Senior Communications Manager, American Talent Initiative

The Aspen Institute

Posted: 2/10/2020

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: Marketing/Communications

Primary domain: Education

City: Washington

Postal code: 20037

State: Washington, DC

Country: United States

Organization Information:


$0 - $1M


Mission statement:

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.

Position Details:

Job Description:

The Aspen
is a
community-serving organization with global reach whose vision is a
free, just, and equitable society. For 70 years, the Institute has
driven change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help
solve the worlds greatest challenges. Headquartered in Washington,
DC, the Institute has offices in Aspen, Colorado and New York City,
and an international network of partners.

The College Excellence
(CEP) aims to identify and replicate practices and
policies that significantly improve college student outcomes.
Through the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the Aspen
Presidential Fellowship, and other initiatives, the program works
to improve colleges capacity to achieve high levels of success for
all students, and to eliminate disparities for low-income students
and students of color. Learn more about our work at

The College Excellence Program
staff is a diverse team of driven and energetic professionals who
share a commitment to increasing access to and success in higher
education. We are motivated by the power of education to change
lives, and we work hard while also pushing ourselves to learn
constantly, collaborate and innovate, and have measurable impact.
The Aspen Institutes D.C. headquarters provides a vibrant setting
in which to do this work, and we benefit from a rich array of
expert panels, discussion groups, and lectures that occur
throughout the year on a diverse spectrum of topics.


One of CEPs key strategies to
advance talent development and social mobility is the
American Talent Initiative, a program co-led by
the Aspen Institute and Ithaka S+R and supported by Bloomberg
Philanthropies. ATI seeks to substantially expand access and
opportunity for talented lower-income students at colleges and
universities with the highest graduation rates. ATI supports and
connects its 120 member institutions in their efforts to set and
achieve goals to recruit and support lower-income students and
works to advance the issue of socioeconomic diversity in higher
education more broadly in the field. Learn more at

The senior communications
manager for ATI will lead the ongoing development and execution of
ATIs communications strategy. The strategy, developed in
collaboration with member institutions, funders, and nonprofit
partners, has two primary strands.

First, with the support of the
senior communications manager, ATI engages in external
communicationstargeting audiences in policy, philanthropy, higher
education institutions, and the general publicto build and sustain
urgency for systems change in higher education, through the
synthesis and dissemination of research, social media campaigns,
the development and placement of commentaries by thought leaders,
media pitches to showcase progress and promising practices, and
other strategies.

Second, ATI provides
communications guidance and tools to its 120 member colleges and
universities in order to highlight successes, elevate the voices of
institutional leaders in support of socioeconomic diversity, and
promote aligned and intentional messaging. The senior
communications manager leads these efforts and engages with
communications officers at member institutions individually and
collectively to advance ATIs goals.

The ideal senior communications
manager candidate will have a proven ability to take initiative,
conceive and make the case for ideas, and drive processes forward
even in ambiguous situations. They learn quickly, think critically
and analytically, and adapt when priorities change. They have
experience cultivating and managing a large number of internal and
external relationships, building consensus among multiple
stakeholders, and engaging with high-profile executives.


Essential duties and

  • Lead team in the process of
    identifying communications goals and conceptualize, implement, and
    assess strategies aimed at external and internal audiences;
    efficiently manage communications projects that involve CEP staff,
    external consultants, and large numbers of stakeholders at partner
    institutions, including colleges, communications firms, and
  • Translate complex ideas into
    succinct, impactful communications for a wide range of written
    materials, such as press releases, fact sheets, and toolkits for
    member engagement
  • Increase ATIs public
    visibility by identifying opportunities for and successfully
    pitching earned media and supporting development of thought
    leadership commentaries
  • Engage with communications and
    other representatives from member collegesthrough an advisor group,
    webinars, and other meansto improve our communications tactics and
    provide support for them to promote their institutions progress
    toward ATIs goals
  • Manage the engagement of
    communications firms and other external consultants


  • Bachelors degree
  • 5+ years experience developing
    and executing communications strategy at a mission-driven
    nonprofit, higher education institution, political campaign, media
    organization, or other setting focused on strategically
    disseminating information to build engagement and achieve social
  • Proven ability to initiate and
    manage projects with numerous stakeholders, guided by a strong
    sense of strategic direction; the ability to plan and follow
    through with staff and partners in a consistent, organized,
    high-quality manner
  • Entrepreneurial acumen and
    drive; demonstrated ability to develop and advocate for ideas and
    identify opportunities to strengthen program plans to increase
  • Experience building and
    managing productive relationships with a wide variety of
    stakeholders, from junior staffers to high-profile
  • Editing skills and a
    demonstrated talent for clear, effective writing
  • Passion for the mission and
    objectives of the College Excellence Program and the values of the
    Aspen Institute


  • Professional knowledge of
    higher education
  • Demonstrated success building
    media relationships and placing feature stories and
  • Experience developing,
    executing, and evaluating social media strategy
  • Experience managing
    relationships with communications consultants and other


All interested applicants must
submit the following:

  1. A cover
    . CEP
    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. Resume/CV

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.

Apply Here:



Not Specified


Commensurate with Experience

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:

Apply Online

Posted By: The Aspen Institute


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