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 Finance Manager, Leadership Division

Department: LEADERSHIP
Location: Washington, DC

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners.

The Leadership Division of the Aspen Institute builds off its 70-year history of developing values-based leaders across generations and place to become more effective, values-based leaders. Today, the Division supports the life-long development of leaders through its seminar offerings, youth programs, and the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Furthermore, as an opportunity to learn from grass-roots community leaders and to activate its leadership networks, Weave: The Social Fabric Project functions within the Leadership Division.

Primary Function

This position serves as an expert analyst responsible for managing and monitoring the financial performance of the Leadership Division (Division) budget, and for providing high-level guidance and support to Division programs as they seek to maximize their programs’ financial performance. As the Division continues to grow and diversify revenue streams, this position will partner with Division and program staff to review and advise on financial, product, and development proposals and modeling. This position identifies and shares best practices, tools, insights and analysis, cultivates consistency and coordination, and seeks to develop, implement, and innovate the Division’s financial processes and procedures, including but not limited to budgeting, projecting, and reporting.  The person in this role must:

  • Implement and support the financial stewardship of the Leadership Division;
  • Effectively and proactively analyze, communicate, and present critical financial matters to the EVP and Department leadership, as well as to the Institute Financial Services Unit (IFSU);
  • Continuously assess the financial and budgetary needs across the Division and lead and/or partner with IFSU for appropriate communications, trainings, and meetings across the Division to help build the financial capacity of staff and ensure budgeting transparency and outcomes;
  • Serve as main financial and budgetary liaison between the Division’s staff, senior management, external partners, and Aspen Institute Finance/Legal/Development departments;
  • Support the Division’s Development and Seminars teams with funder proposals, revenue modeling, financial reporting, and other financial and budgetary matters;
  • Serve as ambassador for the Leadership Division, representing and advocating for its financial priorities and objectives throughout the year, and in particular during the budget submission cycle.
  • Integrate a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens in all essential duties and work responsibilities

Specific Objectives

Financial Planning and Analysis

  • Lead the annual budgeting exercise for the Division. This effort requires that the position establishes an annual budgeting plan; identifies main budgeting assumptions; coordinates budget development and review sessions with the Division’s leadership; takes direct budgeting responsibility for a number of Division areas such as the admin accounts for Leadership Administration, Executive Leadership Seminars, Youth Leadership Programs, Weave: the Social Fabric, and external AGLN Fellowships; Fellowships in development, and restricted/unrestricted gifts; manages the division’s cash flow requirements, and leads the process to “close the books” on each fiscal year;
  • Generate and own an improved process for planning and managing the “sub-budgets” within Leadership Admin, such as Communications and Systems
  • Lead a quarterly forecasting exercise across the division to forecast obligations, expenditures, revenues and balances for program;
  • Create illuminating and effective financial models and analyze scenarios to support decision-making at the senior management level; and
  • Review the monthly reports generated by IFSU’s reporting team and create special internal reports as needed to evaluate and analyze actual performance and progress against forecast and identify variances.

Financial Management

  • Produce insightful and regularized analyses of programs’ finances, advancing programs’ and the division’s financial health and sustainability, foster programs’ ownership of analysis and related tools;
  • Recommend and implement improvements in financial management and accounting approaches across programs ensuring greater consistency and “apples-to-apples” analysis;
  • In coordination with IFSU, monitor the allocation of division overhead (chargebacks) and the use of restricted and unrestricted funds;
  • Foster the process to award financial support to programs and activities from the available restricted/unrestricted gifts and reserves, monitoring long-term needs and fund availability;
  • Identify opportunities for streamlining costs;
  • External AGLN partners:
    • Serve as a key liaison to AGLN external partners working to understand and monitor their finances (which follow varying approaches).  Also, help to track compliance with terms and conditions of partnership MOUs, subgrant agreements and/or contracts;
    • Review external partners’ financial statements and audits and assess financial health and sustainability
    • Drive invoicing and accounts receivables for contract revenues and seminars fees related to external partners
  • Provide guidance to Fellowship and program staff and ensure they actively participate in budgeting and sound financial stewardship, offering trainings and support as needed; and
  • Work closely with the FSU financial analyst assigned to the division.

Procurement, Gifts, Grant and Contract Management

  • Draft, review, and/or advise on major contractual agreements, including subcontracts, MOUs, and proposals as needed; serve as high-level reviewer for large contracts and subgrants
  • Develop budgets for funding proposals and provide structural budget guidance for gifts and grants
  • Monitor contractual grant and gift obligations and payments
  • Ensure compliance with terms and conditions of grants or other charitable donations, including preparing reporting with program leads. 
  • During their negotiation processes with outside parties, advise program directors in real time with ideas for structuring grant, gift and sponsorship agreements such that characteristics like flexibility with funds are maximized.
  • Review, monitor, and advise on fundraising goals and donor gift reporting which is produced by Development/the Office of Institutional Advancement (OIA).

Level of Authority  

  • Non-supervisory position 

Knowledge, Education and Experience

  • An interest in the mission and programming of the Leadership Division of the Aspen Institute.
  • Extensive experience with complex organizational budgeting, financial analysis and modelling, forecasting/modeling, non-profit finance, contract management, grant, gift and sponsorship agreements.
  • Reliable with great attention and ownership of details; ability to translate numbers to narratives and make recommendations or connections in a fast-paced nature.
  • A lived commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and values-based leadership.
  • Minimum of 5+ years’ experience in either private or public sectors; a familiarity or experience in non-profit preferred.
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to work with individuals with different levels of seniority and varying background on financial management. Ability to work with executive-level leaders also required.
  • Collaborative, thoughtful, service-oriented, proactive and organized professional seeking to create sustainable solutions, building capacity, and creating effective financial tools and resources.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite (especially Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint), Host Analytics, MIP, required.
  • Proficiency with databases and information management systems preferred (e.g., Salesforce)
  • Experience working with people from different cultures and backgrounds.
  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field required.


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.

Candidate must have the ability to work under pressure and handle stress. Candidate must also have the ability to meet the regular attendance policy of the Aspen Institute.



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