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Director, Special Events (14825)

Date: Jan 12, 2022

Location: DC, DC, US, 20016

Company: American University


The Director will serve as the primary event professional for high-level university events.  The Director conceives, organizes, staffs, budgets, and coordinates, a variety of campus-wide special events. This position will assume all responsibilities for these events including, but not limited to client relationship management, event concept development, internal consulting, vendor management, budget management, payment processing assistance, logistics coordination, staff management, communications planning, and event evaluation.  The position requires coordination with the Office of the President and Chief of Staff.  Responsible for office strategic planning and goal setting, as well as the performance management of office staff.

Essential Functions

  1. Direct, plan and organize university wide special events to ensure that events run smoothly, professionally, and maintain a high standard. In collaboration with the Office of the President, is responsible for coordinating commencement and related graduation activities and preparations throughout the year. In collaboration with other campus units (including WAMU), has major role for consulting on or managing annual and/or ongoing events such as staff appreciation, freshmen convocation, major high profile events, visits by dignitaries, etc.
  2. Under the reporting line supervision of the Office of the President, this position coordinates with offices such as Support Services, Communications & Marketing, Facilities Management, Public Safety, Athletics and other units to ensure all aspects of events are presented professionally.
  3. Identify opportunities for event coordination across campus as well as areas in which consultation is encouraged. Analyze campus needs and develop new partnerships.
  4. Act as liaison to campus units and external organizations planning to incorporate the University President in special events. Provide support and guidance to university units conducting an event.
  5. Establish and implement standards and protocols for university events to ensure the consistent projection of the university’s image through major internal and external events.

Work Environment

  • The Director reports directly to the President’s Chief of Staff and coordinates closely with the Office of the President.
  • The position supervises one full-time staff. 
  • Position requires interaction with senior level administration, faculty, staff, students, parents, and high-level external constituents.

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • Full time 
  • Project Leader/Advisor A
  • Exempt

Salary Range

  • Commensurate with experience 

Required Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in events planning and coordination.
  • Must possess a high level of professionalism, organizational skills, computer skills, oral and written communication abilities, and an ability to work effectively and diplomatically with the varied constituencies of the university (internal and external).
  • The position must be able to handle multiple events and priorities in a calm and professional manner, ensure a high degree of accuracy and flexibility, and possess sound judgement, discretion and confidentiality.

Preferred Education and Experience

  • Experience in planning and coordinating events in the Washington, D.C. area or at a college or university is highly desired.

Additional Eligibility Qualifications


  • Click here to learn about American University's unique benefit option.


Current American University Employees:

If you are a current full-time or part-time staff member at American University, please log into AsuccessfulU through the myAU portal. Once in AsuccessfulU, please select the Careers tile which will take you to our internal career page. 


Contact Us:

For more information or assistance with the American University careers site, email


American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively "Protected Bases") in its programs and activities.

Nearest Major Market: Washington DC