Eric L. Motley joined the Aspen Institute (Washington, DC) in 2007 as a Vice President and the Managing Director of the Henry Crown Fellows Program. Established in 1997, the Henry Crown Fellows Program seeks to develop a new generation of community-spirited leaders. The program 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. In addition to this role he currently serves as the Executive Director of the Aspen-Rockefeller Foundation’s Commission to Reform the Federal Appointments Process, which is an independent, nonpartisan effort to evaluate the Federal government’s vetting and clearance procedures. Prior to joining the Aspen Institute, Eric served as the Director of the U.S. Department of State’s Office of International Visitors within the bureau of Public Diplomacy. As Director he oversaw the International Visitor Leadership Program, a program that is designed to build mutual understanding between the U.S. and other countries through carefully designed visits that reflects future foreign leader’s interests and support U.S. foreign policy goals.
In 2003, he became Special Assistant to President George W. Bush for Presidential Personnel, where he managed the appointment process in the White House for over 1,200 presidentially-appointed advisory board and commission positions. He joined the White House staff as Deputy Associate Director, Office of Presidential Personnel in 2001 at the age of 27 immediately after receiving his Ph.D.
Eric is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute, Class of 2003. He has written and lectured on the intellectual and political contributions of Scottish-born American Founding Father, James Wilson. He is currently engaged in developing a collection on the scholarship of the eminent Greek scholar Sir Kenneth Dover, including copies of all his books, personal papers and various items from his personal catalogue. In October 2006 he published his first volume of poetry Luminaria and is a contributing writer to US Airways Magazine as an essayist.
His civic involvement encompasses leadership roles with a wide range of local, state and national organizations, including the Cosmos Club of Washington, DC; Grolier Club of New York City; Board of Directors of Young Concert Artists; Manuscript Society of America; The Odysseus Circle; Samford University; University of St. Andrews, Scotland; and the Young Executives Council. He serves on the Board of Directors of Barry-Wehmiller Companies, Affinity Labs in San Francisco, The Inter-American Development Bank Foundation, The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s National Council, and the Chapter Board of the Washington National Cathedral. Eric is an avid book collector whose library consists of over 4,500 volumes which includes but not limited to over 1700 first editions and rare books. In June 2006 Eric’s life story was featured in the Washington Post as a part of the series “Being a Black Man in America.”
Eric earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Philosophy from Samford University in 1996. As a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, he earned a Master of Letters in International Relations and a Ph.D. in International Relations as the John Steven Watson Scholar.