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 Research Associate, Financial Security Program

Department: FSP
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 Aspen Institute Financial Security Programís (Aspen FSP) mission is to illuminate and solve the most critical financial challenges facing American households and to make financial security for all a top national priority. We aim for nothing less than a more inclusive economy with reduced wealth inequality and shared prosperity.  We believe that transformational change requires innovation, trust, leadership, and entrepreneurial thinking. Aspen FSP galvanizes a diverse set of leaders across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to solve the most critical financial challenges. We do this through deep, deliberate private and public dialogues and by elevating evidence-based research and solutions that will strengthen the financial health and security of financially vulnerable Americans.   

The Aspen Institute Financial Security Program is committed to ensuring the diversity of our team. We welcome applicants of any gender, race, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability, or other marginalized identities. While not a minimum or mandatory qualification, we strongly encourage candidates of color, people of low-income backgrounds, and those with first-hand experience of financial insecurity and inequity to apply for this role.? 

Basic Function 

The Senior Research Associate will be an essential member of the Insights and Evidence team of Aspen FSP, primarily using their skills and experience to contribute to the teamís Consumer Insights research portfolio, the Expanding Prosperity Impact Collaborative, and other research initiatives focused on the financial challenges and opportunities faced by families in America, especially those with low- and moderate-incomes.  

She/he/they will be responsible for research, analysis, writing, partner engagement, and project management. The Senior Research Associate will contribute to content creation, work independently on some projects and in close collaboration with colleagues on others, represent the team publicly in areas of their subject matter expertise, and manage relationships with project partners, funders, and other Aspen FSP stakeholders. The Senior Research Associate will also be responsible for managing and providing support on research elements of work led by other FSP teams, and regularly provide research synthesis and translation to teammates, FSP and Aspen leaders, and external stakeholders. The Senior Research Associate will report to the Senior Program Manager for Insights and Evidence.  

Applicants should demonstrate research synthesis and communication skills, with a focus on developing, contextualizing, and writing about key findings and actionable insights for a non-technical audience. Successful candidates must be adept at taking initiative, meeting deadlines, and multi-tasking in a dynamic, creative, and results-oriented environment. 

Duties and Responsibilities 

Research, Analysis, and Writing: 

  • Contribute to the Insights and Evidence teamís publications through research, writing, editing, and informing the visual design of FSPís reports, issue briefs, articles, white papers, op-eds, presentations, testimony, and other publications. 

  • Conduct a variety of research tasks, including literature reviews, structured interviews, surveys, participating in expert interviews and focus groups, qualitative data coding and textual analysis, quantitative data analysis and writing research synthesis and translation materials that convey insights to a broad range of non-technical audiences. 

  • Analyze current events, emerging research, and public policy proposals and their impact on householdsí well-being. This includes larger analysis of economic and fiscal issues that impact householdsí ability to build, maintain, and protect their wealth. 

Relationship Management and Partner Engagement:  

  • Lead engagement with a diverse array of public leaders, community members, people living with financial insecurity, and private sector stakeholders to ensure Aspen FSPís work is deeply informed, establish credibility, and build interest in our work among influential stakeholders.  

  • Manage partner relationships and communicate with partners in a timely, effective, and professional manner.  

  • Represent Aspen FSP at relevant conferences, policy briefings, expert lectures, industry forums, and other events as needed. This may occasionally require developing and making presentations at these events. 

Project Management:  

  • Develop and implement project work plans to achieve project goals in an organized manner. Coordinate project-related work with colleagues across various Aspen FSP teams to ensure thorough and timely completion of deliverables.  

  • Develop subject matter expertise in a variety of issue areas and provide support on those topics to Aspen FSP colleagues and external partners. 

  • When applicable, she/he/they will work closely with fellows and consultants and help manage the work of program and events coordinators, interns, and graduate fellows, as applicable. 


  • Contribute to strategic visioning and planning for Aspen FSPís future work, including identifying partners and policymakers to cultivate, innovators to feature, and positions to take on timely policy issues and current events. 

  • Provide guidance and critical support to research activities across other areas of Aspen FSP programming. This includes seeking and offering constructive feedback on a range of products and projects, contributing to the high quality and standards of the work. 

Communications and Event Planning  

  • Assist in conceptualizing, planning, and implementing a range of Aspen FSP events (public events, roundtable discussions, off-site events, press conferences, presentations, etc.). This may include identifying speakers, writing invitations and event announcements, drafting talking points and other presentation materials, briefing speakers, coordinating with press, managing follow-up communications, etc. 

  • Work with FSP staff and partners to prioritize and produce a range of products and convenings that convey unique consumer insights and analysis with policy- and product-design relevance. 

  • Provide support for Aspen FSP communications. This will include regular content creation for the website and email newsletter, communications regarding Aspen FSP events, and aiding communications staff as needed. 


  • Graduate or professional degree in relevant field such as public policy, sociology, economics, business, law, or equivalent professional experience is preferred but not required. 

  • 2-5 years of relevant experience in government, public policy, law, the financial industry, or another relevant field. 

  • Commitment to Aspen FSPís mission and demonstrated interest in issues related to financial security policy, such as financial inclusion, public or workplace benefits, housing, asset building, consumer protection, retirement, savings, credit, and debt. 

  • Strong project management skills, with experience leading implementation of projects requiring cross-team collaboration.  

  • Strong research synthesis and communication skills and excellent written and verbal communications abilities. 

  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.  Experience in organizing events a plus. 

  • The ability to build and maintain relationships with wide range of leaders in the public, nonprofit and private sectors and represent Aspen FSP in coalitions and events. 

  • Ability to multi-task on numerous projects, large and small, in both collaborative and independent situations.  

To apply: All interested applicants must submit a cover letter, and resume. The cover letter should highlight applicantís specific qualifications for this position. Applications without a cover letter will not receive consideration. 

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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