Around the Institute

2003 Discovery Class

October 16, 2012  • Henry Crown Fellows Newsletter

Thanks to Sherman Baldwin for setting the wheels in motion to get the 2003 Class together for a mini-reunion on Oct. 18 in New York City.  There will be ten attending with one possible mystery guest…

Congrats to Thomas Layton and 2001 Fellow Charles Conn who partnered to launch the Common Sense Coalition earlier this year.  Senior Moderator Skip Battle and 2001 Fellow Tim Marquez serve as Board Members and 2001 Fellow Kelsey Wirth is a member of their advisory board.  The goal of the organization is to restore a sense of ownership over our country’s democracy and put the betterment of America ahead of party and personal interests.

Anne Devereux writes:  “Hi all! I’m finally settling into my San Francisco-based life, having been here over a year and finally booted the last contractor out of the house. Woo hoo! Visitors are now welcome. While here, I’ve been lucky to get involved with a couple of interesting new projects (I’m the Executive Director of the Healthy Body Image Programs at Stanford, and Chairman of the Board of Advisors for #waywire, the new digital media channel that is the brain-child of fellow Fellow, Cory Booker). I also continue to serve on the Board of Marchex, feeling lucky to stay connected with its CEO (and fellow Fellow) Russell Horowitz. Despite that stimulation, I’m still poking around for an incremental assignment that I can dig into a little more deeply, so I’d welcome ideas from any of you who have exciting projects happening in the San Francisco area that might benefit from the experience of a seasoned CEO, strategist and marketer. Let me know if you have needs or ideas – it’s taking a while to shift home base from NYC to San Francisco in a meaningful and connected way. I think digging into a great work project will help me. On an intimate note, I’m happy to report that both of my daughters are ‘killin’ it’ in college (that is a good thing, they tell me) and while I miss having them home, I am thoroughly enjoying living with my love in the ‘City by the Bay’. Please come visit. My yellow front door is open to all.”

Thanks to the efforts of Eric Motley and the Aspen Institute’s Commission to Reform the Federal Appointments Process, the US House passed S. 679, a bill to make modest reforms to the presidential appointments process, and sent it to the President in late July. The President signed the bill August 10. The bill transformed around 200 PAS positions into PA positions, voluntarily giving up the Senate’s consent on these appointments. In addition to surprising pundits who had predicted the Senate would never voluntarily reduce its control over even the most minor positions, the Senate also initiated a review of the inquiry process.  Eric writes, “This is a MAJOR step in making the government more effective, at least in one area. There was great opposition, but in the end we managed to get the bill passed with a lot of help from a lot of very good, concerned and committed individuals.” The Commission, created in January, 2010, has focused on non-political ways to speed up the formation of new presidential administrations in fast-moving times. Its membership is bi-partisan, with experience in the executive branch and Congress and representation from national organizations committed to improving government. Learn more about the Commission to Reform the Federal Appointments Process here.