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 (Research & Innovation, Transfer)

Department: CEP
Location: Washington, DC
Salary: 60,000-70,000


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.

College Excellence Program (CEP)

The Aspen Instituteís College Excellence Program (CEP) aims to identify and replicate practices and policies that significantly improve college student outcomes. Through our portfolio of projects, CEP works to improve collegesí capacity to achieve high levels of success for all students and to eliminate disparities in postsecondary attainment and social mobility for students from low-income backgrounds and historically marginalized and underserved groups. Our work focuses on improving higher education institutions in six areas: ensuring high-quality learning, increasing completion rates, improving community college transfer and baccalaureate attainment, increasing post-college employment and earnings outcomes, ensuring strong access to college credentials of value, and achieving equity in outcomes across all domains. We advance those outcomes by quantitatively identifying and publicly elevating those colleges achieving excellent and equitable outcomes, conducting research on how those outcomes were accomplished, publishing reports and practical tools to support college leaders and practitioners interested in replicating effective practices, and conducting professional development programs for presidents, senior teams, boards of trustees, and others. Learn more about our work at


The Program Associate will assist with high-quality project delivery by supporting project management, events, communications, partner engagement, and administrative processes. This includes preparation of internal and external-facing content, such as slide decks, memos, agendas, participant trackers, and other programmatic materials. First projects will include the Aspen-AASCU Transfer Student Intensive and state-based transfer work.

Reporting to the Senior Program Manager working on the Transfer Intensive, this role is based in our Washington, DC office with a minimum of 40% in-person work (approximately 2 days per week) and requires travel up to 6 weeks per year. The salary band for this position is $60,000-70,000.


  • Support the implementation (e.g., planning, logistics, delivery, communications, note taking, and post-event activities) of online and in-person convenings such as webinars, workshops, and conference-style meetings. Create, maintain, and analyze trackers of participant, member, and partner engagement to enable timely decision-making, evaluation, and continuous improvement of projects.

  • Develop and manage timelines for multiple project components, such as events, internal and external partner engagement, and communications that reach multiple audiences.

  • Support critical administrative processes, such as invoice processing, financial tracking, scheduling, and other activities across multiple grants/projects.

  • Communicate and interact with mid- and senior-level college and university administrators and their support staff, as well as vendors, consultants, and external partner organizations, including through email correspondence, virtual and in-person meetings, and phone calls to advance project activities.

  • Support the development of high-quality written/visual content, materials, and assets for use across different audiences (internal and external).

  • Collaborate with internal team members and external partners to deliver project goals and manage and improve processes.

  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelorís degree preferred; equivalent experience will be considered.

  • 2-3 years of experience in a similar environment, preferably focusing on project management and delivery.

  • Strong writing, verbal communication, and interpersonal skills.

  • Knowledge of the higher education sector is a plus (particularly experience with community college transfer students, including personal experience as a transfer student).

  • Self-directed learners who possess a growth and collaborative mindset will thrive in this role.


All interested applicants must submit the following:

  1. A one-page cover letter. CEP prefers cover letters that describe what motivates you and how you understand and relate to our mission rather than a narrative version of your resume. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.

  2. Resume/CV.


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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