Serving as mistress of ceremonies for this year’s 50 Men of Excellence awards reception will be Esther Bush, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh. Under her leadership the Pittsburgh Branch has become one of the most accomplished affiliates in the country.

Throughout her more than 30 years of service with the Urban League Bush has mirrored this year’s list of men by blazing trails of her own. She was the first female to serve in each of her last four leadership positions with the organization.


Bush began her career with the Urban League in 1980 as the assistant director of the Labor Education Advancement Program for the National Urban League in New York City. While there she went on to serve as the director of both the Staten Island Branch and the Manhattan Branch.

As a Pittsburgh native, Bush is a graduate of Westinghouse High School. She went on to receive her bachelor’s degree in education from Morgan State University and master’s degree in guidance and counseling from The Johns Hopkins University.

Before returning to Pittsburgh in 1994 to lead the local Urban League branch, she served as President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Hartford. Throughout her time with the organization she has also served on the executive committee of the National Urban League Association of Executives and is Chairman of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh Charter School Board of Trustees.

Bush is also a noted motivational speaker and frequently serves on panels discussing social issues. She is also an adjunct faculty member in the School of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh.

Currently, Bush is a member of the International Women’s Forum, Western Pennsylvania Chapter and on the International Women’s Forum Board of Directors, and the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Judicial Evaluation Committee, among others. She also serves on the boards of several organization including the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Duquesne University.

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