Judith Samuelson has been at the forefront of fresh thinking about the role and impact of business for almost two decades as founder and executive director of the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program. Her pioneering efforts encouraged business schools to broaden their teaching and research about corporations and gave rise to the Aspen Principles, a set of guidelines signed by leading companies and institutional investors to promote long-term value creation to benefit not just shareholders but all of society. The Principles are widely cited and were named one of “50 Stars in Seriously Long-Term Innovation.” With her colleague Nancy McGaw, she helped launch a new generation of corporate “intrapreneurs” through the First Movers Fellowship Program.
Samuelson has been unflagging in urging business, as the most influential institution of our day, to help tackle society’s most complex problems, from global warming to inequality, by revisiting the basic rules of what counts as business success. Through dialogue, networks, and public programs, as well as expert commentary in leading media, Samuelson challenges business leaders to place long-term, responsible decision-making at the heart of business practice and education. The most recent policy work includes The American Prosperity Project.
Before Aspen, Samuelson led the Ford Foundation’s office of Program Related-Investments. She was also a banker in New York’s garment center for Bankers Trust Company, and a lobbyist and legislative aide in her home state of California, working on health and education issues. Samuelson has a Masters degree from the Yale School of Management and a B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, from UCLA. Follow her on Twitter @JudySamuelson and read her blog posts on LinkedIn.