Aspen Institute / Aspen Strategy Group

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The Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies (AIHS) describes itself as an "international non-profit organization dedicated to informed dialogue and inquiry on issues of global concern."

Founded in 1950 by Walter Paepeke, chair of the Container Corporation, AIHS seeks to bring together leading citizens from private and public sectors of the U. S. and abroad to consider interrelated issues of the human mind and spirit in contemporary society. The group believes that immersion in the Humanist tradition can make participants in its program better decision makers. It Institute holds seminars primarily for business executives "for reflection, rediscovery of personal values, and examination of contemporary issues in the company of some of the best minds in the world" and gives cross-cultural training "to go beyond immediate business issues to the underlying questions faced in all cultures."

The Aspen Institute owns the 1100-acre Wye River Conference Center in Maryland, a park-like retreat that has served as host to a number of historically significant events, including Middle East peace negotiations. It also served as a temporary home to 5-year-old Elián Gonzalez in 2000 during the political controversy in the United States during the custody battle between his Cuban father and his Miami relatives. This in turn made AIHS a target for right-wing conspiracy theorists, who labeled it a "training center for a global army of psycho-social change agents."[1]

Aspen Strategy Group

AIHS also sponsors the Aspen Strategy Group, a policy program concentrating on strategic relations and arms control issues. The Aspen Strategy Group is currently co-chaired by Joseph Samuel Nye, Jr. and Brent Scowcroft.

Aspen Strategy Group Members


Henry Crown Fellowship Program

The Henry Crown Fellowship Program was established in 1997. It "seeks to develop our next generation of community-spirited leaders, providing them with the tools necessary to meet the challenges of corporate and civic leadership in the 21st century ... A unique mix of intellectual and personal development seminars designed to broaden the perspectives of the participants and hone their skills in values-based leadership. It honors the memory of Chicago industrialist Henry Crown (1896-1990), whose legendary career was marked by a lifelong commitment to honor, integrity, industry and philanthropy."

The two-year program commences each year with a class of 20 Crown Fellows "chosen from among young executives and professionals nominated for their potential to provide leadership at the highest levels of corporate and civic responsibility. The selected candidates are men and women between the ages of 25 and 45 who have already achieved considerable success in the private or public sector."

Board of Overseers

Aspen Health Stewardship Project

In Fall 2007, Aspen announced its "Health Stewardship Project," to "reframe and broaden the national dialogue on health care reform leading up to the 2008 presidential election and beyond." [1]

In January 2008, Aspen announced that former New Jersey governor turned PR executive Christine Todd Whitman; U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Julie Gerberding, and GE Healthcare president and CEO Joseph Hogan would co-chair the health project. "They join Mark Ganz, president and CEO of Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield, in leading the new project to help transform health care," stated an Aspen press release. [1]

Health Stewardship Project advisory board

From an Aspen Institute press release: [1]

Board of Trustees

Nine New Members, April 2003 (See announcement)

  • L. John Doerr, general partner, Silicon Valley venture capital firm of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
  • Sylvia Earle, marine biologist; explorer-in-residence at National Geographic Society since 1998
  • Michael Eisner, established/funded the Eisner Foundation, philanthropic organization headed by his wife, Jane
  • Henry Louis Gates Jr., W.E.B. Du Bois Prof of Humanities, Harvard University; Dir, W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research
  • Bonnie Palmer McCloskey, vice president, Aspen Center for New Medicine
  • Peter Reiling, president and CEO of TechnoServe, Inc.
  • Roderick K. von Lipsey, vice president at Goldman, Sachs & Co., Private Wealth Management, Investment Management Division
  • Vin Weber, partner with Clark & Weinstock, management consulting firm
  • Mortimer Zuckerman, chairman/editor-in-chief, US News & World Report; publisher, New York Daily News
  • William H. Donaldson, resigned January 2003; nominated chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Henrietta Holsman Fore, "leave of absence"; Chairman & CEO, Holsman International; Director, U.S. Mint
  • Philip Merrill, "leave of absence"; Chairman, Capital-Gazette Communications; appointed head of U.S. Export-Import Bank

Honorary Trustees: See web site for list.
Trustees Emeritus: See web site for list.

Contact information

The Aspen Institute
One Dupont Circle, NW
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036-1133
Phone: 202.736.5800
Fax: 202.467.0790

SourceWatch resources

External links