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 Assistant

Location: San Francisco, CA
Salary: TBD

Aspen Tech Policy Hub:

The Aspen Tech Policy Hub is a West Coast policy incubator, training a new generation of policy entrepreneurs. We take STEM experts, teach them the policy process through fellowship and executive education 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 nearly 200 STEM professionals through our fellowship and executive leadership programs. Our trainees have already made a considerable impact on tech policy, from improving the use of algorithmic tools in Florida public schools, to proposing amendments to the California Consumer Privacy Act, to advising city governments on how to improve the provision of broadband services to help close the digital divide. We are embedded within the Aspen Instituteís Aspen Digital program.

Aspen Digital:

Aspen Digital empowers policymakers, civic organizations, companies, and the public to be responsible stewards of technology and media in the service of an informed, just, and equitable world. We shine a light on urgent global issues across the information ecosystem, cybersecurity, tech policy, emerging technology, urban innovation, and the industry talent pipeline. Our initiatives then turn ideas to action and develop human solutions to these digital challenges. Aspen Digital is a program of the Aspen Institute, a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society.

Basic Function:

The Program Assistant provides administrative, events, operational, and communications support to Aspen Tech Policy Hub programs. The Program Assistant will work closely with the small Hub team and will benefit from close mentorship from Hub and Aspen Digital leadership. The Program Assistant will also 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 ideal candidate is a multi-talented, entry-level professional who has a passion for handling a wide range of communications, 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 STEM and tech policy space.

Qualified candidates must demonstrate impeccable attention to detail, exceptional verbal and written communication skills, superior organizational 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. 

It is preferred that candidates reside in the Bay Area for this position.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Program Support (40%)

  • Manage weekly operations for Hub programs, including taking attendance, tracking participation and accomplishments, managing electronic filing and contact systems, and collecting assignments;

  • Develop and organize curriculum material, including drafting syllabi, creating slides, and communicating with speakers;

  • Process invoices, expenses, reimbursements, payment for services, etc.;

  • Take notes in stakeholder meetings and disseminate follow-up materials;

  • Conduct general research to support programming as needed; and

  • Identify opportunities to improve the quality and efficiency of the program and implement improvements as directed.

External Relations (20%)

  • Work with the Hubís external communications team to spearhead initiatives that will broaden awareness of the Hubís programs and activities; 

  • With the support of Hub leadership, assist in recruitment efforts for the Hub, such as planning recruitment events, corresponding with potential Hub applicants, and assisting with recruitment outreach;

  • Develop dynamic Google Slides or PowerPoint presentations for Hub training programs and other engagements;

  • Serve as the first point of contact for outside inquiries. Handle written, telephone, and web requests for information; and

  • Manage relationships with external contractors and vendors, ensuring they complete work and are paid on time.

Events Support (20%)

  • Assist in identifying, reaching out to, and communicating with high-profile speakers for Hub events; 

  • Provide logistical support for high-profile and well-attended briefings, forums, roundtables, and other convenings, such as leading back-end Zoom webinar settings or leading in-person event setup;

  • Attend in-person and virtual sessions of Hub training programs;

  • Research, assemble, and distribute background meeting materials; and

  • Schedule complex meetings.

Communications (20%)

  • Assist Hub communications team by sourcing and crafting content for the Hubís social media accounts, including Twitter and LinkedIn;

  • Design and prepare emails and newsletters for Hub supporters that showcase Hub accomplishments, promote recruitment for Hub programs, and increase attendance for Hub events;

  • Proofread white papers, policy briefs, and other products written by tech experts prior to publication;

  • Prepare written content for the Hubís website; 

  • Produce email correspondence with close partners and outside contacts, including correspondence that is sometimes confidential; ans

  • Provide research support for various Hub outputs, including monthly staff articles and newsletters as well as longer-term reports. 

Knowledge, Education and Experience:

  • Bachelorís degree required; 

  • Strong interest in and passion for science and technology in the interest of society;

  • Passion for operations work and strong attention to detail;

  • Communications experience, including with social media, preferred;

  • Superior attention to detail and ability to manage multiple tasks;

  • Excellent computer skills required, specifically, expertise with: Microsoft Office and Google Workspace products. Airtable and graphic design software experience preferred;

  • Strong, demonstrable writing and editing skills;

  • Creative problem-solving skills and professional and polished interpersonal skills; and

  • A desire to learn, sense of humor, flexibility, and resourcefulness.

Level of Authority:

  • No budget authority


  • Starts at $55,000

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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