• 1949

    The Goethe Bicentennial Convocation and Music Festival were held in Aspen, Colorado. Participants included Albert Schweitzer, Ortega y Gasset, Robert M. Hutchins, Thornton Wilder, Stephen Spender, and Artur Rubinstein. Concerts and lectures took place in a new amphitheater tent designed by architect Eero Saarinen. The Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies was founded by Chicago industrialist Walter Paepcke, chairman of the Container Corporation of America, who served as its first president. An eleven-week summer program of concerts, lectures, and Great Books seminars was held in Aspen’s Wheeler Opera House and Hotel Jerome. Participants included Reinhold Niebuhr, Clare Booth Luce, Mortimer Adler, Karl Menninger, and Isaac Stern.


    The Aspen Conference on Design, later known as the International Design Conference in Aspen (IDCA), met for the first time. The Aspen Summer Music Festival was formed, and came to feature musical giants such as Igor Stravinsky and the Juilliard Quartet. Inspired by the ideas of photographer Ferenc Berko, the Institute launched its program of “Screen Classics.” Today, the independent Aspen Filmfest carries on the tradition of celebrating the art of film.


    Mortimer Adler moderated the first Aspen Executive Seminar on the theme, “Our American Heritage.” The Institute sponsored a conference on photography, bringing together Ansel Adams, Minor White, Dorothea Lange, Eliot Porter, Laura Gilpin, Berenice Abbott, Beaumont Newhall, and others. The conference led to the creation of the distinguished photography magazine, Aperture.


    “Human Freedom” was the theme of the second Executive Seminar.


    Construction was completed on the executive seminar building, designed by Bauhaus artist Herbert Bayer and architect Fritz Benedict.


    The Aspen Summer Music Festival and the Aspen Music School formed an independent organization that came to be known as the Music Associates of Aspen.


    Walter Paepcke conceived and oversaw the completion of an Aspen health center based on the principle of “a sound mind in a sound body”. In later years, a generous gift from lifetime trustee James C. Calaway allowed for renovation of the facilities. US Supreme Court Justices Hugo Black and John Marshall Harlan, and physicist Enrico Fermi, attended Institute events. The summer program featured lectures on peace in the atomic age, international trade unions, and world security. Among the speakers were journalist Norman Cousins and economist F.A. Hayek.


    Mortimer Adler led a series of lectures on “Great Ideas” and spoke on beauty and truth. Other lectures focused on architecture, labor, international law, sovereignty, God, and physics.


    Robert O. Anderson became president of the Aspen Institute. The position of chairman was created and filled by Walter Paepcke. The winter Executive Seminar series was inaugurated.


    The Institute expanded its programs in order “to make its distinctive offerings available to an increasing number of participants from many occupations and professions, meeting to discuss the timeless and ever timely issues of life in an atmosphere attracting the best cultural and moral forces of our country.”


    Adlai Stevenson visited the Institute, saying, “We have had enough of conformity, adjustments, easy options, and the least common denominator in our social system.” He praised Sputnik as a “blessed, brazen little angel, which has at last disturbed our slothful slumber.”


    Walter Paepcke died, leaving the position of chairman vacant until 1963.


    A seminar on “The Public Understanding of the Role of Science in Society” inaugurated a four-year series funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) on how to balance the scientific revolution with other activities vital to American society. The discussions helped prepare the ground for the creation of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Arts (NEA) as a matching piece to the NSF. The Aspen Center for Theoretical Physics was founded.


    An interdisciplinary conference washeld on the effect of global climate changes over the centuries. The conclusions reached are still used in discussions of global warming. A series of summer institutes on field biology and ecology was begun for secondary school teachers.


    Alvin C. Eurich became president of the Aspen Institute, and Robert O. Anderson was elected chairman of the Board of Trustees. Historian Arnold Toynbee gave the keynote address for the dedication of the Walter Paepcke Memorial Auditorium. The Institute established the Robert O. Anderson Aspen Award in the Humanities, a $30,000 annual prize to one person “who has made a major and distinctive contribution in interpreting or strengthening man’s sense of his own nature, purpose, and destiny.” The Aspen Film Conference was inaugurated with a keynote address by literary critic Lionel Trilling, and a lecture by actor/director John Houseman. The first of a three-year series of conferences on economic education was held.


    English composer Benjamin Britten received the first Aspen Award in the Humanities. The Aspen Society of Fellows was created for individuals “engaged in strengthening the humanities to give greater meaning to man and wiser direction to society.” R. Buckminster Fuller and Thurgood Marshall were among the participants at a conference on “Technological Change and Social Responsibility.”


    The first Executive Seminar on Far Eastern Thought was held to introduce business executives and government officials to the values of non-Western cultures. The Artist-in-Residence program was organized, along with summer art exhibitions that later featured paintings and drawings by de Kooning, prints by Chagall, Zen calligraphy, and Pop art. A program on “Man in 1980” included special conferences on population, higher education, and moral and ethical values.


    Art exhibitions at the Institute included works by Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, and Andy Warhol. The Scholar-in-Residence program began. The first seminar on Japanese thought and culture was conducted in Hakone, Japan.


    William F. Stevenson became president of the Aspen Institute.


    American writer Edmund Wilson was the final recipient of the Aspen Award in the Humanities.


    Joseph E. Slater became president of the Aspen Institute and proposed new programmatic directions with a series of “thought leading to action” programs in communication and society, the environment, education in a changing society, justice and society, and international affairs. Robert M. Hutchins spoke at the Institute’s twentieth anniversary celebration and received the Aspen Founders Award .


    An international conference on “Technology: Social Goals and Cultural Options” launched the Program on Energy, Environment, and the Economy that prepared the way for the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm. French economist Jean Monnet was the first recipient of the Aspen Statesman- Humanist Award. The first conference for broadcasters was held on “The Future of Commercial Entertainment Television.” 1971 A study was initiated on public broadcasting that helped to shape the course of its economic and political development. Artists-in-Residence included novelist Saul Bellow and photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. The Seminar on Asian Thought was reintroduced. The program on Communications and Society was created. A workshop was held on “The International Management of Environmental Problems.” 1972 A series was launched on “The Environment, Energy, and Institutional Structures.” “The Intellectual and Power: His Role and Responsibility” was the subject of a major international seminar. A conference was organized in response to the Surgeon General’s report on television violence and the social behavior of children .


    A summer workshop on population growth contributed to preparation for the UN World Population Conference in Bucharest and the UN World Food Conference in Rome. Briefings were organized for members of the US Senate and House of Representatives on changes in the biomedical sciences and their implications for future legislation .


    The Aspen Institute celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary. Aspen Institute Berlin was established. The Program on Education in a Changing Society was created. A program was launched on science, technology, and humanism to pursue projects on humanistic uses of scientific knowledge. A program was begun on international affairs, including projects on international management of conflict, global technologies, money, commerce, and development. A summer workshop conference was held on “Television as a Social and Cultural Force.” 1975 A summer workshop was offered on “Women and Men: Changing Roles, Relationships, and Perceptions.” A petition to the FCC by the Aspen Institute led to a ruling permitting presidential debates of top candidates to be televised. The “Aspen Idea,” by Sidney Hyman, was published in honor of the Institute’s twenty-fifth anniversary .


    Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger helped create an international conference at Aspen Institute Berlin on the criminal justice system .


    The Food, Water and Climate Program was formed, which later became known as the Rural Economic Policy Program. The policy program on Justice and Society was formed. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was named a senior fellow of the Aspen Institute. Former Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare John Gardner, the founder of Common Cause, was named as special advisor to the Aspen Institute .


    Teddy Kolleck, mayor of Jerusalem, and Father Theodore Hesburgh, president of the University of Notre Dame, were among the attendees at a conference for Jews, Christians, and Muslims on “Monotheism and Moderation.” Corning Glass industrialist and philanthropist Arthur A. Houghton, Jr. donated a thousand-acre parcel on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The location now hosts the Aspen Wye River campus, with three distinct facilities near the Chesapeake Bay .


    Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun served as moderator of the first Justice and Society seminar. Future moderators included Justices John Paul Stevens and William Brennan .


    In anticipation of the bicentennial of the US Constitution, the Institute launched a series of “Wye Papers” to stimulate public dialogue on governance. The Institute produced “The Information Society,” a television program aired nationally on PBS .


    Mortimer Adler conducted a seminar on “Six Great Ideas: Truth, Goodness, Beauty, Liberty, Equality, Justice,” which was filmed for broadcast on public television by journalist Bill Moyers. The Program on the World Economy was formed .


    A report on “Global Implications of Space Activities” was released with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics .


    The first Aspen Institute Forum of the Communications and Society Program was held at the Jerusalem International Book Fair. The biennial forum convenes international literary figures to address issues concerning writing, publishing and reading. The East-West Project was initiated. Participants later included Edward Heath, Helmut Schmidt, Pierre Trudeau, Jacob Javits, George Kennan, Eliot Richardson, and Shirley Williams .


    The Aspen Strategy Group was formed, with Joseph S. Nye, Jr. as director. Aspen Institute Italia held its first meetings, focusing on European and Mediterranean issues. Dr. Lewis Thomas, Chancellor of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, received the first Aspen Institute Public Sector Award. Charles L. Brown, chairman of AT&T, received the first Aspen Institute Corporate Leadership Award .


    Institut Aspen France was formed. The Congressional Program was initiated by former US Senator Dick Clark, director. The Rural Economic Policy Program (now the Communities Strategies Group) was created to stimulate research and raise public awareness of rural economic issues .


    Colin W. Williams became president of the Aspen Institute .


    David McLaughlin was named chairman of the Board of Trustees. The Institute for Information Studies was established to examine the relationship between society and new information technologies .


    David McLaughlin was elected president of the Aspen Institute, and Thornton Bradshaw became chairman of the Board of Trustees .


    The Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies officially changed its name to the Aspen Institute. The first issue of the Aspen Institute Quarterly, an interdisciplinary journal, was published. A summer symposium convened on “The Global Commons: Policy for the Planet.” Jack Clarke became chairman of the Board of Trustees .


    President George Bush and Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of Great Britain, delivered addresses at the Institute’s fortieth anniversary celebration at the time of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. Their meetings in Aspen led to the assembly of a multinational military force. John J. Phelan, Jr. was named chairman of the Board of Trustees. After a brief tenure, Berl Bernhard replaced Mr. Phelan as chairman. Aspen Wye River campus donor Arthur A. Houghton died .


    The UN planning conference for the 1992 Rio Environmental Summit was held at the Aspen campus. The Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy Program was founded. The Economic Opportunities Program was founded by Peggy Clark. Her vision led to its first project, the Self-Employment Learning Project (SELP), which was created to study the effectiveness of micro-enterprise development. The SELP findings are still discussed by many politicians and practitioner organizations today. Berl Bernhard was elected chairman of the Board of Trustees .


    Savannah Limited Partnership transferred legal title of Aspen Meadows to the Institute. On receipt of these donated properties, the Institute gifted other adjacent Institute land to its cultural ‘neighbors,’ Associates of Aspen and the Aspen Center for Physics .


    The Communications and Society Program’s report on “Television and Elections” was cited by Russian president Boris Yeltsin in a decree requiring fair media coverage of Russia’s parliamentary elections .


    The Roundtable on Comprehensive Community Initiatives joined the Aspen Institute. David McLaughlin was elected chairman and CEO of the Board of Trustees. S. Frederick Starr was elected president and COO of the Aspen Institute. Reconstruction of the Aspen campus, a $17 million project, was completed. Elizabeth Paepcke, wife of Walter Paepcke, died .


    David McLaughlin was elected president and CEO of the Aspen Institute. The Aspen Institute celebrated its fortyfifth anniversary with a lecture series on “Civil Society and Its Discontents” and a conference on “Managing Conflict in the Post-Cold War World: The Role of Intervention.” Lady Margaret Thatcher, former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, and US Secretary of Defense William Perry delivered keynote addresses. Retired Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun presided over the Justice and Society seminar for the last time after 17 consecutive summers. The International Peace, Security and Prosperity Program was established .


    Ann McLaughlin was elected chairman of the Board of Trustees. The first Executive Seminar was offered on the Indian subcontinent. The Program on Energy, the Environment, and the Economy’s series on “The Environment in the 21st Century” led to a pilot program at the US Environmental Protection Agency on flexible regulation .


    Charles B. Knapp became president of the Aspen Institute. The Henry Crown Fellowship Program for young business and civic leaders was inaugurated. The first Bipartisan Congressional Retreat on Civility was coordinated by the Institute and attended by 200 members of the US House of Representatives. The Self-Employment Learning Project (SELP) of the Economic Opportunities Program, received a Presidential award for excellence in micro-enterprise development .


    The Initiative for Social Innovation through Business was added to the policy programs. President Bill Clinton, Palestinian Chairman Yasir Arafat, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and King Hussein of Jordan produced the Wye Accord for Peace in the Middle East at the Aspen Wye River campus. Aspen Institute Japan was formally established in Tokyo .


    Elmer W. Johnson was elected president and CEO of the Aspen Institute. South African President Nelson Mandela and former US President Jimmy Carter cochaired the International Peace, Security and Prosperity Program’s conference on alleviating world poverty at the Carter Center in Atlanta. The Global Interdependence Initiative was launched, with Princeton Lyman, a former US ambassador to South Africa and Nigeria, as executive director. The Initiative for Social Innovation through Business convened 25 CEOs and prominent leaders for its first Aspen dialogue on the “Changing Role of Corporations in Global Society.”


    Fiftieth anniversary events were held on “Technology and the Human Condition” in Silicon Valley, where President Bill Clinton spoke at the Institute’s Forum on Communications and Society, and on “Human Rights and Global Responsibility” in Washington, DC. There was a celebration of the Institute’s heritage in Chicago at the Field Museum, and a four-day symposium in Aspen examining “Globalization and the Human Condition.” Participants included: former US President Jimmy Carter; Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan; Gerald M. Levin, CEO of AOL Time Warner, Inc.; Olara A. Otunnu, UN under secretary-general for Children and Armed Conflict; Oscar Arias Sanchez, former President of Costa Rica and Nobel Laureate; and James D. Wolfensohn, president of the World Bank. William Mayer became chairman of the Board of Trustees. Executive Seminar Asia was introduced as a nonwestern counterpart to the Executive Seminar.


    The Executive Seminar expanded to include Challenges of Global Capitalism and Leadership and Character. Outgoing FCC chairman, William E. Kennard, was named senior fellow of the Communications and Society Program, and chairman of the program’s advisory board. Carol M. Browner, former administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, was named senior fellow of the Program on Energy, the Environment, and the Economy. The Great Collisions program series was established in order to engage leaders in rigorous yet civil discourse on the gamut of current critical issues. The inaugural event focused on, “The Intersection of Religion, Government and Social Needs.”


    The Great Collisions program series held its second event, a weekendlong seminar on Islam and the West, moderated by Bill Moyers. Highlights of the seminar were broadcast nationally on two special editions of NOW with Bill Moyers on PBS-TV. The seminar was taped at the Institute’s Wye River campus. The program featured eight distinguished journalists and scholars, among them Muslims, Christians, and Jews, representing seven different countries.The candid dialogue offered a compelling range of views about both the complexity of Islam and America’s relationship with the Arab world. The Ethical Globalization Initiative was created in partnership with the International Council on Human Rights Policy and the State of the World Forum, with Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland, serving as executive director. The Initiative on Financial Security was launched.


    Walter Isaacson was appointed president and CEO of the Aspen Institute. The Institute collaborated with Fortune Magazine to host the Fortune/Aspen Brainstorm Conference on the Aspen campus. The Aspen Idea magazine launched, featuring US Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer on the cover of its inaugural issue. Justice Breyer also received the Aspen Institute Public Service Award at the Summer Dinner. The Institute awarded the Henry Crown Leadership Award to Petty Stonesifer and the Institute Corporate Leadership Award to Robert E. Rubin Aspen Roundtable Series is established to focus on the evolving role of the United States in world affairs. The series is sponsored by the DaimlerChrysler Corporation Fund.


    Aspen Institute India was formally established in New Delhi, Trustee Tarun Das was installed as Chairman. The Aspen Book Series held its first discussion and signing featuring physicist Brian Greene. Institute Trustees Alma Gildenhorn, Patrick Gross, Ann McLaughlin Korologos, Frederic Malek and Albert Small sponsored the series. In April, the Aspen Institute celebrated the life and legacy of statesman Paul H. Nitze, whose name graces a scholarship fund for students and scholars of foreign policy (The Paul H. Nitze Fellowship Fund) The Council of Women World Leaders and its sister organization, the International Assembly of Women Ministers, finalized a partnership with the Institute to relocate the Secretariat Office In Washington, DC and to create new programs with the Aspen Institute for women leaders. Einstein: A Celebration, a four-day long celebration of speakers and music, was held in collaboration with the Aspen Center for Physics in August on the Aspen Campus. At the Summer Dinner, Sandra Day O’Connor was honored witht he Public Service Award Aspen Institute Middle East Strategy Group was created to bring together prominent American, Palestinian and Israeli business and political leaders dedicated to working for a peaceful solution in the Middle East. The Institute awarded the Henry Crown Leadership Award to Michael K. Powell and the Corporate Leadership Award to Felix G. Rohatyn. Former Aspen Institute President David McLaughlin dies August 27.


    The Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowships in Public Policy was created in January to take a diverse, bipartisan group of America’s brightest, most promising young political start to study and discuss democratic values and the principles of ethical public leadership. The Aspen Institute Initiative on Homeland Security was created to examine the various issues relating to homeland security, assess the progress made since 9/11/01 in securing the homeland, and develop recommendations for making America still safer. At the Summer Dinner, US Senators Joseph I. Lieberman and John S. McCain received the Public Service Award. The Aspen Institute Middle East Strategy Group gathered a group of top Israeli and Palestinian leaders in April, including Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres and Palestinian Minister of Civil Affairs Mohammed Dahlan, for a public forum and benefit dinner. The Health, Biomedical Science and Society Initiative (HBSS) was created to examine societal issues related to health policy, medicine, nutrition and biotechnology through a combination of roundtable discussions, speaker series and public convenings. The Institute awarded the Henry Crown Leadership Award to William D. Budinger and the Corporate Leadership Award to Jeffrey R. Immelt. The inaugural Aspen Ideas Festival opened on July 5 and featured such top thinkers, writers and leaders as President Bill Clinton, Gen. Colin Powell, Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison, Dr. Jane Goodall and founder Jeff Bezos.


    Leonard A. Lauder was elected interim chairman, following the appointment of Former Chair Robert Steel to the position of Under Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance. The Aspen Institute, together with Aspen Institute India and the Global Markets Institute at Goldman Sachs, launched the India Leadership Initiative (ILI) to develop the next generation of civicminded Indian leaders. Accomplished actor and playwright Anna Deavere Smith served as the Institute’s inaugural Harman-Eisner Artist-in-Residence. July marked the 10th anniversary of the Socrates Society Forum, an Institute program that offers three-day seminars on complex current issues for dynamic, young leaders. David McCullough received the Public Service Award at the Summer Dinner. Institute trustee Anne Welsh McNulty announced the creation of the John P. McNulty Prize, in honor of her late husband. The award, to be given to an Aspen Global Leadership Network Fellow, supports extraordinary young leaders who are making creative, effective and lasting contributions to their communities. The Institute awarded the Henry Crown Leadership Award to Condoleeza Rice; the Corporate Leadership Award to Goldman, Sachs & Co.; and the Global Leadership Award to Vaclav Havel. Aspen Institute Romania officially launched in Bucharest in December at a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu, Senator Mircea Geoana, and Giuliano Amato, the Italian Minister of Interior and former chairman of Aspen Italia.


    The stunning new Doerr-Hosier Center on the Aspen campus opened its doors, hosting the 10th anniversary of the Henry Crown Fellowship Program as its first major event. The Middle East Strategy Group launched its Middle East Investment Initiative (MEII), a $160 million loan program and partnership among the Aspen Institute, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and the Palestinian Investment Fund (PIF) that is meant to help improve the livelihoods of the Palestinian people. Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, US Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes, OPIC President and CEO Robert Mosbacher Jr., MEII Chairman Berl Bernhard and Executive Director Toni Verstandig all gathered in the West Bank on July 25 for the Initiative’s official signing ceremony. Based on the successful model of the Aspen Ideas Festival, the first-ever Aspen Health Forum launched, allowing leaders from medicine, genetics, public health, and biomedical science to examine what the latest advances mean to people’s daily lives. At the Summer Dinner, Sen. John Danforth and Dr. James Watson received the Public Service Award. William Mayer was named the chairman of the Board of Trustees for the second time. The Institute awarded the Henry Crown Leadership Award to Sir Richard Branson; the Institute Public Service Award to Michael R. Bloomberg. President George W. Bush asked Institute CEO Walter Isaacson to chair the US Palestinian Partnership, a publicprivate endeavor that builds on the work of the Institute’s Middle East Investment Initiative.


    The Aspen Environment Forum, a threeday exploration of the future of our shared environment, launched in March. The Institute and the Conservancy for Tibetan Art and Culture hosted His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Aspen for a Celebration of Tibetan Art and Culture. The Institute’s Global Initiative on Arts, Culture, and Society held the first Global Forum on Cultural Diplomacy in Paris. Robert K. Steel became chairman of the Board of Trustees. The Institute welcomed six new trustees to the board: Melva Bucksbaum, Ann Friedman, Marc Nathanson, Jacqueline Novogratz, Anna Deavere Smith, and Shashi Tharoor. In the fall, the Institute added another policy program, the Market Building Initiative, led by Dr. Ashraf Ghani, former finance minister of Afghanistan, and Clare Lockhart, former UN advisor in Afghanistan. The Institute awarded the Henry Crown Leadership Award to William E. Mayer; the Institute Corporate Leadership Award to Peter G. Peterson; and the John P. McNulty Prize to Jordan Kassalow. The Institute’s Berlin partner was officially renamed Aspen Germany.


    Former National Endowment for Milestones the Arts Chair Dana Gioia joined the Institute to direct the Harman-Eisner Program in the Arts. The Institute ran its fifth annual Aspen Ideas Festival in partnership with The Atlantic. The Atlantic and the Institute together hosted the inaugural Washington Ideas Forum at the Newseum. The Aspen Writers’ Foundation— Colorado’s oldest nonprofit literary center—became a program of the Aspen Institute. In June, the Aspen Global Leadership Network was officially launched at its ACT II convening, which brought together 160 Fellows from 24 countries on the Institute’s Aspen Meadows campus. In August, the Institute honored its founder Walter Paepcke and his family and celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Goethe Convocation, a seminal event that gathered intellectuals, artists, and businessmen in Aspen and led to the establishment of the Institute. At the Institute’s Annual Awards Dinner, Founder and CEO Jeffrey P. Bezos was awarded the Henry Crown Leadership Award, Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin received the Public Service Award, and Patrick Awuah was given the John P. McNulty Prize. Lester Crown received the Walter Paepcke Memorial Award at the Summer Dinner. Representatives from Aspen Institutes in Romania, France, Italy, India, Germany, Japan, and the US held their first joint international meeting in Romania.


    On June 27, after a $12.25 million renovation, the Institute reopened the Walter Paepcke Memorial Building, complete with a state-of-the-art auditorium offering more seats and 3D video capabilities, environmentallyfriendly heating and cooling, and much improved library and art gallery spaces. The inaugural Aspen Security Forum, held in Aspen in June, featured, among others, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, US Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute, and William J. Bratton, former Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department. The Institute awarded the Public Service Award to Khaled Hosseini and Jim Lehrer. The Institute launched Partners for a New Beginning, in partnership with the US Department of State, with the aim of bringing together people from the private sector in the US and matching them with counterparts in the Muslim world. The Institute awarded the Henry Crown Leadership Award to Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation, the Corporate Leadership Award to Leonard A. Lauder, and the John P. McNulty Prize to John Danner.


    The Institute added a new policy program on Manufacturing and Society in the 21st Century. The Aspen Homeland Security Program created the bipartisan Aspen Homeland Security Group, modeled on the Aspen Strategy Group, to provide recommendations to the US Secretary of Homeland Security and other policymakers. The group issued its first paper examining the role the Department of Homeland Security can and should play in the intelligence community. More than 200 fellows from 27 countries convened for the Aspen Global Leadership Network’s “Act II” summit. Dele Olojede, editor of the Nigerian newspaper NEXT, received the John P. McNulty Prize. The Institute and the Asia Society hosted the US-China Forum on Arts and Culture in Beijing. Brent Scowcroft was honored at the Summer Celebration with the Aspen Institute Public Service Award. At the Annual Awards Dinner, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was awarded the Henry Crown Leadership Award, and Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Chancellor of DC Public Schools Kaya Henderson, and former Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education Joel Klein were given the Aspen Institute Public Service Award for Leadership in Education. Former principal dancer at New York City Ballet Damian Woetzel joined the Institute to direct the Aspen Institute Arts Program and Harman-Eisner Artist-in- Residence Program.


    The Aspen Institute welcomed the addition of its eighth international partner, Aspen Prague. Cesar R. Conde, Thelma Duggin, Michael Klein, Diane L. Morris, Jim Rogers, and Laurie M. Tisch were elected to the Board of Trustees. The Atlantic and the Institute hosted the inagural New York Ideas at the New- York Historical Society. The Institute and public television’s WORLD channel launched “The Aspen Institute Presents”, a TV series made from discussions at the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival. Union Square Hospitality Group CEO Danny Meyer received the 2012 Preston Robert Tisch Award in Civic Leadership. Former White House Domestic Policy Advisor Melody Barnes joined the Institute to lead the Forum for Community Solutions, a project to give community organizers a place to share best practices. The Institute’s Commission to Reform the Federal Appointments Process played an important role in passing the Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act. At the Summer Dinner, the Institute awarded Dick Costolo and Eric Schmidt the Corporate Leadership Award and Padmasree Warrior the Award for Leadership in Science and Technology. At the Institute’s 29th Annual Awards Dinner, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords received the Henry Crown Leadership Award, Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein was given the Institute’s Corporate Leadership Award, and filmmaker George Lucas was the first recipient of the Arts Leadership Award.


    CityLab, held with Bloomberg Philanthropies and The Atlantic, gathers dozens of mayors from around the world.


    Aspen Journal of Ideas and Five Best Ideas of the Day launch online. Spotlight Health begins, with Kathleen Sebelius, Francis Collins, and Tom Frieden.


    Youth & Engagement, a new division of the Institute to work directly with youth, is formed. Inaugural Summit on Inequality and Opportunity, with Vice President Joe Biden.


    First Cyber Summit is held in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Second edition of Project Play includes Michelle Obama.


    Leonardo da Vinci brings together world experts and biographer Walter Isaacson for a three-day celebration in Aspen of the original Renaissance man.


    Daniel R. Porterfield, Ph.D. assumes the role of president and CEO of the Aspen Institute.

    A Brief History of the Aspen Institute