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Program Associate (Leadership & Impact)

The Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute

Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Friday, April 5, 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 (Leadership & Impact) will assist with high-quality program delivery by supporting key components of administrative processes, project timelines, events, communications, and partner engagement. The Program Associate's primary focus will be coordinating the overall implementation of activities and convenings for the Aspen Presidential Fellowship alumni network and the Presidential Fellowships.

This position reports directly to the Associate Director of Leadership and Impact. The role is based in our Washington, DC office with a minimum of 40% in-person work (approximately 2 days per week) and requires travel up to 6 weeks per year. The salary band for this position is $60,000 - $70,000.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Program Support

  • Support fellowship recruitment and application processes including candidate tracking and interview scheduling.

  • Support onboarding for and communications to fellows throughout the annual program cycle and maintain participant-facing resources and online platforms.

  • Support the implementation (e.g., pre-planning, logistics, delivery, and post-event activities) of onsite and virtual leadership development sessions and other related convenings to ensure a high-quality experience for participants; support relationships and liaise with external event vendors as needed.

  • Translate project plans into project management platforms, support tracking and reporting on progress.

  • Clearly communicate information to a variety of stakeholders, including executive-level audiences, community college practitioners and leaders, vendors, consultants, and external partner organizations, including through email correspondence, virtual and in-person meetings, and phone calls to advance program activities.

  • Support the development of high-quality written/visual content and materials for programmatic use, including slide decks, memos, meeting agendas, and other materials from templates.

  • Using previously developed content, create supporting materials for keynotes, conferences, and other similar engagements for use by colleagues.

Administrative Support

  • Create, maintain, and analyze trackers of fellow and partner engagement to enable timely decision-making and continuous improvement of program delivery.

  • Responsible for invoice processing, monthly corporate credit card reconciliation, and other activities across multiple grants/projects.

  • Collaborate with internal team members and external partners to deliver project goals and improve processes.

  • Execute critical administrative processes, such as scheduling, vendor contracting, payment processing, and assisting with expense tracking, reconciliation, and submitting expense reports.

  • Carry out operational processes and provide logistical support to ensure the smooth execution of high-quality presentations, in-person convenings, and other events, including the printing, assembling, and shipping of program boxes and materials.

  • Track event registration and reporting.

  • Liaise with the CEP operations team and Aspen central services as needed to ensure policy and procedural compliance.

  • Proactively schedule and prioritize internal and external meetings, calls, appointments, conferences, speaking engagements, and special events to maximize the efficiency of the team.

  • Support the Leadership and Impact team with key meetings, including preparing background and briefing materials and taking notes.

  • Adapt and customize materials, presentations, and other visual assets that support recruitment and session learning objectives and that are responsive to context and partner priorities.

  • Support program evaluation and provide input on the creation and dissemination of learning, including the development of blog and social media posts and other forms of communications.

  • As needed, maintain and share data on program participants and program delivery.

  • Other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Education, and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred; equivalent experience will be considered.

  • 2-3 years of experience in a similar environment, preferably with experience planning and executing events.

  • Experience in leadership development and/or community college practice or policy 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.