Janet Topolsky

Executive Director, Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group

Janet Topolsky is executive director of the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group (CSG). For more than 35 years, she has helped rural and urban community leaders, organizations and policymakers across the country find, create, and spread community and economic development strategies that work. At CSG since 1993, Topolsky has become a specialist in peer-learning techniques, family asset building, connecting low-wealth places and populations to regional economic development and better livelihoods, and community development philanthropy – which builds the capacity of place-rooted foundations to make strategic investments that enhance economic prospects. Before Aspen, Topolsky worked as a development policy analyst and writer; communications director for the Corporation for Enterprise Development, where she edited CFED’s Entrepreneurial Economy Review; special assistant to the director of the Michigan Department of Commerce; and a youth policy advocate and organizer.