Marjorie Sims

Managing Director

Marjorie Sims is the managing director of Ascend at the Aspen Institute. In her role, Marjorie works closely with the executive director on the strategic direction of the program’s vision, leads content development related to Ascend’s areas of expertise, and oversees the development and implementation of all operations in support of achieving team goals.

Marjorie has more than 20 years of experience in advancing the status of women and families at local, state, national, and international levels, as well as in expanding women’s roles in leadership positions within philanthropy. Before joining Ascend in 2018, she 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, Marjorie held the positions of chief operating officer, interim president, and vice president of programs and operations at the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, where she helped launch Stepping Stones, a $5 million, multi-year, regional initiative to increase the income and assets of women-headed families. In addition, Marjorie 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.

Marjorie lends her insights and expertise through a number of roles with external partners:

  • Serves on the board of director for All Our Kin
  • Advisor to the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) National Advisory Committee on State and Federal Systems Alignment to Improve Whole Family Approaches to Economic Mobility
  • Advisor to the Transformative Consumer Research Executive Leadership and Social Impact Council
  • Advisor to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Ready to Learn initiative
  • Advisor to the Measuring SUCCESS Project: Technical Working Group

Favorite Part of my Role

I love that my role gives me the opportunity to work with a deeply committed and brilliant team, talk with leaders from around the world, and learn about the ways that systems can be transformed to support families with their aspirations in mind.

Stories featuring Marjorie Sims

Ascend at the Aspen Institute today launched a report, A 2Gen Approach in Wisconsin: A State Case Study for Systems Leaders & Policymakers, which deta...
Press ReleasesMay 16, 2024
Graphic with text that says "Announcing the 2023-24 Parent-Powered Solutions Fund Partners" and features Ascend's 2023 Parent Advisors against a blue backdrop.
Today, Ascend is excited to announce our 2023-24 Parent-Powered Solutions Fund Partners, six organizations and institutions from across the country wh...
Press ReleasesJanuary 23, 2024
Ascend at the Aspen Institute today launched a report, A 2Gen Approach in Minnesota: A State Case Study for Systems Leaders & Policymakers, which deta...
Press ReleasesJanuary 9, 2024
In an Portland Press Herald op-ed, Nicole Witherbee of the John T. Gorman Foundation and Marjorie Sims share themes from a statewide convening and ide...
Media MentionsJanuary 8, 2024
Pictured are Bobbi Acoff and her two adorable children, Damauree and Darnasia. Credit: Brighton Center
The Next Steps for Rigorous Research on Two-Generation Approaches project is one of the largest federal research investments in the two-generation (2G...
Ascend NetworkOctober 2, 2023
This Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Week session discussed two-generation (2Gen) strategies to achieving improved outcomes for families.
Ascend NetworkJuly 19, 2023
The Aspen Family Prosperity Innovation Community Phase II sought to find and foster the most effective and innovative strategies to accelerate social ...
Aspen Family Prosperity Innovation CommunityMay 3, 2023
Ascend at the Aspen Institute builds intergenerational family prosperity and well-being for children and the adults in their lives through a two-gener...
Ascend NetworkApril 27, 2023
In a blog post authored by Trene Hawkins of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Ascend's Managing Director Marjorie Sims shares how Ascend harnesses paren...
Aspen Family Prosperity Innovation CommunityApril 6, 2023
1 in 5 Student Parent Podcast
The 1 in 5 podcast vividly profiles students who are parents pursuing their education while raising a family and working. Today, more than one in five...
BlogDecember 1, 2022
I started off the 2022 Aspen Ideas Festival at Aspen Words Book Ball, a passion project of Isa Catto and Daniel Shaw.
Ascend FellowshipJune 25, 2022
This year, the Aspen Idea Festival returns to in-person programming at our campus in the Rocky Mountains June 25 - July 1, 2022.
Ascend FellowshipJune 15, 2022
A commitment to rigorous learning and evaluation is fundamental to the implementation of a two-generation (2Gen) approach so that we’re me...
Ascend NetworkMarch 10, 2022
Anne Mosle and Marjorie Sims co-authored an op-ed in Penn Live/ Patriot News discussing the accomplishments of Ascend Network partners in Pennsyl...
Ascend NetworkOctober 19, 2021
Two-generation approaches (2Gen) meaningfully engage and listen to families as equal partners in setting and achieving family goals. Family expertise ...
BlogAugust 3, 2021

Convenings Featuring Marjorie Sims

Location: Virtual
Join Marjorie Sims on Monday, 5/13 for a book talk with Elissa Strauss and Josephine Kalipeni as they discuss the power of caring for others and the role our policies and systems have to address the cultural roots of the caregiving crisis.
ConveningMay 13, 2024
– May 13, 2024
Location: Zoom
To build capacity and evidence for two-generation (2Gen) approaches, the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE), within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) sponsored the Next Steps for Rigorous Research on Two-Generation...
ConveningOctober 26, 2023
Location: Virtual & In-Person in Washington, DC
Over the course of two days, our discussions focused on bold, equitable, and pragmatic strategies for building prosperity and well-being for all families. Sessions include insights from the latest two-generation (2Gen) family data, examples of...
ConveningApril 11, 2023 – April 12, 2023
Location: Washington, DC & Virtual
A decade into 2Gen 2.0, what have we learned about family outcomes, and what’s the research roadmap for organizations moving forward? This session will provide a sweeping analysis of what we’ve accomplished and what the agenda looks like for 2Gen...
ConveningApril 12, 2023
Location: Washington, DC & Virtual
On Day 1 we focused on what it takes to move the needle for families with low incomes. Join us for a robust Day 2, in which we will focus on bold, equitable, and pragmatic strategies for building prosperity and well-being for all families. Now is the...
ConveningApril 12, 2023
Location: Virtual
Please join us for a national briefing on a new, groundbreaking two-generation analysis of families with low incomes across the US. This new comparative analysis of 2011 and 2021 Census data, looking at children and the adults in their lives...
ConveningMarch 2, 2023
Location: Aspen, CO
From San Antonio to Boston and from Los Angeles to Cincinnati and thousands of communities between, the Power of Place is about unearthing collective purpose and capital. Hear from visionaries who zero in on historical traumas to rebuild trust and a...
ConveningJune 26, 2022
Location: Virtual (Zoom)
This discussion was one of more than 15 sessions from the 2021 Aspen Forum on Children and Families.
ConveningJune 8, 2021
Location: Virtual (Zoom)
Dr. Rohini Anand’s book, Leading Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: A Guide for Systemic Change in Multinational Organizations, offers five proven principles for organizations to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion with a nuanced...
ConveningJanuary 27, 2022
Location: Zoom
This discussion was one of more than 15 sessions from the 2021 Aspen Forum on Children and Families.
ConveningJune 8, 2021
Location: Aspen, CO (in-person) & Live Webcast (virtual)
In 2017, Ascend launched the Aspen Family Prosperity Innovation Community, a learning and action initiative that developed bold strategies that strengthen parents’ and families’ employment, economic security, and health and well-being. Six...
ConveningOctober 17, 2019