Program and Operations Associate

  • Job posted by The Aspen Institute

Job Type

Part Time




Dist. Columbia
United States


The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute has campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It also maintains offices in New York City and has an international network of partners.

The Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN) is a growing, worldwide community of entrepreneurial leaders from business, government and the nonprofit sector – more than 2,600 "Fellows" from 50 countries – who are committed to enlightened leadership and to using their extraordinary creativity, energy and resources to tackle the foremost societal challenges of our times. They primarily hail from the private sector. All share the common experience of participating in the Henry Crown Fellowship or one of the dozen other Aspen Global Leadership Network initiatives it has inspired in the United States, Africa, Central America, India, the Middle East and China. AGLN “Core Team” is small group of creative, hands-on, hard-working professionals who help grow and manage the Aspen Global Leadership Network and provide support to counterparts who execute the individual Fellowships.

Primary Function

With an eye to the varied initiatives around the world that comprise the Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN) program portfolio, this position analyzes and disseminates their trends and best practices, manages logistics of an annual undertaking that convenes their participants, and supports key functions that undergird their governance (e.g., budgets, contracts, compliance, and donor communications).

This position is a strong fit for professionals who love working behind the scenes to “make the trains run on time” in a mission-driven setting with high standards of excellence; particularly those looking to grow their program management knowhow. Ideal applicants are resourceful, curious, self-aware and confident, and demonstrate exemplary professional behavior and values:

  • Can see the big picture and also love to put many pieces together to bring teams' work to a higher level of collaboration and effectiveness,
  • Care deeply about the ability of human beings and leadership as a means to make the world a better place.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Leading in an Era of Globalization Coordination

Each year, the AGLN each year produces the Leading in an Era of Globalization (“Globalization”) series that engages approximately 150 Fellows in six or seven nearly concurrent seminars around the world in dialogue and fellowship with each other, led by Aspen Institute-trained moderators, to deeply explore values in tension in a globalized world and Fellows' choices as leaders to build a better society.

  • Identify and vet international venues, negotiate and finalize contracts with hotels.
  • Coordinate Fellow seminar placement for the Globalization seminar series. Work closely with Fellowship program colleagues to create a mosaic of attendees in each seminar (e.g., geographic, gender, sector, and personality) and to notify Fellows of seminar placements. Track and coordinate switches and cancellation invoices.
  • Coordinate globalization staffing planning meetings and documents, making ongoing improvements based on insights.
  • Staff seminars, as needed.
  • Prepare and track budgets, and conduct simple financial analyses (e.g., on actuals, scholarship support levels).
  • Domestic and international travel required (up to 30% of time).

Governance, Knowledge Sharing and Global Team Support Functions

  • On an ongoing basis, track external Fellowship programs' compliance with partnering agreements (Memorandums of Understanding “MOU's”). Periodically assist with editing and review of new agreements, renewals, and templates, working closely with the Managing Director of Leadership Programs and Partnerships. Leverage the AGLN Salesforce database and create reports and share insights.
  • Contribute to the documentation and sharing of knowledge within the broader AGLN team (including virtually through the Basecamp knowledge platform and in other fora).
  • Coordinate the global “Advisory Council” sessions hosted by the AGLN in DC or NY every 2-3 years to share best practices and boost camaraderie and collaboration. Serve as lead logistical coordinator and contribute to agenda preparation.
  • Support the overall annual budget preparation and regular tracking, involving understanding project parameters, key players, goals, timelines. Over time, manage this as a workflow in itself and structure and schedule appropriate check-ins and feedback loops.
  • Prepare request for payment forms and reimbursements, wire transfer documents, and assist with team-wide expenses which are part of the Managing Director of Leadership Programs and Partnership's monthly company credit card payments. When needed, work with Due Diligence Review to review contracts for vendors and consultants
  • Serve as the main point of contact in AGLN for the coordination of annual donor reports – a partnership with Institutional Advancement.
  • Provide in-person staffing at events and seminars of the AGLN, such as the Action Forum, ensuring all participant and moderator needs are met.
  • From time to time, coordinate hiring processes, including assisting with screening CVs, coordinating interviews and tracking candidates' status.
  • Coordinate AGLN team meetings (approximately every month) and huddles (each week), and semi-annual team events such as retreats and holiday receptions. Prepare meeting agendas, minutes, and action items. Innovate new meeting formats and speakers when appropriate.
  • Seek opportunities to make connections to peers in similar and complementary functions within Aspen Institute, a vibrant community of individuals committed to making the world a better place. Proactively build bridges in the organization and seek best practices from across the Institute in relevant areas.

Knowledge, Education and Experience

  • Bachelor's degree in a related field required
  • Master's degree optional, not required
  • Minimum of 2-4 years' experience in fast-paced professional environments with demonstrated progression in responsibility level
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills – ability to handle multiple, varied tasks simultaneously and meet deadlines, coordinating with teammembers to ensure smooth communication and staying flexible when plans or priorities change.
    • Experience staffing in person client/stakeholder-facing meetings and/or events required (event planning experience preferred)
    • Experience with accounting processes and/or budgeting required
    • Experience being involved in the drafting, reviewing and/or monitoring contracts and/or agreements preferred (i.e., vendor contracts, gift agreements, grants, consulting contracts, etc.)
    • Professionalism, judgement and discretion
    • Sensitivity with confidential information
    • Experience working with people from different cultures and backgrounds
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and capacity to motivate other people
  • Attention to detail
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite (especially Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint) required
  • Proficiency with databases and information management systems preferred (experience on Salesforce platforms preferred but not required)
  • Experience studying and/or working in different countries preferred. Foreign language speaking ability is welcome though not required.
  • Experience managing interns or an entry-level employee preferred

Level of Authority

  • Monitor vendor performance
  • No budgetary authority
  • Non-supervisory position, except for occasional interns

This position is available immediately and interested candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Cover letter should highlight applicant's interest and specific qualifications for this position. Applications without cover letter will not be considered.

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

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Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply