Judy Samuelson

Vice President, The Aspen Institute & Founder & Executive Director, Business and Society Program

The Aspen Institute


Judy Samuelson is founder and executive director of the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program and author of Six New Rules of Business: Creating Real Value in a Changing World (Berrett-Koehler, 2021).  Signature programs under Judy’s leadership include a ten-year campaign to disrupt Milton Friedman’s narrative about corporate purpose, the Aspen Principles of Long-Term Value Creation, and a partnership with Korn Ferry to rethink executive pay. She previously worked in legislative affairs in California and banking in New York’s garment center and ran the Ford Foundation’s office of program-related investments. Samuelson blogs for Quartz at Work and is a Bellagio Fellow and a director of the Financial Health Network.

Judy led a ten-year campaign to disrupt Milton Friedman’s narrative about profit-maximization to successfully challenge conventional thinking in board rooms and classrooms about the Purpose of the corporation; she produced the Aspen Principles of Long-Term Value Creation to challenge short-termism in business and capital markets; and is promoting a set of Principles designed to disrupt the status quo in boardrooms about the design of CEO pay.

Judy’s career spans working in the California State Legislature, banking in New York’s garment center and directing the Ford Foundation’s exploration of impact investing – the Office of Program-Related Investments. Samuelson writes regularly for Quartz at Work. She is a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellow and a director of the Financial Health Network.