Associate Director, Communications

01 May, 2022


Associate Director, Communications

The Aspen Institute
Washington, D.C.

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.

About PSI: The Aspen Institute’s Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation (PSI) envisions a world in which social actors are empowered with the ideas, resources, and partnerships to collectively solve the greatest challenges of our time. Our program believes that philanthropy and civil society plays an important role in advancing social change, strengthening communities, and encouraging citizen participation. We seek to enhance the practice of giving so individuals and institutions can more effectively and purposefully advance the public good. Our programming focuses on engaging a diverse set of social purpose leaders across the nonprofit sector in private and public dialogues to elevate new knowledge, build community, and accelerate social impact.

About The Role: The Aspen Institute’s Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation (PSI) is looking for a Associate Director, Communications to take PSI to the next level by developing and executing strategic communications initiatives across our core program areas and equipping program leadership to be effective communicators. The incumbent will manage the communications strategy across the program and independently create content. They will help PSI use new and existing communications tools to amplify our work to reach new audiences. This is a new role on our team and an exciting opportunity to help shape the strategic direction of our external facing work, brand, and identity.

The Associate Director, Communications will work in conjunction with our Executive Director to support her thought leadership helping to shape content for external facing events, publications, speeches, and special projects. Ideally, they should be comfortable working with both traditional and new media to communicate ideas.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:


  1. Work with program leadership to develop and implement acommunication strategy that promotes our programming and thought leadership to both a narrowly defined and broader audience. This will include efforts to research and define our potential audience and craft appropriate messaging for both closed and open groups;
  2. Manage and oversee branding, identity, messaging, and narrative for the program;
  3. Provide thought leadership to help program teams and our Executive Director to frame issues and communicate more effectively;
  4. Scan industry publications and consult our program leads to identify trends in the field and areas where PSI can insert itself to weigh in or potentially influence the direction of our programming;
  5. Define, grow, and increase engagement with the program’s audiencevia social media platforms, email lists, and other forms of communication;
  6. Lead website redesign to better convey our mission, vision, and create a dynamic repository for our knowledge resources – publications and thought leadership;
  7. Liaise closely with Aspen Institute central communications teamto leverage the Institute’s communications platforms, including public programs, social media, and other opportunities;


  1. Work with program teams and PSI’s Executive Director to translate a variety of complex and often technical research and other material into clear, compelling content for an external audience. This may include; tweets, blogs, newsletters, press releases, and speeches. Oversee the final production, proofreading, publication, and promotion of content;
  2. Identify, evaluate, and implement digital tools to support PSI’s programs;
  3. Develop and create communications management tools (e.g., basic analytics, event management databases, email marketing) for PSI programs;
  4. Build and manage aneditorial calendar that encompasses the release of long-form content as well as short-form outputs like case studies and tools;
  5. Help create, implement, and sustain a plan to strategically grow the program and our Executive Director’s digital/social media presenceincluding writing and posting content as well as being ready to respond to news and spontaneous interactions to increase PSI’s visibility and brand awareness;
  6. On occasion craft and contribute to speeches, op-eds, and talking pointsfor the Executive Director as needed;
  7. Develop and maintain PSI website, soliciting updated content from relevant team members and developing new ways to showcase our work and impact. Use analytic tools to track and measure impact and reach.


  • 6-10 years of demonstrated professional experience working in communications, marketing, public relations, journalism, or a related field;
  • Experience working with executive leadership or executive communications is highly desirable;
  • Experience in designing and executing communications strategy with demonstrated results;
  • A passion for helping to shape and influence the worlds of philanthropy, civil society, and social change;
  • Excellent writing skills, a passion for the written word, and a patience for the editorial process to ensure a high-quality finished product;
  • Creative energy and the ability to come up with new, innovative ideas;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, energy, and initiative;
  • Works independently with little or no supervision;
  • Excellent attention to detail, organizational abilities, and time management skills, especially under pressure;
  • A good instinct for storytelling and a strong grasp of what makes for engaging and actionable content;
  • Basic graphic design knowledge desired, but not required.

To Apply:

All interested applicants must submit the following:

  1. A cover letter. PSI prefers cover letters that describe what motivates you and how you understand and relate to our mission, rather than a narrative version of your resume. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.
  2. Up to 3 examples of work products. This could be public facing work (such as components of a communications campaign you supported, social content you implemented, or an article you helped place) or internal work (such as a project map or communications calendar.)
  3. Resume/CV.

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. 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.


Job posted: 2022-05-01