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Aspen Institute employees come from a wide range of backgrounds and possess a unique blend of education, skill, and policy experience. We recognize that our people are our vital resource and we value their knowledge, enthusiasm, and commitment. At the Aspen Institute we offer competitive salaries and a wide variety of benefits to our employees and their families.

If you would enjoy working in a dynamic environment and are looking for an opportunity to become part of a stellar team of professionals, we invite you to apply online today.

Program Manager- Education & Society Program

Department: EDUCATION
Location: Washington, DC

About Us:

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues.

The mission of the Aspen Institute Education & Society Program (Aspen Education) is to improve public education by inspiring, informing, and influencing education leaders across policy and practice, with an emphasis on achieving equity for students of color and students from low-income families. We provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues related to education and mobility from poverty.

About the Work:

For the last 15 years, Aspen Education has sponsored a professional learning network for Senior Congressional education staffers. For the congressional staff charged with substantial leadership responsibilities in shaping federal policy, the day-to-day realities of Capitol Hill make thoughtful, bi-partisan reflection and dialogue difficult, if not impossible. The Network provides a much-needed, off-the-record venue and safe space away from the partisanship of Capitol Hill. The Network has two key objectives: (1) build collaborative working relationships, and (2) establish a shared knowledge base by learning from local leaders and scholars.  This network, considered one of the premier learning opportunities on the Hill, also affords Aspen Education a unique vantage on the issues of most interest to Congressional staff and the perspectives of experts in the field regarding the status of federal policy implementation. Federal education policy always has had a primary focus on equity, and we examine issues of equity within the senior education Congressional staff network; many barriers to social and economic mobility, however, exist outside of schools, and we are expanding our focus with senior Congressional staffers to look at mobility issues more broadly.

The new Aspen Mobility from Poverty Senior Congressional Staff Network will be an additional on-going network of 20-25 of the most senior committee and leadership staff who play a pivotal role in drafting and negotiating legislation and appropriating funds related to mobility from poverty (including but not limited to education policy). This network will draw from leadership offices and multiple committees to increase congressional staff knowledge and capacity through learning and relationship-building across parties, committees, and chambers of Congress Ė as well as with experts from the field. Aspen Education piloted this mobility from poverty focus with two convenings in 2017-18 and is now growing it into a standing network. Both networks, which are bipartisan and bicameral, convene twice a year for multi-day seminars/retreats. 

About the Role:

The Program Manager is a new position for this expanded body of work. The Program Manager will have overall responsibility for design, planning, and execution of exemplary learning experiences for senior Congressional staffers, including how various federal policies and programs can improve education outcomes and economic mobility. This work will complement and leverage the programís deep work with education policymakers and practitioners. The Program Manager joins a team of eight team members and will report to the Managing Director.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Collaborate with the executive director and other members of Aspen Education to develop a strategy and project agenda, goals, and timelines for expanding the programís work to include the new Congressional Staff Network on Mobility from Poverty;
  • Serve as project lead on this portfolio and related topics, including managing timelines and deliverables against established budgets;
  • Work with Aspen team and consultants to inform and supervise the ongoing facilitation of two networks of Senior Congressional Staff;
  • Conceptualize, research, and create products (e.g., learning memos, case studies, reports/policy briefs, discussion guides, op-eds) related to the Mobility from Poverty agenda; in addition, in collaboration with our Senior Communications Manager, commission and edit similar reports and articles from external researchers and authors;
  • Collaborate with Aspen team to create deeper understanding of the connection between education and mobility from poverty;
  • Build and maintain relationships with Congressional staffers, policy experts, advocates, and researchers to inform the Aspen Mobility from Poverty Congressional Staff Network;
  • Represent Aspen Education Program externally;
  • Develop and maintain relationships with current and prospective funders, and draft grant applications and reports, and carry out related administrative responsibilities, as required;
  • Ensure adherence to all ethics rules, including working with Aspen administrative and legal staff;
  • In coordination with Aspen team, manage budgets and grants-management timelines; draft grant reports; and oversee ethics and contracts relevant to network; 
  • Supervise one Program Coordinator.

About You:

Specific skills and competencies we believe makes you a great fit:

  • College degree and practical experience and deep knowledge of the economic mobility policy field and associated players, including 7 or more years working in a policy or related role (e.g., Hill staff, advocacy/membership organization/think tank);
  • Ability to independently project-manage the organization and facilitation of meetings with senior Congressional staffers, including designing exemplary adult learning experiences, managing multiple projects and timelines accordingly;
  • Strong orientation toward teamwork and collaboration in small group planning and execution;
  • Strong research and oral/written communication skills, including distilling salient points into summaries and drafting professional correspondence; experience facilitating adult learning experiences strongly preferred; 
  • Committed to advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion;
  • Ability and willingness to travel up to 20% of the time. Occasional night and weekend work required, usually as part of planning or execution of site visits.  

All applicants must submit the following to be considered for the position: 

Aspen Education is committed to ensuring the diversity of our team. While not a minimum or mandatory qualification, we strongly encourage candidates of color, those who identify as Native American, women, people of low-income backgrounds, those who are differently-abled, and those with first-hand experience of education inequity to apply for this role. To apply, please submit a resume/CV and cover letter. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered. To apply, please visit and follow the instructions to apply for Program Manager.  

The Aspen Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer and complies with all District and federal laws. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or protected veteran or disabled status and will not be discriminated against.

Candidate must have the ability to work under pressure and handle stress. Candidate must also have the ability to meet regular attendance policy of the Aspen Institute.

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