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Former President George H.W. Bush First to Receive Spy Museum Honor

Award Celebrates Integrity, Extraordinary Contributions of Individuals in Intelligence Community (IC)

This month, the International Spy Museum presented the first ever William H. Webster Distinguished Service Award to former President George H.W. Bush, 41st president of the United States of America and former Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), for his service, leadership, and integrity.

“It’s such an honor to be the first recipient of this award because of my great respect first for a great man, Bill Webster. He is a true patriot who has made this country we love safer and better for all of us; and second, because of my great respect for the men and women of the Intelligence Community who put their lives on the line every single day so we can live safe and free,” shared President George H.W. Bush. “By accepting this award, I hope I honor all of them.”

President H.W. Bush accepted the award in Kennebunkport, Maine alongside former first lady Barbara Bush. The honor was presented in advance of the first annual William H. Webster Distinguished Service Award Dinner, which will take place at The Ritz-Carlton in Washington, DC on November 29, 2017. The dinner theme will be “Real Spies. Real Stories.”  

“I can think of no other person who should be the first recipient of this award. President George H.W. Bush is beloved for his leadership in the CIA and broader Intelligence Community; as president he was an avid consumer of intelligence. Thousands of men and women, largely unknown, share President Bush’s high standard of integrity and honor as they are faced daily with difficult and often life-threatening tasks. By accepting this award, every awardee going forward will know that they are following in the footsteps of one of the greatest international leaders of our time,” said Judge Webster. “And I might add, on a personal note, following the leadership of the most decent and honorable human being in public life that I have ever known.”

“President H.W. Bush’s legacy in the intelligence world is one of integrity and authority.  He was a pioneering, instrumental force in restoring confidence in the community and prioritizing education about the role and significance of intelligence,” said Peter Earnest, founding executive director of the International Spy Museum. “President Bush embodies this award and inspires us at the Spy Museum to continue to build and grow public understanding of the role intelligence plays every day.”

Chosen by a committee of highly regarded former intelligence leaders, honorees demonstrate extraordinary contributions to the IC at the national or international level. They embody the values of Judge William H. Webster, the only person to serve as both DCI and director of the FBI, including honor, integrity, probity, and fidelity to the law.  


Pictured: (clockwise) Lynda Webster, SPY’s President and COO Tamara Christian, the Honorable William H. Webster, SPY’s Founding Executive Director Peter Earnest, SPY’s VP of Development and Membership Rebecca Diamond, and former First Lady Barbara Bush. Photo Credit: Evan F. Sisley.

Join us on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 for the Honorable William H. Webster Distinguished Service Award Dinner. 

Early bird tickets are now available.

For more information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Vice President of Development & Membership Rebecca Diamond at 202.654.0954 or


The International Spy Museum (SPY), a 501(c)(3) private non profit, operates completely independent of tax money or government funding. We greatly appreciate the support of individuals, corporations, and foundations to help fund our research, exhibits, and educational programming.