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 an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute has campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River on Marylandís Eastern Shore. It also maintains offices in New York City and has an international network of partners.

Ascend, a policy program of the Aspen Institute (, is hub for breakthrough ideas and collaborations that move children and their parents toward educational success and economic security. Ascend takes a two-generation approach to our work ó focusing on both children and their parents together ó and brings a gender and racial equity lens to analysis. We believe that education, economic supports, social capital, and health and well-being are the core elements that create an intergenerational cycle of opportunity. We are engaged in three strategies:

∑ Building a brain trust of diverse leaders through a national fellowship program and extended learning network; 

∑ Identifying, supporting, and elevating two-generation programs, policies, and community solutions through research, publications, convenings, media, online platforms, and financial investment; and 

∑ Engaging the perspectives, strengths, resilience, and aspirations of families with low incomes to inform program design and policy development by highlighting the voices of children and parents through focus groups, storytelling, and forums. 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 is an opportunity to support cutting-edge convenings and a national Network that advance policies, programs, research, and communications to create cycle of opportunity for all children and families in the United States. The ideal candidate is a multi-talented, early-career professional with experience handling a wide range of administrative, logistics, convening, and research tasks; is creative and eager to learn on the job; and has extremely high standards for the quality of his/her work. The Program Coordinator is a critical position that will provide high-quality administrative, convening, technical support to the team, as well as provide logistical and design support for a portfolio of annual convenings, including roundtables, webinars, large-scale forums, and other events. Ascend hosts an average of 20 convenings per year, as well as 10 webinars per year. The Program Coordinator will report to the Associate Director for Network and Outreach and work closely with other Program Coordinators, Associates, and staff.

Qualified candidates must demonstrate impeccable attention to detail, superior organizational skills, exceptional verbal and written communication skills, and the ability to flourish in a fast-paced environment. Critical thinking skills are essential, as is the ability to exercise good judgment in a variety of situations.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Convenings Logistics and Design

  • Manage all resources, tools, and templates for Ascend convenings, and provide guidance and oversight to staff who are logistical leads on specific convenings;
  • Develop and execute logistical preparation of roundtables, forums, strategic conversations, and other convenings.
  • Manage on-site logistics for key convenings, including managing vendor relationships: Aspen Forum on Children and Families; Network roundtables and webinars; Aspen Early Childhood Health Forum; Aspen ThinkXChange;
  • Provide partnership and guidance to Aspen Conference Services for relevant convenings, such as ThinkXChange;
  • Prepare guidance to colleagues on supporting convening logistics and outreach;
  • Manage complex vendor relationships including contracts and accounts payable;
  • Research and summarize briefing materials for meetings, conferences, and events;
  • Research and analyze issues of interest for reports, briefs, or other needs;
  • Act 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.
  • Develop dynamic PowerPoint presentations upon request.

Network Support and Program Development

  • Ensure high quality convening and event planning and support for key convenings including Network Partners and other strategic roundtables and forums as needed. Convenings should be thoughtfully designed with close attention to detail; careful consideration of the look, feel, and intended impact; and efficient use of resources;
  • Provide logistical and administrative support for the Aspen Family Prosperity Innovation Community. This includes event planning and management for forums, contact and systems management, travel assistance and communications support, and research support;
  • Identify ways to strengthen systems for identification of partners, budgeting, event planning, new partner engagement, and project management;
  • Contribute to tracking and amplification of Network impact;
  • Support and implement Network Masterclass series focused on key two-generation issues, reflecting input and feedback from the Network;
  • Support monthly Network office hours, and recommend messaging and resources (such as blogs) informed by questions and ideas raised during office hours.

Centralized Team Responsibilities

  • Work with program 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;
  • Prioritize conflicting needs; handle matters expeditiously, proactively, and follow through on projects to successful completion, often with deadline pressures;
  • Provide logistical support for briefings, forums, roundtables, and other convenings;
  • Support program staff in maintaining organized electronic and hard copy filing systems;
  • Support program staff in maintaining a contacts database and quality control of data entered;
  • Prepare and submit accounts payable for invoices that have been reviewed by the program staff managing contracts and vendor relationships and liaise with accounting department to ensure timely payments;
  • Participate in various planning and budget processes as necessary;
  • Identify opportunities to improve the quality and efficiency of the program and implement improvements as directed.

Knowledge, Education and Experience:

  • Bachelorís degree preferred; 3-4 years of experience in administrative, convening, logistics support, preferably in the nonprofit sector;
  • Strong interest in economic and social justice issues;
  • Excellent computer skills required, specifically, expertise with: Salesforce, Microsoft Outlook (including managing multiple, complex calendars), Microsoft Excel (including creation and maintenance of complex spreadsheets); and Microsoft PowerPoint (including development of dynamic PowerPoint presentations);
  • Superior attention to detail and ability to manage multiple tasks;
  • Experience establishing and maintaining strong process and 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;
  • Ability and openness to travel domestically;
  • Experience meeting deadlines while balancing multiple projects, including calendar management, travel arrangements, and event planning coordination;
  • Strong, demonstrable writing and editing skills;
  • Creative problem-solving skills and professional and polished interpersonal skills;
  • A desire to learn, sense of humor, flexibility, and resourcefulness.

Level of Authority:

  • Non-supervisory position
  • No budget authority

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 regular attendance policy of the Aspen Institute.

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