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.

Policy Manager

Department: FSP
Location: Washington, DC
Salary: $95,000 - $111,000

The Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Since its founding in 1949, the Institute has been driving change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most critical challenges facing communities in the United States and around the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

To achieve our mission of a more free, just, and equitable society, we commit to working proactively to advance the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion across our myriad endeavors such as the recruitment, compensation, training, and advancement of staff. The best people-serving institutions make this commitment, and we seek to be a leader in the ways that we do so and learn from others. Visit our website to learn more about our commitment and recent actions taken toward building and nurturing a diverse and inclusive environment.

Program Description:

The Aspen Institute Financial Security Program’s (FSP) mission is to illuminate and solve the most critical financial challenges facing American households and to make financial security for all a top national priority. We aim for nothing less than a more inclusive economy with reduced wealth inequality and shared prosperity. We believe that transformational change requires innovation, trust, leadership, and entrepreneurial thinking. FSP galvanizes a diverse set of leaders across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to solve the most critical financial challenges. We do this through deep, deliberate private and public dialogues and by elevating evidence-based research and solutions that will strengthen the financial health and security of financially vulnerable Americans.

The Aspen Institute Financial Security Program is committed to having a workforce that reflects diversity at all levels of the program team. We recognize the importance of not viewing individuals based on a single identity, and we thrive on being equitable in our recruitment process as well as in our efforts to be inclusive of all employees. We encourage all applicants regardless of gender, race, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability, or other social identity. While not a minimum or mandatory qualification, we strongly encourage candidates of color, those who identify as Native American, people of low-income backgrounds, and those with first-hand experience of financial security inequity to apply for this role.

Basic Function:

The Policy Manager will be part of the Policy Team at the Aspen Financial Security Program, reporting to the Policy Director. The Policy Team works across sectors and disciplines, seeking to highlight policy gaps, source promising policy ideas that can help improve financial security, jumpstart creative solutions, and build a diverse set of leaders who can turn ideas into action.

Specifically, the Policy Manager will support the policy goals of FSP’s Benefits21 and Inclusive Financial Systems Initiatives. Benefits21 is an Aspen FSP initiative that works to build a future in which all workers across the U.S. have access to — and make use of — equitable benefits that support both financial stability and security. FSP’s Inclusive Financial Systems initiative seeks to create an inclusive financial system in which all people can access, utilize and benefit from a full suite of financial services. The Policy Manager will lead policy activities that achieve FSP’s goals of closing benefits gaps and modernizing both public and private benefits and building an inclusive financial system. The Policy Manager will also assist with the day-to-day operations of the policy team, providing support to other policy areas as needed.

The successful candidate for the Policy Manager role will be a curious, entrepreneurial, and flexible policy professional able to both be a “go-to” expert in their own areas of expertise while also able to quickly learn and contribute to policy projects in new areas. They will be able to balance big-picture, strategic thinking with a focus on important details and adjust strategy and tactics as circumstances change. The candidate will be an excellent communicator and effective writer.

This position reports to the Director. This position's salary range is $95,000 - $110,000. The expectation is for this role to be in our D.C. office a minimum of 2x a week to collaborate with colleagues.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:


  • In close consultation with the Policy Director, develop, assess, and manage key policy workstreams for projects that have policy action-taking and engagement as a goal, especially federal and state policy related to Benefits21 and Inclusive Financial Systems.

  • Serve as a go-to resource within Aspen FSP for relevant policy developments, opportunities, and decision points related to Benefits21 and Inclusive Financial Systems.

  • Lead efforts to develop and execute strategies to educate federal and state policymakers on benefits modernization and inclusive financial systems.

  • Work in collaboration and partnership with peers on other teams (Communications, Insights and Evidence, and Programs) to ensure effective collaboration across Initiatives, consistency in our policy products and positions, and making sure the sum is greater than the parts of the work.

  • As appropriate, supervise staff or interns on the policy team, ensuring high quality work from supervisees, providing professional development and coaching, and following Aspen management procedures.

  • As part of leading key FSP policy workstreams, support fundraising for discreet bodies of work.


  • Strategically develop and selectively nurture a network of relationships with policy entrepreneurs and federal policymakers within federal departments, agencies, and Members of the U.S. Congress, as well as key private sector leaders, to advance Aspen FSP’s policy goals for benefits modernization and inclusive financial systems.

  • Work closely with members of FSP’s Insights and Evidence and Communications teams to design, execute, and publish policy products that furthers the field’s understanding of FSP’s policy priorities.

  • Track legislation, regulations and other developments in issue areas that impact Americans’ financial security, especially as they relate to benefits modernization and inclusive financial systems.

  • Conduct and prepare written policy analysis including blogs, op-eds, comment letters, issue briefs, and reports.

  • Serve as a lead organizer and facilitator of roundtables and convenings that help equip policy leaders with the tools, research, and networks they need to implement solutions that improve financial security.

  • Attend relevant hearings, panel discussions and other policy events.

  • Represent Aspen FSP with municipal, state and federal policy makers.

  • Support and facilitate meetings on Capitol Hill, with regulators and other DC stakeholders, as well as with regional-, state-, and/or municipal-level officials and actors.

Relationship Management

  • Develop and nurture a network of relationships with policy makers, legislative staff, regulatory staff, and other influencers and stakeholders in Washington D.C. and beyond.

  • Quickly build trust and credibility with a range of external stakeholders such as financial services providers, research partners, and other collaborators.

  • Develop and nurture new relationships and partnerships with key stakeholders that magnify the impact of Aspen FSP.

Project Management

  • Manage complex projects from start to finish using project management tools and strong communication skills.

  • Effectively manage or contribute to projects across FSP’s functional teams, collaborating across teams while incorporating own functional expertise to maximize program impact.

  • Collaborate closely with staff across the Aspen FSP team.

Knowledge, Education, and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in public policy, economics, or a related field, or equivalent on-the-job training and professional experience. (Graduate level degree in public policy or public administration a plus).

  • 5+ years of progressively responsible policy analysis and/or formation experience, legislative or executive branch policy experience, and exceptional project management experience.

  • Commitment to the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program’s mission of financial security for all.

  • Experience working on policy related to public and private benefits (such as safety net programs, paid family leave, workplace savings) - recent experience working in Congress or federal agency on work related to public or private benefits strongly preferred. Knowledge of financial services policy is a plus.

  • Thorough knowledge of legislative and regulatory processes, structures, and procedures.

  • Superior organizational, project and time management skills with strong attention to detail and deadlines.

  • Strong and efficient writing skills; ability to quickly synthesize data and present succinct, cogent arguments verbally and in writing.

  • Strong communication, presentation and facilitation skills.

  • Ability to commit to up to 10% domestic travel, with occasional evening meetings (1-2/month).

The Aspen Institute offers a generous benefits package including health, dental, vision, and prescription benefits, retirement benefits, and paid leave.

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.

If you would like to request a reasonable accommodation regarding the accessibility of our website, a modification or adjustment of the job application or interview process due to a disability, contact or call (202) 736-5800.

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