top of page

273: ICYMI - Maureen Conway of the Aspen Institute

From October 2023: Bret Keisling was joined by Maureen Conway, vice president of the Aspen Institute and executive director of its Economic Opportunities Program, for a deep dive on employee ownership, quality jobs, and the critical interplay between job opportunities and strong communities, young people and the workforce.

Maureen shared the Aspen Institute's background and focus and an overview of the first annual EO Ideas Forum, co-sponsored by the Rutgers SMLR Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing. Held in the summer of 2023, Bret called it the most powerful program on employee ownership he's seen in fifteen years in the field.

Interested in having your employee-owned company achieve its goals? Schedule a free, no obligation chat to see how Bret can help you grow your ESOP, co-op, and EOT on calendy here or email Bret at

... or watch the original video below.

This episode was originally released on October 3, 2023 as Episode 253: Maureen Conway of the Aspen Institute.


Episode 273 Notes

For Further Listening

About Maureen Conway

"Maureen Conway serves as vice president at the Aspen Institute and executive director of the Institute’s Economic Opportunities Program (EOP). EOP works to expand individuals’ opportunities to connect to quality work, start businesses, and build economic stability that provides the freedom to pursue opportunity. Maureen founded EOP’s Workforce Strategies Initiative and has headed up workforce research at the Aspen Institute since 1999. Maureen also curates a public discussion series at the Aspen Institute, Opportunity in America, which brings together voices from business, labor, policy, human services, media, academia, and others to discuss the challenges experienced by many in today’s labor markets and new ideas for addressing these challenges. In addition, Maureen oversees EOP’s leadership development programs, which connect innovators, both within communities and from across the country, to peers working to help low- and moderate-income Americans access opportunity.

Maureen is the author of numerous publications including research reports, case studies, and policy briefs, including co-editing, together with Robert P. Giloth, the book Connecting People to Work: Workforce Intermediaries and Sector Strategies, a collection that brings perspectives from philanthropy, policy, research, and practice together. A featured speaker at national and regional conferences, she is a nationally recognized expert in workforce issues and has been quoted in a variety of news media including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and National Public Radio and her writing has appeared in Fast Company, Politico, Quartz,, and other outlets.

Maureen’s previous experience includes consulting for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris and work for the US Peace Corps, where she advised on the design, management, and evaluation of the organization’s economic development programs in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Maureen holds an M.B.A. from Columbia University, where she was a Samuel Bronfman Scholar, a master’s in regional planning from the University of North Carolina, and a B.A. in economics and mathematics from Holy Cross College."

About The Aspen Institute's Economic Opportunities Program

"The Economic Opportunities Program (EOP) advances strategies, policies, and ideas to help low- and moderate-income people thrive in a changing economy. We recognize that race, gender, and place intersect with and intensify the challenge of economic inequality and we address these dynamics by advancing an inclusive vision of economic justice. For over 25 years, EOP has focused on expanding individuals’ opportunities to connect to quality work, start businesses, and build economic stability that provides the freedom to pursue opportunity.

We collaborate with national and local leaders across the United States – nonprofit leaders, policymakers, labor leaders, business leaders, educators, academics, and more – and we actively seek input and ideas from individuals and communities affected by proposed approaches to address economic opportunity challenges. Through our leadership and fellowship programs; applied research and evaluation; data and analysis; and dialogue with diverse stakeholders, we work at both local and national levels to build understanding and galvanize action to address the challenge of economic opportunity in America.

EOP encompasses efforts engaging different approaches toward expanding opportunity: the Business Ownership Initiative, the Future of Work Initiative, Good Companies/Good Jobs, UpSkill America, and the Workforce Strategies Initiative. In addition, across these approaches EOP hosts the Economic Opportunity Fellows Network and the Opportunity in America event series. An Advisory Council offers insights, strategic counsel, and guidance in support of our work."

Learn more about this history of The Aspen Institute here.


We'd love to hear from you. You can find us on Facebook at EO Podcast Network and on Twitter @ESOPPodcast. This podcast has been produced by Bret Keisling for the EO Podcast Network, original music composed by Max Keisling, branding and marketing by BitsyPlus Design.

Standard Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are my own and don't represent those of my own firms or the organizations to which I belong. Nothing in the podcast should be construed as guidance or advice of any kind in any field and the fact that I mentioned an organizational website or an advocate or a company on a podcast does not reflect an endorsement, but if you've heard your name or your group's name mentioned on this podcast, I'd love to have you come on and talk about it yourself.


bottom of page