Aspen Wye Fellows attend White House briefing
QUEENSTOWN — The Aspen Wye Fellows, a support group for the Aspen Institute’s 1,000 acre Wye River campus in Queenstown, had a private White House Briefing on Wednesday, March 23 with Megan J. Smith, Chief Technology Officer of the United States and Assistant to the President.
Thirty five Aspen Wye Fellows drove from the Eastern Shore to The White House Complex to meet with Smith, former Vice President of Google and Chief Executive Officer of PlanetOut, with two degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Smith discussed the evolution of technological innovation and collaboration in the U. S. in recent decades. She addressed the U. S. government’s efforts to create a technologicallysavvy government infrastructure, of efforts underway to rethink American education in an age of high technology, and of efforts to enlist some 70 countries in open and collaborative technological innovation.
Smith spoke of 5.5 million new technology jobs open in the country, and the need to train qualified employees to fill them. She dialogued with the Fellows about encouraging entrepreneurs and technology startups, providing them with venture capital funding, and transforming education to provide STEMoriented employees.
The Aspen Wye Fellows were formed in 2006 to connect the Wye River campus with Eastern Shore residents who are intellectually curious individuals interested in meaningful dialogue with world thought leaders. The Fellows take part in an extensive yearly program of receptions, dialogues, seminars and concerts on the campus; monthly major events in Washington; and opportunities to participate at the Aspen Institute’s summer events at its Aspen, Colorado campus.
Notable speakers at the Wye River campus have ranged from Queen Noor of Jordan to U.S. secretaries of state, defense, attorney general, veterans affairs, homeland security and agriculture. Ambassadors from Egypt, Mexico, Afghanistan and Austria and U.S. ambassadors to several countries have joined the Fellows, along with noted authors such as Khalid Hosseini, Walter Isaacson and Cokie Roberts.
Leaders of U.S. government departments including The White House, Federal Communications Commission, National Park Service, General Services Administration, Defense Department, Central Intelligence Agency, and National Endowment for the Arts have been among Fellows speakers, as have major journalists, federal judges, university presidents, scientists, explorers, senior military officers, investment experts, and cultural and civil rights leaders.
For information on becoming an Aspen Wye Fellow, contact Judith Price, Aspen Wye River Campus Manager at judy. price@ aspeninstitute. org or 410820- 5432.
Megan Smith, right, Chief Technology Officer of the United States, discusses the nation’s technological innovation with Philip Webster, Chairman of the Aspen Wye Fellows, center, and the Aspen Wye Fellows at the White House complex.