The Aspen Initiative in the UK has today announced the appointment of Ed Williams as their new Chairman of the Board.
The President and CEO of Edelman EMEA will be focused on fulfilling the aims of the charity which supports and inspires leaders to transform themselves and their society. Aspen UK is an independent charity that supports and inspires leaders to transform themselves and their society. It plays an active role in bridging the UK’s political, social and cultural divides, and does so by using the unique Aspen method of text-based and professionally guided conversations.
Even before the Covid-19 crisis, the UK was experiencing unprecedented political and social divisions. The need for debate on critical issues, and for real, values-based leadership to address those issues, has never been stronger. Aspen UK is uniquely placed to make a contribution to that debate.
Aspen UK is part of the international grouping of institutes based round the world. They all spring from the original Aspen Institute in the US, which was established more than 70 years ago. Today it is an educational and policy studies organisation based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. It delivers public programmes, such as the Aspen Ideas Festival, policy programmes, leadership programmes and seminars.
Mr Williams is the President and CEO of Edelman EMEA. Prior to that he led Edelman UK and Ireland for eight years. Following a career in journalism, he went on to oversee corporate affairs and communications for two global media companies: the BBC and Reuters. He advises senior executives on communications and strategy, and currently serves on a number of other boards, including the Royal College of Art, the Woolf Institute in Cambridge and sits on the International Crisis Group’s Advisory Council.
Commenting on his appointment, Ed Williams said:
“Like many countries around the world, the UK has become increasingly divided in recent years. Society has become worryingly polarised, the tone of political conversation has coarsened and the need for leaders to raise the level of debate and seek common purpose has become increasingly clear. There is no greater challenge now than Covid-19, which demands leadership rooted in strong values, that bridges divides and finds practical solutions to help people facing huge challenges in their lives. The work of Aspen UK has never been more important and it is a great honour to chair the Board in these unprecedented times.”
Ed Williams joins the Board the same week as Aspen UK launched a new series of public online conversations focused on the world we envisage as society emerges from this period of great uncertainty and challenge.
The “Future Of” series will focus on a wide range of areas including the future of ethical business, work, museums, feminism, culture and our international institutions.
Participants will include:
– Zoe Cohen – Extinction Rebellion
– Tristam Hunt, Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum
– Diane Lees, Director General of the Imperial War Museum
– Margaret MacMillan, Historian
– Lord Malloch-Brown, former UK Government Minister and United Nations Deputy Secretary-General
– Sir Malcolm Rifkind QC, Former Foreign Secretary