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Deputy Director - Congressional Program

Location: Washington, DC

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.

The Aspen Institute Congressional Program is an educational initiative designed to address the need for informed, civil engagement to help federal legislators develop policies to deal with challenges on the key issues of our time.  Its central mission is to promote leadership in the U.S. Congress by providing lawmakers and their staff with a deeper understanding and background on critical issues. The hallmark of the Program is neutrality and integrity by taking no position on specific legislative initiatives.  Funding is largely from philanthropic foundations.  Our strategy involves annual off-the-record conferences in international and domestic venues and regular educational breakfasts and lunches in Washington.

Primary Function:

The Deputy Director works in an engaged consultation and partnership with the Executive Director on all aspects of strategy, fundraising, program activities and operations. The Deputy Director serves as a leader, thought partner, and manager of a broad range of functions that undergird the Congressional Program. She/he/they keeps track of the program supporters, their budget cycles, project funding, and stays abreast of required grant proposals and grant reports. The Deputy Director engages in long term, strategic planning for the program and its events.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

The Deputy Director position is divided among four broad categories: Fundraising and Financial Oversight, Long Range Planning and Strategy, Program Development, Logistical and Onsite Support.

Fundraising and Financial Oversight:

  • Maintain relationships with program supporters, remain knowledgeable of their budget cycles and funding interest.
  • Develop fundraising strategies for existing and prospective supporters.
  • Exercise responsibility for development of the annual budget. 
  • Adhere to grant submission deadlines as well as annual grant reporting requirements.

Long-Range Planning and Strategy:

  • Devise a long-term vision and strategy that will shepherd the program into the future with efforts that address both emerging opportunities and persistent challenges, in partnership with the Executive Director.
  • Develop and maintain a timeline with a 9-to-12-month lead time for conference development, including venue selection, site inspections when necessary, and assist the team in negotiating agreeable contract terms with providers.
  • Assist the director in soliciting input from Members of Congress on ideas for programming and venues.

Program Development:

  • Plan and coordinate 3 to 6 annual conferences hosted both internationally and within the U.S. In addition, this position will organize 30 breakfasts and lunch functions in Washington, DC.
  • Continuously recommend themes and speakers for the programís breakfast and lunch series.
  • Remain in close contact with program consultants to design agendas and recruit scholars for content that best serves congressional interest while providing high quality value with bipartisan appeal.
  • Invite scholars for essay submissions to contribute to event readings. Review and lightly edit submissions and provide oversight on production of conference materials.

Logistical and On-Site Support:

  • Collaborate with program staff regarding oversees travel and all other logistics for domestic and international conferences.
  • Assist in planning and organizing site visits when appropriate.

Principal Interactions:

The Deputy Director will work closely with and report to the Executive Director.

Qualifications, Experience and On-Going Personal Development:

  • 8+ years of experience in relevant work, including fundraising, project management, or business operations.
  • Proven ability to work in a collaborative team environment to meet continuous deadlines
  • An appetite for global and domestic policy issues, keeping close tabs on relevant daily news developments (i.e. reading relevant newspapers, journals, and contemporary books).
  • Ability to prioritize and handle multiple simultaneous projects while keeping organized.
  • Participate in forums and virtual scholarly discussions to understand the various viewpoints of current policy debates and assessing scholars who have the best presentation skills and are original thinkers.
  • Challenge consultants to achieve balance on agenda substance, range of political viewpoints, and diversity among scholarship in programming.
  • Research the interests of various foundations to align programming when appropriate.
  • Utilize superior written and verbal communication skills, with a strong attention to detail, to assist in grant proposals and documentation

Please note, a cover letter is required to apply to this position.

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.

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