Published October 28, 2019

From the CEO

“The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.”

Those words of historian James Truslow Adams, written nearly a century ago, capture the aspirations that tens of millions have harbored for themselves and their families, both in the United States and in the rest of the world. And that dream has been central to the mission of the Milken Institute since its founding — whether in our work of speeding medical innovation, improving access to capital or promoting understanding of how to create employment opportunities. Now, with the creation of the Center for Advancing the American Dream, based in Washington, D.C., the dream will be at the very forefront of our efforts.

Today, there is a lively debate about what the American Dream means, how progress should be measured and how it can best propel the next generation to greater opportunity and prosperity. Our Center begins with the belief that people from every background and region deserve an equal chance to learn and lead free, fulfilling, healthy and economically secure lives. The Center will highlight and advance the innovation necessary to create broad-based economic strength and opportunity.

Now under construction in a cluster of historic buildings on Pennsylvania Avenue across from the White House and the U.S. Treasury, the Center will offer an array of programs, educational events, research initiatives and exhibits (both physical and online), bolstered by an extensive multimedia collection and a vibrant conference center. It will focus on four pillars of activity: education and the educator; public health and medical research; entrepreneurs and innovation; and economic freedom and access to capital.

To lead our efforts, I’m delighted that Kerry Murphy Healey has joined the Milken Institute as the inaugural president of the Center. A PhD in political science and law from Trinity College Dublin, Kerry’s career spans higher education, public service and foreign and domestic policy work. She recently stepped down as the first woman president of Babson College, the century-old business school consistently ranked as the leader in entrepreneurship education. Previously, Kerry served as lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, where she was integral in crafting the state’s pioneering health care legislation. Given her background and expertise across entrepreneurship, financial markets, education and health policy, she’s uniquely qualified for the role she is taking on.

The Center for Advancing the American Dream will not only celebrate the successes of the past, but also foster opportunities for future generations in the U.S. and around the world. We look forward to having you join us in this exciting journey.

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Michael Klowden