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Program Associate (Hybrid DC-Area)

The Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute

Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Tuesday, February 6, 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 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

Basic Function:

The Program Associate will assist with high-quality project delivery by supporting key components of project timelines, events, communications, partner engagement, and administrative processes. The associate will also contribute to preparing internal and external-facing content, such as slide decks, memos, agendas, and other programmatic materials. The Program Associate's first assignments will include the American Talent Initiative and the day-to-day operations of the Transfer Scholars Network.

This position reports directly to the Senior Program Manager working on the American Talent Initiative. The salary band for this position is $60,000 - $70,000. This role will be in our Washington, DC office a minimum of 40% (approx. 2 days per week) time in-person.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop and manage timelines for multiple project components, such as events, internal and external partner engagement, and communications that reach multiple audiences.
  • Create, maintain, and analyze trackers of participant, member, and partner engagement to enable timely decision-making and continuous improvement of projects.
  • Support the implementation (e.g., pre-planning, logistics, delivery, and post-event activities) of online and in-person convenings such as webinars, workshops, on-site visits to college campuses, and conference-style meetings.
  • Support critical administrative processes, such as vendor contracting, sub granting, processing honoraria, financial tracking/reconciliation, and scheduling.
  • Communicate and interact with executive-level and senior-level audiences and their support staff, vendors, consultants, and external partner organizations, including through email correspondence, virtual and in-person meetings, and phone calls to advance project activities.
  • Support the development of high-quality written/visual internal- and external-facing content, materials, and assets for use across different audiences.
  • Collaborate with internal team members and external partners to deliver project goals and manage and improve processes.
  • Provide on-site support for events, including materials preparation, notetaking, and synthesizing lessons learned to guide future work. Contributes to logistical, operational, and communication processes, including developing event-specific content.
  • Responsible for invoice processing, monthly corporate credit card reconciliation, and other activities across multiple grants/projects.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Education, and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred; equivalent experience will be considered.
  • 2-3 years’ experience in a similar environment, preferably focusing on project management and delivery.
  • Knowledge of the higher education sector is a plus.

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.

Individuals needing an accommodation to complete the job application can contact or call (202) 736-1074