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Senior Associate Director of Special Events and Programs

Columbia College

Senior Associate Director of Special Events and Programs

  • 530554
  • Morningside
  • Columbia College
  • Full Time
  • Opening on: Oct 20 2022
  • Grade 13
  • Job Type: Officer of Administration
  • Bargaining Unit:
  • Regular/Temporary: Regular
  • End Date if Temporary:
  • Hours Per Week: 35
  • Salary Range:

Position Summary

Reporting to the Director of Special Events and Programs for Columbia College, the Senior Associate Director coordinates and executes specific aspects of large-scale and high-level events that build an engaged and connected community of students, staff, faculty, families, and alumni on behalf of Columbia College, and partnership events with Columbia Engineering.

The Senior Associate Director will assist with the planning and execution of a portfolio of events including, but not limited to: Family Orientation and Convocation, Family Days, Homecoming, Class Day, Reunion Weekend, the Alexander Hamilton Award Dinner, the John Jay Awards Dinner, Legacy family events and various other College events. The person in this role will work closely and build strong partnerships with student leaders and groups across the University in order to plan and deliver a positive event experience across our many audiences. 


  • Event Planning and Management 
    • In partnership with the Director, liaise with relevant College and Engineering units to support the planning and implementation of events and programming that can include large scale signature events, small local/regional engagement and/or on campus programs. Provide consultation in the planning of events to meet the program’s goals and objectives. 
    • Manage logistical planning and preparation with key internal partners and external vendors including but not limited to: venue and vendor selection, food and beverage service, audio/visual needs, hiring and supervising temporary technical and events personnel, tracking event registrants/sponsors, preparation and dissemination of event materials, and appropriate décor (florals, linens, color schemes, etc.) to meet the quality expectations of the various constituents.
    • Lead on-site production of events for which incumbent is the designated lead. Responsible for positive guest experience, overseeing catering and talent/entertainment, managing the run-of-show, working with audio/visual to ensure timely program execution, and directing live program and speakers.
  • Strategic Planning and Partnerships 
    • Work with the Director to conduct post-event analysis in order to suggest future changes for the continuous improvement and evolution of programs and identify opportunities for cost savings.
    • Serve as designated liaison with Columbia Engineering (SEAS) for all partnership events.
    • Responsible for overseeing event budgets, creating and following planning timelines, tracking invoices and financial reports; coordinating with Event Coordinators to submit reports to the Director. Complete wrap-up of projects promptly, keeping organized records.
    • Work with the Director and Columbia College Human Resources to promote student positions, communicate job descriptions with potential candidates, hire, and train students and staff for events.
    • Cultivate areas of opportunity for collaboration with colleagues, including volunteers, board relations and support to parent, student, and alumni programming.
    • Act as liaison to Communications and Marketing teams (both CC and SEAS) in the development of event-related email communications, printed materials, and promotional/social marketing.
  • Communications, Marketing, and Outreach 
    • Manage event-related registration logistics, programs, invitations, and other internal and external communications efforts.
    • Support CC/SEAS departments and units in creating and maintaining event-related communications.
    • Assist with the production and creation of event -related publications and signage.
  • Event Research and Expertise 
    • Stay up-to-date on related policies and procedures, and assist with ensuring that University events and purchasing guidelines are followed.
    • Develop event planning expertise, especially as it pertains to using Columbia University space and internal vendors.
    • Build and maintain databases of information and resources for event planning and recommend vendors (caterers, florists, printers, promotional items, etc.) and appropriate venues and space to colleagues
    • Identify trends to incorporate into events that help keep our programs current and creative.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree or its equivalent required.
  • A minimum of 4 years of related experience is required.
  • Management training and/or supervisory experience required.
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills necessary and problem-solving skills are required.
  • Strong project management skills, organization, and computer skills essential.
  • Must be skilled at developing strong relationships with both internal and external partners.
  • Position requires ability to lift and carry items in excess of 20lbs., in addition to walking and standing for long periods.

*Position requires frequent evening and weekend assignments*

**Applications submitted without resume and cover letter will not be reviewed. Salary requirements must be included in the application.**

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in a university, major cultural institution or other comparable environment is desirable, as is events experience in a university or other complex not-for-profit environment.
  • Successful candidates will have a demonstrated ability to handle multiple projects with competing deadlines and objectives, and the ability to work both independently and as part of a team

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.

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