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 Coordinator

Department: ASPEN WORDS
Location: Aspen, CO
Salary: $52,200-$55,000


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 Words

Aspen Words (AW) was founded in 1976 as a literary center based in Aspen, CO. A program of the Aspen Institute, its mission is to encourage writers, inspire readers, and connect people through the power of stories. AW’s year-round programs include Summer Words, a writing conference and literary festival; Winter Words, a speaker series presenting the best of contemporary literature; the Aspen Words Literary Prize, a $35,000 annual award for fiction with social impact; as well as a writers-in-the schools program. For more information, visit


Aspen Words seeks a highly organized, detail-oriented Program Coordinator capable of managing multiple administrative needs for the organization. The Program Coordinator should have a strong interest and commitment to the Aspen Words’ mission and be collaborative and customer-service oriented while maintaining a high quality of work in a fast-paced environment. The Program Coordinator is primarily tasked with coordinating all administrative and logistical details associated with Aspen Words’ year-round literary programming. The role includes responsibilities such as data entry, registration management, travel and event logistics, marketing and communications assistance, and office management, while also providing an opportunity to collaborate with a diverse group of stakeholders to support an array of distinct and meaningful literary programs. In doing so, the Program Coordinator will be afforded a unique opportunity to do work that has substantive social purpose.

The Program Coordinator reports directly to Senior Program Associate. The salary range for this position is $52,200 - $55,000. Candidates must also have the ability to work from the Aspen Words office in Aspen, Colorado, a minimum of four days per week. For at least the first few months on the job (depending on the person’s experience), it might be necessary for the program coordinator to be in the office 5 days a week. Weekend and evening work will sometimes be required.

What you will do

  • Manage Aspen Words’ general inbox and respond to emails as needed
  • Handle event prep for AW public events—conduct pre-event walk-throughs, create staffing plans, transport signage and supplies to event venue, assist with setup and cleanup
  • Assist with upkeep of the Aspen Words website
  • Book travel and accommodations for visiting authors, guests and AW executive director
  • Serve as an AW ambassador by greeting authors at the Pitkin County Airport and driving authors to various local events
  • Create and manage registration forms for AW virtual and in-person events and programs. This includes close coordination with Aspen Institute central staff to create forms, run attendee reports and ensure smooth operations
  • Track attendee lists and information for participant groups ranging from 20-400 people
  • Ensure the accurate collection and storage of data, including participant information
  • Proofread various AW communications and assist with general correspondence
  • Order and maintain office supplies
  • Meet and coordinate with the Aspen Institute’s IT team to discuss any tech needs involving the AW team
  • Handle general shopping/coordination for board meetings, public events and AW executive director visits
  • Assist with book purchasing for various AW programs
  • Conduct research on literary events, organizations and fundraising prospects
  • Manage the accounts receivable for the program, including checking the mail, depositing checks and accurately completing paperwork to ensure correct budget allocation in coordination with the Aspen Institute accounting/finance office
  • Coordinate mailings and printing of marketing collateral for the program
  • Provide general administrative support for all AW programs
  • Works closely with all AW staff
  • Routinely interacts with public event attendees and handles outside requests for information.

What you will need to thrive

  • At least 3 years of relevant experience required
  • Impeccable attention to detail is essential
  • Superb communications skills over email and phone are essential
  • Good interpersonal skills, including a positive, can-do attitude; desire to learn and sense of humor, are essential.
  • Excellent computer skills, working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite and web-based platforms for data and document management
  • Ability to navigate, quickly learn and troubleshoot a variety of technology platforms, such as Salesforce and other CRM platforms used for registration and constituent management
  • Strong administrative skills —the ability to proactively plan, organize, and follow through with staff and a variety of constituencies
  • Ability to work on multiple, time-sensitive projects in a fast-paced environment
  • Customer service orientation-- patient, good listener, resourceful
  • Ability and willingness to attend at least 80 percent of Aspen Words’ community events, which often occur in the evenings (The majority of events take place in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley).

Not required but welcome

  • Bachelor's degree in relevant field
  • Experience working with youth and educators
  • Experience writing grants, press releases, newsletters or other marketing communications
  • Experience with WordPress and website development
  • Experience with Photoshop, Canva and other design programs
  • Experience with social platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, X and TikTok

How to apply

To apply, please submit a resume and a cover letter articulating your interest in the position and explaining how your capabilities and experience match our candidate description above. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered. Later stages of the application process may include a writing test. Local candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Please note that applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Due to the volume of applications we receive, we are not able to provide status updates to candidates. If you are selected for an interview, a member of our team will reach out via email.


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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