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.

Coordinator, Leadership Program - College Excellence Program

Department: CEP
Location: Washington, DC

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.

The College Excellence Program (CEP) aims to identify and replicate practices and policies that significantly improve college student outcomes. Through the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, the American Talent Initiative, and other highly visible national projects, the College Excellence Program works to improve collegesí capacity to achieve high levels of success for all students, and to eliminate disparities in postsecondary attainment and social mobility for students from low-income backgrounds and historically marginalized and underserved groups. Our work focuses on improving higher education in four areas: ensuring high-quality learning, increasing completion rates, improving post-completion success in transfer or the workforce, and achieving equity in outcomes across all domains. Learn more about our work at

The College Excellence Program staff is a diverse team of driven and energetic professionals who share a commitment to increasing access to and success in higher education. We are motivated by the power of education to change lives, and we work hard to have measurable impact while also pushing ourselves to learn constantly, collaborate and innovate, and take joy from our work. The Aspen Institute's DC headquarters provides a vibrant setting in which to pursue these goals, and we benefit from a rich array of expert panels, discussion groups, and lectures that occur throughout the year.

The Program Coordinator Role

CEP has an immediate opening for a program coordinator to provide organizational, communications, administrative, and logistical support for the leadership initiatives team. The role supports the New Presidents and Rising Presidents Fellowships, cohort-based executive training programs that prepare community college leaders to engage in transformational reform of their colleges.

Successful CEP program coordinators are curious, eager to learn and solve problems, and driven by making an impact through their work. They understand connections between their individual tasks and project goals and are able to effectively prioritize their work. They approach both large and small tasks with enthusiasm. CEPís program coordinators grow professionally by gaining skills in a range of functions while engaging in extensive learning about student success, institutional transformation, program design, evaluation, and strategic communication.

The ideal candidate for this position has a strong commitment to improving postsecondary outcomes, particularly for students served by community colleges. They possess a learning orientation and proactively work to meet program objectives. CEP will assess evidence of candidatesí ability to maintain composure and a positive attitude in a very fast-paced work setting, to handle multiple competing priorities, pay attention to detail, and to work both autonomously and collaboratively across project teams.

Candidates must have exemplary organizational and problem-solving skills, exhibit comfort interacting with internal and external audiences, and exercise sound judgment about advancing project priorities. They must write clearly and communicate proactively and professionally at all times, including with college presidents and other senior executives.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

The program coordinator will work closely with project teams to support an array of programmatic and administrative functions integral to CEPís mission and raise the bar for the quality and impact of our work:

  • Coordinate with a wide variety of stakeholders, including internal and external project partners, vendors, and community college practitioners and leaders
  • Help build and maintain strong, active networks of higher education leaders connected to CEPís work
  • Manage administrative processes and provide logistical support to ensure the smooth execution of high-quality presentations, in-person convenings, and other events, including scheduling, printing, assembling, shipping and organizing materials.
  • Contribute to communications and knowledge-sharing efforts, including through social media, newsletter development, and inventories of successes in the field
  • Prepare slide decks, meeting agendas, and other materials
  • Create and process invoices on an as-needed basis
  • Assist in processing contracts on an as-needed basis

Desired Knowledge, Education and Experience

  • 1-3 years of professional experience in education, leadership development, or a related field
  • Demonstrated excellence in writing and ability to synthesize information, manage and analyze data and derive insights
  • Ability to engage with multiple stakeholders in a professional environment
  • Ability to work under pressure and tight deadlines in a fast-paced environment
  • Proficiency with Google Suite and Microsoft Office Suite, including strong PowerPoint skills preferred
  • Ability to deliver on grant-supported projects and follow project plans and timelines
  • Strong interest in student success and equity in higher education
  • Ability to attend and support events requiring up to 10% travel
  • Position is preferably located in the Washington, D.C. area

What itís like to work with CEP

More information about our hiring practices:

  1. Systems change: We are working to change the field of higher education by conducting research; translating the research into curriculum, reports, and other products; and delivering this content in multiple ways to a variety of audiences.
  2. Entrepreneurial approach: We pride ourselves on being entrepreneurial so that our work can reflect the changing nature of the field, and we can nimbly respond to trends and funding opportunities. People who are comfortable with ambiguity and are excited by seeing progress in the field typically do well at CEP.
  3. Team culture: Our team is top-notch, and we treat people well. Our team members are dedicated to seeing meaningful change in higher education, and are smart, collaborative, and do what it takes to get the job done. We are committed to the growth and development of our team members, and we deeply value diversity in our team to enrich our work and enable us to develop creative, inclusive strategies aligned to the needs of the diverse colleges and leaders we support.

To learn more about how we hire at CEP the generous health, retirement, and other benefits offered by the Aspen Institute, please visit our website.

To Apply:

All interested applicants must submit the following:

  • A cover letter. Please upload a cover letter that answers the following questions:
  1. Why does the mission of the College Excellence Program appeal to you?
  2. What specific experiences or skills do you possess that address the needs of this position?
  3. What would you hope to learn from this position that would advance you in your career?

Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.

  • Resume/CV

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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