13 days old

Executive Assistant

The Aspen Institute
Washington, DC 20037
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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.

Ascend at the Aspen Institute is a catalyst and convener for systems, policy, and social impact leaders who are working to create a world where every family passes a legacy of economic and educational success and well-being from one generation to the next. We serve as the hub for two-generation (2Gen) solutions and an amplifier of innovations that create pathways to economic mobility. We believe that early childhood learning and care 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 on the forefront of advancing policies, systems, practice, and community solutions. We have built an ecosystem of diverse leaders and multi-sector organizations through a national fellowship program, an action and learning network, and the Family Prosperity Innovation Community. Ascend engages the perspectives, strengths, and resilience of families with low incomes to inform program design and policy development.


As Executive Assistant to the Vice President and Executive Director, you will partner with the Executive Director to support the administrative, logistical, operational, and communication details for her diverse portfolio of responsibilities, including the Ascend team, Aspen policy department, external thought leadership, external boards and advisory roles and philanthropic and policy relationships, and in her role as co-chair of the Aspen Institute Forum on Women and Girls, which supports inspiring leaders who have broken barriers and pursued bold ideas to improve the lives of women and girls in the U.S. and around the globe. As Executive Assistant, you will play a central role in providing efficient, responsive, and proactive support to maximize the Executive Director's time, schedule, connections and energy as well as in advancing her strategic agenda and special projects, many of which require additional coordination with the Ascend management team (e.g. drafting agendas and monitoring follow up items). Finally, you will work with internal and external stakeholders to coordinate and prepare the Executive Director for internal and external speaking engagement and commitments, manage key relationships, and manage logistics, ultimately ensuring the Executive Director has the leverage necessary to work both efficiently and effectively.

Key objectives for this role include:

  • Support the Executive Director in being a proactive, accessible, and responsive leader to ensure that the organizational goals and objectives are met and program operations are running efficiently
  • Maintain and refine internal processes that support the growing team, coordinating internal and external resources to expedite and ensure high-quality workflow
  • Facilitate and manage communication between senior management and the team more broadly, strengthen ED and VP's strategic relationships with intention and embody her values/spirit and care for details, liaising with internal and external executives on various projects
  • Coordinate and implement project plans that ensure the Executive Director's priorities are met, organizational goals are achieved, and best practices are upheld

The ideal candidate will have stellar critical thinking skills, passion for details and will be highly organized, with an ability to monitor and manage multiple workstreams simultaneously to ensure success.

This is an outstanding opportunity for a professional who has a demonstrated interest as well as some experience/exposure to the public policy and/or philanthropic landscape. If you aspire to lead a team or nonprofit in the future, this role may be particularly compelling as it will help bolster your understanding of the landscape, develop your network in this space, and ultimately position you even more strongly for a leadership position in the medium term.

Reporting to the Vice President/Executive Director, this role is based in the Washington, DC metro area.


Executive Support/Communications:

  • Manage scheduling for Executive Director; lead strategic coordination with external stakeholders as well as management and staff, ensuring the effective and optimal use of Executive Director's time and expertise. Act as both a gatekeeper and ambassador, standing in and representing the Executive Director as a key decision-maker as requested.
  • Act as first point of contact for outside inquires. Handle written, telephone, and internet requests for information; draft, edit, and produce correspondence as requested, maintaining professionalism, confidentiality and discretion with all relationships and correspondence;
  • Collaborate with other team members to create daily and weekly itineraries for the Executive Director, including all convenings, meetings and travel;
  • Arrange logistics and conduct background research for the Executive Director's speaking engagements, media requests, and other external commitments, including but not limited to duration of remarks, production notes, greeter information, and transportation;
  • Coordinate frequent, often complex, travel arrangements with meticulous attention to detail, including drafting itineraries, managing reservations, and processing expense reimbursements;
  • Research and summarize briefing materials for meetings, conferences, speaking requests, and events, individually or in conjunction with team leads;
  • Serve as liaison to donors, Advisory Board members, and senior-level executives; prepare materials for outreach and reports; and
  • Elevate requests, ideas and concerns from staff, particularly when Executive Director can add unique value and perspective on the topic.

Operations and Coordination:

  • Internalize the Executive Director and team members' priorities and anticipate needs, maintaining a strong sense of empathy and personal accountability;
  • Maintain master calendar for all activities the Executive Director attends;
  • Attend meetings alongside Executive Director (or ensure that the appropriate team member attends); capture and ensure completion of critical details and follow-up items;
  • Track deadlines and/or update organizational systems to ensure productivity and effectiveness aligned to priorities;
  • Provide logistics support for Ascend convenings;
  • Draft agreements and vendor contracts, obtaining legal/compliance approvals, payment processing, and update and maintain relevant internal tracking systems;
  • Identify opportunities to improve the quality and efficiency of the program, and implement improvements as directed;
  • Manage expense report submission process for Executive Director's expenses and approval process of their direct reports in an efficient and timely manner;
  • Monitor and renew subscriptions on Executive Director's corporate credit card; and
  • Other duties, as needed.


  • You believe in Ascend's mission and share our passion for increasing equity;
  • You enjoy working with a seasoned and visionary executive;
  • You have an inherent curiosity and possess at least a cursory understanding of public policy and/or the foundation landscape;
  • You are intrinsically motivated by operating behind-the-scenes to support others to do their best work;
  • You know how to get stuff done, whether that's managing your own workflows or managing up and across to move priorities forward;
  • You consistently go above and beyond in meeting the needs of your team, and you take it upon yourself to proactively think of ways to make their workloads and schedules more manageable;
  • You have strong judgment and are skilled in navigating and handling sensitive relationships and/or confidential information and relationships;
  • You sweat the small stuff and bring exceptional attention to detail to everything you do, even when juggling multiple projects and tasks at once;
  • You are an exceptional communicator and relationship manager and can effectively follow up and positively engage with internal and external stakeholders on behalf of ED/VP;
  • You like being a strategic problem-solver in order to find new and improved ways of getting work done;
  • You approach projects with a sense of possibility, see new challenges as an opportunity to learn and grow professionally, and take ownership over failures because you know it helps you grow fast;
  • You are your happiest and most successful in an entrepreneurial, collaborative, and fast-paced environment;
  • You are nimble, thoughtful, and assertive in managing up; you know how to prioritize, reprioritize. and think on your feet; and
  • You have a sense of humor; we spend a lot of time together and want someone who is looking to have some fun at work while having an impact.

Visit our career page at Work at the Aspen Institute | The Aspen Institute and follow the instructions for uploading your cover letter, sample of your work or writing, and resume. All interested applicants must submit a cover letter and resume. The cover letter should highlight applicant's qualifications and share why this exceptional opportunity is a strong fit.

Applications without resume, cover letter, and work sample will not be considered.

The Institute has implemented a mandatory COVID vaccination policy for all employees who will work at one of our physical locations, attend any of our in-person events or travel on behalf of the Institute. Staff unable to be vaccinated may request an exemption under certain circumstances.

The Aspen Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer and complies with all District and federal laws. Ascend at the Aspen Institute is committed to having a workforce that reflects diversity at all levels of the program team. We recognize the importance of not viewing individuals based on a single identity, and we thrive on being equitable in our recruitment process as well as in our efforts to be inclusive of all employees. We encourage all applicants regardless of gender, race, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability, or other social identity.


Jobs Rated Reports for Executive Assistant

Posted: 2021-11-16 Expires: 2021-12-18

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Executive Assistant

The Aspen Institute
Washington, DC 20037

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Executive Assistant
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