Executive Director, Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program
Judith Samuelson is founder and Executive Director of the Business and Society Program at The Aspen Institute. Founded in 1998, the program employs dialogue, teaching and research to explore complex issues at the intersection of business and society. Aspen BSP signature programs include the Corporate Values Strategy Group, the Beyond Grey Pinstripes global report card and database on business education, the First Movers Fellowship, the Aspen Center for Business Education and CasePlace.org, a resource for teaching faculty on environment, social impacts and governance practices of business.
Ms. Samuelson’s work experience spans the business, government and nonprofit sectors. She joined the Ford Foundation in 1989 and served through 1996 as Director of the Office of Program-Related Investments, the home of the Foundation’s $150 million social investment fund, targeting domestic and international investments in housing development, micro-enterprise, economic development and nonprofit infrastructure. In 1994 she helped launch the Foundation’s Corporate Involvement Initiative, a comprehensive effort to encourage private-nonprofit partnerships and facilitate business opportunities that promote long-term value creation for business and society.
Business and Government: From 1982-1989, Ms. Samuelson was a commercial banker at Bankers Trust Company where she managed a sales and lending team to New York’s garment center. She began her career in Sacramento, California as a lobbyist and legislative aid on public health and education issues and as a policy analyst in the Governor’s office of Planning and Research.
Ms. Samuelson has a Masters degree from the Yale School of Management and a B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, from UCLA. She is Chair Emeritus of Net Impact, a global MBA student network; a member of the Advisory Board of ACCION-New York, a micro-lending program; a member of the Star Island Corporation and a former Trustee and President of the Congregation of All Souls Church of New York City, where she lives with her husband Vic, and children, Anna and Sarah.
Session: The State of Positive Business