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Jeb Bush to lead National Constitution Center

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will follow in his father's footsteps as head of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

The younger Bush will become the next chairman of the Philadelphia museum, a job former President George H.W. Bush held from 2007-2008, the center announced Thursday.

Another former president, Bill Clinton, has held the position the last four years.

Jeb Bush, 59, served as a Republican governor of Florida from 1999-2007. In a statement, he said he hopes to fill "a critical void in our country" as he carries out the center's mission of improving civic education and engagement.

"The National Constitution Center's mission to improve civic education and engagement and inspire active citizenship is filling a critical void in our country," Bush said. "I will do my best to advance the Center's mission and continue the vision set forth by President Clinton's leadership these last three years."

In 2006, both Clinton and the elder Bush received the institution's Liberty Medal, an annual award given to those whose actions represent the founding principles of the United States. They were honored for their efforts helping victims of Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami in southeast Asia.

Prior to becoming governor, Jeb Bush worked in banking in Texas and Venezuela. He is also the state's former commerce secretary.

"The center's board represents a broad spectrum of political views, and Gov. Bush's unanimous election reflects his appeal across party lines," said former Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell, the board's vice chairman.

The center explores constitutional ideals through its museum exhibits, which include rare artifacts, a theater, and Signers' Hall, which holds 42 life-size, bronze statues of the Founding Fathers. The Constitution Center also hosts public lectures and debates, and houses the Annenberg Center for Education and Outreach.

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