Search for University Jobs in Staff & Non-Managerial Professionals

Job ID: 136715

Assistant Director, Special Events
Rhode Island School of Design

Date Posted Jan. 21, 2020
Title Assistant Director, Special Events
University Rhode Island School of Design
Providence, RI, United States
Department Institutional Engagement
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Associate/Assistant Director
    Professional Staff
  • Alumni Relations
    Institutional Advancement
    Communications/Public Relations


Full time

Job Summary

The Office of Institutional Engagement (IE) at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) comprises individual, corporate, foundation and government fundraising; donor relations and stewardship; alumni, parents relations, and partners with these diverse constituents to advance RISD’s mission.

We are currently seeking an Assistant Director, Special Events to join our dynamic and collaborative team for a two-year term position. This role is responsible for the planning and logistical execution of a variety of high-profile, impactful events and special programs ranging from small gatherings to large-scale events (including Commencement), designed to support IE’s efforts to advance RISD’s mission by strengthening goodwill, engagement and philanthropy.

Essential Functions

  • Responsible for participating in the planning and execution of a yearly calendar of events for alumni, parents, donors and other key community constituents.
  • Manages and maintains a portfolio of events as directed by the Director of Special Events.
  • Collaborates with the Development and Alumni Relations offices to ensure events align with strategic goals.
  • Tracks event attendance; develops timelines and cost estimates; coordinates production of invitations and other electronic or printed materials; and oversees assigned event logistics and programs. Secures proposals and estimates from and works with vendors. Manages post-event reporting, analysis and debriefs.
  • Oversees all event budgets, provides cost-analysis and forecasting information as requested by Director of Special Events and Executive Director of Campaign Planning + Strategy.
  • Plans, manages and executes discrete aspects and elements of RISD Weekend, Founders Day, Commencement and other large-scale events both on and off-campus.
  • Prepares and oversees all aspects of event management for smaller events, such as donor gatherings, including, but not limited to event materials (briefings, research, nametags, invitations, programs, signage, etc.) budgets, staffing, and coordination of volunteer management.


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience required.
  • Minimum 3 years planning and coordinating events, donor and alumni engagement activities, or comparable experience.
  • Must possess strong interpersonal skills, high EQ, and superb first-in-class customer service skills.
  • Ability to work and communicate effectively with a broad spectrum of constituents (individual donors, alumni, business leaders, public figures, college leadership, faculty and staff), within a broad range of cultural environments.
  • Knowledge of and demonstrated experience with Microsoft Office suite, Adobe Creative suite, CRM/database (Raiser’s Edge a plus), and the Google (G Suite) collaboration tools.
  • Superlative diplomatic skills.
  • Ability to facilitate relationships with vendors and to interact with a variety of constituents across all levels of institution.
  • Ability to anticipate unexpected issues and react quickly, calmly and confidently to instill trust and confidence.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects, priorities and deadlines.
  • Must be able to work independently and collaboratively with moderate supervision.

Union: No

Work Schedule: Two-year term position. 35 hours per week.

Employment Status: Full-time, Exempt

Grade: 12/AD

Documents Needed to Apply:
Cover Letter

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please upload all required documents.

The successful candidate will be required to meet our pre-employment background screening requirements.

RISD recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its learning community and integral to an art and design education. We welcome candidates whose experience has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence. RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.

For internal use only – Job Family:
Development – Fundraising

Apply Here:


Please reference in your cover letter when
applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

Contact Information

Please see the job description for contact details
pertaining to this university job announcement.


Refer this job to a friend or colleague!

New Search | Previous

Looking for a higher education job?