Mar 02, 2020
The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners.
The Aspen Institute Education & Society Program (Aspen Education) improves public education by inspiring, informing, and influencing education leaders across policy and practice, with an emphasis on achieving equity for students of color and students from low-income families. Aspen Education supports leaders at all levels, from networks of urban superintendents and their teams, to state chiefs and their cabinets, to elected officials and their staffers.
Aspen Education is focused on:
1) Advancing a richer vision of student success that integrates the social, emotional, and academic dimensions of learning as essential to advancing equity;
2) Transforming education systems so that they can sponsor and model exemplary learning and continuous improvement practices;
3) Developing education leaders to achieve transformation in learning, equity, and efficacy;
4) Understanding and addressing poverty in America by fostering connections across education and: housing, health and nutrition, transportation, and criminal justice policy and addressing the impact of race and racism on opportunity in America.
And does this work by:
1) Hosting thought-provoking convenings of diverse leaders from the district, state, national and federal levels that create powerful learning experiences that support and make explicit connections across policy and practice;
2) Developing resources and tools for national, state, and local policymakers, practitioners, and philanthropy leaders to disseminate lessons and promising practices in a nonpartisan, non-ideological way;
3) Cultivating and fostering partnerships to inform and challenge our thinking, surface and spread promising practices and recommendations, and share and apply our resources and tools.
The Aspen Institute Education & Society Program is seeking a committed and organized Associate to add critical capacity to the policy team. The Aspen Institute Education & Society Program improves public education by creating venues for authentic learning and honest dialogue, and producing a range of resources and tools, for education leaders to invest in their own learning, shift mindsets, and take action.
About the Role:
The Associate, Policy works closely with the Assistant Director, Policy and the broader Aspen Education Team to support the design, planning, and execution of exemplary learning experiences for education leaders, identifies and reviews emerging research and education policy trends, and provides much-needed project management for the policy work, including Congressional networks and aligned activities and publications. They will correspond frequently and directly with Congressional staff, as well as other policymakers, researchers, and practitioner leaders. The Associate, Policy will report to the Assistant Director, Policy, and join a high-performing, mission-driven team.
Essential responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
Supporting the health of congressional networks and policy convenings
Content Development for Convenings
Track and synthesize research, economic mobility and ducation trends, and takeaways from Aspen convenings and other outreach to create quality, aligned materials for convenings, including agendas, overviews, facilitation protocols and writing prompts that support exemplary adult learning and reflect our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion
Development of high-quality briefing books to support excellent engagement from participants
Manage project planning process for multiple convenings, projects and publications throughout the year
Manage and execute on project deadlines, including external relationships and partnerships
Lead knowledge capture processes for policy and Congressional meetings, including but not limited to:
Synthesizing trends and themes to create after-action reports and memos
Analyze trends from evaluations and interviews to support continuous improvement
Ensure strong follow up for convening participants
Supporting internal expertise
Identify relevant content to keep program staff abreast of key issues in the field of economic mobility and education policy and to advance our shared knowledge and growth related to race, equity and inclusion
Maintain and manage materials in an excellent manner to ensure ease of access for broader Program team
Support reliable communication between Practice, Policy and Operations teams
Create strong first-drafts of content, including but not limited to
blog posts, policy reports, conference presentations, and issue briefs
Supporting external functions
Support fundraising activities on an as-needed basis
Correspond frequently and professionally with current and potential partners and participants
Excellent maintenance and management of materials to ensure ease of access for the broader Program team
Support reliable communication between Practice, Policy, and other teams
3-5 years working in policy or related role (e.g., Hill staffer, think tank)
Bachelor’s degree required, higher education preferred
Commitment to increasing mobility from poverty and improving outcomes in public education, especially for students from low-income families and students of color
Subject matter expertise around critical issues surrounding poverty, economic access required. Subject matter experise in education policy preferred
Excellent project management skills, including but not limited to organization and facilitation of meetings, managing multiple timelines, and leading teams to the successful completion of multi-layered projects
Excellent research and analysis skills
Excellent written and oral communication skills, including but not limited to distilling salient points into summaries and drafting professional correspondence
Committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion across all functions, engagements, and relationships
Ability and willingness to travel up to 20% of the time. Occasional night and weekend work required, usually as part of planning or execution of site visits.
About the Work:
For nearly 20 years, the Aspen Education Program has led policy development, implementation, and analysis across key issues at the local, state, and federal levels. We identify opportunities to forge coherence and embed a vision of excellence across the myriad policies that shape education and economic opportunity in America.
We convene seminars, retreats, and site visits for diverse groups of policy and practice leaders to surface practical policy solutions, build trusting relationships, and grow as leaders. Aspen Education draws on the lessons learned in our deep work with urban district leaders to frame learning opportunities for policymakers and to facilitate policy development discussions. We leverage our learning across all Aspen convenings to inform and publish policy recommendations and other resources highlighting emerging issues and promising efforts.
Aspen Education sponsors two professional learning networks for Senior Congressional staffers, one network on K-12 federal education policy, and a second on mobility from poverty. These Networks provide a much-needed, off-the-record venue and safe space away from the partisanship of Capitol Hill. The Networks have two key objectives: (1) build collaborative working relationships, and (2) establish a shared knowledge base by learning from local leaders and scholars. Considered one of the premier learning opportunities on the Hill, these engagements also afford Aspen Education a unique vantage on the issues of most interest to Congressional staff and the perspectives of experts in the field regarding the status of federal policy implementation.
While the Education Staff Network has been active for over 15 years, the Aspen Mobility from Poverty Senior Congressional Staff Network is a new ongoing network of 20-25 of the most senior committee and leadership staff. These participants play a pivotal role in drafting and negotiating legislation and appropriating funds related to mobility from poverty (including but not limited to education policy). This network will draw from leadership offices and multiple committees to increase congressional staff knowledge and capacity through learning and relationship-building across parties, committees, and chambers of Congress – as well as with experts from the field.
Aspen Education is committed to ensuring the diversity of our team. While not a minimum or mandatory qualification, we strongly encourage candidates of color, those who identify as Native American, women, people of low-income backgrounds, those who are differently-abled, and those with first-hand experience of education inequity to apply for this role.
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.
The Aspen Institute
Washington, DC, USA