James M. Spiegelman

James M. Spiegelman

Vice President and Chief of Staff, The Aspen Institute

Jim Spiegelman serves as Vice President and Chief of Staff at the Aspen Institute. As a member of the senior leadership team, Jim works across the Institute’s divisions and programs to facilitate effective goal-setting and collaboration. He plays a key role in strategy formation, internal communication, new project exploration, people and culture, all in support of the Institute’s overall mission. He provides guidance to senior colleagues and their programs throughout the organization. He oversees the work of Institute leaders of the Aspen Meadows campus, Aspen Community Programs, and the Resnick Center for Herbert Bayer Studies.

Jim joined the Aspen Institute in 2001. His previous role at the Institute was as Chief External Affairs Officer, responsible for engaging both internal and external audiences in Institute programs and activities. He managed relations with the public and news media and provided strategic communications counsel while overseeing an expanding role of the Communications Department in its efforts to enhance the impact of the work of the Institute. He also served as Deputy to then-President and CEO Walter Isaacson. He created and ran both the monthly Gildenhorn Book Series and Washington Ideas Roundtable Series from 2003-18.

Earlier in his career, Jim served as consulting editor at BusinessWeek magazine, where he designed and managed global conferences on economic, political, and business topics. He has also been chief of staff at the United Nations Association of the USA; an analyst for a global hedge fund; special assistant to financier/philanthropist George Soros; deputy policy director for the 1992 Presidential campaign of then-US Senator Bob Kerrey; research/program director at Georgetown University’s School of Business; and a foreign affairs fellow at the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress. His articles have appeared in numerous publications. He received a BA in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania, studied at the City of London Polytechnic, and earned an MA in International Affairs from American University’s School of International Service.

He lives in Chevy Chase Village, Maryland, with his wife Elizabeth Kannan and two Boykin Spaniels, where they raised their two children, Jack and Lizzie.