Anne Mosle and a dynamic partnership of philanthropic leaders founded Ascend in 2010 with the vision of an America in which a legacy of economic opportunity and educational success passes from one generation to the next. The program publicly launched in March 2011.

Ascend is a policy program of the Aspen Institute. The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization with the mission of fostering values-based leadership and providing a nonpartisan venue for dialogue around critical issues.