Principles & Standards

  1. The Aspen Institute is transparent about its finances, including its sources of funding. We disclose all donations and identify corporate, foundation and government donors and sponsors in our annual reports, on our website, and to anyone who asks.
     
  2. The Aspen Institute retains editorial control of all of our publications and events. We have the final say over what gets published, what topics are covered, and who speaks at any of our convenings.
     
  3. The Aspen Institute is a nonpartisan educational organization, which operates independently of the positions and views of our funders.  We do not engage in electoral politics or any activity that would require registration under the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, and do not engage staff or contractors as “lobbyists” as defined by the Act.
     
  4. The Institute will not seek on behalf of any individual or entity to influence an agency or official of the US government or the US public regarding US policy or the policies or relations of a foreign country.  Similarly, the Institute will not act, directly or indirectly, as an agent, representative, or in any other capacity at the order, or under the direction or control of any government or political entity.
     
  5. The Aspen Institute seeks to maintain a diversity of funding from foundations, individual donors, registration fees, event ticket sales, and corporate sponsorships in order to retain its independence and to avoid the potential for any funder to compromise the integrity of the discourse at the Institute.  Funders are not allowed to dictate or veto content or participants in any of the Institute’s events.
     
  6. The Aspen Institute seeks to have a diversity of opinion on its board and at its major public events.
     
  7. A standards committee of management, staff and independent participants, appointed by the CEO and approved by the chair of the board of trustees, will monitor and assess issues relating to the integrity of the Institute’s work. Any questions about possible conflicts of interest or unwarranted influence from funders should be referred to this committee. This committee should also be informed about any overseas government donation, individual gifts that raise questions about the Institute’s independence, and any funding that is tied to the advancement of a specific legislative proposal or executive branch action. The committee will rule on the appropriateness of any donation or sponsorship that could reasonably call into question the Institute’s integrity or independence, and shall make periodic reports to the executive committee of the board of trustees as deemed appropriate by the CEO. The director of human resources will also set up a confidential system for Institute staff to raise any concerns about standards and issues of integrity. Major issues will be reported to a standards committee of the Aspen Institute board of trustees, appointed by the chair of the board.