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Welcoming Remarks: 2021 Aspen Security Forum

November 4, 2021  • Daniel R. Porterfield

Aspen Institute President and CEO Dan Porterfield delivered the below welcome remarks at the 2021 Aspen Security Forum in Washington, DC on November 4, 2021. Follow him on Twitter @DanPorterfield.

It is my pleasure to welcome you all this morning to the second day of the 12th annual Aspen Security Forum, and the first in-person Forum since 2019. We are also excited to be back in person, safe, forward-looking, and live in Washington, D.C. for the first time.

Please join me in thanking the Aspen Strategy Group and its Co-Chairs, Joe Nye and Condoleezza Rice.

We are deeply appreciative of the ASG leadership and staff—including Nick Burns, Anja Manuel, Niamh King, John Hogan, Leah Bitounis, Deb Cunningham, Emily Lawrence, Kathleen Shea, Maya Rosales, and Marco Mavrovic—for their effort in putting together this Forum.

And we are so deeply appreciative of the leadership of generous Aspen Institute Trustees Jane Harman, Madeleine Albright, David McCormick, Thelma Duggin, and many others renowned for service to our country and democracy around the world.

Thank you as well to NBC News, who we are partnering with for the fifth consecutive year. As you may have seen, the Institute was proud to announce recently that we are deepening our partnership with NBC in the coming years and just announced that they will become the exclusive media partner of the Aspen Ideas Festival in 2022.

The Aspen Security Forum is made possible with generous support from Mastercard, McKinsey, Microsoft, The MITRE Corporation, Raytheon Technologies, the Rockefeller Foundation, American Airlines, Capgemini, Healthcare Distribution Alliance, Intel, PhRMA, Rebellion Defense, and WhatsApp. Thank you so much to our sponsors.

This convening is a critical component of the Institute’s work and provides a resolute, nonpartisan forum for inclusive dialogue on the most pressing national security and foreign policy challenges of our time.

Clearly, the most sophisticated thinking about security now requires engagement with, and an understanding of, areas like public health, technology, economics, finance, and even those old liberal arts standbys: history, philosophy, culture, and political theory. That’s why the Aspen Institute is such an ideal home for the Aspen Security Forum and the Aspen Strategy Group—because we work at the crossroads where left and right meet center; where the public and private sectors meet civil society; where science and social science meet humanism; where tradition and disruption meet progress; where domestic and global meet security; and where idealism and realism meet diplomacy and aspiration.

In that spirit, we are very pleased to have co-produced two of the sessions this year with other Institute programs: the Institute’s Health, Medicine, and Society Program will co-produce a segment on vaccines and national security, and our Aspen Economic Strategy Group is co-producing a session on COVID-19 recovery, the global economy, and the future of globalization.

These collaborations speak volumes about the breadth of our reach as an Institute and how these intersections give us the opportunity to leverage our collective expertise in these complex times.

We are also delighted to be hearing during this conference from the Aspen Strategy Groups’ Rising Leaders Program—a new initiative focused on the next generation of leaders in international affairs and security. I had the pleasure of meeting them last year and am impressed by the talent of the group. I know they are prepared to drive change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the greatest foreign policy and national security challenges of our time.

Thank you for joining us. Now I’m delighted to welcome Anja Manuel to begin today’s program.