Program Manager or Coordinator, FREE Initiative

Job Locations US-DC-Washington
Job ID
# of Openings
External Affairs


Now in its third year as an AEI priority, the FREE Initiative is a national collaborative outreach and educational resourcing effort led by AEI scholar Ian Rowe. Drawing on Rowe’s cutting-edge research on upward mobility detailed in his recent book, the FREE Initiative disseminates new insights about the crucial roles of family, religion, education, and entrepreneurship in developing the rising generation of young Americans. FREE catalyzes a growing network of exemplary leaders who use their spheres of influence to revitalize community life and guide young men and women to a better future.


The FREE Initiative is committed to building partnerships among policymakers, cultural leaders, and local influencers to help young Americans—particularly emerging leaders representing ethnic minorities—move up the economic ladder and invest in the social institutions that help all people flourish. The initiative’s priorities include launching a tool kit for educators who are interested in teaching students the FREE Framework, piloting a high school curriculum on youth agency, strengthening partnerships with external individuals and organizations, and building new audiences for Mr. Rowe and the FREE Initiative around the country through various outreach activities, including events.


This is a full-time role based in AEI’s Washington, DC office. The Manager or Coordinator is a member of AEI’s larger national outreach team, frequently collaborating with the Domestic Policy Department.


About the Role

This role includes a high level of responsibility. The employee in this position will:

  • Manage and execute a high-priority initiative with a significant national reach, operating on AEI’s coalitions team and coordinating with AEI’s larger national outreach efforts.
  • Ensure that all FREE activities align with AEI priorities and Mr. Rowe’s distinct contributions toward strengthening civil society.
  • Establish and track outcome metrics for related philanthropic stakeholders.
  • Manage personnel with various research, administrative, and operational responsibilities to accomplish these goals.
  • Willingness to work in a fast-paced team environment is a must. Regular travel is also expected.


Thought Leadership (35%)

  • Serve as a crucial thought leader by bringing FREE to new minority audiences who are directly affected by Mr. Rowe’s message.
  • Envision and generate a suite of communication-related products, tool kits, and videos (working with AEI’s Video department on character selection, script writing, and rollout) to accomplish the FREE Initiative’s goals.
  • Work with Mr. Rowe, the Development department, and other outreach team members to creatively pursue new opportunities while balancing team capacity and other constraints.
  • Shape event themes, identify panelists and keynote speakers, and pursue strategic local partners.

 Personnel Management (25%)

  • Manage the job flows, expectations, and project delivery of various stakeholders (including scholars, research assistants, interns, and other supporting and contracted staff) to assemble a portfolio of products and services under the FREE brand.
  • Foster a supportive learning environment for team members by directing their research, helping them prioritize tasks, and guiding them on work output strategies.
  • Participate in onboarding, off-boarding, and guiding FREE team members and contracted (1099) employees on AEI and department policies, and address performance issues in a professional manner.
  • Support AEI’s priorities by proactively conceiving and executing the next Old Parkland Conference, cooperating with FREE Initiative stakeholders.

 Marketing and Outreach (20%)

  • Serve as the go-to liaison for all FREE-related work among the Academic Programs, Design, Development, and Government Relations departments and the communications, marketing, and media teams.
  • Oversee communications for promotions and reports, and write FREE’s regular newsletter.
  • Draft reports for board books and the Annual Report, internal update memos, and other internal communications.
  • Serve as the primary point of contact for all external FREE constituents, in tandem with Mr. Rowe.
  • Manage special projects they are as assigned, including major conferences and events, special reports, longer op-eds (with support from research assistants), and digital projects hosted on AEI’s website.
  • Proactively pursue strategic overlaps among the American Dream Initiative, Academic Programs, Development events, and the Leadership Network to achieve economies of scale, meaningful co-programming, and shared outcomes.

 Administrative Duties (15%)

  • Lead the team’s workflow, including by planning tasks, ensuring their delivery, and managing outcomes.
  • Seek, establish, and use supporting software and shared work practices to facilitate planning and manage workflows.
  • Stay attuned to scholars’ schedules (which are coordinated by the coalitions assistant) to capitalize on programming opportunities.
  • Collect, clean, organize, and present constituent data for regular use.
  • Prepare and execute Marketo campaigns related to FREE’s work, in concert with the marketing team.
  • Apprise the Domestic Policy program manager of any updates relating to Mr. Rowe’s role as a Domestic Policy scholar (e.g., by completing Mr. Rowe’s annual scholar report.)
  • Advance invoices, honoraria, and reimbursements following events.

 Budget-Related Duties (5%)

  • Develop FREE’s annual non-personnel budget, and monitor it with support from the Coalitions director and other outreach team members.
  • Work with the Coalitions director to develop contracts for contracted employees, manage their payments, and track their work products.
  • Work with Development’s grants team to budget for program needs in alignment with Development proposals and donors’ interests.


  • 2–5 years of experience in research, management, or education and social policy
  • 1+ years of experience at AEI (preferred)
  • A self-starting attitude and the ability to identify and anticipate complex problems, develop and evaluate options, and implement solutions
  • An interest and proficiency in leading others
  • The ability to work in a high-pressure and fast-paced environment
  • The ability to proactively anticipate challenges, needs, and opportunities while bringing a “who needs to know” mindset to coordinating and resourcing a wide array of internal and external stakeholders
  • The ability to establish and maintain collaborative relationships at AEI and externally
  • Attention to detail and excellent organizational skills
  • Strong communication skills, poise in public, adeptness in writing, and the capacity for turning ideas into agendas, summary documents, and variety of internal- and external-facing written products
  • Time-management skills and a proven ability to meet deadlines
  • Familiarity with customer relationship management software and email marketing systems (preferred)


How to Apply


Qualified candidates should submit the following application materials (in order) in one PDF document:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume

Applications should be submitted to Talent Market via this link: Questions can be directed to Stephanie Keaveney, Senior Manager of Outreach at Talent Market, who is managing the search process: There is no application deadline for this position. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. This job will remain posted on our site until it is filled.


While we thank all applicants in advance for their interest in this position, we are only able to contact those to whom we can offer an interview. Only direct applications will be considered. No phone calls, please.


Talent Market is a nonprofit entity dedicated to promoting liberty by helping free-market nonprofits identify talent for critical roles. We provide consulting and recruiting services at no cost to 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations that clearly and directly focus on advancing the principles of economic freedom, free enterprise, free trade, free speech, property rights, rule of law, and limited regulation.



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