The Aspen Public Service Leadership Program is a fellowship-based leadership program dedicated to the most promising leaders of the public sector in Romania, launched by the Aspen Institute Romania in 2018.

The aim of the program is to motivate, educate, update and inspire promising representatives from various institutions in Romania, who can become promoters of change and improvement in the public sector.

PARTICIPANTS: 20-25 participants per each cohort, aged between 25 and 45 years, with a high level of English fluency and a diverse background in terms of gender and political affiliation, selected through a complex selection process based on nominations. Depending on the specific thematic focus of each edition, invitations for nominations are sent to various relevant public institutions, in the central and local public administration, universities etc.

The participants may be members of the legislative system, professionals from the local or central public administration (government, city halls and municipalities, local and county councils), universities or promising members of political parties. They must assume the role of decision-makers, whether they are already in office or are preparing for a public office, to be promoters of nonpartisan dialogue to the benefit of the citizen and of good governance and they must be able to engage in the reform of the areas that are essential for the development of Romania, disregarding their political and ideological affiliation.

Beginning with the anniversary year 2021, when Aspen Institute Romania celebrated 15 years of activity, the program doubled its impact and organized two cohorts within the same edition: Spring Cohort (online) and Autumn Cohort (in person).

The total number of fellows (graduates of all the editions of the program) was in the first semester of 2022 of 106 individuals, who are engaged with the Aspen community through various activities and events.

EDITION 4 (2022):

In 2022 the program reached its 4th edition, structured in two cohorts: Spring Cohort (online) and Autumn Cohort (in person).

The online Spring Cohort targeted mainly the representatives of the public institutions with impact in the local and regional development of Romania (prefectures, municipalities, county councils, regional development agencies, universities, county hospitals etc.), while the Autumn Cohort (in person) prioritizes the representatives of the central public administration (Parliament of Romania (MPs), ministries, regulatory authorities, supervisory and control authorities, political parties etc.).


Two modules, three to four-day long, organized entirely in English.

  • Module 1, organized in partnership with the Aspen Institute USA:

The foundation of each edition of the program is the Aspen Seminar, a Socratic debate based on a series of readings, from the greatest thinkers of past and present. Through debates guided by skilled moderators, on topics like liberty, equality, ethics and responsability, participants are offered a neutral space to test their beliefs, in a both personal and collective leadership journey and are challenged to reflect on how timeless values are shaping their decisions and our society at large.

  • Module 2, organized in partnership with Institut national du service publicINSP, France (former École Nationale d’Administration – ENA):

The Module combines expert presentations, group work, experience-sharing sessions, case studies and workshops on various topics such as: digitalisation, sustainable development and innovation, crisis communication, negociation and public speaking, public and private partnerships and interactions, impact assessment and making an impact in public policy-making, the Recovery and Resilience Facility, etc.


  • IOANA CHIRIȚĂ, Judicial Counsellor, Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority, Aspen Public Service Leadership Program Fellow 2019:

The Program featured significant interactivity, allowing me to analyze myself and build on my strengths while minimizing my vulnerabilities. In my opinion, the common ground of this Program is to help each participant to not only improve their skills as a leader but to become a better person, professionally and personally. I strongly encourage everyone interested in this Program to embark on this journey and to enjoy this experience to the fullest, as this is a unique program for public sector employees.

  • ANDREI POP, Member of Parliament, Chamber of Deputies (2016-2020), Aspen Public Service Leadership Program Fellow 2019:

I’ve been thrilled with the quality of speakers and experts that have spent time with us. An entirely new network of colleagues who share the same goals and values but with different views of implementation of the greater good. A journey of guidance to us as individuals has been invaluable on all sorts of levels and I had the reconfirmation that positive action, kindness, trustworthy, competence and hope are essential basics to build a better society. At some point in one seminar I had only one thought in my mind: Yes, WE CA N!

  • PAVEL POPESCU, Member of Parliament, Chamber of Deputies, Aspen Public Service Leadership Program Fellow 2019:

The Aspen Public Service Leadership Program provided me a new set of skills that I was not able to discover alone. Aspen Institute Romania is the place where visionary people meet, discuss and find solutions for the real problems of the world. It`s the place where you can start to think big.

  • CĂTĂLIN RAIU, Communications Director National Institute of Statistics, Lecturer at the University of Bucharest, Faculty of Business and Administration, Aspen Public Service Leadership Program Fellow 2021:

I find Aspen to be a community of people with different pursuits and expertise, which teaches the virtues of democracy. It addresses critical thinking and it motivates you to step out of your intellectual and professional comfort space. Personally, the chance to be a fellow of the Aspen Public Service Leadership Program represents an opportunity to reflect upon the way Romania should reinforce itself within the framework of North-Atlantic democracy. 

  • ALEXANDRU ROJA, Lecturer, West University of Timișoara, Aspen Public Service Leadership Program Fellow 2019:

The Aspen Public Service Leadership Program experience was a return to my inner values, and then a journey with colleagues to discover authentic values that leaders should constantly learn and practice. Together with the trainers and organizing team, we learned the skills and competencies necessary to become authentic leaders in our organizations and communities.

The Aspen Public Service Leadership Program is kindly supported by:

Banca Comercială Română (BCR)

Enel Romania