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 Program Associate

Department: HMS

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.

Food & Society at the Aspen Institute brings together leaders and decision-makers in the food and beverage industry and the public health community—scientists, nutritionists, environmentalists, entrepreneurs, chefs, restaurateurs, farmers, and food makers of all kinds—to find solutions to production, health, and communications challenges in the food system. The goal is for people of all income levels to eat better and more healthful diets—and to enjoy them bite by bite.

Core Responsibilities

The Senior Program Associate is dedicated to and responsible for supporting activities related to the successful functioning of Food & Society Program (F&S) projects and programs. They will collaborate with the Executive Director on identifying and executing new projects; identifying potential partners, advisors, and funders; coordinating projects; overseeing program finances; and researching and helping secure program funds. With guidance from the Executive Director, the Senior Program Associate will assume responsibility for, initiate, and complete assigned tasks according to project deadlines.

Program Management (projected time allocation: 50%)

  • Participate in the formulation, development and implementation of substantive and goal-driven programs and assist with the identification and formation of strategic partnerships.
  • Develop work plans and budgets and manage the program’s portfolio of programs from inception to completion.
  • Prepare correspondence, coordinate meetings and oversee calendars for projects working on concurrent schedules. Develop meeting agendas, identify and distribute meeting materials, take notes of salient points raised during discussions s, and archive notes and meeting materials. Manage project workstream folders and databases
  • Assist with the development and facilitation of virtual and in-person meetings, conferences, working groups, and listening sessions.
  • Arrange and oversee convening logistics and serve as during-event logistics coordinator.
  • Process and archive event collateral, including video and digital assets. 
  • Prepare reports, design and implement surveys, and support program evaluation efforts.
  • Maintain and update the F&S website.
  • Ensure program operations comply with organizational policy and legal and financial procedures.

Financial Management (projected time allocation: 25%)

  • Prepare budgets, closely collaborating with F&S’s financial analyst. Translate requirements from grant proposals to workable budgets and project implementation plans.
  • Act as the program’s liaison to the Accounting Department and closely collaborate with Financial Services Unit. Assist project accounting and financial oversight.
  • Monitor and track grant revenue and expenses and conduct monthly budget and general ledger reconciliation.
  • Manage contracts and grant agreements to ensure income, deliverables, payments, and reports align with contracted terms.
  • Assist Executive Director with contract bid process and review and manage approval process with DDR and accounting.
  • Facilitate accounts payable process for vendors and contractors. Assist with project accounting and financial oversight. Ensure payments are made in a timely manner. 

Fundraising (projected time allocation: 25%)

  • Assist executive director with foundation and grant research, grant writing and reports, and funding proposal development. Continually seek and identify funding opportunities and foundation initiatives aligned with Food & Society goals.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; and 4-8 years program/project management experience preferably in the nonprofit sector; Master's a plus.
  • Ability and desire to rapidly learn new subject matter.
  • Ability to successfully manage multiple tasks simultaneously, master workflow details, and self-prioritize.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills, and a strong attention to detail.
  • Strong customer service orientation.
  • Positive collaborative attitude and ability to work with others on a small team.
  • Ability to plan, organize, and follow through with staff and a variety of constituencies.
  • Ability to complete responsibilities under pressure and in a fast-paced environment.
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills.
  • Experience with accounting and budget development with a focus on grants management and operational administration.
  • Experience with grant research, writing and reporting; sponsorship proposal development; and donor cultivation and relationship management.
  • Excellent computer and administrative skills, particularly Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and Zoom.
  • Experience with publications production and dissemination.
  • Respects and values diversity.
  • Willingness and ability to travel to support program convenings.

Level of Authority

  • No Supervisory Authority
  • No Budgetary Authority
  • The continuation of this position from year to year will be contingent on available funding

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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