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Senior Program Manager

The Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute

Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Thursday, October 5, 2023

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:

Ascend at the Aspen Institute is a catalyst and convener for diverse leaders working across systems and sectors to build intergenerational family prosperity and well-being by intentionally focusing on children and the adults in their lives together. We believe in the power of co-creation. We are a community of leaders — well-connected, well-prepared, and well-positioned — building the political will that transforms hearts, minds, policies, and practices. Ascend embraces a two-generation approach – focusing on children and the adults in their lives together – and is committed to advancing gender and racial equity. We believe that early childhood care and learning, postsecondary education/employment pathways for parents, economic assets, social capital, and health and well-being are the core elements that enable families to achieve their full potential. As a leading model of social innovation, Ascend has been at the forefront of advancing policies, systems, practice, and community solutions. Ascend engages the perspectives, strengths, and resilience of families with low incomes to inform program design and policy development.

A key aspect of Ascend’s work is to strengthen, deepen, codify, and scale two-generation (2Gen) approaches in communities, states, and at the federal level. We seek a detail-oriented and enterprising emerging leader with a passion for supporting families with low incomes to join a high-performing team focused on advancing 2Gen approaches across the country.

Basic Function:

Ascend seeks a mid-career leader with a passion for supporting families with low incomes to join our dynamic, high-performing team focused on advancing 2Gen approaches nationwide. As Senior Program Manager, you will have the opportunity to lead program design, development, and implementation; manage partner and consultant relationships; provide significant technical assistance particularly in strategic planning; lead issue-specific bodies of work, undertake in-depth writing and communications projects, and support cutting-edge policies, programs, research, and leadership development across our network of fellows who are working to help all children and families in the United States reach their full potential.

Reporting to the Director, 2Gen Practice, the expansive portfolio of this work is best suited for someone who thrives on variety. Some examples of work you might undertake for our field-building team includes: managing the growing national Ascend Network; convening and webinar content and session design; pursuing and reporting on grants; and standardizing and scaling tools to accelerate Network Partners’ work. In addition, you will have opportunities to represent Ascend as a content expert and speaker on relevant topics and act as a critical partner to Ascend’s leadership programs and work to accelerate the impact of Ascends’ Network Partners’ work.

The ideal candidate has expertise in the issues that affect child and family well-being and prosperity; network theory and organizing; and program evaluation/analysis. Other beneficial skills include complex project management, research, and communications with a variety of constituents. You are known for exercising strong judgment, as well as your detail-orientation and professionalism in your work while ensuring exceptional interpersonal skills with external and internal stakeholders.

This position reports directly to the Director of 2Gen Practice. The salary range for this position is $90,000 - $115,000. This role is based in the Washington, DC metro area, with 40% of your time in the Washington, DC office.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Design, lead, and assess emerging bodies of relevant work, such as Ascend’s learning and action communities, with a goal of activating and engaging Network Partners around key convenings, webinars, strategic conversations, and policy and practice impact opportunities;
  • Deepen content knowledge in core Ascend content areas such as: early childhood and health and fatherhood, in order to provide more substantive support to relevant Network Partners and provide guidance on how best to package their ideas, practices, and policies;
  • Contribute to leading key convening goal-setting, content design, speaker preparation, and ensuring ensure each participant’s experience meets Ascend’s high standards for impact and experience;
  • In partnership with Director, 2Gen Practice, manage technical assistance provision to Ascend Fellows, including staff assignments, ensuring high quality, timely support and connections that accelerate Network Partners’ work;
  • Act as subject matter expert and key liaison to Ascend’s communications team in order to amplify Network Partners’ leadership and identify connections and leverage opportunities across the Ascend portfolio;
  • Manage consultants, interns, and staff as needed to ensure high-quality planning, execution, and evaluation of Network objectives;
  • Manage amplification and tracking of Network impact, including developing, writing, and designing written and multimedia products including blogs, reports, presentations etc., ensuring Ascend remains seen as a thought leader in this content area;
  • Represent Ascend externally as a critical member of the Ascend team;
  • Contribute to Ascend’s internal and external work around equity, inclusion, and identity;
  • Provide guidance to new and junior staff to ensure their understanding of Ascend’s goals and approach and support their professional development;
  • Partner with Ascend evaluator to synthesize relevant data for core publications; and
  • Participate in periodic planning and budget processes.

Knowledge, Education and Experience:

  • 5+ years’ experience in policy and/or program management, preferably with some organizing experience in the public or nonprofit sector;
  • Strong interest/passion for economic and social justice issues, particularly related to children and families;
  • Polished professional with a strong customer service orientation: patience, listening, resourcefulness, and responsiveness;
  • Experience coaching other leaders on how to adopt and integrate best practices, strategies, and policies;
  • Ability to work with diverse audiences and proven ability to effectively interface with senior-level executives;
  • Superior attention to detail and ability to manage and prioritize multiple deadlines in an organized and efficient way while appropriately sweating the small stuff even when juggling multiple projects;
  • Strong, demonstrable writing and editing skills;
  • Excellent computer skills required, with experience utilizing Salesforce CRM; Microsoft Outlook (including managing multiple, complex calendars); Excel (including creation and maintenance of complex spreadsheets); PowerPoint (including development of dynamic presentations); virtual engagement platforms (e.g. Zoom; Sharepoint/Google Drive); and project management platforms (e.g., Asana);
  • A desire to learn, sense of humor, flexibility, and resourcefulness; and
  • A success profile of working in an entrepreneurial, collaborative, and fast-paced environment.

To apply, please upload a resume and thoughtful cover letter to the attention of 'Director'. Applications will not be considered without both items.

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.