Apr 26, 2021

Associate Director

  • The Aspen Institute
  • Washington D.C., DC, USA

Job Description

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.

The Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation

Through convenings and problem-solving workshops, leadership development initiatives, and activities to engage and share knowledge among social sector actors, the Aspen Institute's Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation (PSI) seeks to inform and maximize the impact of philanthropists, social investors and those they support so that each can contribute to the good society at home and abroad. Known for providing a neutral forum for a diverse set of actors to consider and seek solutions to hard problems, the Aspen Institute's strength lies in its convening power. In addition, the Institute has more than sixty years of experience designing and implementing outstanding values-based leadership programs for emerging private, public and social sector leaders. PSI capitalizes on the Institute's strengths and collaborates with like-minded organizations and leaders, leveraging knowledge, relationships and opportunities for the benefit of the sector as a whole.

Basic Function

The Associate Director works with the Vice President and Executive Director of the Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation on PSI program activities and signature convenings. The Associate Director's main responsibilities include tracking philanthropic issues and trends, undertaking research and designing meetings and workshops that engage philanthropists, policymakers and civil society leaders on current issues affecting the field. Among the key activities of the Associate Director is to work collaboratively with the Executive Director in the design and execution of the Aspen Philanthropy Group (APG) annual meeting, and conferences and seminars the program may host or partner on. S/he supports the VP/ED in preparation for speeches and media appearances, and develops content for PSI's website and other communications. Furthermore, the Associate Director is expected to contribute to PSI's long-term sustainability by drafting and editing proposals, providing partnership development support to the VP/Executive Director and Deputy Director and identifying additional partnership opportunities. This position reports to the VP/ED and may work in the Institute's DC or NY office or remotely.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Work with the VP/Executive Director in the management and program design of the Aspen Philanthropy Group (APG) and, as needed, events modeled after the APG, such as the Aspen European Philanthropy Group. Specific APG-related responsibilities include, but are not limited to: drafting annual meeting agendas, identifying experts and guest speakers, selecting readings and developing resource lists, summarizing readings and drafting minutes and meeting summaries, editing transcripts, and working collaboratively with colleagues to ensure seamless execution of logistics.
  • Work with the VP/Executive Director in the management and program design of large-scale conferences hosted fully or in part by PSI, such as the Aspen Children's Forum and other philanthropy fora. Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to: identifying and framing potential topics, conceptualizing and refining the agenda and conference program, developing session formats and approaches to group deliberative processes, managing communication with speakers, drafting pre- and post-event communications, assisting with event logistics and supporting the VP/ED's work with a planning committee of partner organizations to ensure successful execution of the event.
  • Work with the VP/Executive Director in the management and design of any book projects or other publications, undertaking research, conducting literature reviews, crafting outlines and undertaking first drafts.
  • Conduct research on a range of topics in support of PSI's identified issue areas, workshops, conferences and publications, as well as the VP/ED's participation in conferences and media interviews. Assists the VP/ED in crafting articles and both internal and external presentations.
  • Track progress toward PSI project goals and prepare Quarterly Reports and Trustee Highlights for the VP/Executive Director.
  • Work in collaboration with the VP/Executive Director to achieve PSI's fundraising goals by drafting proposals and reports to funders and identifying additional partnership opportunities to support strategic objectives.
  • Monitor the VP/Executive Director's speaking engagements and coordinate the timely preparation of briefing materials on a range of program-related topics. Prepare briefing materials as needed.
  • Provide research and editorial support and draft content for PSI communication vehicles, such as articles, the web site, and internal and external publications.
  • Participate in strategic planning and conceptualizing the future growth of PSI, as well as other new work that furthers PSI's goals.
  • Undertake other duties as needed to ensure the achievement of program goals.

Hiring Organization

The Aspen Institute


Knowledge, Education and Experience

  • Undergraduate college degree; Master's degree in social science, public policy or related field strongly preferred.
  • 7-10 years of work experience in the charitable sector with track record of effective management, accomplishment, and growth.
  • Demonstrated experience in undertaking research and synthesizing content to inform program design, conference agendas and a variety of communications vehicles, such as blogs and articles.
  • Demonstrated experience devising meeting and conference agendas for gatherings of varying size and formats, including large multi-day events and smaller discussion-based roundtables.
  • Exceptional program planning and organizational skills; the ability to plan, prioritize and follow through with staff, partners and a variety of constituencies to meet program and event deadlines.
  • Outstanding interpersonal, oral and written communication skills, with an ability to conceptualize and draft a variety of written products for multiple audiences.
  • Experience fundraising and managing grant-funded work to achieve outcomes.
  • Ability to work both autonomously and as part of a close-knit team.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with diverse audiences, and to collaborate with partners and colleagues.
  • Flexibility to adapt to changing program priorities, ability to manage multiple tasks and willingness to pitch in where needed.
  • Demonstrated initiative.
  • Enthusiasm for the ongoing work of the program.
  • Innovative, curious and creative.
  • Willingness and ability to travel and to provide staff support for multi-day events that extend beyond standard business hours.

Principle Interactions

The Associate Director works directly with the VP/ED, collaborating closely with all PSI team members on a variety of project elements. Also interacts with program participants and meeting attendees.

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.

Candidate must have the ability to work under pressure and handle stress. Candidate must also have the ability to meet the regular attendance policy of the Aspen Institute.

Apply Here


Industry/Service Area




Application Instructions

Apply Now