Ascend was founded in 2010 with the vision of an America in which a legacy of economic security and educational success passes from one generation to the next. Ascend is a policy program of The Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. The Institute’s mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute has campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also maintains offices in New York City and has an international network of partners.
Catalyzed by a dynamic partnership of philanthropic leaders and the vision of Aspen Institute Vice President and Ascend Executive Director Anne Mosle, Ascend publically launched in March 2011. Following a kick-off dinner featuring 2012-2013 Ascend Fellow Wes Moore and Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson, Ascend hosted its inaugural roundtable on two-generation strategies, welcoming field innovators, philanthropists, and leading researchers to explore breakthrough ideas and proven strategies for moving parents and children toward economic mobility.
Since the March 2011 launch event, Ascend has boldly ramped up its core program strategies to spark and elevate conversations around low-income families, build a network of leaders around two-generation strategies, and elevate promising two-generation policies and community solutions.