Senior Strategic Partner
Since 2016, Ken Hersh has served as president and chief executive officer of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, a nonpartisan institution housing the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the George W. Bush Institute. The Bush Center’s mission is to promote policy solutions and public engagement that ensure opportunity for all, strengthen democracy, and advance free societies.
He is the Co-Founder and former CEO of NGP Energy Capital Management, one of the largest natural resources private equity investment firms, managing over $20 billion of cumulative committed capital since inception in 1988. NGP is recognized as the pioneer of energy private equity, developing a business plan to invest in the energy field that, today, has been replicated by dozens of firms worldwide. Until 2016, Mr. Hersh 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. From 2012 until 2023, he served as a Senior Advisor to the Carlyle Group’s natural resources division. In 2023, the Oil and Gas Investor magazine inducted Ken into its Hart Energy Hall of Fame as one of the top 50 “pioneering men and women who have shaped energy over the last half century.”
Mr. Hersh also manages his family investment office, investing in sectors across the economy. He sits on the boards of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club and numerous private companies in which he invests. In addition, he serves on the Hoover Institution’s Board of Overseers, and is a member of both the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Council of the American Enterprise Institute. Mr. Hersh served on the Advisory Council of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business from 2009 through 2015. In 2023, he became the inaugural Distinguished Executive in Residence at SMU’s Cox School of Business.
Mr. Hersh is a frequent writer and speaker on topics ranging from economics and geopolitics to the energy industry and financial markets. In 2023, he released his book, The Fastest Tortoise: Winning in Industries I Knew Nothing About, which chronicles his life’s lessons evolving from his many business and personal experiences.
In 2023, he received the Ernest C. Arbuckle Award, the highest honor presented annually by Stanford’s Graduate School of Business to recognize excellence in the field of management leadership. Among other lifetime achievement recognitions, he has 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, and the Oil & Gas Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2014, he was recognized as Master Entrepreneur of The Year for the Southwest Region by Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of The Year program.
Mr. Hersh is also very involved in the nonprofit arena both nationally and locally through the efforts of the Hersh Foundation. He sits on the boards of the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation, the Dallas Citizens Council, the Southwestern Medical Foundation, and the Baylor Scott & White Dallas Foundation, and serves on the Advisory Council of The Asian American Foundation. From 1998 through 2015, Mr. Hersh served on the board of St. Mark’s School of Texas, holding numerous positions including President from 2010 through 2012.
In 2023, Mr. Hersh was recognized with the H. Neil Mallon Award presented by the World Affairs Council to recognize his contribution to the region’s global presence. In 2019, he received the Henry Cohn Humanitarian Award, presented by the Texoma region of the Anti-Defamation League for advancing the cause of human rights, dignity, and equal opportunity. In 2015, he received the St. Mark’s School of Texas Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Mr. Hersh 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, Mr. Hersh earned his M.B.A. from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business where he graduated as an Arjay Miller Scholar.