Website The Aspen Institute

Closing Date: February 28, 2023

Senior Writer & Editor

  • Department: CEP
  • Location: Washington, DC
  • Salary: $110,000 – $115,000 per year

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.

The Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program supports colleges and universities in their quest to achieve a higher standard of excellence, delivering credentials that unlock life-changing careers and strengthen our economy, society, and democracy. We know it takes visionary college leaders to achieve this higher standard and we make it our mission to equip them with the knowledge, skills, and research-backed tools to inspire change, shift practice, and advance the capacity of colleges to deliver excellent and equitable student outcomes. Learn more 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 to have measurable impact while also pushing ourselves to learn constantly, collaborate and innovate, and take joy from our work. The Aspen Institute’s D.C. headquarters provides a vibrant setting in which to pursue these goals, and we benefit from a rich array of expert panels, discussion groups, and lectures that occur throughout the year.


The College Excellence Program identifies what works to increase student success and equity through qualitative and quantitative research, then translates that research into actionable tools and training. We influence practice in the field through several means, including editorial products (such as research publications and open-access tools), intensive leadership development programs, and high-profile awards. Our ability to make impact in the field depends on the quality of that content.

We are looking for a senior manager to own our editorial processes; edit and write publications, tools, and curricular materials; and uphold our brand and quality standards for research and written products. This role will report to the associate director of communications and work as part of the communications team but will also work closely with our research and curriculum development teams.

The ideal candidate:

  • Is an excellent editor and writer
  • Has higher education subject matter expertise, either from working at a college or university, with educators, or writing about education
  • Has experience working closely with content experts to gather information on practices and outcomes (including data) and delivering clear, compelling written products
  • Is organized and efficient, capable of managing multiple projects simultaneously
  • Asks questions that push researchers and staff to ensure their written outputs are concise, accurate, and actionable
  • Is a thoughtful brand steward and helps staff understand and apply our style and standards
  • Has experience writing for executives

The expected time breakdown for the work is 50 percent editing, 30 percent writing, and 20 percent project management/collaboration.

Essential duties and responsibilities

  • Edit and support the writing of CEP’s written products, including (for example) research reports, policy briefs, participant guides, slide decks, emails, op-eds, and blog posts
  • Write case studies, op-eds, and other products in collaboration with program leaders, staff, or independently
  • Use style guides and research standards to ensure quality and consistency across all products, from look and feel to quality of citations and data
  • Identify efficiencies, topical connections, and logistical roadblocks across writing projects from varied workstreams
  • Participate in grant writing and preparation for pitching our programs and offerings
  • In partnership with the associate director of communications, manage the editorial workflow and maintain style guides
  • Adapt content for a variety of purposes and audiences—for example, creating brief summaries to accompany lengthy research reports

Required skills and experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Seven or more years of relevant professional experience, with five of those editing and writing professionally
  • Exceptional editing skills
  • Demonstrated talent for clear, effective writing
  • Understanding of the structures and challenges in higher education
  • Experience collaborating closely with content experts and/or researchers to plan, create, and edit written products
  • Experience synthesizing complex ideas, making technical material engaging, and working with qualitative and quantitative evidence
  • Experience managing multiple projects

To learn more about how we hire at CEP the generous health, retirement, and other benefits offered by the Aspen Institute, please visit our website.

To apply:

All interested applicants must submit the following:

  1. A one-page cover letter. 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 offers a generous benefits package including health, dental, vision, and prescription benefits, retirement benefits, and paid leave.

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.

Individuals needing an accommodation to complete the job application can contact or call (202) 736-1074.

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