Finance Manager, College Excellence Program

Finance Manager, College Excellence Program
Organization Name: 
The Aspen Institute
Job Description: 

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.

The College Excellence Program (CEP) aims to identify and replicate practices and policies that significantly improve college student outcomes. Through the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, the American Talent Initiative, and other highly visible national projects, the College Excellence Program works to improve colleges’ capacity to achieve high levels of success for all students, and to eliminate disparities in postsecondary attainment and social mobility for low-income and minority students. Our work focuses on improving higher education in four areas: ensuring high-quality learning for all students, increasing completion rates, improving post-completion success in transfer or the labor market, and increasing equity in educational outcomes for individuals from historically marginalized and underserved groups. Learn more about our work 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 DC 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.

Position Responsibilities:

The College Excellence Program has an immediate opening for a finance professional with proven experience managing budgets, grant accounting and other administrative operations within a complex, fast-paced nonprofit setting. The Finance Manager will have a variety of responsibilities in support of CEP’s mission.

Financial management:

  • Work with the senior leadership team and program leaders to prepare annual program budget with attention to forecasting all necessary programmatic details.
  • Act as the CEP liaison to the Institute’s accounting department and financial services unit.
  • Monitor and track CEP project expenses and revenues and conduct monthly budget reconciliation, including updated budget reports; monitor and track CEP general ledger; prepare quarterly salary allocations.
  • Collaborate with staff to maintain project budgets; train staff to read and understand financial reports and manage programs based on financial data.
  • Review invoices from vendors and contractors and prepare requests for payment, ensuring that payments are made in a timely manner.
  • Oversee reimbursement processes for project-related events.

Grant management and other operations:

  • Monitor the schedule of grant reporting deadlines and coordinate with colleagues to ensure financial reports are prepared, approved, and submitted on time.
  • Manage the program’s grant and contract processes, including coordinating consulting contracts and grant agreements, facilitating due diligence reviews, and acting as a liaison with Aspen Institute legal department as needed.
  • Manage sub-granting processes by soliciting and monitoring reports from grantees, updating reporting, and generally overseeing grant management.
  • Work with colleagues to prepare project budgets for grant proposals.
  • Oversee and maintain financial records on the program’s funders, grantees, and contractors in collaboration with the Aspen Institute accounting department. Work with staff to respond to funder requests for financial information.
  • Ensure compliance with all Aspen Institute policies and procedures.
  • Support other aspects of CEP operations and CEP programs, events, and projects on as needed basis.


  • Bachelor’s degree (B.S.) in Accounting, Finance, Business or related field and 5+ years of experience in Accounting, Finance, Business Administration or related field (Graduate level degree in Finance or related field a plus)
  • Knowledge of accounting in a nonprofit organization
  • Experience managing budgets, preferably in nonprofit, grant-funded programs
  • Great attention to detail, as well as ability to handle multiple tasks and shift priorities quickly
  • Knowledge of the nonprofit sector and philanthropy; experience with and/or knowledge of grant-making procedures is a plus
  • Ability to structure systems and policies to ensure smooth daily operation of program
  • Excellent organizational, communication, and planning skills
  • Strong Excel, database, and other computer software skills. Experience using Planful a plus.
  • Ability to work well with staff and a variety of constituencies, with a willingness to contribute to the team as needed to support the achievement of program goals
  • Good interpersonal skills, as well as sound judgment, maturity, and a sense of humor
  • Ability to be flexible, proactive and navigate different groups and settings with nuance and sensitivity
  • Commitment to CEP’s mission of improving postsecondary outcomes through supporting organizational change and leadership development

What it’s like to work with CEP:

  1. Systems change: We are working to change the field of higher education by conducting research; translating the research into curriculum, reports, and other products; and delivering this content in multiple ways to a variety of audiences.
  2. Entrepreneurial approach: We pride ourselves on being entrepreneurial so that our work can reflect the changing nature of the field, and we can nimbly respond to trends and funding opportunities. People who are comfortable with ambiguity and are excited by seeing progress in the field typically do well at CEP.
  3. Team culture: Our team is top-notch, and we treat people well. Our team members are dedicated to seeing meaningful change in higher education, and are smart, collaborative, and do what it takes to get the job done. We are committed to the growth and development of our team members, and we deeply value diversity in our team to enrich our work and enable us to develop creative, inclusive strategies aligned to the needs of the diverse colleges and leaders we support.

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

Click here to apply.


All applicants must submit the following to be considered for the position:

  1. A 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.

Please click here to apply through our website.