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Operations Manager

The Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute

Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Thursday, February 1, 2024

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 Religion & Society Program: The world we live in today is multi-religious, multi-racial and multi-ethnic. The Religion & Society Program at the Aspen Institute believes there is value in those differences. Launched in 2012, the Religion & Society Program ignites change through convening, catalyzing, and researching the challenges and opportunities at the convergence of religion, culture, and justice. In doing so, the Program endeavors to strengthen the understanding of religion's role in advancing equity and the common good. The Program focuses on bridging the gap between ideas and impact, building the capacity of faith-based leaders, galvanizing philanthropic investment, and serving as a national knowledge hub that informs and connects leaders from various fields and worldviews. By emphasizing network and community building, the Program is creating and amplifying connections that can break down barriers for generations to come.

In accordance with our Reimagining Work policy, the Development Associate 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. The expectation is for this role to be in our Washington, DC office a minimum of 2x a week to collaborate with colleagues.

Basic Function:

The Operations Manager works under the guidance of the Deputy Director to provide centralized operations, financial and administrative management for the Religion & Society Program (RSP). our Washington, DC, offices and elsewhere around the country. The RSP is looking for a professional, responsible, very detail-oriented self-starter with experience providing advanced operations, financial and administrative support in a fast-paced environment.

The Operations Manager must be a systems thinker, viewing operations in structure, pattern, and system, and must be able to proactively identify and solve operations and administrative problems, making our team run more efficiently. This candidate must be well organized, flexible, and able to manage well multiple demands and priorities while maintaining a high level of sustained attention to detail. This position requires excellent time management and communication skills, superior knowledge of excel, strong knowledge of basic information technology and database systems, and an understanding of accounting and bookkeeping.

The Operations Manager must have the ability to interact with staff and external stakeholders at all levels. The ideal candidate will be results-oriented, highly motivated, creative, and a team player. This position requires willingness to travel. The expectation is for this role to be in our D.C. office a minimum of 2x a week to collaborate with colleagues.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Budget and Accounting

  • Manage program budget and accounting processes and systems
  • Draft annual budget and propose forecast revisions throughout the fiscal year
  • Process expense reimbursements and external payments
  • Keep internal RSP accounting processes up-to-date and in good working order daily in our internal budget software  Â
  • Update RSP forecasts in Planful; and
  • Prepare grant budgets and grant financial reports for the Deputy Director’s review

Program Administration

  • Perform operations audit and recommend improvements for streamlining workflow processes
  • Oversee the day to day management of program budget, including reconciling, processing, and tracking expense reports and vendor payments
  • Maintain contact information for RSP network members and track other key member activities
  • Assist with scheduling conference calls and developing meeting agendas
  • Tracking incoming pledges and donations; preparing gift acknowledgements; manage reminder system for program pledges
  • Maintain and organize program database, including contact information and engagement with program stakeholders

Operations and Administrative

  • Manage RSP’s overarching systems for project management, file storage, calendaring, contracting, and other operations, recommending and implementing improvements to current systems
  • Manage RSP contact lists, Â information collection, and connection strategies in Salesforce
  • Track projects  RSP project management software (Asana)
  • Manage team file storage and collaborative or other software applications
  • Schedule RSP staff meetings, zooms or conference calls reserving meeting rooms as needed
  • Manage calendars for the Executive Director and Deputy Director scheduling meetings and monitoring conflicts
  • Provide general program administrative support including copying, scanning, and printing (when in office)
  • Liaise with other administrative departments (such as IT, webteam, etc.) whenever necessary
  • Mentor interns or other junior staff on operations and administrative or research projects as appropriate; and
  • Other operations and administrative tasks as assigned

Event Management

  • Manage travel, accommodation and program registration for RSP staff for convenings and events
  • Manage virtual and in-person programming logistics, including set up of zoom rooms, registration pages, lodging, etc
  • Assist program staff with the development of meeting materials, including, among other tasks, proofreading and formatting documents; coordinating production and mailing of meeting folders preparing name badges, table tents and participant lists; and maintaining participants’ arrival/departure lists for off-site meetings
  • Serve as meeting support liaison for on-site or local meetings – this may include ordering and picking up food, arriving early and setting up the meeting room
  • Provide essential support before and during on-site meetings, including serving as a resource for participants, liaison to facility management, management of set-up and refreshment of food/beverage arranging for and testing AV equipment, ensuring meeting supplies are available (flip charts, markers, projectors, etc.)
  • Manage key activities and logistical details for annual RSP convening. Responsibilities include tracking and organizing member registration, travel, itineraries, arrivals and departures, and other key details
  • Assist with planning major public forum, including list management, registration tracking, speaker management, and on-site logistics
  • Draft and send program communications under the direction of Deputy Director

Preferred Knowledge, Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • A minimum of 8-10 Â years experience in administrative assistant, executive assistant, and/or operations position
  • Demonstrated ability to succeed in a fast-paced work environment
  • Outstanding organizational skills, with emphasis on time-management, attention to detail and the ability to plan, organize and carry out multiple activities
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Proficiency in MS office, including Excel, Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint;
  • Experience with expense reimbursement software (such as Concur), contact databases (such as Salesforce), external payment software (such as Tipalti), and project management software (such as Asana);
  • Experience with event planning
  • Experience and ability to write professional correspondence and communicate with a wide variety of stakeholders;
  • Ability to work and communicate effectively within a team
  • Ability to exercise professional discretion, judgment, and diplomacy
  • Ability and willingness to travel up to 20% of the time.

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.

If you would like to request a reasonable accommodation regarding the accessibility of our website, a modification or adjustment of the job application or interview process due to a disability, contact or call (202) 736-5800.