The Aspen Institute is an international values-based organization that drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the greatest challenges of our time. The Youth Leadership Programs Department at The Aspen Institute identifies, cultivates, and amplifies the talent of rising generations. The department works with high school to college-aged youth to address the most complex and challenging social, political, and scientific issues facing communities today. The department is home to the Aspen Challenge, Aspen Young Leaders Fellowship, and Bezos Scholars Programs.

Coordinator, Youth Leadership Program

Supervisor: Senior Program Manager, Youth Leadership Program; Deputy Director, Aspen Young Leaders Fellowship
Job Theme: Youth Empowerment, Leadership, Social Innovation


The Innovator will get hands-on experience supporting the equity-driven missions of The Aspen Institute’s Youth Leadership Programs, a team whose goals are achieved via an unwavering focus on equity and inclusion and a commitment to working in communities with young people from low- to moderate-income backgrounds, youth of color, and youth with learning differences or differing abilities. The Innovator will serve as a core member of the Youth Leadership Programs Department team, working with the team to deliver against the department’s mission. The Innovator will provide primary support to the Aspen Young Leaders Fellowship and Aspen Challenge programs. Rather than working on a single project, the goal is to provide the Innovator with exposure to the full range of programming and work streams across Aspen’s Youth Leadership Programs Department. The Innovator will have the option/opportunity to work on the following:

  • Contribute to the design and development of projects and initiatives that support the leadership development of young people across the country. For example:
    • Create an engagement model with offerings and events to remain connected with past program participants, alumni, and their families
    • Design a newsletter to reach college-aged participants across the country
  • Contribute to the creation and adaptation of ethical and risk-conscious policies and protocols to guide the implementation of youth leadership programs. For example:
    • Create a risk and liability plan for a youth program working in major school districts
    • Adapt procedures for in-person convening with COVID-19 safety protocols
  • Conduct interviews with past participants to develop impact statements for use in grant reporting, Aspen blog posts, newsletters and social media features. For example:
    • A feature on fellows who received resources to mitigate impacts of COVID-19, such as laptops, Wi-Fi hotspots, and support for housing insecurity or earnings interruption
  • Contribute to the management and implementation of Youth Lead Now! Quarterly national webinars featuring influential speakers. For example:
    • Support planning and implementation of youth-moderated webinars with speakers such as Former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and music industry pioneer Tory Cartner
  • Virtual and on-site support for major events with prominent speakers. For example:
    • Aspen Challenge opening with 320 high school students and 80 educators in two cities (past speakers: Congressman John Lewis, Angela Duckworth, Jose Andres, Chance the Rapper)
    • Aspen Young Leaders Fellowship Retreat or Civic Action Trip (past locations: retreat in the Ozark mountains of Arkansas and a Civic Action Trip to New Orleans, including a session with Mayor LaToya Cantrell)


The Aspen Institute is seeking an Innovator who can work effectively with diverse teams and communities. A successful candidate will have an interest in learning about educational systems, youth development, and community engagement and have:

  • Strong cultural competence and experience working directly with constituents from diverse racial, ethnic, socio-economic, and geographic backgrounds.
  • Strong computer skills, particularly Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Creative Cloud Suites, contact databases, complex spreadsheets, and web-based research. Any website and social media maintenance skills are a plus.
  • Strong organizational and time management skills with attention to detail.
  • Ability to support moving projects from concept to completion.
  • Event planning experience.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including a desire to learn, sense of humor, and creativity.
  • Strong writing and editing skills.
  • Strong customer service orientation: patience, listening, and resourcefulness.
  • Strong writing and editing skills.
  • Ability to work autonomously as well as collaboratively across teams.
  • Willingness and ability to travel (potentially 1 trip per month)* – Travel will be dependent upon CDC guidelines and parameters in place by the Aspen Institute regarding staff travel.