JEB BUSH was born in Midland, Texas. After arriving in Florida, he helped start a real estate development company that today is one of the largest, full-service commercial real estate companies in South Florida. In 1987-1988, he served as Florida's secretary of commerce and promoted Florida's business climate worldwide. Following an unsuccessful bid in 1994 for the governor's office, Bush founded the Foundation for Florida's Future, a not-for-profit organization to influence public policy at the grassroots level. As chairman of the foundation, he cofounded the state's first charter school - Liberty City Charter School - with the Urban League of Greater Miami.
He was elected Florida's forty-third governor in 1998 and reelected in 2002, becoming the first Republican to be reelected governor in the state's history. While in office, his top priority was to create a world-class educational system through high standards and increased accountability. To achieve this goal, he provided a record four-year increase of $2.9 billion (26 percent) in K-12 funding. He believed passionately that all children should learn a year's worth of knowledge in a year's worth of time. Bush also boosted the state's reserve funds while reducing the state's tax burden to its lowest level in a decade. He focused the state's resources toward protecting the state's natural environment with an historic $2-billion commitment to saving Florida's Everglades. He has increased health insurance coverage for needy children and provided unprecedented levels of funding and services to the elderly and the developmentally disabled.
Mr. Bush served as Governor of the State of Florida from January 1999 until January 2007.
Prior to his election as Governor, Mr. Bush worked as a real estate executive and pursued other entrepreneurial ventures in Florida from 1981 to 1998, and served as Secretary of Commerce for the State of Florida from 1987 to 1988.
Prior to 1981, Mr. Bush served in various positions at Texas Commerce Bank in Houston, Texas and in Caracas, Venezuela. Mr. Bush also served as Chairman of the Dade County, Florida Republican Party. He also formed and serves as chairman of The Foundation For Florida’s Future, a not-for-profit public policy organization, and the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a not-for-profit charitable organization.
Mr. Bush currently serves on the board of directors of one other public company, CNL Bancshares Inc.
Mr. Bush holds a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin.