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- Education & Society Program

Department: EDUCATION
Location: Washington, DC

About Us:

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues.

The mission of the Aspen Institute Education & Society Program (Aspen Education) is to improve public education by inspiring, informing, and influencing education leaders across policy and practice, with an emphasis on achieving equity for students of color and students from low-income families. We provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues related to education and mobility from poverty.

About the Work:

For the last 15 years, Aspen Education has sponsored a professional learning network for Senior Congressional education staffers. For the congressional staff charged with substantial leadership responsibilities in shaping federal policy, the day-to-day realities of Capitol Hill make thoughtful, bi-partisan reflection and dialogue difficult, if not impossible. The Network provides a much-needed, off-the-record venue and safe space away from the partisanship of Capitol Hill. The Network has two key objectives: (1) build collaborative working relationships, and (2) establish a shared knowledge base by learning from local leaders and scholars.  This network, considered one of the premier learning opportunities on the Hill, also affords Aspen Education a unique vantage on the issues of most interest to Congressional staff and the perspectives of experts in the field regarding the status of federal policy implementation. Federal education policy always has had a primary focus on equity, and we examine issues of equity within the senior education Congressional staff network; many barriers to social and economic mobility, however, exist outside of schools, and we are expanding our focus with senior Congressional staffers to look at mobility issues more broadly.

The new Aspen Mobility from Poverty Senior Congressional Staff Network will be an additional on-going network of 20-25 of the most senior committee and leadership staff who play a pivotal role in drafting and negotiating legislation and appropriating funds related to mobility from poverty (including but not limited to education policy). This network will draw from leadership offices and multiple committees to increase congressional staff knowledge and capacity through learning and relationship-building across parties, committees, and chambers of Congress – as well as with experts from the field. Aspen Education piloted this mobility from poverty focus with two convenings in 2017-18 and is now growing it into a standing network. Both networks, which are bipartisan and bicameral, convene twice a year for multi-day seminars/retreats.

About the Role:

The Program Coordinator will report to and work closely with the Program Manager and Executive Director for Aspen Education, consultants, and the rest of the Aspen Education team to provide primary staff support through an array of functions integral to the success of the Congressional networks and the Aspen Education Program overall.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities, but not limited to: 

Network Management: Maintain database of critical contacts for the Senior Congressional staff networks:

  • Build a contact list for Senior Congressional staff relative to mobility from poverty issues, and keep this current along with standing list of senior education staff;
  • Maintain contact information for consultants and field experts who assist with senior Congressional staff network retreats;
  • Schedule meetings between project team and senior Congressional staff, and participate in meetings for note-taking and follow-up;
  • Support the tracking of learning from network events;
  • Work with Program Coordinator on scheduling or administrative tasks in an effort to support Aspen Education.

Content Development: Assist in grounding Aspen Education’s planning and outreach in the latest research and policy/political developments.

  • Track treatment of mobility from poverty issues in mainstream publications and scholarly journals.
  • Assist in sourcing and selecting readings for Congressional staff network retreats.

Event Planning/Logistics: Support the development and execution of high-quality learning experiences for senior Congressional staffers, including:

  • Establish a detailed timeline and project-management plan for each multi-day retreat (four per year) and each DC-based event (at least two per year), in collaboration with Program Manager and Aspen logistics team;
  • Schedule meetings and calls, participating in and taking notes during scoping and briefing calls with experts who are invited to serve as expert faculty, and summarizing notes from calls for important trends and details;
  • Compile meeting materials and organize a process for printing and disseminating materials in advance of each event;
  • Create a weekly email update for each event to keep entire project team appraised of progress, outstanding issues, and upcoming decision points;
  • Assist in preparation of ethics clearance forms for submission by Congressional staffers.
  • Assist with onsite logistics for site visits and DC-based roundtables/briefings, working in close collaboration with Aspen team.

Operations/Financial: Support the overall administrative efficiency of senior Congressional staff networks by serving as a problem-solver and go-to expert on critical administrative processes, including:

  • In coordination with Aspen team, prepare contracts, ethics forms, Honoria agreements, and help invoices and reimbursements,
  • In coordination with Assistant Director of Strategy and Operations and Program Manager, track budgets, contracts, and grants-management timelines;
  • Provide logistical support for meetings as needed;
  • Manage network calendars, inform Aspen Education program calendar;
  • Support team with collecting, organizing, and producing meeting and presentation materials, publication inventory, printing, shipping and copying as necessary;

About You:

Specific skills and competencies we believe makes you a great fit:

  • Commitment to increasing mobility from poverty and improving outcomes in public education, especially for students from low-income families and students of color;
  • College degree and practical, relevant experience, including three or more years in a similar professional setting/role;
  • Service-driven, collaborative and have a spirit of doing what it takes to get the job done;
  • Thoughtful and resourceful, demonstrated ability to take initiative and follow through;
  • Exemplary organizational/project-management, communication, and problem-solving skills with the ability to respond to rapidly changing priorities and have exemplary interpersonal skills, high self-awareness, and sound judgment
  • Flexible – have a growth mindset and adaptable to adjusting in both day-to-day and larger-scale activities based on new information and situations;
  • Exercise strong and solid judgment. Able to make decisions with the information available; yet, at the same time, know when to ask for help;
  • Strong written and oral communication skills;
  • Excellent computer skills and mastery of Microsoft Office Suite, and familiarity with office productivity tools like Basecamp, CVent, Google Docs, Zoom, etc.;
  • Knowledge of financial management a plus (e.g., expense reports, invoice processing and reconciling, etc.);
  • Comfort with working under pressure and tight deadlines in a fast-paced environment;
  • Are committed to advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace;
  • Ability to travel up to 20% of time. Occasional night and weekend work required, usually as part of planning or execution of site visits.

All applicants must submit the following to be considered for the position: 

Aspen Education is committed to ensuring the diversity of our team. While not a minimum or mandatory qualification, we strongly encourage candidates of color, those who identify as Native American, women, people of low-income backgrounds, those who are differently-abled, and those with first-hand experience of education inequity to apply for this role. To apply, please submit a resume/CV and cover letter. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered. To apply, please visit and follow the instructions to apply for Program Coordinator.  

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.

Candidate must have the ability to work under pressure and handle stress. Candidate must also have the ability to meet regular attendance policy of the Aspen Institute.

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