Ascend at the Aspen Institute is the national hub for breakthrough ideas and collaborations that move children and the adults in their lives to educational success, economic security, and health and well-being. We take a two-generation approach to our work, focusing on children and the adults in their lives together, and we bring a gender and racial equity lens to our analysis. In everything we do, we draw on the expertise and experience of families.

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners.



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.


How We Work

At Ascend at the Aspen Institute, we strive to achieve a culture of collaboration, dialogue, and respect. To that end, we work in the following ways:

  • Convening and communicating
  • Building leadership and a national network
  • Advancing practice and policy solutions