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

Department: ASPEN DIGITAL
Location: San Francisco, CA

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.

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.

Aspen Tech Policy Hub:

The Aspen Tech Policy Hub is a West Coast policy incubator, training a new generation of tech policy entrepreneurs. We take tech experts, teach them the policy process through an in-residence fellowship program in the Bay Area, 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 100 technologists 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.

Basic Function:

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 Program Assistant is a critical position that will provide high-quality support to the team.

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 tech policy space. 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.

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.

Salary is commensurate with experience..

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Communications (30%)

  • Serve as a communications lead for the Hub 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; and
  • Produce email correspondence with close partners and outside contacts, including correspondence that is sometimes confidential.

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 Hub in-person and virtual sessions of Hub training programs;
  • Research, assemble, and distribute background meeting materials;
  • Create, maintain, and update event tracking lists; and
  • Schedule complex meetings.

Program Support (30%)

  • Maintain organized electronic filing systems;
  • Maintain a contacts database and quality control of data entered by other staff;
  • 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;
  • Assist with data collection and synthesis for submission to Hub evaluator and for inclusion in grant reports; and
  • Identify opportunities to improve the quality and efficiency of the program and implement improvements as directed.

Knowledge, Education and Experience:

  • Bachelorís degree required;
  • Strong interest in and passion for technology in the interest of society;
  • Passion for operations work;
  • 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;
  • Ability to work with diverse audiences and effectively interface with senior-level executives;
  • Experience meeting deadlines while balancing multiple projects, and preferred experience with calendar management, travel arrangements, and event planning coordination;
  • 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.

To apply, please include a resume and cover letter. Applications without cover letters will not be considered. Position is preferably located in the Bay Area, but remote applicants will be considered.

The Institute has implemented a mandatory COVID vaccination policy for all employees who will work at one of our physical locations, attend any of our in-person events or travel on behalf of the Institute. Staff unable to be vaccinated may request an exemption under certain circumstances.

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 the regular attendance policy of the Aspen Institute.

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