Staff Transitions at the Aspen Roundtable on Community Change

May 6, 2013

Contact: Jeff Harris
Public Affairs Manager
The Aspen Institute

Staff Transitions at the Aspen Roundtable on Community Change

Washington, DC, May 6, 2013 The Aspen Institute is pleased to announce two major changes in leadership of the Roundtable on Community Change in light of the departures of Anne Kubisch and Karen Fulbright-Anderson from the Institute.

Dr. Keith Lawrence and Dr. Gretchen Susi will become co-directors of the Roundtable on Community Change on May 13, 2013. Dr. Lawrence and Dr. Susi have played a vital role in developing the Roundtable’s flagship program of work around racial equity and inclusion, with a special focus on developing leaders and strategies to break down the connections between race, place and poverty in the United States.

Keith Lawrence joined the Aspen Institute in 1999. He holds a Ph.D. in International Politics and Masters in Urban Planning from the City University of New York. Gretchen Susi joined the Aspen Institute in 2000. She holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Psychology from the City University of New York Graduate Center. 

“We are proud of the great work of the Roundtable around the difficult issues of racial/ethnic equity and inclusion. Keith Lawrence and Gretchen Susi, who have been key to that work for the last decade, are the perfect people to assume leadership of the program,” said Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute.

The Aspen Institute is also pleased to announce the promotion of Patricia Auspos to Senior Fellow overseeing Roundtable projects that focus on planning, managing and evaluating community change initiatives. Dr. Auspos will be responsible for completing the current cycle of projects and drawing to a close the research, conferences, and field-building line of work of the Roundtable on the topic of comprehensive community building  – best known to the field through the series of publications Voices from the Field I, II, and III. Patricia Auspos joined the Aspen Institute in 2000. She has a Ph.D. in British History from Columbia University.

“The Roundtable was founded in 1994 to fill a gap in the field when the recent generation of community-building initiatives was getting off the ground. Thanks to the Roundtable, we all benefited from systematic and high-quality analysis, knowledge development and identification of lessons learned about place-based initiatives. As the field has matured, we have seen rapid growth in the number and quality of research, technical assistance, advocacy and intermediary organizations that support community-level work. The Roundtable, therefore, believes that this is the right time to pass the torch to those other organizations,” said Lisbeth Schorr who served as co-chair of the Roundtable on Community Change, along with the late Harold Richman, for most of the Roundtable’s history.

“We were hoping that Pat Auspos, who is so accomplished in this field, would stay on to help guide our projects on effective management of community change initiatives to completion. We couldn’t be happier that she has agreed to stay on through the next year,” said Elliot Gerson, executive vice president of policy and public programs, international partners at the Aspen Institute.

Anne Kubisch, the current Director of the Roundtable, is departing on May 10, 2013 to become President and CEO of the Ford Family Foundation in Roseburg, OR. (See 

Karen Fulbright-Anderson, the current Senior Fellow and former Co-Director of the Roundtable with Anne Kubisch, relocated to the Midwest to operate a Bed and Breakfast and establish a socially responsible vegan food production company with her husband. She will depart the Aspen Institute on June 30, 2013 to devote her more of her time to those businesses, which have grown substantially over the past few years.  (See and )

The Aspen Roundtable on Community Change was founded in 1994 to distill lessons about how to revitalize distressed areas and help policymakers, practitioners, and funders develop and implement effective strategies for promoting vibrant, racially equitable communities in the United States and internationally.  It provides research, consulting and technical assistance to foundations, nonprofit organizations, corporations, communities, and government agencies. Through its Racial Equity Leadership Development program the Roundtable helps leaders design and implement racial equity plans.

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


View Comments