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, Ascend

Department: ASCEND
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.

Ascend at the Aspen Institute is the national hub for breakthrough ideas and collaborations to build family economic prosperity and well-being. Ascend embraces a two-generation approach – focusing on children and the adults in their lives together - and is committed to centering gender, racial equity, and lived experiences in our work. We believe that early childhood learning and care, postsecondary education/employment pathways for parents, economic assets, social capital, and health and well-being are the core elements that enable families to achieve their full potential. Our work includes convenings, virtual and in-person; toolkit development; data collection; operational organization (outreach and scheduling); detailed notetaking and analysis; and presentations to practitioners, policymakers, and philanthropy.

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’s focus is to ensure the successful implementation of our program, which is focused on a series of activities that deepen and advance two-generation (2Gen) solutions in key places (namely, 10-12 states, the District of Columbia; and LA County). This work is grounded in racial and gender equity, and family voice. She/he/they is a multi-talented, early-career professional with experience handling a wide range of logistics, operational, and research tasks; is creative and eager to learn on the job; and has extremely high standards for the quality of their work. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Research, Communications, and Program Support

  • Work with Associate Director for Network and Outreach to support convenings and events as well as logistical and administrative tasks – our field-building work includes outreach to parent advisors; planning committees; consultants; and researchers;
  • Serve 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;
  • Take meeting notes and prepare and disseminate follow-up materials;
  • Prioritize conflicting needs; handle matters expeditiously, proactively, and follow-through on projects to successful completion, often with deadline pressures.
  • Research and summarize briefing materials for relevant meetings, conferences, and events;
  • Research and analyze issues of interest for reports, briefs, or other needs;
  • Develop dynamic PowerPoint presentations upon request;
  • Manage relationships with assigned Ascend stakeholders and/or policy partners; and,
  • Work closely with all members of the Ascend team to identify areas of opportunity and integration related to postsecondary success and workforce development, racial and gender equity, and family voice.

Centralized Team Responsibilities

  • Support program staff in maintaining organized electronic systems;
  • Support program staff in maintaining a contacts database and quality control of data entered by other staff; 
  • 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;
  • Work with program and policy 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;
  • Provide logistical support for briefings, forums, roundtables, and other convenings;
  • Participate in various planning and budget processes as necessary; and,
  • Identify opportunities to improve the quality and efficiency of the program and implement improvements as directed.

Knowledge and Experience:

  • At least two years of experience in administrative, logistics, and research support, preferably in the nonprofit sector;
  • Excellent computer skills required, specifically, expertise with: Salesforce CRM; Microsoft Outlook (including managing multiple, complex calendars); Microsoft Excel (including creation and maintenance of complex spreadsheets); Microsoft PowerPoint (including development of dynamic PowerPoint presentations); Microsoft Word; virtual engagement platforms such as Zoom; Sharepoint file management; and use of project management platforms such as, Asana or others;
  • Superior attention to detail and ability to manage multiple tasks;
  • Experience establishing 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;
  • A desire to learn, sense of humor, flexibility, and resourcefulness.

Level of Authority:

  • Non-supervisory position
  • No budget authority

Principle Interactions:

The Program Coordinator is a critical position that will provide high-quality administrative, research, and outreach support to the field-building team, which includes the Managing Director, Associate Director for Network and Outreach, program manager, and a program associate. The position will report to the Associate Director for Network and Outreach.

All interested applicants must submit the following. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.

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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