The arts have truly had an Ambassador in Dana Gioia who has served as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts since 2003. But Dana who wrote poetry quietly while working in corporate America has announced that he plans to depart from his second term at National Endowments early next year and will join The Aspen Institute, an international nonprofit organization founded in 1950 as the Aspen Institute of Humanistic Studies. The position at Aspen will be a a half-time position. Dana plans to return to his writing as well. He has been both a poet and a critic. In fact leaving to accept this new position is really about freeing up time to write. About his decision, Gioia noted, "I announce my departure with mixed feelings," he added. "I will never have a more interesting job. But I am a writer. If I don't return to poetry soon, the Muse will never have me back."
At Aspen Institute he will be the Director of The Harman/Eisner (H/E) Program in the Arts. A new program of the Institute the purpose of which is to deepen the Institute's work by incorporating leading artists and to use the Institute's convenings to support and promote the arts.