Aspen Strategy Group Announces Departure of Director Kurt M. Campbell

July 2, 2009

Contacts: Jonathon Price
Associate Director of the Aspen Strategy Group, The Aspen Institute

Kurt M. CampbellWashington, D.C. July 2, 2009 – The Aspen Strategy Group (ASG) would like to congratulate Kurt M. Campbell who was confirmed by the United States Senate last week and sworn in by the State Department this week as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.  From 2003 to 2009 Kurt served as Director of the ASG.  While we will miss Kurt’s leadership, dedication, and drive, we know he will do great work for the United States and the Department of State.

For the past six years Kurt has provided strategic vision, guidance, and program management as Director of the Aspen Strategy Group.  Concurrently, Kurt served as CEO and Co-Founder of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), Founder and Principal of StratAsia, and Chairman of the Editorial Board of the Washington Quarterly.  Prior to co-founding CNAS, he was the Senior Vice President, Henry A. Kissinger Chair in National Security, and Director of the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. 

Under Kurt’s leadership the ASG forged new partnerships to study critical national security challenges with the Markle Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and numerous other organizations.  He has led projects on China’s rise as a global power, the global and strategic importance of energy, and the national security architecture of the American government, among others.  Further, Kurt ushered in a number of innovations to ASG forums including the use of war gaming and specially designed videos to enhance the understanding of the challenges facing foreign policy experts.  Additionally, he founded a fellowship, in honor of ASG Co-Chair General Brent Scowcroft, to recognize, mentor, and encourage young practitioners in the foreign policy and national security arena.  Kurt also established the ASG Leadership Award, which is given annually to recognize a distinguished individual for his or her public service.

Co-chaired by Brent Scowcroft and Joseph Nye, Jr., the Aspen Strategy Group is a bi-partisan forum dedicated to thoroughly exploring the critical national security and foreign policy challenges facing the nation.  ASG examines foreign policy trends outside the Cold War dichotomies of friends and foes by focusing on transnational issues that blend foreign and domestic subjects.  The program has moved beyond its Cold War origins and today includes a new generation of policymakers representing a range of perspectives.  Founded in 1984 with a concentration on strategic relations, arms control issues, and the U.S.-Soviet relationship, the group evolved to also include legislators, government officials, business and industry representatives, and journalists. The approach, however, has remained constant: Use a bipartisan lens to identify the most contentious foreign policy and national security concerns facing our nation and assess America’s evolving interests. Recent workshops, briefings, and reports have covered the national security implications of global climate change, mapping the Jihadist threat, and the challenge of nuclear proliferation. An ongoing U.S.-India dialogue also meets under the auspices of the group, as well as the Aspen Atlantic Group, a forum where former foreign ministers from across the political spectrum meet to develop nonpartisan recommendations that address global challenges.

About The Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs, and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, DC, Aspen, CO, and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and has an international network of partners. For more information, visit


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