Director of Programs

World Affairs Council of Philadelphia
  • Location
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jan 26

Position description

The Director of Programs oversees the planning and logistics for all events at the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia. This role conceptualizes, organizes, and implements twenty-five to thirty speaker programs each year, eight Global Leadership Institute sessions, partnership programs as they arise, home venue rentals as they arise, and coordinating home venue meeting logistics for other programs as needed. Coordinating interdepartmental and external partnerships for events, promoting the events, and managing event budgets are primary responsibilities of this role. This role works closely with the membership and development team on special event sponsorship and fundraising. This position will report to the Senior Vice President of Programs.



Event Planning and Program Management

  • Conceptualizes and coordinates events, including, but not limited to substantive programming for membership and the public, discussion groups, special culinary experiences and tastings, conferences or mini-conferences, special events/fundraisers, partnership programs, home venue rentals, home venue meetings, etc.
  • Supports the advancement goals and needs of World Affairs through creating and implementing sponsored and signature events for Corporate Members and Foundations.
  • Manages the administrative work for program organization, including, but not limited to correspondence with speakers (or their offices, publicists, or agents), venue selection, vendor management (catering, audio-visual, photographer, etc.), program format and schedule, thank you letters, media release forms, speaker travel/accommodation, website and database event management, ticket formatting and pricing, etc.
  • Develops event abstracts, podium remarks where appropriate, discussion questions for moderators, etc.
  • Develops run-of-show as well as staffing and volunteer management plans for programs.
  • Supports the President & CEO and other staff in preparing for programs.
  • Leads communication coordination for programs which may include communication with World Affairs’ individual and corporate members, students and teachers, travelers, and partners, external communications and audience development, website management, social media content, and press and public relations.
  • Negotiates and implements contracts with all speakers and/or their representatives, vendors, venues, etc.
  • Works with the Senior Vice President of Programs on developing and tracking the speaker programs annual budget and provides the Director of Finance with monthly updates.
  • Manages World Affairs’ on-site event space and ensures that World Affairs’ on-site A/V equipment is in working condition before every program and is properly stored following every program.

On-Site Events Support

  • Oversees on-site implementation and quality control before, during, and after events.
  • Oversees all event registration processes and procedures.
  • Oversees the production of programs materials.
  • Sends email communications regarding speaker programs to registrants.
  • Provides excellent customer service to all guests, members, sponsors, partners, and vendors.  

Interdepartmental and External Partnership Management

  • Coordinates interdepartmental communications and partnerships for programs.
  • Coordinates external partnerships for events, including, but not limited to regional museums and cultural institutions, Chambers of Commerce, Embassies and or Consulates General, local universities and colleges, and other international affairs organizations, etc.
  • Works with World Affairs’ public relations team for press coverage of speaker programs.
  • Manages volunteers for specific speaker program needs, when appropriate.


Education and Experience

  • 4-6 years of experience in event management in the nonprofit sector
  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent related experience strongly preferred
  • 2-3 years of volunteer management experience 
  • 2-3 years of vendor contract negotiation experience
  • 2-3 years of database experience (Salesforce strongly preferred)
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office 365 and Teams
  • Knowledge about and use of audio/visual equipment strongly preferred


Skills & Attributes

  • Ability to manage multiple events, programs, and projects simultaneously.
  • Ability to plan far in advance and prioritize distant timelines
  • Excellent oral communication, professional writing, and proofreading skills
  • Innovative problem-solving skills and superior dedication to on-site quality control during events 
  • Superior presentation skills and comfort with public speaking
  • Ability to meticulously budget by projecting and tracking event expenses and revenues 
  • Thoughtful negotiation skills and ability to develop successful partnerships
  • Sensitivity to and ability to conceptualize around sponsor and partner needs and wants
  • Diligent attention to detail and strong organizational habits
  • Capable of working independently and as a part of a small and highly collaborative team
  • Strong interest in world affairs and open to civil discourse on international issues from multiple perspectives
  • Availability for weekend and/or evening work, as well as the ability to travel as required
  • Must be able to lift up to 50lbs 



  • The salary range for this position is $53,000-$58,000 commensurate with experience. 
  • The World Affairs Council offers a competitive benefits package that includes:
  • Health Insurance 
  • 403b Retirement Plan
  • Generous paid time off
  • High-flex hybrid work environment including remote work and a Center City office
  • Supportive work and family benefits
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Fully paid international travel on occasion
  • Participation in and access to world class speakers including authors, heads of state, elected officials, activists and leaders is a key opportunity for all staff. 
  • This position is classified as exempt according to the Fair Labor Standards Act. 



  • Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination required by date of hire. Individuals may apply to be considered for an exemption.
  • The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia is committed to the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity.  Accordingly, World Affairs will provide equal opportunity to all persons without regard to race, color, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, age, gender identity, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, familial status, genetic information, domestic / sexual violence victim status, pregnancy, veteran status, use of guide or support animal because of blindness, deafness, or physical handicap, and/or any other status protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws.  This policy applies to all areas of employment, layoff, compensation, benefits, and all other conditions, terms, and privileges of employment in accordance with federal, state, and local laws. World Affairs strives to employ and promote the best-qualified person for each job and, in doing so, will comply with all legal requirements. 



The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia (World Affairs) is the Philadelphia region’s largest and oldest international affairs nonprofit with 75 years of expertise in connecting Philadelphia to the world. World Affairs is a nonpartisan, nonprofit that curates speaker programs, professional development, youth education, and public diplomacy. World Affairs hosts global delegations and travels the world reaching more than 125 countries annually. Through authentic people-to-people diplomacy and exchange of ideas, World Affairs advances Philadelphia’s understanding of the world by creating the next generation of global citizens and furthering Philadelphia’s position as an international hub for business, education, culture, and sub-national diplomacy.

Application instructions

Please submit your resume and cover letter.  Please include the name of the position in the subject line.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.  We are unable to accept phone inquiries related to employment opportunities. 

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