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The Aspen Institute
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Aspen Institute Appoints John Colborn to Direct Skills for America’s Future
Washington, DC, January 28, 2014 –– The Aspen Institute announced today that John Colborn has been appointed director of its Skills for America’s Future initiative. Colborn joins the Aspen Institute after 15 years as a program officer and senior executive with the Ford Foundation. Skills for America’s Future, part of the Institute’s Economic Opportunities Program, is a private sector-led initiative which advocates for workforce development practices and partnerships to address the national workforce skills gap.
In accepting this position, Colborn said, “I am honored to join the Aspen Institute in its efforts to ensure economic opportunity for America’s workers and global competitiveness for its industry. Skills for America’s Future represents an extraordinary partnership between leading national employers, dedicated funders, and exemplary workforce development practitioners. I look forward to joining this incredible team.”
Maureen Conway, executive director of the Institute’s Economic Opportunities Program, said, “John’s long-standing leadership in the workforce and community college fields makes him an ideal director for this work. His depth of experience, commitment to enhancing labor market opportunities for disadvantaged people and extensive knowledge of workforce development policy and practice will provide Skills for America’s Future with an exceptional leader.”
In his role as a program officer with the Ford Foundation, Colborn undertook a range of grant making efforts focusing on industry-targeted workforce development partnerships, workforce development policy, and community colleges resulting in improved economic and educational opportunities for tens of thousands of Americans. He also played leadership roles in organizing networks of workforce development and community college funders. Over the last several years, Colborn has served as vice president at the Ford Foundation, overseeing its global operations.
Colborn, a graduate of Oberlin College, holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He has served on a variety of boards and advisory panels and currently serves as a trustee of the Foundation Center and serves on the Board of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning.
Since the initiative was announced by President Obama in October 2010, Skills for America’s Future has successfully helped create or expand partnerships between more than 40 employers and 200 community colleges across the country, and formed strategic partnerships with major industry associations.
The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.