April 2, 2014 - April 3, 2014
Rome, Italy

*This event is by-invitation only.

23rd Edition

April 1, 2014
Washington, DC, United States
Aspen Planning and Evaluation Program

In December 2013, the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution released "Measuring the Influence of Education Advocacy: The Case of Louisiana's School Choice Legislation," a report which introduces a new survey methodology for gauging the influence of policy advocacy efforts. Surveys, as they are commonly used in advocacy evaluation, often ask key stakeholders to assign rankings or scores to specific advocacy organizations based on their perceived level of policy influence. However, this approach assumes that the starting point for these scores is zero, which may not be the case. To address this survey design challenge, the report's authors developed an instrument they call Survey with Placebo (SwP). SwP also collects ratings from select respondents, but with one important difference: among the advocacy groups respondents are asked to score, there is a "placebo," a non-existent organization with a plausible name. The scores assigned to this placebo are then used as the zero-point on an influence scale against which all other responses are measured, thereby facilitating the use of statistical tests to quantify the amount of influence of each advocacy organization. Brown Center Director Grover "Russ" Whitehurst and Basis Policy Research Managing Partner David Stuit will present this new method and findings from its initial implementation on the passage of school choice legislation in Louisiana.


Grover "Russ" Whitehurst is the Herman and George R. Brown Chair and director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution. Previously, he was director of the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education; US assistant secretary for Educational Research and Improvement; chair of the Department of Psychology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook; and academic vice-president of the Merrill-Palmer Institute. He received his Ph.D. in experimental child psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1970. His specializations include program evaluation, teacher quality, preschools, national and international student assessments, reading instruction, education technology, and education data systems.

David Stuit is founding and managing partner of Basis Policy Research in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he focuses on delivering quantitative research solutions to Basis clients. David has served as the Director of Business Intelligence for a leading education management organization, a researcher with the National Center on School Choice and the Education Commission of the States and as a classroom teacher in Denver, Colorado. In addition to a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University, David holds a master's degree from the University of Colorado and a Bachelor's from Hope College.

March 31, 2014
Aspen, CO
Aspen Writers' Foundation
When Maria Semple moved to Seattle she found herself in a state of self-pity: she quit her TV writing career and was suffering from creative paralysis. Finding humor in her circumstance, Semple invented the notorious Bernadette Fox, the lead character in her bestselling novel, "Where’d You Go Bernadette." In what is sure to be an evening filled with comedic hilarity, Maria will discuss her experience writing one of this summer’s most talked about novels. Read More
March 28, 2014 - March 30, 2014
Queenstown, MD

A seminar offered to Congressional staffers and a limited number of public at the Institute's Wye River Conference Center in Queesntown, MD.

March 26, 2014
Washington, DC

The Alma and Joseph Gildenhorn Book Series will feature Simon Schama, Columbia University History Professor, discussing his new book "The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words (1000 BCE-1492)" (Harper Collins).


  • Jeffrey Brown, PBS NewsHour chief correspondent for arts, culture, and society

About the book:

In this magnificently illustrated cultural history—the tie-in to the PBS and BBC series The Story of the Jews—Simon Schama details the story of the Jewish experience, tracing it across three millennia, from their beginnings as an ancient tribal people to the opening of the New World in 1492 to the modern day. It is a story like no other: an epic of endurance against destruction, of creativity in oppression, joy amidst grief, the affirmation of life against the steepest of odds. It spans the millennia and the continents—from India to Andalusia and from the bazaars of Cairo to the streets of Oxford. It takes you to unimagined places: to a Jewish kingdom in the mountains of southern Arabia; a Syrian synagogue glowing with radiant wall paintings; the palm groves of the Jewish dead in the Roman catacombs. And its voices ring loud and clear, from the severities and ecstasies of the Bible writers to the love poems of wine bibbers in a garden in Muslim Spain.

In The Story of the Jews, the Talmud burns in the streets of Paris, massed gibbets hang over the streets of medieval London, a Majorcan illuminator redraws the world; candles are lit, chants are sung, mules are packed, ships loaded with spice and gems founder at sea. And a great story unfolds. Not—as often imagined—of a culture apart, but of a Jewish world immersed in and imprinted by the peoples among whom they have dwelled, from the Egyptians to the Greeks, from the Arabs to the Christians. Which makes the story of the Jews everyone's story, too.

March 25, 2014
Washington, DC
Aspen Institute Arts Program

Can the pairing of young Israeli and Palestinian children as dance partners create opportunities for a more peaceful future? And what is the potency today of cultural diplomacy? Enjoy a screening of the award-winning 2013 film "Dancing in Jaffa," followed by a discussion with ballroom legend and Dancing Classrooms founder Pierre Dulaine on how artists today can productively engage with diplomacy. 

This event is presented by the Aspen Institute Arts Program, in partnership with Film Forward.Film Forward is an initiative of the Sundance Institute and the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

March 24, 2014
Washington, DC, United States


The Aspen Institute invites you to an evening book talk for "My Country, ‘Tis of Thee: My Faith, My Family, Our Future" by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN). The discussion with be moderated by Dan Glickman, former US Agriculture secretary and executive director of the Aspen Institute Congressional Program. This event is sponsored by Aspen’ Diversity Committee.

March 24, 2014
Washington, DC
Aspen Institute Arts Program

Author Sarah Lewis discusses her debut book, "The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery." Slated for release by Simon & Schuster in March 2014, "The Rise" is a layered, story-driven investigation of how innovation, discovery, and the creative process are all spurred on by advantages gleaned from the improbable, the unlikely, and failure.

Lewis is a faculty member at Yale University School of Art, has been selected for Oprah’s “Power List,” and served on President Barack Obama’s Arts Policy Committee during the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns.

The Washington Ideas Roundtable Series is made possible with the generous support of Michelle Smith and the Robert H. Smith Family Foundation.

March 24, 2014 - March 25, 2014
Mexico City, Mexico

The event will focus on the state of the Mexican reforms (political, energy, fiscal and financial), and on innovation and entrepreneurship, with panels composed of Mexican politicians, academics and business people.


  • Jose Narro
  • Arturo Fernandez
  • Fernando Espinosa de los Reyes


  • Cesar Camacho, President, PRI
  • Gustavo Madero, President, PAN
  • Jesus Zambrano, President, PRD
  • Maria Ampao Casar, , CIDE
  • Rolando Cordera, , UNAM
  • Gerardo Gutierrez Candiana, president, CCE
  • Arturo Cherbowski, Universia
  • Enrique Jacob, President, INADEM
  • Randall Kempner, Aspen Entrepreneurs
  • Fernando Lelo de Larrea, Presiden, Venture Partners

Special Guests:

  • Walter Isaacson
  • Randall Kempner
  • Clare Munana
  • Agustin Carstens
  • Miguel Mancera

March 22, 2014 - March 28, 2014
Aspen, CO

For almost 60 years, this premier roundtable has challenged leaders in every field to think more critically and deeply. The seminar is a unique opportunity to step away from the demands of the present and reflect with other leaders in moderated, text-based Socratic dialogue on the concept of a good and just society: What is it? How does it become a reality? What is our role in making it happen? The settings in Aspen, Colorado, and on Maryland's Eastern Shore are ideal for rejuvenation the mind, body, and spirit of participants who emerge personally renewed and professionally refocused.

To learn more about The Aspen Seminar, please click here.

March 21, 2014
Washington, DC, United States

The Aspen Institute cordially invites you to a lunchtime conversation with Larry Kramer, president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, moderated by Jane Wales, vice president of the Philanthropy and Society at the Aspen Institute.

March 20, 2014
Wye River, MD

This event is by invitation only.

The Wye Fellows are invited to join Austrian Ambassador Hans Peter Manz for a discussion on transatlantic relations within the European Union and between the European Union and the United States.

During his distinguished diplomatic career, Dr. Manz served in a variety of positions, including inter alia, foreign policy advisor to the Chancellor of Austria. His overseas postings included Tehran, Bern and New York. 

Below, watch a recent interview with Dr. Manz about the significance of United States' relationship with Austria.

March 20, 2014 - March 25, 2014
Brookgreen Gardens, SC

Liberty Fellowship is an incubator for exemplary leadership in South Carolina. The program started in 2004 as a partnership of Anna Kate and Hayne HippWofford College and the Aspen Institute and has offices in Spartanburg and Greenville, South Carolina.

Liberty Fellowship’s goal is to move South Carolina forward through its greatest asset — its leaders. The core of Liberty Fellowship is a seminar series for 20 leaders who are selected each year from a pool of nominations. Over two years, these Fellows meet together during four seminars, where they discuss readings using the Socratic method of questioning.

Discussions are text based, and Fellows read an eclectic mix of material — from Aristotle and Plato to current day events — to reflecting on the just society and leadership. Each class reflects the rich diversity of South Carolinians and is carefully pieced together to create a unique mosaic of perspectives and experiences.

Moderators include:

  • Eric Motley, managing director, Henry Crown Fellowship Program vice president
  • Ben Dunlap, president emeritus of Wofford College, seminar moderator 
  • Jennie Johnson, executive director, Liberty Fellowship

To learn more about the Liberty Fellowship, visit http://www.libertyfellowshipsc.org

March 19, 2014
Aspen, CO
Aspen Writers' Foundation
Winter Words is a series of readings and talks featuring prominent contemporary writers. Acclaimed authors of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and memoir read from their work and discuss topics that range from the creative process to the role of art in today's world. Read More
March 19, 2014 - March 23, 2014
Aspen, CO
The Pahara-Aspen Fellowship seeks to strengthen and sustain diverse, high-potential leaders who are reimagining public education. Using a time-tested method of text-based dialogue, the program provides participants with the opportunity to reflect on the values and tensions involved in effective and enlightened leadership across the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. Read More
March 18, 2014
Aspen, CO

In this eight-week series, participants gather to discuss key foreign policy issues facing the world today, as featured in the 2014 Foreign Policy Association briefing book. This year’s topics will include defense technology, Israel and the US and Turkey’s challenges, the Islamic Awakening, energy independence, food and climate, China’s foreign policy, and US trade policy.

This week's topic: U.S. Trade Policy 

America’s foreign policy tools are not limited to sanctions, treaties or military campaigns – they also include the sales pitch. The logic behind this pitch, or “economic statecraft,” is simple: promote the benefits of democracy and the free market. In so doing, the U.S. will gain valuable and stable partners, both in business and in diplomacy. Now, as China and other emerging nations battle the U.S. for global influence, Secretary Kerry will take the reigns as a free market matchmaker.

Fee: $195, includes all sessions, readings and light refreshments. The Great Decisions program is now full.

March 18, 2014
New York, NY

Tom Coughlin is one of the most successful and admired coaches in NFL history. His signature achievements are the New York Football Giants’ victories against the New England Patriots in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI. His 2-0 record in Super Bowls makes him the 13th head coach to win multiple Super Bowls and one of 18 coaches with a perfect Super Bowl record. He is also the longest–tenured coach in the NFC East, entering his 14th season with the Giants.



  • Bruce Beck, sports anchor, NBC 4 New York

The Aspen Leadership Series: Conversations with Great Leaders in Memory of Preston Robert Tisch is a series of discussions featuring inspiring and innovative leaders who are improving their communities and the world. Its five yearly programs explore themes of values-based leadership, civic engagement and public service, and how diverse leaders are facing the most critical issues affecting American communities, especially urban centers. 


March 18, 2014
Washington, DC
Manufacturing and Society in the 21st Century

Econometric work at the Aspen Institute and elsewhere shows that a main barrier to a strong resurgence in the manufacturing sector is the need for more skilled workers. Women are increasingly outperforming men in acquiring advanced skills and college degrees, yet are vastly underrepresented in the manufacturing workforce. This growing sector would greatly benefit from a more diverse workforce that taps into this talent pool.

Providing incentives for women to enter the manufacturing sector requires vision and concerted effort. Young women need to be encouraged to enter the sector and acquire the skills needed to succeed. Manufacturers need to increase the ranks of women in leadership and mentoring roles, and provide a supportive environment for employees to integrate work and personal responsibilities. The panel discussion will explore these questions

Featured Guests include:

Karen A. Fletcher, Vice President, DuPont Engineering and Chief Engineer

Antoinette (Tonie) Leatherberry, Principal, Deloitte Consulting

Former Senator Blanche Lincoln, Founder and Principal, Lincoln Policy Group

Elizabeth Woo, Vice Presdient, Thermo Fisher Scientific Corporation

Session Moderator:  Theresa A. Maldonado, Director EEC Division, National Science Foundation

March 18, 2014

*This event is by-invitation only.

Continuing on the work of its Economic Opportunity and Financing of the Economy Program, the Aspen Institute is inaugurating its 2014 series of policy roundtables and conferences with a conference dedicated to financing the economy. Whether infrastructure and regional development, urban development or industrial policy, Romania needs to have a clear perspective for financing the economy. A clear financing strategy is a priority for ongoing and future projects in order for Romania to continue on a sustainable path of growth.

Speakers include:

  • Liviu Voinea, Romanian Minister for Budget
  • Mihai Tănăsescu, Vicepresident, European Investment Bank
  • Dan Șova, Minister Delegate for Infrastructure Projects and Foreign Investments
  • Vasile Iuga, Country Managing Partner, PWC Romania
  • Mișu Negriţoiu, Chairman, ING Bank Romania
  • Stefan Lehner, Director, Own Resources and Financial Programming, DG Budget, European Commission

March 17, 2014
Aspen, CO
In the second installment of Athens to Aspen, participants will explore six paired themes — perennial human themes which have shaped our world — as they have been taken up from Athens to Aspen from the ancient period to our contemporary age. Each of the following themes will receive three sessions of discussion, with texts drawn from different genres and different periods of human experience: ancient, medieval/renaissance, modern, and post-modern. Read More