Director, Events, Public Affairs

15 Sep, 2023


Director, Events, Public Affairs

United Nations Foundation
Washington, DC

Position Overview

The UN Foundation strives to advance human dignity and protect the planet through our work on transformative issues critical to humanity’s shared future. As a strategic partner to the United Nations, we bring together fresh thinking and diverse voices to mobilize the people, ideas, and resources needed to tackle urgent problems and drive progress toward the collective promise of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Events Director is the creative and driving force behind the most compelling and engaging events and convenings that advance UN Foundation priorities, strengthen brand position as the UN’s closest strategic partner, and help demonstrate the UN’s unique value to the world. With a strong creative vision as well as first-rate skills in planning and execution, they will help the Foundation push the boundaries of high-impact events by combining of the best of physical, virtual, and hybrid event production. From high-profile, and multi-day convenings with large numbers of people and major public figures, to small white-glove private workshops and briefings, the Events Director demonstrates the ambition, vision, drive, and practical skills needed to build on UN Foundation’s reputation for excellence and take the organization’s events and convenings to the next level, continually innovating on formats and virtual/hybrid technology to drive engagement. With experience across both physical and virtual events, this person will roll up their sleeves as well as lead a team of skilled events staff, manage contractors and suppliers/vendors, and provide strategic and tactical expertise to marketing teams across the Foundation. The Events Director is a member of the Public Affairs Team, reporting to the Senior Director, Communications & Special Initiatives, and working closely with leaders and teams across the organization.

This position is based in Washington, DC (hybrid schedule).

Essential Functions

  • Provide creative leadership for all Foundation events, working with teams across the organization to envision, plan and execute innovative events that help strengthen UN Foundation brand, engagement, and partnerships.
  • Leverage the events team as a center for excellence, ensuring information, event resources (including templates and best practice guidelines) are accessible to teams across the UN Foundation.
  • Create, develop, and own a busy Foundation events calendar, including collaborating to define optimal cadence, formats, and goals.
  • Manage budgets, workplans, external agencies, and vendors, including juggling complex parallel events, assigning appropriate staff and resources, and executing personally as needed.
  • Ensure comprehensive planning, on-time delivery, and exceptional execution for in-person, hybrid, and virtual convenings, while managing contingencies, changes and evolving needs and expectations.
  • Build, manage, and inspire a team of events staff, fostering a creative, entrepreneurial culture and driving constant learning and skills improvement, including digital.
  • Provide strategic support to the Senior Manager of International Engagement and Advance on international trips and Congressional Delegations.
  • Closely collaborate with Integrated Development on executing key fundraising moments for the Foundation.
  • Maintain oversight for the Event team’s project management software (currently and the Foundation’s event registration platform (currently SplashThat).
  • Grow a roster of external creative and technical agencies, vendors and producers to maximize the Foundation’s creative agility and deliver varied events with different audiences and for different goals.
  • Institutionalize strong processes, to build and foster best-practice across the organization, from sourcing vendors to agency engagement, to content/creative development, to post-event reporting, and data analytics.
  • Assist in the building and implementation of marketing plans for events programs to deliver and engage audiences before, during, and after events.
  • Maintain working knowledge of the UNF agreement process (for both contracts and grants), and when to utilize the proper templates accordingly. (As applicable to the role)
  • Maintain a strong knowledge of UNF’s Salesforce database to be able to process and track agreements, extract information, and prepare reports. (As applicable to the role)
  • Other duties as assigned.

Selection Criteria

  • College degree and/or Certified Meeting Professional (CMP).
  • 10+ years of related work experience, including 5-7 years of experience with UN/governmental protocol and events involving high-level public figures and celebrities, as well as large-scale convenings of on-the-ground practitioners, and activists.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Highly creative, with an eye for design.
  • Extremely well organized, obsessive attention to detail, and the highest standards of service-delivery and audience/participant engagement.
  • Experience managing a team.
  • Considerable demonstrated experience and expertise in virtual, and hybrid events, and relevant technology and tools; existing relationships with virtual platform vendors strongly preferred.
  • Professional attitude, with experience working with people at all levels, both externally and internally.
  • Excellent judgment, and creative problem-solving skills, including contract negotiation, dispute resolution, and contingency planning.
  • Self-starter, and a team player who thrives in atmosphere focused on building an organization rather than individual success.
  • Ability to stay calm and make quickly thought-out, appropriate decisions in a changing environment and anticipate future needs.
  • Comfortable with flexible working hours and dependable to be available via phone or email during these times.
  • Experience of MS Suite,, SplashThat, CRM databases including Salesforce, and Every Action, event software including but not limited to Zoom, and virtual event platforms, including some technical fluency.
  • Ability to travel and work domestically and internationally up to 25%. Work hours may occur outside standard business hours including evenings or weekends when necessary.
  • Ability to lift up to 30 lbs.
  • Ability to work under pressure and handle stress.
  • Ability to meet regular attendance/tardiness policy.

Benefits & Compensation 

For full-time, benefit eligible employees, UNF offers an excellent range of benefits, including:

  • a choice between two health plans through UnitedHealthcare (PPO or HDHP with HSA)
  • dental insurance
  • vision insurance
  • flexible spending accounts
  • 403b retirement savings plan with a generous matching contribution
  • group term and supplemental life insurance
  • short-term disability
  • long-term disability
  • health club discounts
  • commuter subsidy
  • back-up care
  • employee assistance program

Additionally, all benefit eligible employees have 12 paid holidays, 20 vacation days, 10 sick days, 3 personal days, and 8 weeks of family leave care.


Job posted: 2023-09-15