Stanford GSB honored Kenneth A. Hersh, MBA ’89, President and Chief Executive Officer of the George W. Bush Presidential Center & Co-founder and former CEO, of NGP Energy Capital Management, with the 2023 Ernest C. Arbuckle Award. A program to honor Ken Hersh took place on March 16, 2023.
2023 Arbuckle Award Honoree
Kenneth A. Hersh, 59, is president and chief executive officer of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, a Dallas-based non-partisan institution which houses the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the George W. Bush Institute. Ken focuses on executing the Bush Center’s mission to promote policy solutions and public engagement that ensures opportunity for all, strengthens democracy, and advances free societies. In this capacity, he is a frequent writer and speaker on topics ranging from economics and geopolitics to the energy industry and financial markets.
He is the co-founder and former CEO of NGP Energy Capital Management, a premier private equity investment franchise in the natural resources industry, managing over $20 billion of cumulative committed capital since inception in 1988. Until 2016, Ken served as NGP’s chief executive officer. From 1988 until 2016, under his leadership, NGP invested over $12 billion and earned a 27-year annualized rate of return of 30%, making it one of the nation’s leading private equity firms during that period.
Ken also manages his family investment office and serves as senior advisor to The Carlyle Group’s natural resources division. He sits on the boards of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club and numerous private companies in which he invests. In addition, Ken serves on the Board of Overseers of the Hoover Institution and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Council of the American Enterprise Institute, and the Dean’s Council of the Harvard Kennedy School. Ken served on the Advisory Council of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business from 2009 through 2015.
In 2023, his book, The Fastest Tortoise: Winning in Industries I Knew Nothing About, will be released, which chronicles his life’s lessons which evolved from his many business and personal experiences.
In 2020, Ken received the L. Frank Pitts Energy Leadership Award presented by the SMU Cox School of Business for demonstrating outstanding leadership and innovation in the field of energy. In 2017, he received the Oil & Gas Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2014, he was recognized as Master Entrepreneur of the Year for the Southwest Region by Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year program.
Ken is also very involved in the nonprofit arena, both nationally and locally, on a personal basis and through the efforts of the Hersh Foundation. He sits on the boards of the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation, the Dallas Citizens Council, and the Baylor Scott & White Dallas Foundation and serves on the Advisory Council of The Asian American Foundation. From 1998 through 2015, Ken served on the board of St. Mark’s School of Texas, where he held numerous positions, including president from 2010 through 2012.
In 2019, Ken received the Henry Cohn Humanitarian Award, presented by the Texoma region of the Anti-Defamation League, for his work in advancing the cause of human rights, dignity, and equal opportunity. In 2015, he received the St. Mark’s School of Texas Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Ken was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. After graduating from St. Mark’s, he attended Princeton University, where he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Politics in 1985. In 1989, Ken earned his MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where he graduated as an Arjay Miller Scholar.
About the Ernest C. Arbuckle Award
Presented annually by Stanford Graduate School of Business, the Ernest C. Arbuckle Award recognizes excellence in the field of management leadership.
The award was created in 1968 in honor of the late Stanford GSB dean whose name it bears. Recipients demonstrate a commitment to both managerial excellence and to addressing the changing needs of society.