Six Leaders Elected to Aspen Institute Board of Trustees

April 16, 2014

Contact: Jennifer Myers
Director, Communications and Public Affairs
The Aspen Institute

Six Leaders Elected to Aspen Institute Board of Trustees
James S. Crown Elected Vice Chairman

Washington, DC, April 16, 2014 —The Aspen Institute announced today the election of six new members to its Board of Trustees. They include: Miguel Bezos, Kenneth L. Davis, Mark Hoplamazian, Salman Khan, Laura Lauder, and Ricardo Salinas. Each member will serve a three-year term that begins immediately.

Trustees Melva Bucksbaum, Leonard Lauder, and Charles Powell will become Lifetime Trustees of the Institute. Michael K. Powell retired from the board.

Additionally, Robert K. Steel was re-elected to a new two-year term as board chairman ending in 2016. Trustee James S. Crown was elected as the board’s vice chairman of the board and will succeed Steel as chairman.

“We are so fortunate to have such an inspiring group of leaders join us on the Institute’s board,” said Chairman Robert K. Steel. “Their diverse voices and the guidance they are sure to provide will be a welcome addition. We are so grateful to Melva Bucksbaum, Leonard Lauder, and Charles Powell for their invaluable contributions over the years and hope and expect they will continue to stay active in Institute affairs as lifetime trustees.”

For a complete listing of the Aspen Institute Board of Trustees, please visit:

Newly Elected Aspen Institute Trustees

Miguel (Mike) Bezos is the vice president and co-founder of the Bezos Family Foundation. Guided by his oft-stated notion that “your education is always yours – once you have it, it cannot be taken away” and a deeply held belief that all children deserve an opportunity to achieve their full potential and contribute meaningfully to society, Bezos co-founded the Bezos Family Foundation in 2000 with his wife Jackie, their three children, and their spouses, all of whom serve as directors. Through investments in research, public awareness, advocacy, and programs, the foundation works to elevate the field of education and improve life outcomes for all children along the continuum from birth through high school. The foundation has pioneered in-house programs — the Bezos Scholars Program at the Aspen Institute, the Aspen Challenge, and Students Rebuild — to offer young adults a dynamic way to connect, learn about, and take action on critical local and global issues. Bezos’s professional career spanned more than 32 years with Exxon Mobil in various engineering and managerial positions in the US and overseas. A native of Cuba, Bezos immigrated to the US as a teenager and worked his way through the University of Albuquerque where he completed his undergraduate degree. Bezos is on the board of New Classrooms Innovation Partners.

Kenneth L. Davis, MD, serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of The Mount Sinai Medical Center (since 2003). Prior to becoming CEO, Dr. Davis spent 15 years as Chair of Mount Sinai’s Department of Psychiatry. He served as Dean of Mount Sinai School of Medicine (2003 to 2007). He served as President of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (2006) and has received its Joel Elkes Research Award, Daniel H. Efron Research Award, and Paul Hoch Distinguished Service Award. His research led to the FDA’s approval of three of the first four drugs approved for Alzheimer’s Disease.  He was the first director for many of Mount Sinai’s research entities, including Mount Sinai’s NIH-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, the Schizophrenia Biological Research Center at the Bronx Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, the Silvio Conte Neuroscience Center to study schizophrenia, and the Seaver Autism Center. Yale University presented Dr. Davis with the George H. W. Bush ’48 Lifetime of Leadership Award (2009). Honors also include the VA’s career development award and the A. E. Bennett Award of the Society of Biological Psychiatry.  The American Psychiatric Association has honored Dr. Davis’s work, and in 2002 he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science. He attended Mount Sinai School of Medicine and received the Harold Elster Memorial Award – for highest academic achievement in the School’s second graduating class.  Ken completed his residency and fellowship in psychiatry and pharmacology, respectively, at Stanford University Medical Center.

Mark Hoplamazian was appointed to the board of directors of Hyatt Hotels Corporation in November 2006 and named president and CEO in December 2006. Prior to his current appointment, Hoplamazian served as president of The Pritzker Organization, LLC, the principal financial and investment advisor for Pritzker family business interests. During his 17-year tenure with The Pritzker Organization, he served as advisor to various Pritzker family-owned companies, including Hyatt Hotels Corporation and its predecessors. He previously worked in international mergers and acquisitions at The First Boston Corporation in New York. Hoplamazian is the current chairman of the National Advisory Council on Minority Business Enterprise. He serves on the advisory board of Facing History and Ourselves, the council on the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the board of directors of New Schools for Chicago, the executive committee of the board of directors of World Business Chicago, and the Henry Crown Fellowship Program board of overseers. He is a member of the World Travel & Tourism Council and the Commercial Club of Chicago. Hoplamazian graduated from Harvard College in 1985 and earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 1989. He is a member of the 2003 Discovery Class of the Henry Crown Fellowship at the Aspen Institute.

Salman Khan is the founder of the Khan Academy, a nonprofit with the mission of providing free, high-quality education for “anyone, anywhere” in the world. Khan graduated from MIT in 1998 with three degrees: two bachelors of science in mathematics and electrical engineering/computer science; and a master of science degree in electrical engineering. He worked in technology in Silicon Valley until the first bubble burst, after which he attended Harvard Business School. After earning a master’s degree in business administration in 2003, Khan became an analyst at a Boston-based hedge fund. In 2004 as a side project, Khan began tutoring his young cousin in math, communicating by phone and using an interactive notepad. When others expressed interest, he began posting videos of his hand-scribbled tutorials on YouTube. Demand took off, and in 2009 he quit his day job to commit himself fully to the not-for-profit Khan Academy. In October 2010, Khan was listed in Fortune’s annual “40 Under 40,” which recognizes business’ hottest rising stars, as well as Fast Company’s list of the “100 Most Creative People in Business.” He was profiled by “60 Minutes” and recognized by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined is his first book, released in October 2012.

Laura Lauder is a native of Canton, Ohio, and journeyed to UNC-Chapel Hill and Seville, Spain for her undergraduate education. She joined her husband Gary in their venture capital partnership, Lauder Partners in 1992, specializing in Internet and cable-related investments. Ms. Lauder now mainly focuses on their family foundation and nonprofit work, serving on nearly a dozen non-profit boards. She has served on the board of the National Public Radio Foundation, is active with YPO/WPO, in on the Board of the National Constitution Center of Philadelphia, and is a fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations. At the Aspen Institute, she and Gary co-founded the Socrates Society in 1996, a program to develop young leaders, and she serves on the Leadership Council of the Franklin Project, a policy program of the Aspen Institute to launch a National Service Initiative to expand Americorps to 1 million young people, 18-28 through public-private partnerships. She is the Vice Chair of the $1.6B Jewish Community Endowment Fund of San Francisco (JCEF), which distributes millions of dollars to the local Jewish community in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ms. Lauder is also the founder of DeLeT, a Jewish “Teach for America” for Jewish Day Schools in the US, housed at Brandeis University and HUC-JIR. She serves on the board of SV2, as well as the Advisory boards of Stanford University School of Education, and the New Schools Venture Fund.  She She is an avid cyclist and political junkie. She hopes to never run for political office but is willing to climb any mountain on a bike.

Ricardo Salinas is one of Latin America’s leading entrepreneurs and President of Grupo Salinas, a group of companies that successfully compete in finance, retail, telecomunications and media, among other sectors. The Group companies’ have added sales that represent close to 1% of Mexico’s GDP, with operations in nine countries across the Americas, and over 100,000 employees. In addition to business units, and as part of Ricardo Salinas’ philosophy to improve living conditions of the communities where the Group operates, Fundación Azteca was created as a non-profit organization with a focus on health, nutrition, education and the environment. Other Grupo Salinas’ initiatives that seek to build a better society are Kybernus, a program that supports political and social leadership through a culture of values; Fomento Cultural Grupo Salinas, which promotes art and culture; Ciudad de las Ideas, a festival of brilliant minds; and Caminos de la Libertad, a series of essays contests that seek to provoke reflection about freedom. Ricardo Salinas’ pioneering vision has received the recognition of some of the most important corporate organizations and forums. He has addressed the World Economic Forum, the Young Presidents’ Organization, The Economist Roundtable on Mexico, the Institute of the Americas, UCLA, TED and the Harvard Business School, among many others. In these forums he usually discusses issues related to globalization, education, entrepreneurship, freedom and the opportunities at the base of the pyramid. Mr. Salinas publishes a Blog where he shares his thoughts on corporate, political, economic and cultural issues. This material is also regularly published at the Huffington Post, Newsweek en español and La Opinión, as well as in Mexican newspapers.

About the Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit


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