The George W. Bush Presidential Center will add a rock star to the list of notable names its attracted since opening almost five-years ago.
The center announced Friday that President Bush will award U2 frontman Bono the first George W. Bush Medal of Distinguished Leadership for his humanitarian work in Africa.
“Bono’s passion for ending poverty and disease is the real deal. He uses his celebrity not for personal gain, but to improve and save lives,” Bush said in a written statement. “I am thankful for his big heart and for his leadership, and I am proud that he will be the first recipient of the Medal for Distinguished Leadership.”
The presentation will be made in April at the center’s inaugural Forum on Leadership.
The Irish-born singer is known for his philanthropic work almost as much as for his prolific music career. His efforts have been focused primarily on the eradication of poverty and preventable diseases in Africa.
“He’s someone who hasn’t taken his celebrity for granted. He is way more than a rock star. He has taken on the continent of Africa on his shoulders,” said Kenneth Hersh, president and CEO of the center.
The award is part of the multi-day forum that the former president and Laura Bush hold annually to recognize exemplary leadership and engage experts in panel discussions on global issues.
“We’ll investigate how we promote leadership while navigating geopolitical challenges like governing in a complex world, education, economic growth, veterans’ transition, and the coming challenges of technological disruptions,” Hersh said.
The first forum will take place April 18 to 20 and will feature former Speaker of the House John Boehner, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke and former Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson.
Bono will also be present at the forum to receive the medal, the center confirmed.
While the event will be invite-only, there will be some parts available to the public.