Job Details

Program Manager

Open Date:


Close Date:



Center for Native American Youth


Washington, DC

Skills And Qualifications:

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 Center for Native American Youth: Our vision is for all Native American youth to lead full and healthy lives, to have equal access to opportunity, and to draw strength from their culture and inspire one another. CNAY is a national advocacy organization working to improve the health, safety, and overall well-being of Native American youth ages 24 and under. Founded by former US Senator Byron Dorgan, CNAY is a policy program within the Aspen Institute, headquartered in Washington, DC. While a part of the Aspen Institute, CNAY is also overseen by a Board of Advisors. We strive to bring greater national attention to the issues facing Native American youth while fostering community-driven solutions, with special emphasis on youth suicide prevention. More information is available here:

As a senior member of the team, the Program Manager will work closely with the Executive Director to:

oversee and manage youth engagement strategy, including management of the Champions for Change program, youth advisory board and technical assistance projects;

work with staff in managing program development and evaluation; budget development, financial reporting and grant administration;

support team-wide youth engagement work including community outreach trips and roundtables; speaking at conferences; and outreach to Native youth for other engagement opportunities;

This position demands strong project management skills with requirements to prepare and execute work plans, prepare and track budgets, plan and execute meetings, write and distribute publications and other communications, and develop funder reports. Our team also expects the Program Manager to have a passion for improving lives of Native American youth. The Program Manager will be responsible for growing, promoting, managing, and further developing CNAY’s Champions for Change program, CNAY’s Technical Assistance project to promote local youth recognition efforts, along with other aspects of CNAY’s work directly with youth. They will also develop a broader base of support for Champions for Change from Indian Country and non-Native stakeholders, leading fundraising efforts on its behalf, and managing progress towards sustainability of the effort. The Program Manager has significant responsibility for direct interaction and communication with American Indian and Alaska Native youth, tribal leaders, and other key partner organizations.

Duties And Responsibilities:

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Program Management

Effectively manage projects, including multiple concurrent efforts.

Conduct research, analyze data, and provide overall support to the development of CNAY programs.

Manage daily operations of Champions for Change program including program development, communication with Champions, data management and analysis, and assessment of results.

Manage daily operations of CNAY Technical Assistance Project including partnership building, administering sub-grant awards, coordinating TA meetings/conference calls, and providing updates to CNAY staff and key partners.

Manage CNAY outreach strategies and execution of community outreach visits.

Write internal memoranda and produce external publications, helping to conceptualize deliverables, and drafting outlines/summaries.

Collaborate with partners to execute deliverables, knowing when and how to compromise.

Design and implement evaluation collection efforts, including analysis of data and other information to assess program effectiveness and otherwise inform projects and presentation of evaluation summaries.

Work with CNAY’s Youth Advisory Board

Other duties, as assigned.

Organizational Development and Staffing

Supervise program staff that report directly to Program Manager.

Coordinate closely with Executive Director to serve as deputy operations manager when Executive Director is unavailable, ensuring the team has support to execute deliverables.

Manage CNAY Fellows, coordinating with the Executive Director and team on delegation of projects and work plans to interns.

Manage recruitment and onboarding process for interns, with management falling to staff according to primary work responsibilities.

Identify opportunities to improve the quality and impact of CNAY, as well as to improve its process efficiency.

Develop relationships with stakeholders in the field to solicit information, design and test new initiatives, and advocate solutions.

Identify professional development opportunities and resources for staff

Contribute to development of intra-organizational relationships with Aspen Institute programs and leadership as appropriate, in conjunction with Executive Director. 

Leadership and Constituent Engagement  

Serve as an expert spokesperson for the organization, speaking at conferences, and engaging in other outreach and educational activities.

Establish and maintain strong, trusting relationships and regular communications with CNAY’s constituencies, including Native youth and youth organizations, Indian tribes and tribal organizations, funders, and other stakeholders.

Sustainability and Grants Management

Support Executive Director in fundraising efforts, including the development of grant applications.

Support Executive Director in developing annual budgets for CNAY, as well as for individual programs.

Lead and manage the development of funder reports and serve as secondary point of contact for funders.

Support the Executive Director by working with Aspen’s financial services team to produce regular financial reports, develop draft financial reports for funders, and other financial reporting as needed.

Principal Interactions 

Works directly with CNAY program staff and Executive Director.  Has routine interaction with project partners and constituents, advisory council members, funders and CNAY staff.

Knowledge, Education and Experience:

Demonstrated experience and passion for working directly with Native youth.

Project management skills and experience, with an ability to work both independently and productively with small internal teams and larger extended teams that include contractors and third-party partners.

Bachelor’s degree required. Advanced degree in a relevant field strongly preferred.

At least five years of related experience, with track record of accomplishment and growth, an advanced degree can substitute for some work experience.

Professional content knowledge of Native American youth and Indian affairs.

Demonstrated ability to handle multiple projects with an entrepreneurial spirit and drive needed to excel in a start-up environment.

Ability to quickly shift priorities to meet immediate program needs while keeping long-term goals and projects on track.

Attention to detail and internal drive to “get it right.”

Strong communication skills, with highly effective writing ability.

Experience with program evaluation methods.

Travel required, up to 50% at different times in the year.


Contact Info:

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.

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