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Program Coordinator, Leadership and Communications

Department: ASCEND
Location: DC or Flexible , DC

Program/Dept:          Ascend
FLSA Status:            Exempt


The Aspen Institute:

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 Marylandís Eastern Shore. It also maintains offices in New York City and has an international network of partners.

Ascend,a policy program of the Aspen Institute (http://ascend.aspeninstitute.org), is hub for breakthrough ideas and collaborations that move children and their parents toward educational success and economic security. Ascend takes a two-generation approach to our work ó focusing on both children and their parents together ó and brings a gender and racial equity lens to analysis. We believe that education, economic supports, social capital, and health and well-being are the core elements that create an intergenerational cycle of opportunity. We are engaged in three strategies:

  • Building a brain trust of diverse leaders through a national fellowship program and extended learning network;
  • Identifying, supporting, and elevating two-generation programs, policies, and community solutions through research, publications, convenings, media, online platforms, and financial investment; and
  • Engaging the perspectives, strengths, resilience, and aspirations of families with low incomes to inform program design and policy development by highlighting the voices of children and parents through focus groups, storytelling, and forums. 


Basic Function: 

The selected candidate will join a dynamic, entrepreneurial, high-performing team within the larger environment of the Aspen Institute in its Washington, DC, headquarters. This position is an opportunity to support cutting-edge policies, programs, research, and communications to create cycle of opportunity for all children and families in the United States. The ideal candidate is a multi-talented, early-career professional with experience handling a wide range of administrative, logistics, social media, and research tasks; is creative and eager to learn on the job; and has extremely high standards for the quality of his/her work. The Program Coordinator is a critical position that will provide high-quality administrative, research, and communications support to the team, as well as provide logistical support for Ascend Fellowship programs and events. The Program Coordinator will report to the Assistant Director for Leadership and Design and work closely with the Communications Manager and Strategist.

Qualified candidates must demonstrate impeccable attention to detail, superior organizational skills, exceptional verbal and written communication skills, and the ability to flourish in a fast-paced environment. Critical thinking skills are essential, as is the ability to exercise good judgment in a variety of situations. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Fellowship Support and Program Development

  • Ensure high quality convening and event planning and support for Fellowship program and other strategic roundtables and forums as needed. Convenings should be thoughtfully designed with close attention to detail; careful consideration of the look, feel, and intended impact; and efficient use of resources;
  • Provide logistical and administrative support for Ascendís national and state-focused Fellowship programs. This includes event planning and management for Fellows forums, contact and systems management, travel assistance and communications support; 
  • Identify ways to strengthen systems for recruitment, budgeting, event planning, faculty engagement, and project management; 
  • Contribute to tracking and amplification of Fellowship impact;
  • Manage relationships with assigned Ascend Network partners and Ascend Fellows;
  • Help amplify Fellowsí leadership and identify connections and leverage opportunities across the Ascend portfolio.

Communications

  • Develop and implement social media strategies around events and publication releases. 
  • Manage Ascendís social media engagement to raise profile of Ascend and the Ascend Network. 
  • Support document and product layout and design.
  • Manage and develop website content, with support and input from program staff, including the Ascend blog.
  • Prepare monthly E-Newsletter and other priority outreach materials.
  • Create film and other multi-media products as needed and/or liaise with Aspen video staff and outside vendors for their creation.
  • Maintain monthly tracking system of Ascend outreach efforts.
  • Research and summarize briefing materials for meetings, conferences, and events.
  • Research and analyze issues of interest for reports, briefs, or other needs.
  • Act as first point of contact for outside inquires. Handle written, telephone, and internet requests for information; draft, edit, and produce correspondence as required, including correspondence that is sometimes confidential.
  • Develop dynamic PowerPoint presentations upon request.

Centralized Team Responsibilities

  • Contribute to Ascendís internal and external work around equity, inclusion, and identity;
  • Work with program staff to support tracking of technical assistance efforts;
  • Assist with data collection and synthesis for submission to Ascend evaluator and for inclusion in grant reports; 
  • Prioritize conflicting needs; handle matters expeditiously, proactively, and follow through on projects to successful completion, often with deadline pressures;
  • Provide logistical support for briefings, forums, roundtables, and other convenings;
  • Support program staff in maintaining organized electronic and hard copy filing systems;
  • Support program staff in maintaining a contacts database and quality control of data entered;  
  • Prepare and submit RFPs for invoices that have been reviewed by the program staff managing contracts and vendor relationships and liaise with accounting department to ensure timely payments;
  • Take and disseminate notes for convenings as needed;
  • Participate in various planning and budget processes as necessary;
  • Identify opportunities to improve the quality and efficiency of the program and implement improvements as directed.

Knowledge, Education and Experience:

  • Bachelorís degree required; at least two years of experience in administrative, logistics, communications, and research support, preferably in the nonprofit sector; 
  • Strong interest in and passion for economic and social justice issues;
  • Excellent computer skills required, specifically, expertise with: Salesforce, Microsoft Outlook (including managing multiple, complex calendars), Microsoft Excel (including creation and maintenance of complex spreadsheets); and Microsoft PowerPoint (including development of dynamic PowerPoint presentations);
  • Experience with the Adobe Creative Suite desirable;
  • Experience managing social media outreach desirable;
  • Superior attention to detail and ability to manage multiple tasks;
  • Experience establishing and maintaining strong process and organizational systems to improve efficiency and functioning in a changing environment;
  • Strong customer service orientation: patience, listening, resourcefulness, responsiveness, and attention to detail;
  • Ability to work with diverse audiences and proven ability to effectively interface with senior-level executives;
  • Experience meeting deadlines while balancing multiple projects, including calendar management, travel arrangements, and event planning coordination;
  • Strong, demonstrable writing and editing skills;
  • Creative problem-solving skills and professional and polished interpersonal skills;
  • A desire to learn, sense of humor, flexibility, and resourcefulness.

Level of Authority:

  • Non-supervisory position
  • No budget authority

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