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, Aspen Words

Department: ARTS
Location: Aspen, CO

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.

Aspen Words

Aspen Words 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 and writing residencies. For more information, visit

The Position: Program Coordinator

Aspen Words seeks a highly organized, detail-oriented Program Coordinator capable of juggling multiple programmatic and administrative needs. Our team expects the Program Coordinator to have a strong interest and commitment to the Aspen Words’ mission and play an important role in a wide variety of projects, while maintaining a high standard of quality work in a fast-paced environment. The role includes administrative work including data entry, registration management and a strong customer service orientation, while also providing an opportunity to collaborate with a diverse group of stakeholders to develop an array of distinct and meaningful literary programs. In doing so, the Program Coordinator will be afforded a unique opportunity to make his or her mark through interesting and creative work that has substantive social purpose.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Salary Range: $45,900 - $56,100

Program Responsibilities

Arrangement for logistical elements of AW programs. Duties include:

  • Serve as the point person for Aspen Words’ youth education programs, including liaising with school administrators and English teachers, creating detailed schedules for school workshops and other programs, coordinating youth participation in AW events, as well as overseeing a team of contract teaching artists. Participate in Roaring Fork Valley and Aspen Institute conversations around youth-related programs and identify opportunities to collaborate and engage youth in AW’s work. This role also includes significant interaction with middle and high school students.
  • Track 150+ book submissions for the Aspen Words Literary Prize, verifying eligibility and answering inquiries from the publishing community. Communicate with a selection committee of literary readers, coordinate with finalist authors and publicists.
  • Spearhead all Aspen Summer Words student communication, including workshop acceptances and rejections, workshop logistical details and coordination of professional consultations. Serve as the main point of contact for conference attendees from the application process all the way to participation in the event. This is typically a 6-month process and requires excellent relationship management and communication skills.
  • Host Writers in Residence and Winter Words authors, including welcome bag assembly and delivery, and AW ambassador duties such as greeting authors at the airport and driving authors to various local events.

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Collect signed contracts, W-9’s and media release forms for AW events and programs as needed
  • Manage Aspen Words’ general inbox and respond to emails as needed
  • Book travel and accommodations for visiting guests
  • Solicit in-kind donations, including lodging sponsorships
  • 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
  • Liaise with vendors including local bookstores and box office/ticket sale providers
  • Draft welcome remarks, event summaries and other materials for program leadership
  • Ensure the accurate collection and storage of data, including participant information
  • Prepare follow-up materials related to events, including participant surveys, board meeting materials and testimonials

Principal Interactions

Works closely with all AW staff. Routinely interacts with conference attendees and handles outside requests for information.

Desired Knowledge, Education and Experience

  • A college degree is desirable
  • Professional experience working with youth, educators and school administrators
  • Superb communications skills over email and phone are essential, as well as strong customer service instincts
  • Excellent computer skills, particularly 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
  • Demonstrated ability to work on multiple, time-sensitive projects in a fast-paced environment
  • Customer service orientation: patience, good listener, resourcefulness
  • Impeccable attention to detail
  • Good interpersonal skills, including a desire to learn and a sense of humor

Level of Authority

  • Non-supervisory position
  • No budget authority

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 will 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.

To learn more about the generous health, retirement and other benefits offered by the Aspen Institute, please visit our website.

Thank you for your interest in Aspen Words. We look forward to receiving your application!

The Institute has implemented a mandatory COVID vaccination policy for all employees who will work at one of our physical locations, attend any of our in-person events or travel on behalf of the Institute. Staff unable to be vaccinated may request an exemption under certain circumstances.

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 the regular attendance policy of the Aspen Institute.

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