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Senior Program Manager (Hybrid DC-Area)

The Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute

This job is no longer accepting applications

See open jobs at The Aspen Institute.
Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Saturday, August 19, 2023

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.

Program Description:

The Aspen Institute’s 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, our portfolio of projects to improve transfer outcomes, and other highly visible national projects, the College Excellence Program works to improve colleges’ 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 institutions in six areas: ensuring high-quality learning, increasing completion rates, improving community college transfer and baccalaureate attainment, increasing post-college employment and earnings outcomes, ensuring strong access to college credentials of value, and achieving equity in outcomes across all domains. We advance those outcomes by quantitatively identifying and publicly elevating those colleges achieving excellent and equitable outcomes, conducting research on how those outcomes were accomplished, publishing reports and practical tools to support college leaders and practitioners interested in replicating effective practices, and conducting professional development programs for presidents, senior teams, board of trustees, and others. Learn more about our work at

The College Excellence Program staff is a diverse team of talented professionals who share a commitment to increasing student 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 programs and staff within the broader institute.

Basic function:

This role will oversee the day-to-day project management of major CEP projects. The first assignment will include a suite of dedicated efforts to improve community college transfer student outcomes. For example, the Senior Program Manager will design and execute project plans for engagements that include monthly virtual events for hundreds of participants. The Senior Program Manager will be responsible for ensuring that high-quality event materials come together in a timely manner by coordinating with content and curriculum experts. They will also be responsible for ensuring participants have a strong experience through communications, relationship management, and tracking.

In accordance with our Reimagining Work policy, the Senior Program Manager should be willing to be in-person with colleagues a minimum of 40% of the time while having the flexibility to work remotely for the balance. In-person consists of meaningful connections with colleagues in an office, traveling to a different office or location to meet fellow staff members, at an Aspen event, at a meeting outside the office or other opportunities to meet in person with teammates and colleagues.

Essential duties and responsibilities

  • Day-to-day project management of multiple, complex projects, including the design, execution, and improvement of project plans.

  • Relationship management with higher education practitioners and senior leaders, including through email correspondence, facilitating onboarding to our programming, coordination of consulting engagements with content experts, and connecting participants to Aspen resources.

  • Manage and analyze participant tracking data to inform attendance, engagement, and communications

  • Report takeaways from analyses and external engagement to colleagues, supervisor, and senior team members to inform strategy and decision-making

  • Liaise with key partners and vendors to advance projects, including developing scopes of work for major contracts and subawards.

  • May include supervisory roles in the future

  • Financial responsibilities may include leading project budget management and reporting and executing other related financial processes.

  • Other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Education, and Experience

Candidates will thrive in this role if they are highly organized and goal-oriented but can be flexible in the face of evolving project needs; enjoy being behind the scenes advancing high-impact, high-visibility projects but can engage with executive leadership on occasion, in particular through email correspondence, as-needed phone calls, and on-site events; are highly collaborative, working well with internal and external partners, and prioritize the highest quality product over individual ownership.

  • Bachelor’s or advanced degrees preferred, but candidates with associate degrees and at least 10 years of work experience welcome

  • A minimum of 5-7 years of work experience demonstrating increasing responsibility for manging multiple, complex projects simultaneously

  • Ability to produce solid first drafts of written products that meet the needs of identified audiences; proactively get and incorporate feedback on written products.

  • Ability to manage multiple processes with high degrees of scale and complexity at once; ability to design workplans for new processes or projects or improve existing workplans using critical analysis and evaluation.

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:

  1. A one-page cover letter. CEP prefers cover letters that describe what motivates you and how you understand and relate to our mission, rather than a narrative version of your resume. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.

  2. Resume/CV.

The Aspen Institute offers a generous benefits package including health, dental, vision, and prescription benefits, retirement benefits, and paid leave.

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.

This job is no longer accepting applications

See open jobs at The Aspen Institute.