Social capital is not only a core component of the two-generation approach; every person needs a network of others to depend and rely on. At Ascend, we’re all about teamwork — none of this work would be possible without the contributions of every team member. Learn a little more about us below.
If you’re interested in joining our team, you can explore available positions on The Aspen Institute’s Career Opportunities page.
Vice President and Executive Director
Anne Mosle is a vice president and executive director of Ascend at the Aspen Institute and she also serves as co-chair of the Aspen Institute Forum on Women and Girls. She is an innovative and inclusive leader in building pathways to opportunity for low-income children, women and families. With more than 20 years of experience in philanthropy, policy, and practice, Mosle is a nationally recognized leader in bringing those sectors together to build pathways to opportunity for children, women, and families with low incomes. Mosle has achieved numerous awards including Washingtonian of the Year, APHSA’s 2017 Jerry W. Friedman Health and Human Services Impact Award, and Visionary Philanthropist.
Mosle founded and leads Ascend, a policy program of the Aspen Institute. Ascend serves as the national hub for breakthrough ideas and proven solutions that move low-income children and their parents towards educational success, economic security, and health and well-being. Under her leadership, Ascend at the Aspen Institute has guided the national two-generation field to new heights and catalyzed action and investments for children and families around the world. Mosle led the design and launch of the Ascend Fellowship, a national fellowship program that identifies and amplifies the impact of multi-sector leaders with “quantum leap” ideas to break the cycle of poverty, and the first national Two-Generation Innovation Fund and national network focused on policy and practice innovations, which now comprises over 300 partners reaching 3.5 million people.
From its inception, Ascend at the Aspen Institute has embraced a commitment to racial equity, a gender lens, and engaging the voices of families. Ascend’s policy expertise and cross-sector collaboration approach is well respected and has been highlighted in White House forums and hundreds of communities across the country.
Mosle is an active contributor to the Aspen Institute policy leadership team committed to tackling the issues of inequality and opportunity in the United States. She has authored and contributed to numerous publications, including the Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink; Two Generations, One Future; First Focus Big Ideas; and Top 10 for 2Gen Policy Ideas and Principles to Advance Two-Generation Efforts.
Prior to the Aspen Institute, Mosle served as a vice president and executive officer of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), where she served on the executive council and oversaw $140 million in annual investments. Mosle led the creation of WKKF’s Family Economic Security Portfolio and launch of their Mission-Driven Investing program. In addition, Mosle was responsible for the Civic and Philanthropic Portfolio and New Mexico place-based investments.
Mosle is recognized as an innovator in the women’s philanthropic movement. Beginning in 2000, she served as the president of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, spearheading seven years of record growth and driving a national effort to elevate the role of women philanthropists in communities. She was also the lead architect of their nationally recognized grantmaking initiative, Stepping Stones, to build the financial independence of women and families.
Mosle currently serves on the board of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the Executive Governing Board of the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation State Strategy Advisory Committee, National Trustees Council of America’s Promise, and Leadership Council of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation. She lives with her family in Washington, DC.
Marjorie has more than 20 years of experience in advancing the status of women and families at local, state, national, and international levels. She formerly served as program officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation with a specific focus on family economic security programs and managed a $65M grant portfolio. Prior to joining the Kellogg Foundation, Sims held the positions of chief operating officer, interim president, and vice president of programs and operations at the Washington Area Women’s Foundation. During her tenure in Washington, Sims helped launch Stepping Stones, a $5 million, multi-year, regional initiative to increase the income and assets of women-headed families. Stepping Stones received national recognition as a model public-private partnership. In addition, Sims served as the executive director of the California Women’s Law Center and as a policy analyst with the International Center for Research on Women. She is a co-founder of Women’s Policy, Inc., an organization that emerged from the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues to provide unbiased analyses and educational briefings about federal legislation affecting women and families. Sims has additional expertise in expanding women’s philanthropy and managing leadership transitions.
Senior Associate, Operations and Convenings
Tiana Barlow is the senior associate for operations and convenings with Ascend at the Aspen Institute.
At Ascend, Tiana supports systems and event management for the Ascend Fellowship program. Prior to joining Ascend, she worked as the operations coordinator for the College Excellence Program (CEP) also an Aspen Institute program. In this role she provided operational support across various programs.
Prior to joining the Aspen Institute, she worked as the assistant director at a nonprofit located in Alexandria, Virginia. While in this role she worked to improve higher education access to students at Alexandria City High School by awarding college scholarships to graduating seniors and providing them with college advising. Tiana graduated from Alexandria City High School (formerly known as T.C. Williams High School) in 2012. Tiana has worked in many roles over the years aimed at improving higher education access for underrepresented groups. Tiana holds a B.S. in justice studies with a minor in political science and an M.P.A with a concentration in nonprofit management, both from James Madison University.
As the Communications Manager for Ascend at the Aspen Institute, Brendan advances Ascend’s use of external communications to strengthen audiences’ understanding of policy and practice solutions for improving family economic mobility, educational success, and health and well-being.
Prior to joining Ascend, Brendan worked in the Brand Marketing department at Feeding America and served as a Campaign Manager at the Ad Council. While at Feeding America, he helped coordinate outreach to its network of 200 member food banks and analyzed its brand reach. At the Ad Council, Brendan mobilized federal government agencies, nonprofits, corporate partners, ad agencies, and media companies to develop national nonpartisan multi-media public-service communications campaigns. His campaigns addressed urgent public issues such as combatting the opioid epidemic, raising awareness about retirement savings, and educating the public about the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, Brendan’s docket focused on working with various federal government agencies on family and community topics: encouraging families to experience nature, educating parents about the right car seat for their child, and recruiting prospective parents for teens in foster care. As part of his work promoting adoption, he helped develop a speakers’ bureau of adoptive families to grow a human-interest storytelling program. Most recently, Brendan served as Marketing & Communications Specialist at the Foundation for Art & Healing.
Brendan is originally from outside Chicago and graduated with a BBA in Marketing from Loyola University Chicago. Outside of work, Brendan loves swimming, biking, playing board games, exploring DC with his dog, and watching movies.
Assistant Director for Postsecondary Achievement and Innovation
David Croom is assistant director for postsecondary achievement and innovation of Ascend at the Aspen Institute, where he leads the Aspen Postsecondary Success for Parents (PSP) Initiative. Centered on a two-generation (2Gen) approach, which focuses on creating opportunities to address the needs of children and the adults in their lives simultaneously, the PSP Initiative urges postsecondary leaders to identify and meet the needs of student parents and their families, by connecting with policymakers to strengthen political will among states and regions, and bringing innovative family-support models to the forefront.
Prior to joining Ascend, David was HBCU Lead and Higher Education Designer at Education Design Lab where he led an institutional engagement with UNCF’s Career Pathways Initiative. For over four years, David was a strategy officer in Lumina Foundation’s Washington, D.C. office where he focused on the Foundation’s work to advance federal policy and pursue issues pertaining to postsecondary finance, both toward the goal of increased attainment of high-quality credentials. Before Lumina, he was a policy analyst focused on federal postsecondary education in ACT’s office of strategic initiatives and, during graduate school, spent a year working at nonprofit PolicyLink with their California Boys and Men of Color Initiative work as well as consulting the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and nonprofit California Competes. His first foray into federal policy was as congressional aide to Congresswoman Maxine Waters, tasked with the member’s education portfolio with a specific emphasis on regulation of for-profit higher education.
David currently serves on the board of Raise the Barr and Swipe Out Hunger. Native to South Florida but now a resident of Washington, DC, David holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy and a bachelor’s degree from MIT’s Sloan School of Management with a minor in political science.
Associate Director for Network and Outreach
Sarah Haight is the associate director for the Ascend Network and outreach at Ascend at the Aspen Institute. The Aspen Institute’s mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. Ascend is a policy program of the Institute and a hub for breakthrough ideas and collaborations that move children and their parents toward educational success and economic security.
At Ascend, Sarah manages the national Ascend Network; two-generation practice and technical assistance strategies; national convenings, including the 2Gen Practice Institute, ThinkXChange, and roundtables on key areas of 2Gen approaches; and directs programming of special projects, including managing the Aspen Family Prosperity Innovation Community. Prior to The Aspen Institute, Sarah worked as an editor and journalist at Conde Nast in New York City. She earned her Master of Social Work degree from the Silver School of Social Work at New York University and has worked as a therapist in direct-practice clinical settings with women with low incomes, with a focus on maternal mental health. She is licensed to practice social work in New York and the District of Columbia. She received her bachelor’s degree from Barnard College.
New York, NY
Lexi Ivers is the Program Coordinator for the Postsecondary Success for Parents (PSP) Initiative at Ascend at the Aspen Institute. Lexi is a family advocate and technology enthusiast passionate about leveraging innovation to increase capacity for families who face the most significant opportunity gaps.
Before joining Ascend, Lexi worked at the New York City Department of Homeless Services, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive homeless system. In her role, she collaborated across city agencies to advance holistic service delivery models for children and families living in shelter. She also served on the executive policy team, where she worked to develop more equitable city-wide rental housing assistance policies.
Lexi graduated from American University, where she studied legal history and public policy. In her free time, she enjoys dancing with friends, baking, and escaping to new cities.
Roselande Louis is a Program Associate for Leadership and the Aspen Institute Forum on Women and Girls at Ascend at the Aspen Institute. She brings over four years of experience supporting local and national community-based organizations and grassroots organizing initiatives through a gender and racial justice lens.
Prior to joining Ascend, Roselande served on the Program Team at the Ms. Foundation for Women, a national women’s fund. She supported the programmatic initiatives at Ms. across the issue areas of safety, health, and economic justice. Specifically, she managed cross team projects, operations, strategic convenings, and grantmaking processes. Earlier in her tenure at the Foundation, her work focused on their economic justice program where she maintained grantee relations and built capacity in the areas of childcare equity, low wage, and domestic worker rights.
As a 2016 AmeriCorp VISTA in the New York City Mayor’s Office, she developed programming that contributed to the implementation and expansion of NYC Youth Leadership Councils, a citywide program that integrates youth voice and representation in policy and practice decision making across city agencies, public schools, and community-based organizations.
Roselande is passionate about building power and capacity for girls and women to thrive. She is a proud daughter of Haitian immigrants, Black feminist, and an alumna of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship program. Collecting art, traveling, spending time with family, and Zumba brings her joy.
Veronica is an executive assistant at Ascend at the Aspen Institute. The Aspen Institute’s mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. Ascend is a policy program of the Institute and a hub for breakthrough ideas and collaborations that move children and their parents toward educational success and economic security.
Veronica has over 20 years of diverse experience supporting executive-level government civilians, military officers, and private-sector personnel. For seven years, she was a defense contractor at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology and the Missile Defense Agency.
Prior to this, Veronica spent 14 years supporting executive-level leadership at L-3 Communications.
Senior Communications Associate
San Francisco, CA
Cecile Nguyen is the Senior Communications Associate for Ascend at the Aspen Institute, focusing primarily on the Aspen Postsecondary Success for Parents Initiative to raise awareness of parenting students and share recommendations to better support their education goals. In her role, she supports Ascend’s overall communications strategy and execution, including web, email, and social media strategy as well as communications to target audiences in policy, practice, research and philanthropy.
Cecile specializes in data analysis across various digital platforms to inform content development tactics and audience engagement strategies in support of advocacy communications. Before joining Ascend, she worked for KABOOM!, the national nonprofit that works to end playspace inequity. Her work supported social media communications, email marketing, website content development, and all the digital analytics and optimization tactics in between. Over the course of her tenure at KABOOM!, Cecile led the daily operations management of its brand refresh, was a consistent voice in determining its language, color, and imagery, and helped spearhead strategies to support annual Giving Tuesday campaigns as well as various cause marketing campaigns for key partnerships. The profound impact that the digital landscape has had on Cecile’s personal and professional life fuels her passion for the subject, and she is proud to be part of the Ascend team to continue wielding digital tools and drive change among society as a whole.
Cecile graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. When she’s not “plugged” into the digital world, she enjoys dancing, weightlifting, outdoor activities, and decluttering her space to declutter her mind.
Senior Director of Communications
Shilpi Niyogi is Ascend at the Aspen Institute’s inaugural Senior Director of Communications.
Shilpi knows the power of education to transform lives, families and communities. Her work focuses on helping organizations advance economic mobility and positive social change as globalization and digital innovation reshape how we live and work. Both a beneficiary of and advocate for our public schools, she has worked at the intersection of education research, policy and practice to expand opportunities for diverse learners since 1990. Shilpi has a strong track record building and leading innovative, high-performing teams, programs, partnerships and campaigns — such as the Webby and Pollie Award-winning www.parenttoolkit.com created in collaboration with NBC News. As Pearson’s SVP for Global Corporate Affairs and Marketing, she helped transform the international media conglomerate into the world’s learning company. Earlier at ETS, Shilpi helped the non-profit expand its mission and brand beyond admissions testing to serve learners in new ways in new markets.
Born in London and raised in South Jersey, Shilpi is a first-generation American immigrant from an Indian family with deep roots in education, advocacy and the arts. She currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Visitors for University of Maryland’s College of Education and as a member of the NationSwell Council. Previously she served on the inaugural Advisory Board for Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher college access initiative. She holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Brown University. Shilpi lives in Washington, DC and thoroughly enjoys patronizing all the museums and performing arts venues in our nation’s capital.
Jasmine M. Oliver is the Operations Program Associate for Ascend with the Aspen Institute’s Operations team. In her role, Jasmine supports team operations, outreach efforts, and logistics for virtual and in-person convenings.
Prior to joining Ascend, Jasmine served for six years in various operations roles with the SCORE Association – a volunteer-based nonprofit that provides free mentoring services to start-up and existing small busines owners. While at SCORE, Jasmine spearheaded a Call Center program to identify and document best practices for client contact. She introduced the first app for SCORE’s annual national leadership conference as well as implemented self-check in processes. In her last role before departure, Jasmine was the lead training specialist for SCORE’s new Salesforce CRM system, creating & delivering training materials to maximize user adoption. Jasmine brings with her an optimistic attitude and a strategic approach to operations, program management, and policy.
Jasmine graduated from George Mason University, where she earned her B.A. in Sociology and Masters of Public Policy. In her free time, she enjoys crafting, cooking, gaming, and outdoor activities.
Kimberly Reese is an Executive Assistant at Ascend at the Aspen Institute. Prior to this role, she worked as a Business Development Associate at BNY Mellon Wealth Management in Atlanta, GA. In this role, she provided support to the sales team and local leadership working with high and ultra-high net worth clients. She also supported the National Head of Strategic Philanthropy with event planning as well as new philanthropic client onboarding. Kimberly graduated from the University of Alabama in 2015 with a degree in finance and economics.
Lexi Robinson is the Program Associate for Ascend with the Aspen Institute’s Family Prosperity initiative. In her role, she supports the design, planning, and execution of Ascend’s Family Prosperity Innovation Community as it continues to amplify methods and principles for comprehensive family supportive policies.
Prior to joining Ascend, Lexi worked in the Communications and Development Department at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition – where she contributed to the organization’s storytelling and outreach efforts as well as supported fundraising and partnership strategies – served as an Americorps Member for City Year DC, and Events and Outreach Coordinator for the Sadie Collective. While at City Year, Lexi cotaught and mentored 7th and 8th grade special education students in the DC public school system. She experienced firsthand the difficulty of engaging students virtually during a global pandemic and the increased tension for parents surrounding inflexible work constraints and student support. At the Sadie Collective, Lexi took lead in the planning and execution of strategic partnership opportunities with organizational partners such as the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute. With the Sadie Collective’s chief goal being to eliminate the barriers for Black women in economics and related fields, Lexi’s execution and relationship leveraging has resulted in providing hundreds of Black women long overdue visibility within the profession. Lexi brings with her a complex view of equity and justice work and an array of program management tactics that she feels honored to add to the Ascend team.
Lexi is originally from Novi, Michigan and graduated with a BS in Nonprofit and Public Administration from Central Michigan University.
Associate Director for Leadership and Design
Lori Severens is the associate director for leadership and design with Ascend at the Aspen Institute. She manages Ascend’s Fellowship programs, which are values-based leadership programs for diverse leaders with the vision to ensure the American dream passes from one generation to the next. In addition to her current work on the Ascend Fellowship, she has co-designed and launched two leadership development programs for US and global leaders.
Prior to joining Ascend, Severens was the regional director for North Africa and the Middle East for a consulting firm based in Tunis, Tunisia. In that role, she managed projects for international organizations and businesses on climate change, violence against women, fragile states, and public health in sub-Saharan Africa.
Severens has also served with the U.S. Agency for International Development in Cairo, Egypt and Washington, DC, where she was responsible for regional youth leadership, communications, and civil society programs in the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia. She began her career at the Center for Policy Alternatives, working with state legislators and advocates on economic empowerment for women, domestically and internationally.
Severens received her B.A. in history and Spanish from Mary Baldwin College and her M.A. in international relations and economics from The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. She is a certified professional coach and lives in Takoma Park, Maryland with her family.
Sariah Toze is the program associate for the Ascend Network and outreach at Ascend at the Aspen Institute. The Aspen Institute’s mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. Ascend is a policy program of the Institute and a hub for breakthrough ideas and collaborations that move children and their parents toward educational success and economic security.
At Ascend Sariah supports engagement of Ascend’s national network, the Aspen Family Prosperity Innovation Community, and various 2Gen convenings.
Prior to working at Ascend, Sariah was the program assistant and consultant in the Africa department at the Center for International Private Enterprise where she oversaw management of grants with partners on the African continent. Sariah also spent two years as a consular assistant at the US Embassy in Dakar, Senegal. Sariah holds a BA in Political Science from Brigham Young University, and an MA in Social Development and Sustainable Livelihoods from the University of Reading.
Olivia Tuttle is the Special Projects Program Associate for Ascend. In her role, she provides research, administrative, programmatic, and outreach support, as well as logistical support for Ascend convenings.
Before joining Ascend, Olivia worked in the nonprofit and public sectors: in her previous position with a management consulting firm, she supported a USDA loan and grant program in its mission to expand broadband to rural communities across America. She has also supported event planning and data management for a national nonprofit and led two AmeriCorps teams working with FEMA to support disaster response efforts in Houston, TX and Sacramento, CA.
Originally from Nevada, Olivia holds an MA in Criminal Justice from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While earning her degree, she studied human trafficking and completed her master’s thesis on international responses to human trafficking.
James White is a program manager for leadership and communications at Ascend at the Aspen Institute. The Aspen Institute’s mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan forum for dealing with key issues. Ascend is a policy program of the Institute and the national hub for breakthrough ideas and collaborations that move families toward educational success, economic security, and health and well-being.
At Ascend, James supports the national Ascend Fellowship and Colorado Children and Families Health and Human Services Fellowship and Ascend’s strategic communications efforts. Prior to joining Ascend, he supported a portfolio of programming dedicated to elevating youth voice within the Aspen Institute and beyond and led the team’s strategic communications efforts.
Prior to joining the Institute, James worked as a public relations intern at Time Inc., where he supported brand communications efforts across a portfolio of brands including TIME, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated. A native New Orleanian, James holds a B.S. in Communication with concentrations in Persuasion and Social Influence and Media Studies from Cornell University.