providing amplification for the Association’s mission and the Next-Gen Leaders program. The co-chairs include:

  • Genevieve Bellaire – Serving as National Co-Chair representing Business and Technology, is the founder and CEO of Realworld, a platform to navigate adulthood, including personal finance, healthcare, and insurance.
  • Kaitlan Collins – Serving as National Co-Chair representing Journalism, Collins is CNN’s Chief White House Correspondent based in Washington, D.C.
  • Royce Dickerson – Serving as National Co-Chair representing Current Students, Dickerson is an MBA candidate at the Manderson Graduate School of Business at the University of Alabama.
  • Nia Franklin – Serving as National Co-Chair representing the Arts, Franklin is a composer, actress, singer, and founder of Compose Her, an initiative that seeks to empower women in music, as well as Miss America 2019.

Next-Gen Leaders have already taken part in many Association programs and participating events including the Official White House Christmas Ornament unveil at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum and the Ulysses S. Grant Annual Meeting and Bicentennial Celebration at the University of Michigan as an integral part of the Association’s presence.

Next-Gen Leaders were chosen either by recommendation or by research, vetted according to demonstrated dedication to education, history, and civics, accomplishments within their field, social media presence, and embracing the Association's nonpartisan mission.

The 1600 Sessions is available on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, and Stitcher.

To watch or listen to the full episode, visit The1600sessions.org.

For more information, please contact press@whha.org.

Click here to learn about the current Next-Gen group.

About The 1600 Sessions

In this podcast series, White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin interviews luminaries, historians, and eyewitnesses to history about America’s most famous residence and office—the White House. Each episode includes a prominent guest or guests to discuss varying facets of White House history, including insights from former staff and many other topical issues.

P.D.F. Resources

Download the PDF

About the White House Historical Association

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy envisioned a restored White House that conveyed a sense of history through its decorative and fine arts. She sought to inspire Americans, especially children, to explore and engage with American history and its presidents. In 1961, the nonprofit, nonpartisan White House Historical Association was established to support her vision to preserve and share the Executive Mansion’s legacy for generations to come. Supported entirely by private resources, the Association’s mission is to assist in the preservation of the state and public rooms, fund acquisitions for the White House permanent collection, and educate the public on the history of the White House. Since its founding, the Association has given more than $50 million to the White House in fulfillment of its mission.

To learn more about the White House Historical Association, please visit WhiteHouseHistory.org.

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