Aspen Institute Launches the Aspen Economic Strategy Group

September 15, 2017

Bowles, Paulson Co-Chair New Policy Forum Focused on Diverse Economic Policy Challenges

Douglas Farrar
The Aspen Institute| 202.736.3848

WASHINGTON, DC, September 13, 2017 – The Aspen Institute today will hold the inaugural meeting of the Aspen Economic Strategy Group, a bipartisan forum of respected leaders and thinkers to explore long-term structural issues facing the United States economy and to develop innovative policies to address them.

The group is co-chaired by Henry M. Paulson, Jr., former secretary of the Treasury and chairman of Goldman Sachs, and Erskine Bowles, former White House chief of staff and president of the University of North Carolina system. Lanhee J. Chen, PhD, the David and Diane Steffy Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Director of Domestic Policy Studies in Public Policy at Stanford University, serves as the group’s director and Amy Ganz, formerly of Andreessen Horowitz, is the group’s deputy director.

The Aspen Economic Strategy Group comprises 62 invitation-only members, including business leaders, policymakers, academics, journalists, and advocates. The Group will examine pressing economic issues, foster an open exchange of new and out-of-the-box ideas, socialize viable solutions in Washington, and influence policymaking through ideas that subsets of members may choose to support. Further, the Group seeks to foster bipartisan relationship-building between promising young thought leaders and more seasoned professionals.

“Improving the country’s economic trajectory requires workable, politically feasible ideas,” said Paulson. “America is not effectively addressing the fundamental and festering structural challenges facing our economy, and the Aspen Economic Strategy Group is aimed at surfacing smart approaches to policy that will help change that dynamic.”

“For America to continue to be the world’s leading economy, we must tackle economic challenges such as stagnant growth, income inequality and the shocks of globalization,” Bowles said. “The Aspen Economic Strategy Group will provide valuable insights and policy ideas to move our nation’s economy forward.”

The Economic Strategy Group, which will convene annually, will take on a different set of issues each calendar year, allowing members to explore topics comprehensively, as well as to drill down on specific policy solutions and ideas. Along with its annual meeting, the Group will hold periodic public events featuring subsets of members.

The Group will consider a diverse range of economic policy concerns, such as how fast the economy can grow, why so many Americans feel like they are working harder but falling behind, and how automation and the rise of temporary work have impacted employers, workers, and livelihoods.

“America’s economic policies are out of balance with the realities of the 21st century and are not working to advance the growth and the job-creation potential of our economy,” said Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson. “Given the Institute’s long history of spearheading successful bipartisan efforts, we are delighted to be launching the Aspen Economic Strategy Group with an extraordinary and diverse group of leaders representing both sides of the aisle.”

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

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