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 Assistant

Location: San Francisco, CA
Salary: $55,000-65,000


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. 


Aspen Tech Policy Hub

The Aspen Tech Policy Hub is a West Coast policy incubator, training a new generation of science and tech policy entrepreneurs. We take experts from technology, climate, science, and related fields, teach them the policy process through fellowship and training programs, and encourage them to develop outside-the-box solutions to societyís problems. We model ourselves after tech incubators like Y Combinator, but train new policy thinkers and focus the impact of their ideas.

To date, we have trained more than 400 scientists and technologists through our fellowship and training programs. Our trainees have already made a considerable impact on STEM policy, from advising county governments of coastal communities on mitigating the effects of sea-level rise, to proposing amendments to the California Consumer Privacy Act, to advising the City of New York on how to improve the provision of broadband services to help close the digital divide.

The Aspen Tech Policy Hub is part of Aspen Digital, an Institute program that empowers policymakers, civic organizations, companies, and the public to be responsible stewards of technology and media in the service of an informed, just, and equitable world.



The Program Assistant provides operational, administrative, communications, and events support to Aspen Tech Policy Hub programs. Responsibilities will include supporting finance, contracting, and other operational processes; supporting the Hubís recruitment and rebranding efforts in the fall of 2024; supporting writing and editing efforts; and assisting in special projects such as curriculum development. The Program Assistant will work closely with the small Hub team and will benefit from close mentorship from Hub and Aspen Digital leadership. They will also attend most Hub training program sessions, giving them exposure to critical skills in policy advocacy and policymaking, and the opportunity to hear from exciting guest speakers and policy leaders. 

The ideal candidate is a multi-talented, entry-level professional who has a passion for handling a wide range of operational, logistical, and communications tasks; demonstrates professional communication skills; is creative and eager to learn on the job; is excited about balancing multiple, often simultaneous, activities; and has extremely high standards for the quality of their work. The role is a good fit for candidates seeking experience in the wide range of skills and capabilities needed to manage and operate a non-profit organization and to learn more about the policy space. 

The Program Assistant will report to the Hubís Strategy and Operations Manager, who reports to the Hubís Director. The salary range for this role is $55,000 Ė $65,000. Bay Area-based candidates are preferred. Remote candidates must be willing to work mostly Pacific hours and to relocate to the Bay Area for a month every summer to help run our annual in-person fellowship program. 



Program Support (30%)

  • Assist with recruitment efforts for the Hub, organizing and executing outreach, reviewing applications, corresponding with applicants, and managing contracts;

  • Manage weekly operations for select Hub programs, including taking attendance, tracking participation and accomplishments, managing electronic filing and contact systems, and collecting assignments;

  • Organize curriculum material, including drafting syllabi, prepping slides, and sometimes communicating with speakers;

  • Attend in-person and virtual sessions of Hub training programs; and

  • Identify opportunities to improve the quality and efficiency of the program and implement improvements as directed.

Finance, Contracting, and Other Operations Work (30%)

  • Process invoices, expenses, reimbursements, and payments for services for Hub vendors and speakers;

  • Develop and maintain organization systems to keep track of finances, grants, and contracts;

  • Ensure that internal Hub guides on finance, contracting, and other operations are up to date; 

  • Draft initial contracts for Hub vendors and coordinate revisions where necessary;

  • Schedule team-wide and external meetings; and

  • Provide logistical support for high-profile and well-attended briefings, forums, roundtables, and other convenings, such as managing back-end Zoom webinar settings and leading in-person event setup.

Communications and External Relations (20%)

  • Assist the Hubís communications staff in a large rebranding and relaunch effort that will happen in the fall of 2024;

  • Serve as the first point of contact for outside inquiries. Handle written, telephone, and web requests for information; 

  • Serve as a backup for communications staff members, which could include crafting content for social media accounts, the Hubís website, newsletters, and grant reports; 

  • Support initiatives that will broaden awareness of the Hubís programs and activities; 

  • Proofread white papers, policy briefs, and other products written by science and technology experts prior to publication; and

  • Manage relationships with external contractors and vendors, ensuring they complete work and are paid on time.

Other (20%)

  • Execute special projects for the Hub as necessary, conducting research and operational support;

  • Participate in Hub strategic planning processes;

  • Take notes in stakeholder meetings and disseminate follow-up materials; and

  • Pitch in to support other Hub staffers and priorities as needed.



  • Bachelorís degree required; 

  • Passion for operations work and strong attention to detail;

  • Strong, demonstrable writing, editing, and professional communications skills;

  • Strong interest in and passion for policy work;

  • Superior attention to detail and ability to manage multiple tasks;

  • Excellent computer skills required, specifically expertise with Microsoft Office and Google Workspace products. Airtable and graphic design software experience preferred;

  • Creative problem-solving skills and professional and polished interpersonal skills; and

  • A desire to learn, a sense of humor, flexibility, and resourcefulness.



Applicants must submit a cover letter and resume to be considered. Applicants without a cover letter will not be considered. We ask that candidates do not use ChatGPT to prepare their cover letters.

For various reasons, amazing talent hesitate to apply for positions for which they could potentially be a great fit. We strongly encourage you to apply for this position if it aligns with your career interests and skill set, even if you are not sure whether you meet all of the qualifications.

Our first review date for applications will be July 1. Applicants who apply by that date will be given priority review.



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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