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Assistant Director

The Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute

New York, NY, USA
Posted on Friday, October 6, 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 Business & Society Program (Aspen BSP) is a policy program of the Aspen Institute. Aspen BSP works with business executives and scholars to align business decisions and investments with the long-term health of society—and the planet. Through carefully designed networks, working groups and focused dialogue, the Program identifies and inspires thought leaders and “intrapreneurs” to challenge conventional ideas about capitalism and markets, to test new measures of business success and to connect classroom theory and business practice. Our mission is to align business decisions with the long-term health of society. Our vision is a world in which everyone prospers from business success.

Two of our key programs include The Aspen Institute Leaders Forum, which is a cross industry, invitation-only network of senior sustainability/ESG strategists who are working at the cutting edge of practice in a rapidly evolving profession, and The Aspen Institute First Movers Fellowship Program, which is a leadership development program and innovation lab for “corporate social intrapreneurs” in core business functions who are creating new products, services, practices and business models that deliver positive results for the business and society.

Basic Function:

Aspen BSP seeks a visionary, curious, and tenacious leader, with expertise in leadership development, corporate sustainability, and strategy to manage The Aspen Institute Leaders Forum and the Aspen Institute First Movers Fellowship Program. The right candidate will have expert program design, facilitation, and community building skills. In running the Leaders Forum and First Movers Fellowship, the Associate Director will have full-time support from a senior associate and part- time support from a communications director and an events manager.

We are open to candidates across the US, but will prioritize applicants based in the NYC area who can be in our NYC office at least two days per week to collaborate with colleagues. This position reports to the Deputy Director. The salary range for this position is $125,000- $150,000/year.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:


  • Create a 3–5-year vision for how the Leaders Forum will evolve to serve the changing needs of ESG/Sustainability professionals and maintain a competitive edge in an increasingly crowded landscape of programs seeking to serve this market.
  • Assume responsibility for the First Movers Fellowship Program in close collaboration with the program and design teams.
  • Update the current five-year plan of the First Movers Fellowship program in collaboration with its current director.
  • Collaborate with other Aspen BSP staff to integrate the programming of the Leaders Forum and First Movers Fellowship with other BSP programs.


  • Produce high-quality, high-impact programming that is valued by Leaders Forum members and strengthens their engagement with the network. Content may include seminars and dialogues, “deep dives” on topics of immediate interest to members, multi-day retreats, site visits etc.
  • Oversee the design and execution of the First Movers Fellowship to build on 15 years of success.
  • Serve as master facilitator for in-person and virtual programs for First Mover Fellows and Leaders Forum members.


  • Develop and execute a plan to sustain and grow the membership base of the Leaders Forum to bring in more industry, demographic, and geographic diversity.
  • Serve as primary relationship manager for all Leaders Forum members.
  • Participate in the selection process for the 2024 class of First Mover Fellows and assume full responsibility for recruiting and selecting the 2025 class.
  • Explore opportunities to secure funding to sustain the First Movers alum community.


  • Publish insights from Aspen Leaders Forum and Aspen First Movers that continue to build BSP's reputation as a thought leader in the fields of business leadership, ESG, sustainability and intrapreneurship.


  • Manage program budgets and oversee timely billing of Leaders Forum members and First Mover Fellows.
  • Collaborate with or oversee other staff to deliver the programs.

Knowledge, Education, and Experience:

  • Bachelor's degree required.
  • Minimum of 10 years of relevant experience.
  • Broad knowledge of – and passion for - corporate sustainability, leadership development, ESG and social innovation within business.
  • Superb facilitation skills. Demonstrate a track record of developing and facilitating programs that deliver lasting value for participants.
  • Sales and marketing experience. Have a proven track record of growing the revenues or financial support of a program.
  • Experience building either formal or informal communities of practice. We are especially interested in someone who has successfully scaled existing offerings.
  • Team player, able to collaborate closely with complementary Aspen BSP programs in business, leadership, and business education.
  • Outstanding interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills.
  • Upbeat, innovative, and curious.
  • Comfort traveling to in-person events around the US approximately 5-6 times per year.

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.