Reporting to the AVP for University Relations, the Senior Director of Special Events partners with the Office of the President and works as part of the University Relations team with responsibility for the oversight and execution of highly visible, strategic events and targeted programming for the University of Maryland, including high profile events for the Office of the President. The Senior Director interacts with external audiences including alumni, donors, Trustees, and vendors and also works with internal audiences including the president, vice presidents, and directors to successfully execute events and programs. The incumbent in this position must understand the need for exemplary stewardship and event orchestration and be able to deliver.
The Senior Director will have a demonstrated history of accomplishment in planning, managing, negotiating contracts and administering the thematic, logistical and budgetary details of a wide array of special events designed to engage, cultivate, solicit and/or recognize donors. They will set standards and best practices for campus events, overseeing implementation for managing logistics for the Office of Special Events including, but not limited to, timelines, budgets, event operations plans, menu, transportation, security, signage, name tags, tech needs, linens and floral, entertainment, parking, and photographers.
A team leader and player, this professional will be adept at producing multiple events simultaneously and working with the overall administrative framework of the office, the division, and the university. This individual must also be skilled in troubleshooting potential challenges and responding to timely and actionable directives. They will have primary responsibility for developing and executing signature fundraising events, including dinners, receptions, and other related programs. The Director will need to apply strong planning and organizational skills to a range of program and administrative situations as needed with efficiency and confidentiality and actively identify, propose and initiate refinements and generate new approaches to solving event management challenges with creative problem solving and strategic thinking. This high level professional must have the ability to quickly and expertly assess and respond to the responsibilities of this position. The Senior Director will be an independent thinker, reliable and dependable, as attendance at various events is required. The position does require evening and weekend availability, including football, basketball, commencement and dinners due to the nature of the office. Some local and national travel is required.
Experience: • Minimum of ten years in managing special events or related experience. • Minimum of two years’ supervisory experience required. • Must have demonstrated experience in managing client relationships, event design and planning, and managing multiple, high level events. • Must have experience in large, complex organizations with an emphasis on event design and execution.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: • Superior customer service skills, tact, diplomacy and a work ethic above reproach. • Knowledge of industry standards, best practices and trends. • Self-starter with the ability to problem-solve, exercise sound judgement, and maintain flexibility in changing environments. • Must manage multiple priorities; demonstrated ability to collaborate with event sponsors, and negotiate with internal and external vendors. • Excellent and pro-active communication and interpersonal skills, including ability to work with various entities within the university including physical plant, catering, facility management, high-level university officials, and others. • Ability to create and manage event budgets. • Demonstrated ability to conceptualize, develop and execute both large and small scale events; familiarity with office equipment and basic technology. • Must be available to work nights and weekends and travel (local, regional and national travel is required in the planning, preparation and execution of events for the University of Maryland). • Ability to produce and present budget reports to senior university administration and division leadership.
About University of Maryland
Founded in 1856, University of Maryland, College Park is the state’s flagship institution. Our 1,250-acre College Park campus is just minutes away from Washington, D.C., and the nexus of the nation’s legislative, executive, and judicial centers of power. This unique proximity to business and technology leaders, federal departments and agencies, and a myriad of research entities, embassies, think tanks, cultural centers, and non-profit organizations is simply unparalleled. Synergistic opportunities for our faculty and students abound and are virtually limitless in the nation’s capital and surrounding areas. The University is committed to attracting and retaining outstanding and diverse faculty and staff that will enhance our stature of preeminence in our three missions of teaching, scholarship, and full engagement in our community, the state of Maryland, and in the world.