Health and Safety:

The Aspen Institute regards the health and safety of its staff and participants as our highest priority and is committed to doing its part to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is an explanation of the health and safety measures we will be taking, as well as expectations for our convening attendees, that are needed to minimize the risk of transmission or spread of COVID-19. Please note that these protocols are subject to change, based on revised guidance from the CDC, and/or from the local jurisdictions in which events are being held. We will do our best to keep you updated.

All attendees at Aspen Institute in-person events will be required to show they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or, if they are exempt from this requirement (see below for exemptions), take a COVID-19 rapid test onsite and show a negative result before entry.

The Institute is using the ReturnSafe app to capture, track, and securely store vaccination data about its attendees.
After providing your contact information, you will be asked a series of questions about your vaccination status and requested to upload your vaccine documentation as verification, so please have it handy when you login to the ReturnSafe app. Login guidance is below.

If you are planning to attend multiple Aspen Institute events, you will only need to answer questions and upload your vaccine documentation once. But you may be asked to return to the app to indicate any new events you may be attending.

If you are fully vaccinated, you will be cleared to attend the event. Please bring your mobile device to the event to show you are cleared to attend. If you do not have a mobile device or neglect to bring it with you, someone can look up your status at the registration desk.

If you are not fully vaccinated, you may be exempted from the vaccination requirement, but only for the following reasons:

  • You have a disability, are pregnant or nursing, and/or have a medical condition which prevents you from getting vaccinated
  • You have objections to vaccination based on religious beliefs
  • You do not yet have access to the vaccine

We are requesting that all attendees upload their documentation as soon as possible (or by Friday, September 17th), to avoid any potential delays when you check in at Aspen on October 4, 2021.

Please follow these steps to install and use the ReturnSafe app.

iPhone users can install the app from the Apple App Store.
Android users can install the app from the Google Play Store.
Or you may access the application from a web browser:

To use the app you will need the following information:

  • Workspace Code: aspeninstitute
  • Program Host or Group: Ascend
  • Event name: 2021 Leadership Impact Forum
  • Event Start Date: October 4, 2021

If you are exempted from the vaccination requirement, you will be asked to arrive early each day to take a COVID-19 rapid test onsite and show a negative result before entry. This test will be provided and paid for by the Aspen Institute. If you test positive for COVID-19, you will not be allowed to attend the event in-person but will be able to view selected sessions online. If you need to be tested, more information on the location and timing of the tests will be provided to you by email before the convening.


Answers to FAQs

What do you mean by “fully vaccinated?”
Fully vaccinated means you have received a vaccine that is authorized by the FDA for use in the United States, OR if you are outside the U.S., have received a vaccine that has been approved by the World Health Organization, AND you are at least 2 weeks past the final shot required of this vaccine.

What about masks?
Masks are currently required indoors in all Aspen Institute locations. Masks must now be worn by all staff and attendees at indoor events and in our offices regardless of vaccination status.

What if I am experiencing symptoms on the day of the event?
As part of the ReturnSafe questionnaire, all attendees will be asked to affirm they will not attend if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 on the day of the event. If, while attending our event, you begin experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, we ask that you depart or we may need to ask you to leave if we think it might put others at risk.

What if I learn after the event that I have tested positive for COVID-19?
If, after you depart our event, you learn that you may have been exposed to the virus, or have contracted it yourself, we kindly ask that you notify us of that information. And we pledge to do the same for you, working with local public health authorities, should we learn of any confirmed exposures among other staff or attendees you may have come in contact with. Your identity will be managed with respect for privacy.

What if I am having technical issues using the ReturnSafe app?
Please visit or email for assistance.

What if I have other questions about the Aspen Institute’s COVID safety policies?
Please email us at