The Aspen Institute
Vice President, People & Culture
About the Aspen Institute
The Aspen Institute is a people-serving organization that promotes change with partners across the United States and around the world to build a free, just, and equitable society. For nearly 70 years, the Institute has worked to advance a mission to cultivate aspirational, values-based leaders; convene diverse thinkers and doers around critical questions and issues; elevate compelling ideas and works of art, literature, and culture; and, nurture a strong civil society, accountable institutions, and effective problem-solving. It is based in Washington, DC with campuses and offices in Aspen, Colorado (its original home), New York City, and Wye River in Maryland.
Aspen supports more than 60 diverse programs, bringing a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives all aimed at doing the most good for the greatest number of people. These leaders are framing problems in creative ways and developing innovative and actionable steps to make demonstrable change. They are leading on every issue with a tool kit stocked for solution-building—always valuing reason, hope, drive, creativity, freedom, integrity, and humanity.
Across the past ten years, Aspen has grown significantly to include more than 500 full-time employees across five locations.
About the Vice President, People & Culture
Based in Washington, DC and reporting to the President & CEO, the Vice President, People & Culture (VP) will serve as a key member of the Institute’s senior executive team and will drive strategy, create change, and build a powerful narrative to ensure The Aspen Institute is values-driven, results-oriented, diverse, equitable, and inclusive. This is a new position designed to co-create the concepts and adaptive systems to make sure the organization has the internal leadership, talent practices, and culture in place to achieve its mission of building a free, just, and equitable society.
The VP will lead a Human Resources team of six professionals, will serve as a key support for the staff-led Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (DEIC), and will be responsible for all internal talent and people functions for the Institute. The VP will serve as a thought partner to the President & CEO, senior executive team, program leaders, the thriving DEIC, and all staff to drive toward an even more purposeful, impactful, and sustainable 21st
century global institution.
The ideal candidate is a world-class leader with a talent for inspiring, developing, and empowering teams. They/he/she will bring vision, innovation, and practical experience in leadership and management, an authentic passion for the mission of the Institute, and a record of success in both high-level strategic thinking and operationalizing a vision across an organization.
Design, Implement, and Integrate all Aspects of the Institute’s People Functions
Create a Collaborative and Inclusive Culture
- Design, implement, and fully integrate all aspects of the Institute’s people functions, ensuring the organization has the human capital needed to meet its mission
- Serve as a thought leader, strategic advisor and functional expert to all Institute leaders regarding talent strategies and issues
- Set a clear, compelling vision for attracting, developing, training and retaining exceptional talent. Oversee strategies focused on the recruitment of a diverse workforce, retention of employees who represented historically under-served or under-represented communities and populations, and equitable compensation across programs; Support and guide the recruitment team to help create a brand that appeals to diverse applicants
- Develop adaptive systems that incentivize productivity and impact, and enable clear measurement and accountability of desirable behaviors, actions, and outcomes
- Develop role-specific standards for success at all levels, from entry-level staff to senior leaders, that align to the Institute’s values and mission impact goals; assess the skills and talents of our existing staff and leaders and develop training, guidance, and professional development strategies to help them aspire to these standards
- Develop and implement a leadership development program to empower Institute leaders to drive impact and embody the ideals of values-based leadership inherent in the Institute’s mission
- Assist programs and staff in developing their professional and personal capacity by identifying and providing resources, training, and learning opportunities
- Recommend and implement compensation, promotion, and retention strategies to ensure that the Institute stays competitive in the market and provides fair and equitable compensation for all employees
- Design an Institute-wide pipeline roadmap focused on the development of employees to ensure the highest level of performance possible in-role as well as in preparation for new responsibilities
- In coordination with the EVP for Finance & Administration/CFO, oversee enhancements and innovations for the organization’s benefits and compensation programs
- Promote a collaborative and inclusive culture, empowering the Institute to increase its reach and impact by harnessing the collective power of talent and expertise across programs and departments toward overall Institute goals and objectives
- Design, lead, model, and embed diversity, equity, and inclusion across the Institute, working with the DEIC, the executive leadership team, and all staff
- Promote collaboration, communication and commitment to one another’s success across programs and geography
- Guide policy and program development to create a healthy and inclusive work environment
- Build a rewarding and engaging culture where creativity, quality, diversity and inclusion are nurtured.
- Provide strategic direction for training initiatives on cultural competency, gender differences, disability, sexual harassment, building a climate of equity and inclusion, and other topics designed to increase awareness and support of equity and inclusion values
- Exceptional leadership skills, including 10 to 15 years of leadership experience in organizational development, change management, human resources, or other related field
- Effective and persuasive communicator, both oral and written, with exceptional emotional intelligence
- Experience implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives
- A passionate advocate with a growth mindset who never stops learning, creates conditions for success for our team, and prioritizes growing talent
- Energetic, self-driven, curious, and relentlessly focused on building inclusive high- performance teams that are continually improving
- Culturally and globally respectful and self-aware
- A track record of getting results using collaborative and strategic project management and organizational skills
- Kind, empathetic, humble, direct, mission-driven, flexible, influential with a very high degree of personal integrity including the ability to manage sensitive or confidential information
- A good listener who focuses on the root causes of issues, listens to understand, and makes connections between qualitative and quantitative information
- Bachelor’s Degree required; advanced degree preferred