The Aspen Institute announced yesterday that Christopher King, director of the Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources at The University of Texas at Austin, will be in the inaugural class of its Ascend Fellowship program. The Ascend Fellows are a select group of 20 leaders from across the country who are pioneering two-generation approaches to move families beyond poverty.
King leads a team that designed and is analyzing the implementation and outcomes of a jobs strategy for low-skilled, low-income parents of children in Tulsa, Okla.'s Head Start and Early Head Start programs. He is a labor economist with four decades of experience conducting policy and program analysis, designing innovative programs and evaluating the effects of education and training interventions. He has written widely on education, workforce and social policy. He also teaches courses on policy economics at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, which houses the Ray Marshall Center.
Ascend was launched in 2011 with support from national foundations and female philanthropists, and is a hub for breakthrough ideas and proven strategies that move parents and children -- two generations -- toward economic security together. Educational success is central to its work.
"Ascend Fellows are exceptional leaders from government, philanthropy, research, nonprofits, the media and private sector," said Anne Mosle, the fellowship program's executive director. "Each one will pursue cutting-edge work that illustrates two-generation strategies in their various fields.
"Christopher King's work designing and evaluating two-generation strategies at Head Start programs in Tulsa is a great example of breakthrough thinking," said Mosle. "I am honored that Chris will be a part of the Ascend network of leaders in two-generation strategies to build a legacy of educational success and economic security."
The Ascend Fellows will work to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty through public, private and nonprofit sector innovation and collaboration; state-of-the-art research; public engagement; and different market-based and philanthropic models.
Fellows will receive scholarships to support participation and execute action plans to pursue two-generation approaches. They will be eligible to apply for grants from an innovation fund that Ascend is developing to support such work.
For a full list of fellows, visit the Ascend program website.
The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society; and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues.