The Aspen Institute:
The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute has campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It also maintains offices in New York City and has an international network of partners.
The Aspen Tech Policy Hub is a West Coast policy incubator, training a new generation of tech policy entrepreneurs. We take tech experts, teach them the policy process through an in-residence fellowship program in the Bay Area, and encourage them to develop outside-the-box solutions to society's problems. We model ourselves after tech incubators like Y Combinator, but train new policy thinkers and focus the impact of their ideas.
To date, we have trained two cohorts of fifteen fellows each. Our fellows have already made a considerable impact on tech policy, from improving the use of algorithmic tools in Florida public schools, to proposing amendments to the California Consumer Privacy Act. Our third cohort will arrive in June 2020.
The selected candidate will join a dynamic, entrepreneurial, high-performing team within the larger environment of the Aspen Institute. This position is an opportunity to help grow and co-lead a center that aims to be the premier tech policy institute in the Bay Area. The selected candidate will lead the establishment of cutting-edge policies, programs, research, and communications for the Hub, and will support technologists as they learn to engage in the policy process.
The ideal candidate is a multi-talented, mid-career professional with experience handling a wide range of teaching, leadership, research, and operational tasks; has extensive experience working in policy and technology; has experience teaching seminars and managing projects and staff; can think strategically about how to improve Hub programming and operations; and has extremely high standards for the quality of his/her work. The Deputy Director will primarily be responsible for co-leading the internal operations of the Hub with the Director, including revising and teaching a policy curriculum to technology fellows, providing extensive feedback and support on fellow projects, mentoring fellows, liaising with technology and policy leaders, and managing the operations of the center, including a full-time Program Coordinator and part-time program assistants. The Deputy Director is a critical position that will provide considerable leadership, outreach, and research support to the Hub, as well as oversee operations for policy programs and events.
The role is a good fit for candidates seeking experience in the wide range of skills and capabilities needed to lead and manage a quickly growing organization, as the Deputy Director will work closely with the Hub's Director. This position provides a high level of management and leadership support. The position requires balancing multiple, often simultaneous, activities and the ability to prioritize work to ensure that tasks are completed on time. The position also requires a high level of professionalism, strong interpersonal and communication skills, superior leadership and management skills, the ability to work in a dynamic environment, and a high degree of personal ownership.
Qualified candidates must demonstrate: extensive knowledge of policy and technology; exceptional verbal and written communication skills; superior management and organizational skills; impeccable attention to detail; and the ability to flourish in a fast-paced environment. Critical thinking skills are essential, as is the ability to exercise good judgment in a variety of situations. Experience with operational systems such as Salesforce, Excel, and Outlook or similar systems is also essential.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
Management and Operations Oversight (40%)
Supervise one full-time Program Coordinator and 1-2 part-time interns, providing mentorship and feedback on a regular basis;
Assist in managing the internal operations of the Hub in partnership with the Executive Director; example responsibilities include co-leading fellowship recruitment, managing budgets, and maintaining relationships with external contractors and vendors;
Provide guidance and oversight to the Program Coordinator for managing events, briefings, convenings, and roundtables;
Participate in strategic planning processes, identifying opportunities for Hub growth and improvement;
Teaching, Mentorship, and Curriculum Development (40%)
Co-teach month-long policy bootcamps focused on teaching technology experts the policy process. Sample teaching topics include: scoping a policy problem, stakeholder mapping, introduction to government, introduction to legislative policymaking, and introduction to company policymaking;
Continually revise the policy bootcamp curriculum, working with the Director to improve trainings and activities based on fellow feedback;
Provide supervision and feedback on fellow work products, including but not limited to policy memos, presentations, and white papers;
Provide extensive mentorship support to fellows, assisting them with developing projects and connecting them to relevant technology and policy leaders as needed;
Identify and invite technology and policy experts to lead trainings for our fellows; past guest speakers have included Tom Kalil, Terah Lyons, and Renee DiResta;
Assist in developing curricula for new Hub initiatives, such as executive education programs or topic-specific fellowships.
Communications and External Relations (20%)
Liaise and manage relationships with technology leaders, policymakers, journalists, and funders;
Assist in writing funding proposals, annual reports, white papers, and other formal publications for the Hub;
Edit and oversee written correspondence for the Hub, including for its website, social media, and other external communications;
Give public talks and attend meetings to grow the external profile of the Hub.
Knowledge, Education and Experience:
5+ years or equivalent of professional experience working in public policy or technology related fields;
Strong interest in and passion for technology in the interest of society;
Experience managing a variety of complex projects, and building initiatives from the ground up;
Strong, demonstrable writing and editing skills;
Ability to work with diverse audiences and proven ability to effectively interface with senior-level executives;
Creative problem-solving skills and professional and polished interpersonal skills;
Superior attention to detail and ability to manage multiple tasks;
Excellent computer skills required, specifically, expertise with: Salesforce, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Excel; and Microsoft PowerPoint;
Graduate degree in law, public policy, business, computer science, information systems, or a similar field preferred but not required;
At least 2 years of experience working on technology policy issues;
Experience teaching large groups complex materials;
Experience with managing direct reports;
A desire to learn, sense of humor, flexibility, and resourcefulness.
Level of Authority:
Will supervise 1 full-time program coordinator, and 1-2 part-time program assistants
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 regular attendance policies of the Aspen Institute.
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