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Company Name:
Approximate Salary:
75000.00 - 82000.00
Per Year
Buffalo, New York
United States
Position type:
Full Time
Experience level:
2-4 Years
Education level:
Bachelor's Degree

Director of Special Events


Position Summary


The Director of Special Events leads a collaborative team in the Office of Alumni Engagement responsible for the strategy, planning, implementation, and promotion of regional and special events using the office’s new strategic plan as a guidepost.  The Director and team focus on the office and divisional goal of increased alumni engagement by developing strategic events based on a data-informed and predictive modeling approach.  In addition, the Director will be responsible for his/her own regional portfolio, alumni portfolio, and oversee the office’s new affinity group programming.  The Director will work with colleagues across the Division of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement and the University at Buffalo, as well as alumni volunteers around the world.  


The Director will possess demonstrated experience and success in all aspects of special event management, including establishing and achieving metrics for success.  The incumbent will have strong verbal and written communication skills, and possess experience working in and fostering a diverse and inclusive environment.  The Director must possess a proactive nature and must have the ability to analyze and problem solve.  


This position also requires strong organizational and time management skills; attention to detail, and the ability to anticipate needs and balance multiple priorities.


Primary Responsibilities


  • Lead a team of special events staff, focused on regional programming, affinity group programming and on-campus signature events for alumni, including but not limited to Homecoming and the annual distinguished alumni awards ceremony.


  • Lead university-wide planning efforts in support of a comprehensive and inclusive Homecoming  experience for students, alumni, parents and friends of the university.


  • Utilize a data-informed and predictive modeling approach to develop a regional and special events annual calendar that aligns with university priorities and establishes annual metrics.


  • Implement event planning process using the office’s new strategic plan as a guidepost that focuses on concept development; venue and vendor research, selection and contracting; event logistics and site coordination; marketing and communications; managing event registration; and strategic volunteer support.


  • In conjunction with the Assistant Vice President for Alumni Engagement, evaluate events, programs and overall operations in an analytical, objective, data-driven manner.


  • Responsible for managing alumni engagement in strategic markets within the United States; incumbent should expect to travel approximately 25-30% of the time.
  • Implement new affinity programming for alumni groups following the office’s new strategic plan and working collaboratively with university groups already in existence.


  • Work closely with the office resource manager to maximize the strategic use of budgets and revenue planning.


  • Work closely with the assistant director for alumni services (volunteers) to help to recruit and train alumni for regional committees or individual event service ensuring the volunteers understand goals, are aligned with those goals, and have a positive experience and feel appreciated for their service.


  • Stay abreast of new approaches, methods, innovations as part of industry best practices.


  • Hire, supervise, and conduct annual performance reviews for direct reports.


  • Serve as a member of the Office of Alumni Engagement leadership team.

Requirements and Qualifications


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum of 2 year’s demonstrated experience in special event planning, preferably in higher education advancement setting
  • Volunteer management experience
  • Ability to develop knowledge of, respect for, and skills to engage with those of other cultures or backgrounds.
  • Ability to understand and problem solve
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills
  • Demonstrated initiative, creativity, attention to detail, and tenacious approach to problem solving
  • Strategic thinking skills
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively lead and motivate a team
  • Experience in using a relational database, preferably in a higher education setting
  • Experience with Microsoft Office Suite
  • Ability to travel nationwide up to 25% of the time, which includes local and regional visits; and work evenings and occasional weekends.


  • Minimum of 5 year’s demonstrated experience in special event planning, preferably in higher education advancement setting

University at Buffalo is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and, in keeping with our commitment, welcomes all to apply including veterans and individuals with disabilities. The University is dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic University community committed to teaching and working in a multicultural environment.

Salary: $75,000-$82,000

UB offers highly competitive salary and benefit packages for its philanthropy staff.

For more job information and directions on how to apply, please visit our website at: Only applications received through UB Jobs will be considered.

Posting # P1700240

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