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.

Practice Associate

Department: EDUCATION
Location: Washington, DC

The 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.

About the Role:

The Associate, Practice works closely with the Director, Practice & Leadership and the broader Program team to support high quality professional learning and leadership development, seek and review the best research in the field, and provide project planning support for the networks and aligned activities. They will be responsible for identifying and creating high-quality resources that explicitly address social-emotional and academic development; leadership; and racial justice in the education space, and honor the Aspen Instituteís commitment to equity. The Associate, Practice will also manage communication with network participants, as well as scholars, partner organizations, and foundation program officers. We are looking for candidates who are deeply connected to the work of K-12 education, and understand the intersections between K-12 education, equity, mobility, and racial justice.

Essential responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Supporting the health of practice networks

    • Content Development for Convenings
      • Research quality, aligned materials, and resources for convening content, ensuring resources come from rigorous, diverse sources
      • Use excellent judgment and a critical eye when designing activities and planning content through the lens of equity, with particular attention to racial justice
      • Development of high-quality briefing books and aligned materials to support excellent engagement from participants
    • Project Management
      • Support overall project planning process for convenings throughout the year
      • Manage and execute on project deadlines, event support, external relationships, and partner relationships
      • Assist in ongoing support and knowledge capture processes for district and other Practice and Leadership meetings, including but not limited to:
        • Synthesizing trends and themes to create after-action reports and memos
        • Analyze trends from evaluations and interviews to support continuous improvement
        • Ensure strong follow-up for convening participants, including planning consultancies and/or connecting network participants with field experts
  • Supporting internal expertise
    • Assist in finding and identifying relevant content to keep program staff abreast of key issues in the field
    • Excellent maintenance and management of materials to ensure ease of access for broader Program team, including the project planning and database management
    • Support strong communication between Practice, Policy, and other teams
  • Supporting external functions
    • Support fundraising and grantmaking activities on an as-needed basis
    • Support strong communication with external partners, on an as-needed basis
    • Liaise with consultants and vendors to ensure execution of a scope of work
  • Serving as supervisor for Program Coordinator, Practice
    • Perform all supervisory functions for and direct the work of the Program Coordinator for Practice, in coordination with supervisor.

About You:

    • Bachelorís degree required, higher education preferred
    • 3-5 years working in the education sector
    • Belief in Aspenís commitment to racial justice, and passionate about deepening personal practices and knowledge around an understanding of power, privilege, and equity
    • Commitment to increasing high-quality instruction and student experience in public education, especially for students from low-income families and students of color
      • Subject matter expertise in instructional pedagogy, socio-emotional learning, adolescent development, and/or adult learning preferred
      • Understanding of K-12 systems change and potential barriers to change at the macro level
      • Solid understanding, interest, and comfort with education policy; enthusiastic about finding intersections and opportunities to integrate and intersect policy and practice discussions
    • Excellent project management skills, including but not limited to organization and facilitation of meetings, managing multiple timelines, and leading teams to successful completion of multi-layered projects
    • Strong research and analysis skills
    • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including but not limited to distilling salient points into summaries and drafting professional correspondence
    • Committed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion across all functions, engagements and relationships
    • Ability and willingness to travel up to 20% of the time, when permissible and in keeping with Aspenís strict health and safety protocols. Occasional night and weekend work required, usually as part of planning or execution of site visits

About Us:

The Aspen Institute Education & Society Program (Aspen Education) improves 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. Aspen Education supports leaders at all levels, from networks of urban superintendents and their teams, to state chiefs and their cabinets, to elected officials and their staffers.

Aspen Education is focused on:

1) Advancing a richer vision of student success that integrates the social, emotional, and academic dimensions of learning as essential to advancing equity;

2) Transforming education systems so that they can sponsor and model exemplary learning and continuous improvement practices;

3) Developing education leaders to achieve transformation in learning, equity, and efficacy;


4) Understanding educationís role in addressing poverty in America by fostering connections between education and housing, health and nutrition, transportation, and criminal justice policy, including the impact of race and racism on access to opportunity in America.

And does this work by:

1) Hosting thought-provoking convenings of diverse leaders from the district, state, national and federal levels that create powerful learning experiences that support and make explicit connections across policy and practice;

2) Developing resources and tools for national, state, and local policy makers, practitioners, and philanthropy leaders to disseminate lessons and promising practices in a non-partisan, non-ideological way;

3) Cultivating and fostering partnerships to inform and challenge our thinking, surface and spread promising practices and recommendations, and share and apply our resources and tools.

About the Work:

Aspen Education has developed multiple strategic networks to encourage and facilitate high-impact relationships among practitioners. Those networks include the Urban Superintendents Network, the Chiefs Network, and other workshops built around key questions in schools and school systems.

The Urban Superintendent network brings together a group of Superintendents from prioritized districts and states, and is meant to facilitate high quality professional learning and professional collaboration. The Chiefs Networks is focused on Chief Academic Officers and Chief Schools Officers. The Practice & Leadership team manages projects complementary to the network, that investigate and inform solutions to complex problems with broad implications for the field. Strong collaboration, alignment and continued conversation between the networks, projects, advisors, and partner organizations is key to achieving our desired impact.

The Education and Society Program team, with the Associateís contribution, will work to define a strategy that strengthens and advances the overall strategic objectives, focused on creating impact, coherence, and connection across activities as well as recognizes opportunities to connect with the Policy team.

To Apply:

To apply, please submit cover letter and resume.

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.


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