Aspen Strategy Group

About the Aspen Strategy Group

Our Mission
The Aspen Strategy Group's mission is to provide a bipartisan forum to explore the preeminent foreign policy challenges the United States faces. Its cross-disciplinary and high-level examination of policy strategies for addressing preeminent and emerging topics makes it crucially relevant to the American and global policy communities.

Who We Are
Co-chaired by Brent Scowcroft and Joseph Nye, and directed by Nicholas Burns, the Aspen Strategy Group draws on a membership of experts from diverse realms of policy and varying political orientation. A truly bipartisan body, the Group includes legislators, experts, journalists, policy practitioners, members of academia, and business leaders. Aspen Strategy Group members represent people with the kind of diversity and energy that can make headway in addressing new foreign policy challenges.

The Aspen Strategy Group was conceived as a mediation forum during the Cold War, and 30 years later, it is still charting a vital course for bipartisan problem solving and dialogue in foreign policy.

What We Do
Through its workshops, briefings, and publications, the Aspen Strategy Group's distilled insights help American policymakers learn from experts, while helping the experts understand what questions trouble policymakers. No other group conducts this dialogue in the sustained depth that we achieve in our summer workshops, and with such outstanding participants from both sides of the expert-policymaker divide.

The roots of the Aspen Strategy Group date back to the 1970s, when The Aspen Institute sponsored an annual conference for researchers associated with arms control projects at leading universities and think tanks. This conference series evolved into the Aspen Strategy Group to provide a body that also included legislators, government officials, industry representatives, and journalists. In 1984, the Aspen Strategy Group was founded formally as a policy program of The Aspen Institute, concentrating on strategic relations and arms control issues, with particular emphasis on the U.S.-Soviet relationship.

The Aspen Strategy Group has moved beyond its Cold War origins. It tackles both global and regional issues and has broadened its lens to give full regard to the economic, social, and transnational dimensions of the issues. It is committed to identifying topics that provide appropriate assessments of American national interest while taking into account the way these interests have evolved in our pluralistic world. The group has incorporated this commitment into its mission.

With new global trends defying traditional notions of international relations that dictated that actions of other nation states presented the greatest challenge to national security, events such as September 11 reinforced the need to address non-state actors and dangers that circumvent national borders. In this climate, the Aspen Strategy Group shifted its emphasis toward such topics as international health crises, energy policy and the environment. The mission of the new Aspen Strategy Group has developed into examinations of new foreign policy trends outside the Cold War dichotomies of friends and foes and toward transnational, or multifaceted issues blending traditionally foreign and domestic subjects. Recent sessions on global health and homeland security are good examples.

The Aspen Strategy Group unites different policy communities, whether mainstreaming global health issues with leaders used to more traditional perspectives on security or integrating domestic institutions with the older structures of national security. The group also brings these results to a wider audience, both the general public and students.


"This group tackles issues in a clear eyed, bipartisan way. The Aspen Strategy Group's fingerprints can be found on those few truly worthy bills that emerge from this excessively polarized Congress." - Former Member of Congress Jane Harman, Aspen Strategy Group Member

Contact us:
Jonathon Price, Deputy Director
Aspen Strategy Group
1 Dupont Circle, NW, Ste. 700
Washington, DC 20036

Tel: 202-736-5808
Fax: 202-467-0790