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Director, Social Trust Initiative

The Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute

Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Friday, June 28, 2024


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.


The Director of Social Trust Initiative will oversee the initiative of the same working title, a new stream of work of the Aspen Institute. The Director will work closely with Aspen colleagues and our corporate partner to develop and launch the program; recruit and engage organizations and thought leaders from civil society, academia, and the public and private sector; and develop high quality programming and impact metrics. With extensive leadership experience and strong networks in the democracy / civil society space, the Director will be an energetic and natural connector and enjoy working with diverse teams and stakeholders.

The Director will report to the Leadership team of Aspen Digital (www.aspendigital.org) that is overseeing the initiative on behalf of the Aspen Institute. The Director will directly manage a team (starting with 1 staff member), while drawing on other resources of the Aspen Institute (e.g. for event support). The salary range for this position is $155,000 - $175,000. This is a hybrid, Washington, DC-based position and selected candidates are expected to work in person at the Washington, DC office approximately two days per week.

What you will do

  • Evolve the original vision and concept note into a program plan that is actionable and measurable

  • Design and implement a detailed roadmap for the new initiative, including programming, partnerships, activations, convenings, thought leadership, and more

  • Develop impact indicators, track progress and iterate and adapt over the duration of the initiative

  • Recruit stakeholders from civil society, private sector and public sector, e.g. organizations with a national membership base, social innovators in the trust & democracy space, as well as researchers and thought leaders, and engage them in programming and co-creation of results

  • Capture, polish, and share insights and learnings from programming, and contribute to shaping and publishing thought leadership pieces, and represent the program to the public and media as warranted

  • Draft, oversee and manage project budgets and funding

  • Grow and lead a distinct team while working in collaboration with other programs of the Aspen Institute

  • Engage with existing funders and help develop new sources of revenue from philanthropic and corporate entities

  • Be an externally and internally facing resource for program staff on topics related to social trust, democracy, and community,

  • Other duties as requested.

What you will need to thrive

  • Have 10+ years of relevant experience in the civil society and democracy field, including leadership experience

  • Bring strong network and respect among organizations that work on societal health, bridge-building, democracy

  • Exceptionally strong public speaking and ability to and command the attention of a room of leaders

  • Demonstrated expertise and established network at the intersection of democratic values and societal change

  • Record of success performing in demanding environments that required strategic planning and execution; coordination across functions; stakeholder engagement; messaging management; and leadership in a team context

  • Strong analytical skills, strategic thinking, and roadmap management

  • Experience as a people manager

  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and ability to communicate effectively across diverse audiences

  • Collaborative and friendly; able to influence change outside of chain of command

  • Experience managing priorities and achieving results in a dynamic operating environment.


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.

If you would like to request a reasonable accommodation regarding the accessibility of our website, a modification or adjustment of the job application or interview process due to a disability, contact HRSupport@aspeninstitute.org or call (202) 736-5800.