Statement on the Passing of Senator Dick Clark

September 21, 2023

The following statement is by Charlie Dent, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Congressional Program founded by Senator Dick Clark in 1983. Senator Clark died on September 20, 2023.

It is with great sadness I note the passing of Senator Dick Clark, the founding executive director of the Aspen Institute Congressional Program. Senator Clark, 95, died yesterday at his Washington, D.C., home.

He established this program 40 years ago and set the foundation we have built upon. Further, he set the key convening principles for our Congressional conferences: both Democrats and Republicans are invited; experts should represent various perspectives; and spouses are included and encouraged to participate. Senator Clark designed conferences that touched down across the world and created nonpartisan, bicameral learning environments for members of the U.S. Congress to meet with world leaders and experts focused on consequential foreign policy issues.  The relationships developed between members and spouses during these conferences proved to be an important element. The ideals Senator Clark set for these Aspen Institute Congressional Program convenings are more important now than ever given the current tone in Washington.

Senator Clark’s tried but true phrase he always used: “good policy depends on informed policy makers” is the basis and reason for the creation of the Aspen Institute Congressional Program.  His contributions and principles are still at work at the Aspen Institute Congressional Program, and we are tremendously grateful to him for the high standards of the program and legacy he has built.

It is with a heavy heart the Aspen Institute extends deepest sympathies and condolences to his wife, Julie, and family.

Charlie Dent
Executive Director
Aspen Institute Congressional Program

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