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Aspen Institute Names Levere Ascend Fellow

By Sean Luechtefeld on 02/15/2012 @ 01:00 PM

Tags: Children's Savings Accounts

Below is the Press Release sent by The Aspen Institute this morning announcing that CFED President Andrea Levere has been named an Ascend Fellow. Please join me in congratulating Andrea on this important accomplishment!

The Aspen Institute today announced that Andrea Levere of Washington, D.C., will be in the inaugural class of its Ascend Fellowship program, one of a select group of 20 leaders from across the country who are pioneering two-generation approaches to move families beyond poverty.

Levere is the president of the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), a Washington D.C.-based national nonprofit. As the president of CFED, one of the leading asset-building organizations in the country, Andrea has pioneered research, policies and products that promote expanding economic opportunity for families with low incomes. She has been on the forefront of efforts to expand matched savings for children and adults to help them save towards the purchase of a lifelong asset, such as a home, a business or tuition for college.

Ascend was launched in 2011 with support from national foundations and women 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, Ascend executive director. “Each one will pursue cutting-edge work that illustrates two-generation strategies in their various fields.”

“Andrea Levere’s work on the Partnership for College Completion and child savings accounts are great examples of breakthrough thinking,” Mosle continued. “I am honored that Andrea 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.

The announcement of the fellowship program coincides with the release of an Aspen Institute report, “Two Generations, One Future.” The report makes the case for focusing on educational success for parents and their children together as a promising way to move families out of poverty.

“A two-generation approach can be a game-changer for families with low incomes,” Mosle said. “We are seeing promising results from programs and policies around the country that promote education and skills for parents and provide quality early-learning opportunities for their children. We believe a focus on education, economic supports and social capital, the core components of the two-generation approach, can lead to economic security for families.”

The full list of Ascend Fellows:

Ms. Katie Albright
San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center, Executive Director

Ms. Cara Aley
American MoJo, President and COO

Mr. Reggie Bicha
Colorado Department of Human Services, Executive Director

Ms. Mia Birdsong
Family Independence Initiative, Vice President

Dr. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale
Northwestern University, School of Education, Institute for Policy Research, Professor of Human Development & Social Policy and Social Policy Faculty Fellow

Ms. Karla Davis
Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Commissioner

Mr. Steven Dow
Community Action Project, Executive Director

Dr. Chris King
University of Texas at Austin, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, Ray Marshall Center, Director

Ms. Andrea Levere
CFED, President

Mr. Steve Liss, Director/photographer

Dr. Meera Mani
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Children, Families and Communities Program, Director

Dr. C. Nicole Mason
NYU Wagner Women of Color Policy Network, Executive Director, Assistant Research Professor

Ms. Margaret McKenna
Lesley University, President Emeritus and Professor of Leadership

Mr. Wes Moore
Author, Host

Reverend Vivian Nixon
College & Community Fellowship, Executive Director

Dr. Eduardo Padrón
Miami Dade College, President

Ms. Gloria Perez
Jeremiah Program, President and CEO

Dr. Mario Small
University of Chicago, Chair and Professor of Sociology

Mr. Henry Wilde
Acelero Learning, Senior Vice President of Operations

Dr. Richard Wylie
Endicott College, President


The Aspen Institute’s Ascend program
is a hub for breakthrough ideas and proven strategies that more parents, especially women, and their children beyond poverty towards educational success and economic security. For more information, please visit

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. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs, and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, D.C.; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, please visit


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