Careers at the Aspen Institute
Share with friends or Subscribe!

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.

Associate Director, AYLF Community Strategy


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.

Youth Leadership Programs identifies, cultivates, and amplifies the talent of rising generations and the ecosystems that support them. The department works with youth up to the age of 25 to redress the most complex and challenging social, political, and scientific issues facing communities not in some distant future but today. The department is home to The Aspen Challenge, Aspen Young Leaders Fellowship, Bezos Scholars, and Youth Lead Now.

The Aspen Young Leaders Fellowship (AYLF) identifies, cultivates, and amplifies future generations of talent to engage in the values-based leadership essential for transforming their lives and society for the better. AYLF is a place-based, multi-site program that nurtures a cadre of diverse youth ages 18 – 24 to support (1) degree completion, (2) workforce readiness and placement, and (3) civic engagement that addresses the most compelling social, political, and scientific issues facing their communities. AYLF accelerates leadership development, socio-emotional learning, and social innovation along with fellows’ abilities to effectuate change both inside and outside of systems. The program operates on a 1+4 model (1 year of intensive training coupled with 4 years of targeted support for degree completion and workforce placement) and stimulates long-term community transformation through a whole-systems approach involving families, educators, and community stakeholders.

Basic Function:

The selected candidate will join a diverse, dynamic, and high-performing team focused on youth and community development. The Associate Director role is a remote work position reporting to the Deputy Director of AYLF and responsible for overseeing the day-to-day management, strategy, and relationship building that drives the AYLF presence in local communities. This includes (1) building a network of local partners and advisory councils in each ecosystem, (2) managing the annual fellow recruitment process, (3) advancing internship and apprenticeship opportunities for fellows, and (4) contributing to program strategy. The Associate Director plays a crucial role within a diverse team performing a broad range of duties required to advance the program’s mission, ensure excellence and effectiveness, and meet internal and external goals. These responsibilities are achieved via an unwavering focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as a commitment to centering the talent and expertise of the communities we serve.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

The Associate Director will assume day-to-day responsibility for AYLF Community Strategy as well as serve as a senior leader supporting the Youth Leadership Programs portfolio. Responsibilities include but are not limited to:


  • Work in concert with the Executive and Deputy Director to set AYLF strategy and priorities.
  • Promote collaboration, optimization, and success across Youth Leadership Programs.
  • Integrate a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens in all essential duties and responsibilities as well as cultivate this capacity in team members.
  • Create substantive and enduring community relationships through exceptional cultural competence in working with low to moderate income, primarily BIPOC communities.
  • Attend monthly seminars to support delivery teams, observe learning strategy, and advise on alterations to maximize impact.

Fellowship Recruitment Process

  • Responsible for design and implementation of an annual fellowship recruitment process that meets target enrollment goals set by funders across all ecosystems (25-30 youth participants per year per region).
  • Manage community stakeholders, delivery teams, and AYLF staff through implementation of the annual fellow recruitment process
  • Build necessary infrastructure in collaboration with operational team to ensure success of fellowship sourcing, recruitment, and selection including but not limited to: database management, communications, workflow, and marketing.

Community Partnerships

  • Build meaningful community networks in each locality to support program success and source potential fellows.
  • Establish and manage advisory councils in each locality to drive program decision-making and localization of content to meet community goals.
  • Identify synergistic partners nationally to collaborate with in meeting fellows’ goals.
  • Support identification of guest speakers and design of national trips associated with the program.

Program Relationship Management & Internship Sourcing

  • Support AYLF team as necessary in management of donors.
  • Collaborate with operations team to create and maintain updated collateral and messaging sharing the AYLF story.
  • Work with local and national networks to source and distribute additional internship and apprenticeship experiences for youth in Phase 2 of the fellowship.

Weekend and Travel Expectations

This position requires weekend work at least one weekend per month and an ability and willingness to travel up to 30% of the time to support programming. Travel expectations are contingent upon health and safety guidance and policies from national/local authorities and the Aspen Institute.

Knowledge, Education & Experience:

Youth Leadership Programs is committed to ensuring the diversity of our team and we strongly encourage candidates of color, those who identify as Native American, women, people of low-income backgrounds, those who are differently-abled, and those with first-hand experience with economic/social challenges and inequity to apply for this role.

We seek candidates who can work effectively with diverse teams and communities, juggle complex projects, and cultivate strong relationships with partners. A successful candidate will have expertise working in educational systems with significant management, learning design, supervisory, and training and development experience. The candidate will have a proven ability to direct complex operational details and function in a evolving environment that requires empathy, flexibility, and the ability to set strategy.

  • Master’s degree, MBA, or other advanced degree required with a minimum of 10 years of professional work experience with track record of effective management and accomplishments
  • Exceptional knowledge of youth development, community partnerships, philanthropy, and project management.
  • Excellent cultural competence and experience working directly with constituents from diverse racial, ethnic, socio-economic, and geographic backgrounds.
  • Excellent computer skills, particularly Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Creative Cloud Suites, contact databases, and complex spreadsheets.
  • Strong organizational and motivational skills including experience supervising work teams.
  • Ability to direct workflow, manage multiple priorities, and create efficiencies.
  • Strong analytical skills to support strategy development.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills, including a desire to learn, sense of humor, and creativity.
  • Strong customer service orientation: patience, listening, resourcefulness, and attention to detail.
  • Exceptional project management skills.
  • Strong, demonstrable writing and oral communication skills.
  • Significant experience working with educational institutions and their constituents.
  • Willingness and ability to travel (up to 30% annually)

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.


Applicant Tracking System Powered by ClearCompany HRM Applicant Tracking System