Careers at the Aspen Institute
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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 Associate- Center for Urban Innovation

Location: Washington, DC

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute has campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River on Marylandís Eastern Shore. It also maintains offices in New York City and has an international network of partners.

The Aspen Institute Center for Urban Innovation (CUI)

The Aspen Institute Center for Urban Innovation (CUI) is a network hub that catalyzes and supports a broader movement to define values-led approaches to developing, piloting, regulating, and evaluating urban technologies. We connect city leaders, non-profit organizations, and emerging businesses who share the belief that people deserve more than ďsmart cities.Ē We deserve cities that promote human flourishing and digital infrastructure that enhances the experiences and opportunities that city life affords for all residents, particularly those in underserved neighborhoods. Thatís the standard that we seek to develop and promote.

The Center is designed to be a white-board space where smart, passionate, and creative people ask the next generation of questions and find answers together. In line with the Aspen Instituteís focus on values-based discussion, we seek to understand and articulate the values implicated in innovation, disruption, inclusion, and reinvention. We believe that innovation is not synonymous with technology, and that innovation can and does come from every corner of cities and regions.

Position Description: 

The Program Associate, under the direction of the Director, is responsible for coordinating all finance, logistics, operations, and administrative activity related to the successful functioning of the program. The Program Associate assumes the primary role in project management and coordination of all program activities, and managing the Centerís convening logistics. The Program Associate will also lead on facilitating communications, such as formatting and sending newsletters and mass communications. 

The Center for Urban Innovation is looking for a professional, responsible, and very detail-oriented team member with a drive for taking initiative and experience in providing administrative support in a fast-paced environment. 

This candidate must be well organized and flexible, have excellent writing skills, and have the ability to interact with staff at all levels. This position requires excellent time management and communication skills, superior knowledge of word processing and excel, strong knowledge of basic information technology, and an understanding of basic accounting and bookkeeping. The Program Associate must be able to contend with multiple demands and pressure for speed and accuracy while maintaining a high level of sustained attention to detail. The candidate should be results-oriented, resourceful, highly motivated, friendly, and a team player. Willingness and ability to travel about once a month.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities: 

Convening Logistics

  • Manage convening logistics, including creating and updating work plans and timelines; scouting and booking venues; arranging and coordinating transportation and travel needs; negotiating, securing, and coordinating hotel room blocks; creating and updating Runs of Show; selecting and organizing catering needs; securing, arranging, and coordinating A/V needs; organizing and purchasing office supply and convening materials; securing and coordinating additional volunteers or staff if needed.
  • Provide essential support during convenings, including serving as a resource for participants; liaison to facility management; management of set-up and refreshment of food/beverage; arranging for and testing A/V equipment; assisting in arranging rooms and materials.
  • Create convening registrations and communicate with participants about meeting logistics.
  • Develop convening materials, including, among other tasks, proofreading and formatting documents; coordinating production, organization, and communication of convening documents; preparing name badges, table tents and participant lists; and maintaining participantsí arrival/departure lists for off-site meetings.
  • For on-site public convenings, serve as a liaison to the Instituteís A/V, social media, and Conference Services teams.
  • Assist in creating online convening promotional tools, including event pages on the Aspen Institute website.
  • Assist in creating, maintaining and updating event tracking list.
  • Assist in formatting and summarizing convening evaluations.

Finance and Grants Management Support

In liaison with the Aspen Financial Services Unit,

  • Develop budgets for all grants and projects.
  • Maintain Host Analytics system.
  • Ensure semi-annual budget projections are as accurate as possible and timely.
  • Reconcile monthly finances and balances, including personnel allocations.
  • Grant management:
    • In liaison with the Aspen Financial Services Unit, create budgets and submit Aspen Institute financial information to funders.
    • As needed, serve as a liaison to the Office of Institutional Advancement to ensure high quality grant proposals consistent with Aspenís values and themes.
    • Organize and maintain materials needed to fulfill grant agreements, such as interim and final grant reports.


  • Format and send monthly newsletters and additional mass communications.
  • Maintain and update the Centerís website.
  • Serve as a liaison to the Instituteís Publications department in designing and producing reports.
  • Manage the Centerís Twitter with a focus on growth.

Operations and Administrative Support 

  • Develop work plans for programs and projects, follow up and track tasks and milestones.
  • Address risks and issues affecting project deadlines, and maintain clear and consistent communication on status
  • Update and maintain contact database.
  • Develop and maintain project files.
  • Draft quarterly reports summarizing programming as needed.
  • Facilitate, support and ensure compliance with all contracts.
  • Serve as support liaison for on-site or local meetings Ė this may include booking conference rooms; creating and sending out calendar invites; ordering and picking up food; arriving early and setting up the meeting room; pre-testing any A/V needs; and greeting meeting guests.
  • May be required to book travel and hotels and schedule conference calls.
  • May be required to provide general program support (i.e. make copies, send faxes, scan hard copies, mail letters, arrange for couriers, maintain calendars).

Knowledge, Education and Experience: 

  • Bachelorís degree and minimum of 3 yrs. experience required in program support.  
  • Event planning and budgeting experience strongly desired.
  • Familiarity with digital tools (such as, Wordpress, CRMs, Google Suite, SurveyMonkey, Wufoo, Eventbrite, Concur, etc.) 
  • Desire to take initiative on new opportunities and projects as part of a small-yet-mighty team.
  • Excellent attention to detail, personal organization and time management.
  • Ability to successfully work in fast-paced environment and manage multiple tasks simultaneously under pressure.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills; experience and ability to write professional correspondence and communicate with influential leaders.
  • Proficient in MS office, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook.
  • Excellent computer and internet research skills.
  • Understanding and ability to learn basic website management software and procedures.
  • Ability to work and communicate effectively within a team.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including a desire to learn and the ability to be flexible.
  • Ability to exercise professional discretion, judgment and diplomacy.
  • Ability and willingness to travel up to 15% of the time.

Applicants should answer two questions, submitted in a separate document in addition to sending their resume and cover letter.

Please note that only applicants who submit all materials will be considered.

1)    Please provide an example of a time you went above and beyond in fulfilling expectations.

2)    How do you stay organized and focus on attention to detail?

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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