Social Capital

Ascend Executive Director Honored with Visionary Leadership Award

October 30, 2013  • Donna Callejon and Nicky Goren, Guest Bloggers

The 2013 Washington Area Women’s Foundation Visionary Award Honorees from left to right: Anne Mosle, Marion Ballard, Sharon Williams and Rick Ballard.

Donna Callejon is a former board member and current Leadership Council co-chair of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation. Nicky Goren is the current president of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation.

Aspen Institute Ascend Executive Director Anne Mosle has influenced the lives of countless women and girls around the world and, especially, in the DC metro region. We are among those women.

Anne’s leadership of Washington Area Women’s Foundation from 2000 to 2007 established the Foundation as an anchor community asset and thrust it into the top echelon of women’s funds globally. So it was with great enthusiasm we chose Anne to be among the inaugural winners of our Visionary Leadership Awards, presented in October at the Foundation’s 15th anniversary celebration and Leadership Luncheon.

In 2000, The Women’s Foundation was a one-and-a-half person organization borrowing space in a small office. But starting small has never thwarted Anne’s vision or determination. She set out to manifest the organization’s mission of fostering a powerful wave of philanthropy to invest in addressing the most critical needs facing low-income women and girls in the DC region. And she did.

In seven years, Anne led the organization from startup to a thriving, indispensable asset for the women and children of DC and our neighboring communities in Virginia and Maryland. Under her leadership the Foundation and its many partners:

  • Pioneered giving circles — both the African American Women’s Giving Circle and the Rainmakers Giving Circle provided a vehicle for donor education, and leveraged giving and powerful grantmaking to fantastic implementing Grantee Partners;
  • Conceived and delivered the first comprehensive report on the status of women and girls in our community — The Portrait Project, which was updated in 2010;
  • Enhanced the visibility and understanding of the challenges facing women and girls in our region;
  • Welcomed more than 1,000 individual and institutional donors to the world of investing in women and girls; and
  • For the first time granted more than $1,000,000 to local women-serving nonprofits in a single year.

In presenting the Visionary Award to Anne, long-time collaborator and Stepping Stones funder (while at the FannieMae Foundation) and current US President of United Way Worldwide, Stacey D. Stewart noted, “Even though Anne left the day-to-day work of The Women’s Foundation in 2007, she has remained deeply connected through her continued support of the organization, her vision for bringing focus nationally through her work at the WK Kellogg Foundation, now via Ascend at the Aspen Institute, and through the legacy she created.”

Indeed. And we are proud to have contributed to, and to continue to build on, that legacy.

In 2011, Anne Mosle launched Ascend, a hub for breakthrough ideas and collaborations that move children and their parents toward educational success and economic security, at the Aspen Institute. Serving as an Institute vice president and executive director of the policy program, she is an advisor to the Institute’s senior leadership and directs Ascend’s vision and strategic goals.