The Aspen Institute is an international nonprofit organization founded in 1950 by Walter Paepeke, chair of the Container Corporation dedicated to "fostering enlightened leadership, the appreciation of timeless ideas and values, and open-minded dialogue on contemporary issues."

The institute and its international partners seek to promote the pursuit of common ground and deeper understanding in a nonpartisan and nonideological setting through regular seminars, policy programs, conferences, and leadership development initiatives.

The institute is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has campuses in Aspen, Colorado (its original home) and near the shores of the Chesapeake Bay at the Wye River in Maryland. Its international network includes partner Aspen Institutes in Berlin, Rome, Lyon, Tokyo, New Delhi, and Bucharest, as well as leadership initiatives in the United States and in Africa, India, and Central America.

The Aspen Institute is largely funded by foundations such as the Carnegie Corporation, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Ford Foundation, by seminar fees, and by individual donations. Its board of trustees includes a wide range of leaders from the realms of politics, government, business, and academia who also contribute generously to its support; Walter Isaacson is currently President and CEO.

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