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Program Associate

The Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute

Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Thursday, October 5, 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:

Ascend at the Aspen Institute is a catalyst and convener for diverse leaders working across systems and sectors to build intergenerational family prosperity and well-being by intentionally focusing on children and the adults in their lives together. We believe in the power of co-creation. We are a community of leaders — well-connected, well-prepared, and well-positioned — building the political will that transforms hearts, minds, policies, and practices. Ascend embraces a two-generation approach – focusing on children and the adults in their lives together – and is committed to advancing gender and racial equity. We believe that early childhood care and learning, postsecondary education/employment pathways for parents, economic assets, social capital, and health and well-being are the core elements that enable families to achieve their full potential. As a leading model of social innovation, Ascend has been at the forefront of advancing policies, systems, practice, and community solutions. Ascend engages the perspectives, strengths, and resilience of families with low incomes to inform program design and policy development.

Basic Function:

Ascend seeks an enterprising emerging leader with a passion for supporting families with low incomes to join our high-performing team focused on advancing 2Gen approaches across the country. In this Program Associate role, you will work closely with Ascend’s 2Gen Practice Director as well as the field-building team overall. You will actively support our convenings, grantmaking, and thought leadership, ultimately contributing to increasing the impact of the Ascend Network.

Specifically, you will build relationships with strategic partners and community leaders; support convening design; conduct and package research to assess Partners’ 2Gen work; institute consistent processes for tracking the work and impact of partners and organizing convenings to further our 2Gen goals (such as Aspen’s Ideas Festival and other strategic conversations around timely issue areas); research and develop policy briefs; and support strategic communications. In addition, you will contribute to the building, tracking and maintaining strong funder pipelines, communications, and relationships to support the sustainability of the field-building work and contribute to Ascend’s overall sustainability.

In this role, you will have a great deal of exposure to senior leadership and work closely with key leaders that comprise the Ascend network - funders/donors, strategic partners (Network Partners), subject matter experts/consultants, and other teammates across the Ascend and Aspen Institute teams. This is a terrific opportunity for an emerging leader to gain access and exposure to how to run a timely and rapidly-evolving policy practice within one of the most well-respected organizations in its field globally.

The ideal candidate is a multi-talented, early-career professional with experience handling a wide range of responsibilities, exercising strong judgment, detail-orientation and professionalism in your work. You have outstanding interpersonal skills, high standards for the quality of your work, and the ability to flourish in a fast-paced environment.

This position reports directly to the Director of 2Gen Practice. The salary range for this position is $60,000 - $70,000. This role is based in the Washington, DC metro area, with 40% of your time in the Washington, DC office.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Work with Director, 2Gen Practice, to manage relationships with external stakeholders and build/maintain funder pipelines, communications, and relationships, including tracking due dates and developing drafts of reports and other materials;
  • Work closely with all members of the Ascend team to identify areas of opportunity and integration related to the Ascend Network and other partners, racial and gender equity, and family voice;
  • Provide leverage and support for Director, 2Gen Practice - summarize briefing materials for relevant meetings/events, develop dynamic presentations, prepare and distribute notes from key meetings, etc.;
  • Provide support organizing carefully curated convenings, ex. strategic conversations or roundtables;
  • Produce high-quality deliverables and ensure sound resource management, (e.g. build strong relationships with vendors, recommend ways to use resources wisely for convenings);
  • Research and analyze issues of interest for the 2Gen field, especially materials released by or relevant to Network Partners’ work and/or priorities pertaining to Ascend’s policy agenda;
  • Provide recommendations to strengthen the quality and efficiency of our programs and Ascend's work (e.g. speakers, convening design approaches, ways to streamline processes);
  • Assist with data collection and synthesis for submission to Ascend evaluator and for inclusion in grant reports; maintain CRM and document integrity overall;
  • Prepare and submit RFPs for invoices in partnership with program staff and liaise with accounting to ensure timely payments;
  • Add leverage across logistical, administrative, and cross-functional efforts of the Ascend team; and
  • Participate in annual planning and budget processes.

Knowledge, Education and Experience:

  • 3+ years’ experience in operational, research and/or communications support, preferably in the nonprofit sector;
  • Familiarity with and interest in programs that support the well-being of children and families as well as economic and social justice issues;
  • Polished professional with a strong customer service orientation: patience, listening, resourcefulness, and responsiveness;
  • Ability to work with diverse audiences and proven ability to effectively interface with senior-level executives;
  • Superior attention to detail and ability to manage and prioritize multiple deadlines in an organized and efficient way;
  • Strong, demonstrable writing and editing skills;
  • Excellent computer skills required, with experience utilizing Salesforce CRM; Microsoft Outlook (including managing multiple, complex calendars); Excel (including creation and maintenance of complex spreadsheets); PowerPoint (including development of dynamic presentations); virtual engagement platforms (e.g. Zoom; Sharepoint/Google Drive); and project management platforms (e.g., Asana); and
  • A desire to learn, sense of humor, flexibility, and resourcefulness.

To apply, please upload a resume and thoughtful cover letter to the attention of 'Director'. Applications will not be considered without both items.

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.