Dan Glickman Appointed New Head of Aspen Institute Congressional Program

Mar 03, 2011, 09:22 ET from The Aspen Institute

WASHINGTON, March 3, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Aspen Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of Dan Glickman as the new executive director of its Congressional Program. Glickman, a former U.S. Congressman and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, succeeds founder Dick Clark, a former U.S. Senator, who is retiring after nearly 30 years leading the program. Glickman will be based out of the Institute's Washington, D.C. headquarter offices and begins in his new position on April 1, 2011.

"The Institute could not have found a person better suited to assume leadership of this remarkable program than Dan Glickman," said Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson. He added: "Dan has shown a rare talent over his many years in public service for finding common ground among those with divergent views. He has a keen understanding of the ways of Congress, understands the policy issues facing our nation, and is sure to keep the momentum of this program going forward with great skill. Dick Clark raised the bar extremely high and I am confident Dan is up to the task."

The Aspen Institute Congressional Program, established in 1983, is a nongovernmental, nonpartisan educational program for members of the United States Congress. It provides lawmakers with a stronger grasp of critical public policy issues by convening high-level conferences and breakfast meetings in which legislators are brought together with internationally-recognized academics, experts and leaders to study the issues and explore various policy alternatives.

In accepting his new position, Glickman said, "I am excited to follow in the great footprints of former Senator Dick Clark in leading this very important bipartisan program providing education and leadership opportunities for members of Congress.  Especially as a former Member of the House myself, I want to work with Members of Congress across the political aisle to continue to provide these opportunities to discuss critical national and international issues. I am especially delighted to be associated with the Aspen Institute, which continues to be such an extraordinarily important leader in public policy debate and discussion."

Outgoing director Dick Clark praised Glickman as the person with "the right experience, intelligence, and character to make an excellent director.  I am pleased he is enthusiastic about carrying on our work."

Glickman has recently been affiliated with the Bipartisan Policy Center where he will continue to serve as a senior fellow and co-chair its Democracy Project. He was chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. from 2004 until 2010. Prior to joining the MPAA, Glickman was director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government (2002-2004).  He served as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture from March 1995 until January 2001. Under his leadership, the Department administered farm and conservation programs; modernized food safety regulations; forged international trade agreements to expand U.S. markets; and improved its commitment to fairness and equality in civil rights. Before his appointment as Secretary of Agriculture, Glickman served for 18 years in the U.S. House of Representatives representing the 4th Congressional District of Kansas. During that time, he was a member of the House Agriculture Committee, including six years as chairman of the subcommittee with jurisdiction over federal farm policy issues. Moreover, he was an active member of the House Judiciary Committee and chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

The Congressional Program does not take positions on public policy issues but a number of important legislative initiatives have grown out of the discussions, such as the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program to facilitate the transportation, storage, safeguarding and destruction of nuclear and other weapons in the former Soviet Union; and the No Child Left Behind education reform.

The Congressional Program currently conducts projects on Energy Security, Political Islam, Nuclear Security, and Education Reform.  Previous initiatives focused on U.S.-Russia relations, U.S.-China relations, U.S. policy in Latin America, multilateral diplomacy, Indochina, southern Africa, and the global environment.  Political neutrality has been essential to the educational mission of the program. There is no identification with a political or party viewpoint and no endorsement of specific legislation. Since its inception, the Congressional Program has been funded solely by established foundations. Funding is not accepted from lobbyists, governments, corporations, private citizens or special interests; and honoraria are not paid to members of Congress or scholars.  Lobbyists are not permitted at the meetings and are not involved in the program in any way.  Three hundred forty-four members of Congress, 885 scholars and 222 parliamentarians and heads of state have participated in 108 conferences and 365 breakfast meetings.

The Aspen Institute mission is two-fold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs, and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, D.C.; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It also has an international network of partners.

SOURCE The Aspen Institute