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.

Senior Associate, Partnerships and Community Engagement

Location: DC or Flexible , DC
Salary: $74,700 - $85,000 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.

Youth Leadership Programs identify, cultivate, and amplify rising generations' talent and the ecosystems that support them. The department works with youth up to the age of 25 to redress the most complex and challenging social, political, and scientific issues facing communities, not in some distant future but today. The department is home to The Aspen Challenge, Aspen Young Leaders Fellowship, Bezos Scholars, and Youth Lead Now. 

The Aspen Young Leaders Fellowship (AYLF) identifies, cultivates, and amplifies future generations of talent to engage in the values-based leadership essential for improving their lives and society. AYLF is a place-based, multi-site program that nurtures a cadre of diverse youth ages 18–24 to support:

  1. Degree completion.
  2. Workforce readiness and placement.
  3. Civic engagement addresses their communities' most compelling social, political, and scientific issues.

AYLF accelerates leadership development, social-emotional learning, and social innovation, along with fellows' abilities to effectuate change inside and outside systems. The program operates on a 1+4 model (1 year of intensive training coupled with four years of targeted support for degree completion and workforce placement). It stimulates long-term community transformation through a whole-systems approach involving families, educators, and community stakeholders.

The selected candidate will join a diverse, dynamic, and high-performing team focused on youth and community development. The Senior Associate role is a remote work position reporting to the Director of AYLF and overseeing the day-to-day management, strategy, and relationship building that drives the AYLF presence in local communities. This includes (1) building a network of local partners and advisory councils in each ecosystem, (2) managing the annual fellow recruitment process, (3) advancing internship and apprenticeship opportunities for fellows, and (4) contributing to program strategy. The Senior Associate plays a crucial role within a diverse team performing a broad range of duties required to advance the program’s mission, ensure excellence and effectiveness, and meet internal and external goals. These responsibilities are achieved via an unwavering focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion and a commitment to centering the talent and expertise of the communities we serve.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

The Senior Associate will assume day-to-day responsibility for AYLF Community Strategy as well as serve as a senior leader supporting the Youth Leadership Programs portfolio. Responsibilities include but are not limited to:


Work in concert with the Director to set AYLF strategy and priorities.

  • Create substantive and enduring community relationships through exceptional cultural competence in working with low to moderate-income, primarily BIPOC communities.
  • Attend monthly seminars to support delivery teams, observe learning strategies, and advise on alterations to maximize impact.
  • Regularly attend team meetings, actively participate and contribute to a positive and healthy team culture.

Fellowship Recruitment Process

  • Design and implement an annual recruitment and partnerships strategy with yearly goals and targets that yield 25-30 youth participants per year per region.
  • Design and execute a work plan to achieve annual goals and targets. 
  • Design and implement an annual recruitment and selection process that engages community partners and delivers cohorts of Fellows each year. 
  • Build necessary infrastructure in collaboration with the operational team to ensure the success of fellowship sourcing, recruitment, and selection, including but not limited to: database management, communications, workflow, and marketing. 
  • Develop new and improved existing tools and processes for outreach, marketing, and selection, ensuring the program continuously learns and improves its methods and results.

Community Partnerships

  • Establish and manage advisory councils in each locality to drive program decision-making and localization of content to meet community goals.
  • Identify synergistic partners nationally to collaborate with meeting fellows’ goals.
  • Regularly convene and facilitate advisory councils to ensure their expertise and engagement translates to program effectiveness, learning and improvement, and impact.
  • Support identification of guest speakers and design field experiences associated with the program.

Program Relationship Management & Internship Sourcing

  • Support the AYLF team in managing donors, supporters, and other stakeholders. 
  • Work with local and national networks to source and distribute additional internship and apprenticeship experiences for youth in Phase 2 of the fellowship. 

Weekend and Travel Expectations

This position requires weekend work at least one weekend per month and an ability and willingness to travel up to 30% of the time to support programming. Travel expectations are contingent upon health and safety guidelines and policies from national/local authorities and the Aspen Institute. 

Knowledge, Education & Experience:

Youth Leadership Programs is committed to ensuring the diversity of our team, and 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 with economic/social challenges and inequity to apply for this role.

We seek candidates who work effectively with diverse teams and communities, juggle complex projects, and cultivate strong relationships with partners. A successful candidate will have expertise in educational systems with effective management, learning design, supervisory, training, and development experience. The candidate will have a proven ability to direct complex operational details and function in an evolving environment that requires empathy, flexibility, and the ability to set strategy.

  • Bachelor's degree required with a minimum of six years of professional work experience with a track record of effective management and accomplishments
  • Exceptional knowledge of youth development, community partnerships, philanthropy, and project management.  
  • Excellent cultural competence and experience working directly with constituents from diverse racial, ethnic, socio-economic, and geographic backgrounds.
  • Excellent computer skills, notably Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Creative Cloud Suites, contact databases, and complex spreadsheets.
  • Strong organizational and motivational skills, including experience supervising work teams.
  • Ability to direct workflow, manage multiple priorities, and create efficiencies.
  • Strong analytical skills to support strategy development.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills include a desire to learn, a sense of humor, and creativity.
  • Strong customer service orientation: patience, listening, resourcefulness, and attention to detail.
  • Exceptional project management skills. 
  • Robust and demonstrable writing and oral communication skills.
  • Significant experience working with educational institutions and their constituents.
  • Willingness and ability to travel (up to 30% annually)

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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