James S. Crown Elected Chairman of Aspen Institute Board of Trustees; Robert K. Steel Steps Down After Eight-Year Term

April 25, 2016

Contact: Pherabe Kolb
Managing Director, Communications and Public Affairs
The Aspen Institute

Seven New Trustees Elected to Board

Washington, DC, April 22, 2016 — The Aspen Institute Board of Trustees announced that James S. Crown has been elected chairman for a three-year term effective immediately. Crown, who had been serving as the board’s vice chairman, takes over from Robert K. Steel who held the position for eight years.

“I am deeply honored to have been entrusted by my fellow trustees with this important task,” said Crown. “The opportunity to work with such an engaged and dedicated board and to partner with President and CEO Walter Isaacson to help shape the future of this great organization and its mission of promoting values-based leadership is a challenge I am eager to accept. Following in the footsteps of Bob Steel is a tall order. He has served the Institute with great distinction and the organization owes him a significant debt of gratitude.”

Crown is the president of Henry Crown and Company, a privately owned company that invests in public and private securities, real estate and operating companies. He serves as lead director of General Dynamics Corporation and is a director of JPMorgan Chase.

Outgoing Chairman Steel led the Institute during a time of extensive growth and change, overseeing the enhancement of the Institute’s public programs such as the annual Aspen Ideas Festival held in Aspen, CO, each summer, the growth in the number and diversity of fellows participating in its leadership programs, and the expansion of its international presence through partnerships around the globe. He will serve as chairman of the board’s Trustee Affairs Committee.

“The Aspen Institute continues to impress me with the breadth and depth of its reach and impact,” said Steel. “It has been a privilege for me to serve this organization as its chairman and I look forward to continued service on the board in the years to come.”

In addition, the Board elected seven new members, and trustees Gerald Greenwald and Ann Frasher Hudson became Lifetime Trustees of the Institute. Isaac Shongwe retired from the board.

Newly Elected Aspen Institute Trustees

William Bynum
Bill Bynum is CEO of HOPE, a credit union (Hope Credit Union), loan fund (Hope Enterprise Corporation) and policy center (Hope Policy Institute) dedicated to improving lives in one of the nation’s most persistently impoverished regions. Since 1994 HOPE has provided financial services, leveraged private and public resources, and shaped policies that have benefited more than 650,000 residents in the Delta and other distressed parts of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. He currently chairs the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Consumer Advisory Board and is a member of the US Partnership for Mobility from Poverty, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Bill is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute.

Troy Carter
A living story of beats, bytes and big ideas, Troy Carter brings 20 years of progressive experience within music, tech and media to the art of hustle as the founder and CEO of entertainment company Atom Factory & content platform Smashd.co, an investor with 80+ holdings including Uber, Spotify, DropBox, and Warby Parker, a founding/general partner of Cross Culture VC, in addition to being a self-accomplished talent manager for artists including Meghan Trainor and Charlie Puth. Troy is a guest shark for Season 7 of ABC’s hit prime-time show Shark Tank. Troy is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute.

Penny Coulter
Penny Coulter is an active philanthropist with interests in arts, education, youth development, and environmental issues. Penny has served on the California Academy of Sciences Board of Trustees. In addition to her service as an Academy Trustee, she is a board member of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and she serves on the selection committee for the Jefferson Scholar Program at the University of Virginia. Penny has served on the boards of Summer Search San Francisco, Summer Search National, the College Foundation for the University of Virginia, and The Little School. Ms. Coulter previously worked as a professional interior designer. Ms. Coulter lives in San Francisco with husband Jim Coulter and their three children.

Arne Duncan
Arne Duncan served as secretary of the US Department of Education from 2009-2016, where took historic steps to preserve jobs, strengthen education, and make college affordable for all. Prior to his appointment in 2009, he served as CEO of the Chicago Public Schools from 2001 through 2008. He previously ran the nonprofit Ariel Education Initiative, which helped fund college educations for inner-city children. Duncan has served on numerous boards, including Chicago Cares and the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence and has received many honors, including recognition from the Civic Federation of Chicago and the Anti-Defamation League. Arne is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute.

Antonio Gracias
Antonio Gracias is the Founder, Managing Partner, and Chief Investment Officer of Valor. Antonio founded Valor in 2001. He currently serves as Lead Independent Director at Tesla Motors and is a director of several Valor portfolio companies, including Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), Marathon Pharmaceuticals, Solar City, and Porch.com. Antonio is actively involved in philanthropic activities. He is a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, a member of the board of directors of World Business Chicago, a member of the board of visitors of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and a member of the board of visitors of the University of Chicago Law School. Antonio holds a joint B.S. and M.S.F.S. (honors degree) in International Finance and Economics from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. Antonio is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute.

Kaya Henderson
Kaya Henderson has served as Chancellor of DC Public Schools (DCPS) since 2010. Under her leadership, DCPS has become the fastest-improving urban school district in the country. She accomplished this through an intense focus on improving teacher quality, actively engaging parents and community members, and launching and expanding a range of innovative programs to increase academic achievements for all students. Chancellor Henderson joined DCPS in 2007 as Deputy Chancellor. Prior to DCPS, she worked at The New Teacher Project and Teach for America, Chancellor Henderson received her MA in leadership and BS in international relations from Georgetown University. Kaya is an Aspen-Pahara Education Fellow of the Aspen Institute.

Carrie Walton Penner
Carrie Walton Penner is a K-12 education advocate and chairs the board of directors of the Walton Family Foundation. She has been active in education research, evaluation, advocacy and philanthropy for more than 20 years. She is focused on improving access to high-quality schools for every child, particularly those in low-income communities. In addition to the Walton Family Foundation, she currently serves on the boards of Charter School Growth Fund, KIPP Foundation, EdVoice and Stanford University Graduate School of Education. Carrie holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and history from Georgetown University, a master’s degree in administration and policy analysis, and a master’s degree in program evaluation – both from Stanford University Graduate School of Education.

For a complete listing of the Aspen Institute Board of Trustees, please visit: http://www.aspeninstitute.org/about/leadership.


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