Congressman Charlie Dent Named Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Congressional Program

February 1, 2021

The Congressman, who represented the 15th Congressional District of Pennsylvania for seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, will succeed current Executive Director Dan Glickman

Contact: Jon Purves
Senior Media Relations Manager
The Aspen Institute

Washington, DC, February 1, 2021–The Aspen Institute announced today that Congressman Charlie Dent has been appointed the next Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Congressional Program. He will oversee the longstanding nongovernmental, nonpartisan educational program for members of the United States Congress. The Congressional Program helps elected officials to work across the aisle, giving Senators and Representatives the opportunity to delve into complex and pressing public policy issues with internationally recognized experts in a neutral, off-the-record setting.

Over a three-decade political career, Congressman Dent had previously served seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives representing the 15th Congressional District of Pennsylvania. Congressman Dent was a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee where he chaired the Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies. Additionally, he served as the Chairman of the House Committee on Ethics from 2015 – 2017. He also served for six years in the Pennsylvania State Senate and eight years in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. He comes to the Aspen Institute from DLA Piper, where he served as Senior Policy Advisor. Congressman Dent is also a Political Analyst for CNN, a Distinguished Advisor for Pew Charitable Trusts, and a former Visiting Fellow for the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House from 2018-2020. He is a recipient of the Order of Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany.

“Charlie Dent’s lifetime dedication to public service is laudable; even more so are his passionate commitments to the principles of civil, bipartisan dialogue, and to the ethical foundations of democratic governance, which are at the core of the Congressional Program,” said Elliot Gerson, Executive Vice President for Policy Programs, Public Programs and International Partners.  “Charlie will ably build on the bedrock laid by the Program’s Founding leader Dick Clark and his successor Dan Glickman to promote the highest quality policy education on the most critical challenges facing the country, and to comity among members of Congress.”

“I’m truly honored and excited to succeed Dan Glickman who leaves big shoes to be filled. As a participant in several Aspen Institute programs while a member of Congress, I can personally attest to how meaningful and beneficial the Institute’s convening of substantive, bipartisan interactions enhanced my understanding of complex policy issues,” said Dent. “The Aspen Institute helped me become a better Congressman. In the aftermath of the violent attack on Congress, it is imperative, now more than ever, for us to engage constructively with members on the pressing issues facing our nation.”

Congressman Dent succeeds Dan Glickman, who has served as Executive Director of the program since 2011. Prior to joining the Aspen Institute, Glickman served as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture during the Clinton administration and also served for 18 years in the U.S. House of Representatives representing the 4th Congressional District of Kansas. Following the transition, he will go on to become an Adjunct Professor of Food and Agriculture at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and continue his work in the food, agriculture, nutrition health, congressional reform, and global development areas. Glickman is also completing his memoir, to be published in summer 2021.

“Charlie Dent has been an exceptional member of Congress,” said Glickman. “He has been a leader on ethics and appropriations issues, and has been genuinely committed to working across the aisle to seek bipartisan collaboration, to stand for a strong moral commitment to fairness and justice, and to foster efforts to secure a leadership role for moderates in Congress, especially among Republicans. He is respected and admired across the aisle, and in the Biden Administration, and will help our continued efforts to make Congress function better for the American people.”

“The Aspen Institute’s Congressional Program has a critical role to play at this moment of extraordinary division in American politics,” said Madeleine Albright, a trustee of the Aspen Institute, Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, and former U.S. Secretary of State. “I am excited about the energy and experience Charlie Dent will bring to the vital work of fostering dialogue and supporting education in order to strengthen our democratic institutions.”

“I was lucky enough to serve in Congress with both Dan Glickman and Charlie Dent,” said the Honorable Jane Harman, a trustee at the Aspen Institute, a former nine-term member of Congress and President & CEO of the Wilson Center. “They were problem solvers before the term became popular. Charlie will amply fill Dan’s big shoes and continue Aspen’s role fostering relationships and experiences that Members would not otherwise get.”

Established by U.S. Senator Dick Clark in 1983, The Aspen Institute Congressional Program hosts weekly breakfasts for Senators and Representatives to hear from experts and discuss policy solutions and bipartisan partnerships. The program celebrated 600 breakfasts in the summer of 2020, with more than 40 percent of the current Congress at that time participating in one or more breakfasts, with many present members participating in more than 100 breakfasts. The program also convenes member conferences on complex policy challenges outside Washington, in both domestic and international settings, and educational conferences for invited senior congressional staff. It is funded exclusively by established philanthropic foundations; it does not accept funding from governments, corporations, or special interests.


The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

View Comments