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Assistant Director, Special Events (11629)

Date: May 11, 2022

Location: Washington, DC, US, 20016

Company: American University

Get to Know American University

At American University we value open and honest inquiry, servant leadership, and the affirmation of the human dignity of all. We envision a thriving AU community where individuals of all identities and experiences are understood, appreciated, and fully included, and where equitable treatment, opportunities, and outcomes prevail. 


Our diverse community of students, faculty, and staff represent every state and more than 150 countries. Our internationally recognized faculty are today's thought leaders in the areas of public policy, law, the arts, communications, international development, and more. Our staff are innovative, service-oriented, and dedicated to moving the university towards achieving its strategic goals. We are committed to an excellent experience for all of our students, faculty and staff and share a passion for creating change through our knowledge and our work. 


Learn more about American University by clicking here.  


The Assistant Director manages a portfolio of annual campus-wide events including (but not limited to) ceremonies, university-wide receptions, donor recognition events, and staff/faculty appreciation events. Determines all logistical needs for primary events, coordinates technical aspects of events, and provides on-site management as well as oversees planning and execution of associated budgets. This position works directly with campus partners including the Office of Development and academic units to provide leadership and consulting services for one-time special events including visits by dignitaries, ground-breakings, and dedications. 

Essential Functions

  1. Manage a portfolio of university-wide special events.  Duties include determining the logistical needs of large-scale events and coordinating the necessary arrangements such as room reservations, audio-visual, event staffing including volunteer recruitment and management, security, catering, and publications.  The position collaborates with a variety of offices and external vendors to execute events.  This includes vendor selection, negotiating terms and contracts, and preparing event budgets.
  2. Staff special events as needed.  Duties include overseeing pre-event set-up, registration, on-site management with on and off-campus vendors, and volunteer/staff coordination. Perform a minimal amount of manual labor including moving boxes and furniture necessary for event set-up.
  3. Manage technical aspects of events including online commencement systems, creation of online forms, and mass email communication.  Perform website updates as needed including special event-specific web presences as appropriate. Design and create promotional materials including signs, banners, and invitations. 
  4. Provide guidance and leadership to university faculty, staff, and students for their events.  Areas include on-site assistance and requests for information on event dates, event agenda and speakers, suggested room set-ups, protocol, and service providers. 

Work Environment

  • This position reports to the Director, Special Events.

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • Full Time
  • Sr Coordinator/Sr Analyst A
  • Exempt

Salary Range

  • Commensurate with experience.

Required Education and Experience

  • A minimum of five years of experience in event planning and coordination required.
  • Must possess a high level of professionalism, organizational skills, oral and written communication abilities, and an ability to work effectively and diplomatically with a variety of on and off-campus constituencies. 
  • Computer skills required.
  • 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. 
  • Must be willing to work evenings or weekends that coincide with events. 

Preferred Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred.
  • Experience with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint or equivalent software packages preferred. 
  • Experience creating and updating website content in a content management system and familiarity with mass email systems preferred. 
  • Experience in planning and coordinating events at a college or university desired. 

Additional Eligibility Qualifications


AU offers a competitive benefits package including a 200% matching retirement plan, tuition benefits for full-time staff and their families, several leadership development certificates, and has been recognized by the American Heart Association as a fit-friendly worksite. Click here to learn about American University's unique benefit options.


Current American University Employees

If you are a current employee 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