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

Department: RODEL
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 Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also maintains offices in New York City and has an international network of partners.

The Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership
The Aspen Institute Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership program, established in 2005, works to enhance American democracy by convening the nation's most promising young political leaders in a casual, bipartisan setting to explore the underlying values and principles of western democracy, the relationship between individuals and their community, and the responsibilities of public leadership.

More specifically, our purpose is:

  • to create an open environment in which people of differing political viewpoints can establish friendly and trusting personal relationships that will, over time, reduce the high degree of partisan acrimony that has been so damaging to the ability of our elected officials to work together in the public interest, and

  • to refocus attention on those common values that unite us and thus enhance the ability of public officials to find areas of agreement in considering the myriad problems that continually confront a diverse and growing society.

Chosen on an annual basis, each Fellowship class consists of 24 Fellows: 12 Republicans and 12 Democrats, each an emerging political leader with a reputation for intellect, thoughtfulness, and a commitment to civil dialogue. The Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowship program recognizes that by working to develop thoughtful, committed political leaders, it will also help to produce a more bipartisan approach to America's most important domestic issues such as health care, public education, and the environment. All of these issues transcend the usual partisan political divide and are central to fostering a better society for future generations. While the participants in this program are all elected, and therefore political leaders, the Rodel Fellowship is not a political program but an educational and leadership training program based on the belief that by exposing participants to a variety of philosophies, viewpoints, and strategies, we will improve the quality of problem-solving in the states and in our local communities.

Basic Function:
Working closely with the Director and Deputy Director, the Program Associate will support communication, research, administrative, and financial aspects of the Fellowship. Our team shares a strong interest in the purpose of improving American governance and the health of our democracy. In helping us work towards these lofty goals through a Fellowship of exceptional political leaders, the Program Associate will be afforded a unique opportunity to make his or her mark through interesting and creative work that has a critical civic purpose.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities

The full-time time position has a combination of functions, including the following:

Support for Fellowship Activities:
Plan, administer and execute fellowship seminars and other fellowship-related events. Responsibilities include hands-on tasks with a wide variety of seminar, trip, and event planning and coordination:

      • Work with travel agency and assist participants (fellows, moderators, speakers, program staff) with travel and logistics

      • Maintain spreadsheet containing participant logistics

      • Communicate with conference facility, restaurants, caterers, and other vendors

      • Assist with the production of seminar materials

      • Manage room set-up and audio/visual requirements

      • Process seminar and trip-related expense reimbursements and financial reports for fellows, moderators, and other consultants

      • Travel to seminar locations to provide on-site logistics coordination

      • Maintenance of program files for all fellowship activities

Communications & Research:

  • Support the growth of the Fellowships’ online activities, including social media and webinars, by performing research, managing information flow, and drafting content:

    • Conduct online research under supervision of the Director and Deputy Director

    • Information management: stay abreast of relevant information on Rodel Fellows and catalogue these updates

    • Reflect an understanding of political issues, motivations, and desires in drafting Fellowship bulletins; translate these elements into good user experience on the website interface

  • Prepare preparatory and follow-up materials related to Fellowship events (meeting notes, handouts, etc.)

  • Help prepare reports and miscellaneous correspondence

  • Conduct research, gather/analyze data as needed

Support for Program Director:

Provide support to the program’s director (who also serves as an Aspen Institute vice president) as needed. Tasks include:

  • Assistance with emerging program initiatives on an as-needed basis

  • Assistance with the prioritization, management, and timely follow-through of multiple, simultaneous projects related to the mission of the program and the Institute

  • Managing travel arrangements for a wide variety of professional travel

  • Preparing detailed travel itineraries and assembling information pertinent to travel

  • Preparing and submitting expense reports to the AI accounting department

  • Working with outside organizations for expense payment

  • Assistance with daily schedule and long-range calendar

Clerical and Financial Services Support:

Work closely with the program’s deputy director on administrative aspects of program management. Tasks include:

  • upkeep of program administrative files

  • collection of contact and other information for fellowship nominees

  • maintenance of Excel database and printed directory containing current and prospective fellows

  • processing of receipts, invoices, expenses, and reimbursements and confirming account transactions

  • coordinating with the Institute’s communications staff to maintain the program’s webpage (updating information of classes, posting press releases, etc.)

Principal Interactions:

Works closely with program staff and consultants; routinely interacts with event attendees and their staff.

Knowledge, Education and Experience:

  • A college degree is required, preferably in the social sciences; at least 3 years of related experience.

  • Excellent computer skills, particularly Excel, Word, and internet research. Any website development and maintenance a plus.

  • Excellent written and oral communications skills; experience and ability to write professional correspondence and communicate with senior elected officials.

  • Experience writing, editing, and proofreading, at a professional or student publication level.

  • Good attention to detail, organizational abilities, and time management skills.

  • Ability to work both independently and productively with small internal teams.
  • A demonstrated ability to handle more than one project at a time.

  • Ability to be flexible and proactive

  • Ability to handle information with the utmost discretion

  • Interest in civil dialogue a plus

  • Professional knowledge of American governance or related areas is a plus

  • High degrees of discretion, initiative, creativity, and intellectual curiosity

Level of Authority:

  • Non-supervisory position

  • Some budget authority

  • Opportunities for advancement and increased responsibilities

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 the regular attendance policy of the Aspen Institute. 

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