Aspen Institute Aims to Boost Public/Private Cooperation by Bringing “The Intersector Project” In-House

June 3, 2021

New York-based non-profit will join the Aspen Institute’s Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation

Contact: Jon Purves
Senior Media Relations Manager
The Aspen Institute

June 3, 2021, Washington DC— The Aspen Institute’s program on Philanthropy & Social Innovation (PSI) today announced the launch of TIP@PSI, a resource hub on effective collaborations among the government, businesses, and the nonprofit sector for solving society’s hardest problems. Case studies will be offered — ranging from COVID-19 economic recovery to climate change interventions — with assessments of lessons learned. And toolkits, research reports, and digital resources will be available to the public on PSI’s website.

TIP@PSI is the result of the integration of The Intersector Project (TIP), an eight-year old New York based non-profit, into the Aspen Institute as a project of PSI. The move was championed by TIP’s Founding ChairFrank A. Weil, who joined in the announcement. Its Executive Director, Neil Britto, has joined PSI as Associate Director and Project Lead. Signing on as Senior Advisor is former TIP board member Daniel Gitterman, public policy professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The project is funded by the Hickrill Foundation.

Weil first developed the intersector concept and helped build TIP as a stand-alone institution. He argues that the timing is right for establishing the project within the Institute and putting the concept squarely on the Washington agenda. “While leading the US Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration and in subsequent decades in the private sector as an attorney and investment banker, I found that the hardest problems we face are often best addressed by bringing private and public actors to the table,” Weil said. “The three sectors don’t always speak the same language, nor do they always trust one another. So, strengthening the capacity of these actors to work together should be our top priority,” he said, adding “PSI couldn’t be a better fit for this ongoing work. And, given the challenges our country faces, the combining of the two efforts could not happen at a more opportune time.”

“If there were ever a time for an all of society response to the challenges faced, that time is now,” agreed Jane Wales, Vice President of the Aspen Institute and Executive Director of its Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation. “President Biden came to office with a daunting agenda: ending the pandemic, restarting the economy, mitigating climate change, and advancing racial justice. While no single sector can solve these problems on its own, together they just might. The analysis of TIP@PSI will help us understand how.”

According to Britto, “Over the years we have learned that the essential attributes of successful cross-sector collaboration include shared decision-making, collective leadership, and appreciation of the distinctive contributions each actor offers. From vaccine development and distribution to economic recovery plans, the global pandemic revealed the importance of effective collaboration among government, business, and the non-profit sector.” Britto added “we have studied examples of what works and what doesn’t. By sharing that knowledge, we hope to contribute to the solutions the country now seeks.  And the Aspen Institute’s Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation offers an effective platform for advancing both research and practice.”

TIP@PSI will release four new case studies of cross-sector collaboration in the weeks ahead. The June publication of the book The Intersector: How the Public, Nonprofit, and Private Sectors Can Address America’s Challenges., co-edited by Gitterman and Britto will provide practical insights from both scholars and practitioners. The book will be released by Brookings Press and TIP@PSI will host webinars featuring chapter authors.


The Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation (PSI) at the Aspen Institute seeks to inform and maximize the impact of social actors from the private and charitable sectors through leadership development initiatives, convenings, communications and advisory services so that each can contribute to the good society at home and abroad. The program’s theory of change rests on the premise that if leaders have clarity about their values, are collaborative in their approach to problem-solving, and are aware of the strategies and potential partnerships available to them, they are more likely to succeed in advancing their social goals. PSI created, curates and convenes the Aspen Philanthropy Group of 20 foundation CEOs, the Mid-America Foundations CEOs of placed-based philanthropies, The Emerging Nonprofit Leaders Seminar, and the Artists-Endowed Foundations Initiative to build the nascent field. It leads the Non Profit Data Program, which works to assure that data generated by or gathered on the sector is made “open”—available in real time at no or low cost in machine readable format so as to be compared across datasets. For more information, visit

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

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