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 Specialist/Manager

Salary: $65,000 - $90,000 per year

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 Aspen Tech Policy Hub

The Aspen Tech Policy Hub is a West Coast policy incubator, training a new generation of science and tech policy entrepreneurs. We take science and tech experts, teach them the policy process through fellowship and training programs, and encourage them to develop outside-the-box solutions to societyís problems. We model ourselves after tech incubators like Y Combinator, but train new policy thinkers and focus the impact of their ideas.

To date, we have trained over 200 scientists and technologists through our fellowship and training programs. Our trainees have already made a considerable impact on STEM policy, from advising county governments of coastal communities on mitigating the effects of sea-level rise, to proposing amendments to the California Consumer Privacy Act, to advising the City of New York on how to improve the provision of broadband services to help close the digital divide. The Aspen Tech Policy Hub is a part of Aspen Digital, an Institute program that empowers policy-makers, civic organizations, companies, and the public to be responsible stewards of technology and media in the service of an informed, just, and equitable world.

Role Overview

We are looking for an early-to-mid career program specialist or manager who is exceptionally organized and has strong project management skills to help organize our training programs at the Aspen Tech Policy Hub and manage our policy projects. Early career candidates will be considered for a Program Specialist role, while mid-career candidates will be considered for a Program Manager role. This position will be responsible for overseeing the operations and logistics of Hub programs, and will oversee our project publication process. The Program Specialist/Manager will work closely with our Director, Deputy Director, Program Assistant, and our part-time design staff.

The Program Specialist/Manager will have the opportunity to attend most Hub training program sessions, giving them exposure to critical skills in policy advocacy and policymaking, and the opportunity to hear from exciting guest speakers and policy leaders. The Specialist/Manager will also be closely mentored by the Hubís Director and Deputy Director, and will learn the ropes for how to run a small non-profit.

The ideal candidate is a multi-talented, entry- or mid-level professional who has a passion for handling a wide range of operational, and logistical tasks; is creative and eager to learn on the job; is excited about balancing multiple, often simultaneous, activities; and has extremely high standards for the quality of his/her work. The role is a good fit for candidates seeking experience in the wide range of skills and capabilities needed to manage and operate a quickly growing organization and to learn more about the policy space.

Qualified candidates must demonstrate superior organizational skills, impeccable attention to detail, exceptional verbal and written communication skills, and the ability to flourish in a fast-paced environment. Experience with operational systems such as Airtable, Google Workspace, and Microsoft Office is preferred. Critical thinking skills are also essential, as is the ability to exercise good judgment in a variety of situations. Candidates can reside in any location, but must be willing to relocate to the Bay Area for up to 10 weeks in the Summer of 2023 to help lead our in-person fellowship program.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Program Support (40%)

  • Work with our Program Assistant to manage operations for Hub programs, including managing Zoom classrooms, preparing program exercises, communicating with program participants, and collecting assignments;
  • Develop and organize curriculum material, including drafting syllabi, creating slides, and communicating with speakers;
  • Manage recruitment efforts for the Hub, such as planning recruitment events, corresponding with potential Hub applicants, assisting with recruitment outreach; reviewing program applications and conducting recruitment interviews;
  • Assist in identifying, reaching out to, and communicating with high-profile speakers for Hub classes;
  • Identify opportunities to improve the quality and efficiency of the program and implement improvements as directed.

Project & Publication Support (40%)

  • Manage and oversee our project and publication process, keeping track of dozens of publication drafts at once and ensuring that publications are sent to relevant reviewers, copyeditors, and designers; and
  • Liaise with external contractors for copyediting and design, working to ensure vendors meet deadlines and execute high-quality work.

Operations/Administrative Management (10-20%)

  • Work with Program Assistant to oversee financial processes, including processing invoices, expenses, reimbursements, payment for services, etc; and
  • Oversee contracting processes for our program participants and external vendors.

People Management (10%) (for mid-career Program Manager candidates only)

  • Manage 1-2 full-time staff, and several part-time staff, overseeing their work and providing them with constructive feedback and professional growth opportunities.

Knowledge, Education and Experience


  • Bachelorís degree;
  • A minimum of 1-2 years of professional work experience, including experience managing projects independently;
  • Passion for operations work, creative problem-solving skills, and strong attention to detail;
  • Superior attention to detail and ability to manage multiple tasks;
  • Excellent computer skills, specifically, expertise with: Microsoft Office and Google Workspace products;
  • Polished interpersonal skills;
  • Interest in learning about policy and contributing to a policy non-profit; and
  • A desire to learn, sense of humor, flexibility, and resourcefulness.


  • 3-5 years of professional work experience, including experience managing projects independently;
  • Airtable, customer relationship management, and task management system software experience;
  • Graphic design software experience such as nDesign or Figma; and
  • Web design experience.

Salary: $65,000 - $90,000 per year, commensurate with experience.

Applicants must submit a cover letter and resume to be considered. Applicants without a cover letter will not be considered.

The Aspen Institute offers a generous benefits package including health, dental, vision, and prescription benefits, retirement benefits, and paid leave.

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.

Individuals needing an accommodation to complete the job application can contact or call (202) 736-1074.


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