MacArthur has announced a grant of $1.5 million over three years to the Aspen Institute to support the cost of seminars for members of Congress on issues related to international affairs.
MacArthur has supported Aspen's Congressional Program since 1987. Headed by former Senator Dick Clark, the program provides lawmakers with a deeper understanding and background on critical foreign policy questions through seminars and briefings by leading scholars and practitioners on such issues as U.S.-Russia relations, U.S.-China relations, environmental change, political Islam, and Latin American affairs.
Under Senator Clark's distinguished leadership, the Aspen Congressional Seminars have become a venue for bipartisan discussion of leading international issues and a trusted source of expert advice, said Jonathan F. Fanton, President of the MacArthur Foundation. Over the years, the relationships built at these seminars have influenced policy formation on such issues as the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program and the normalization of relations with Vietnam, to name just two.
The Aspen Institute began its Congressional Program in 1985 when, at the height of the Cold War, the first series of conferences and meetings was held for Members on U.S.-Soviet Relations. The Program now conducts five to six seminars per year, usually three to five days in length on issues that are supplemented with regular breakfast briefings on Capitol Hill.
The Congressional Program will use MacArthur support to hold twelve programs on international topics over the next three years. The topics and content of the seminars will be developed by the Institute and its staff.
Founded in 1950, the Aspen Institute is a non-profit organization with principal offices in Aspen, Colorado; Washington, D.C. and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The Aspen Institute operates internationally through a network of partners in Europe and Asia.