iOS app Android app

Judith Samuelson
GET UPDATES FROM Judith Samuelson
Judith Samuelson is the Executive Director of the Aspen Institute's Business and Society Program

In 1998, Judy created the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program, which employs research and dialogue among business leaders to build a sustainable global society. Aspen BSP targets innovators and works with business managers at all levels, from MBA students to Fortune 500 CEOs. Judy recently helped spearhead the creation of the Aspen Principles, a set of guidelines for long-term value creation for companies and institutional investors.

From 1989 to 1996, Judy led the Ford Foundation’s office of Program Related-Investments. From 1982-1989, Judy managed a sales and lending team at Bankers Trust Company. From 1974-1980, she worked in Sacramento as a lobbyist and legislative aid on California state health and education issues and in the Governor’s office of Planning and Research.

Judy holds a B.A. from UCLA and Masters Degree from the Yale School of Management. She was a member of the Advisory Board to ACCION-New York and is Chair Emeritus of Net Impact, a network of business students.

Entries by Judith Samuelson

Reinventing Residential Business Education -- Before It's Too Late

(0) Comments | Posted April 18, 2014 | 12:35 PM

This year's cohort of aspiring MBA students are receiving acceptance letters, soon to be followed by hefty tuition bills. The overall class will be smaller than last year's, continuing an enrollment decline that began in 2008 and prompting the usual worries whether such declines are cyclical...

Read Post

Business Leadership, Governance, and a Victory for Adam Smith

(0) Comments | Posted March 11, 2014 | 2:28 PM

It's been a big travel month, speaking in Phoenix at GreenBiz--where oxymoronic ideas like "Sustainable Beef" took the stage; in Evanston, IL to drill down on who's really in charge here? --a provocative exchange of views at the Kellogg School of Management, and in Minneapolis for Law and...

Read Post

SOTU: Obama and the Business of Climate Change

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2014 | 3:57 PM

I have become a single-issue voter. It may not be best for democracy, but I have come to measure all actions through the lens of whether we are doing everything possible to address climate change. For the record, I used to be a two-issue voter -- but that was before...

Read Post

A Big Brand With the Opportunity to Lead on an Increasingly Complex Problem: Climate

(1) Comments | Posted January 16, 2014 | 4:04 PM

Last weekend I enjoyed the opening festivities for a spectacular new building on the Yale campus, designed by Norman Foster to house the Yale School of Management.

YSOM is the "different" business school. From its founding in 1976, it has attracted individuals drawn to complex...

Read Post

Seeking Quiet but Effective Business Leaders for 2014

(0) Comments | Posted December 27, 2013 | 1:01 PM

With holiday cards still trickling in, I especially appreciate a well-written Christmas letter with an idea or image that stays with me after the letter joins the pile. It might be the bright eyes of a new baby or an original artwork. This year, the award goes to my friend...

Read Post

NGOs Need to Keep Pressing Business to Be Transparent Taxpaying Global Citizens

(0) Comments | Posted November 4, 2013 | 1:32 PM

Many global corporations seek to minimize the taxes they pay by lavishly paying lawyers and accountants to concoct elaborate tax avoidance schemes. And evidence mounts they also are trying mask the political contributions they make to lubricate the wheels of commerce and maximize their profits.

One thing...

Read Post

Business Leaders as our Missing Middle?

(0) Comments | Posted October 10, 2013 | 4:55 PM

Last week, when I woke up to the news about the shutting down of the federal government, I began searching for answers. Like many, I feared that the pundits who predicted the shutdown would last only a couple days would be proven wrong. After all, the coalition of tea party...

Read Post

The Important Role Business Schools Can Play In Framing Gender Equity

(0) Comments | Posted September 13, 2013 | 1:05 PM

Earlier this week, the NYT ran a provocative story on gender equity - among students and faculty - at the Harvard Business School (HBS). The article puts a microscope on some difficult experiences of female students and faculty and the school's efforts to give itself "a gender makeover, changing its...

Read Post

Which CEOs Will Be Brave Enough to Rein in Their Own Pay?

(11) Comments | Posted September 12, 2013 | 11:36 AM

The Institute for Policy Studies just released its 20th "Executive Excess" report on "runaway" CEO pay. The report tracked the 25 highest-paid CEOs over two decades. The key finding? Nearly 40 percent of these executives were fired, or led firms either bailed out in the 2008 financial crash...

Read Post

Skating to Where the Puck Will Be, a CR Leader's Mantra

(1) Comments | Posted August 6, 2013 | 5:40 PM

A few days in Aspen under a vibrant blue sky is a great way to clear away the cobwebs and make room for some new ideas, especially in the company of executives who move easily between "big vision" and practical realities. I had one of those opportunities a few weeks...

Read Post

Congrats, Mr. Dimon: What Now?

(1) Comments | Posted May 22, 2013 | 6:37 PM

Dear Mr. Dimon,

Congratulations on prevailing in the vote to separate the chairman and chief executive roles at JPMorgan -- and on remaining the key steward of that institution.

It's a big victory -- and one that broadcasts the esteem with which you are held by your shareholders. You've...

Read Post

Dying for Fashion: Can New Biz Models Stop This?

(0) Comments | Posted May 10, 2013 | 11:41 AM

The collapse of the clothing factories in Bangladesh has returned to the front page, as reporters and pundits consider the impact on consumer habits and the practices of global brands. Is it a game changer? At last count more than 1,000 workers died, double the number reported less than a...

Read Post

Realigning Purpose, Getting Things Done

(0) Comments | Posted March 20, 2013 | 5:25 PM

I once worked with a consultant who started meetings with the following provocation: "The system," he would say, "is perfectly designed for the results we have now." In other words, if we want a different result, then change whatever's driving our behavior.

I just returned from a great...

Read Post

Sign That Petition or Change What Is Taught?

(0) Comments | Posted February 20, 2013 | 9:09 AM

A petition to urge business schools to add human rights to the MBA curriculum is sitting in my inbox. Are human rights important? Check. Is this a relevant issue for business? For global actors working in large swaths of the planet -- absolutely. Should it be required in business schools?...

Read Post

Time Is Ripe for Board Leadership on Executive Pay

(0) Comments | Posted January 28, 2013 | 12:43 PM

The board of JPMorgan Chase took a bold step last week when it slashed CEO Jamie Dimon's bonus in half in the wake of management's failure to rein in excessive risk taking. Reducing the CEO's pay by $10 million may hardly matter against $6.2 billion in trading losses,...

Read Post

Follow the Money: Is Your Mutual Fund Investing in Guns?

(7) Comments | Posted December 19, 2012 | 3:52 PM

I was 12 when my father first tried to interest me in the stock market. He quickly grew frustrated with me, because the only question I ever had for him was the following: "What does the company make?"

When real investors pay attention to this question, as they have...

Read Post

A "Buy Nothing" Holiday Season? Why Collaborative Consumption Makes Sense This Year

(5) Comments | Posted November 26, 2012 | 2:19 PM

By some accounts, Black Friday was a big success. The Dow crawled back over 13,000 for the first time since summer, eking a good story out of reports of growth in Chinese manufacturing, a cease-fire in Gaza and lots of consumers fighting for parking spots at Walmart. Thanksgiving was either...

Read Post

Post-Election, Post-Sandy and Pre-Fiscal Cliff, Obama and Business Leaders have a Perfect Storm of Opportunity

(0) Comments | Posted November 15, 2012 | 8:02 AM

NEW YORK -- An extraordinary opportunity to build the political will necessary to tackle big global challenges -- financial stability and climate change -- is being forged from three game-changing events: the Election, Hurricane Sandy and the Fiscal Cliff. This is the kind of breakthrough moment that future generations will...

Read Post

Putting an End to the Default Practice of Short-term Earnings Guidance

(1) Comments | Posted October 19, 2012 | 12:00 PM

It's earnings season. While the story behind Citibank CEO Vikram Pandit's resignation captures the headlines, CNBC and their competitors continue their breathless ritual of reporting the latest quarterly figures, comparing actual results with "expectations," and driving short bursts of buying and selling with predictable shifts in stock price....

Read Post

Business and the Grand Challenges

(0) Comments | Posted October 1, 2012 | 5:45 PM

In New York City, it's the season for tackling the Grand Challenges. On one side of town, the UN is now in session, and the streets are filled with presidents, prime ministers, ambassadors and their entourage.

Across town in Times Square, the Clinton Global Initiative just wrapped...

Read Post