Special Events Manager, Events and Programming

Washington, DC
Full Time
Mid Level

Title:                        Special Events Manager, Events and Programming
Reports to:              Director, Events and Programming

Job Summary:          The Special Events Manager supports the Events & Programming (E&P) team in delivering exceptional experiences designed to amplify and advance Heritage’s impact and mission. The Events & Programming team produces over 5,000 events annually, from high-level roundtables and public programs in our Washington, D.C. headquarters to donor gatherings and multi-day conferences across the country. This position is a leader on the Special Events division of the E&P team focused on the planning of offsite events and conferences around the country each year, and the management of junior team members. This position is supervised by the Assistant Director of Special Events.

Job Duties:

  • Event Planning – Design, plan, and execute special events and annual signature events including multi-day conferences for donors, Members of Congress, coalition partners, and other audiences. Responsibilities include developing content and timelines for event promotion, coordinating high-profile speakers, venues, audio-visual production, security protocols, volunteers and support staff, and vendor logistics. Propose and implement new ideas to improve the event planning and execution process. Post event, help stakeholders to use their resources more effectively and set future strategy by conducting after action reviews, compile post event reports and survey results.


  • Management of Event Assistants – Manage and mentor two special events assistants in their day-to-day responsibilities by meeting with them regularly, delegating projects and event assignments, supporting their growth and professional development, and overseeing their annual and midyear reviews and goals evaluations. Role includes day-to-day approvals on vacation time/scheduling, approval flows on non-signature events, expense reports and invoicing, and other related support as needed. Position includes onsite supervision and training.
  • Enterprise Alignment – Effectively communicate, build strategic relationships, and collaborate with internal partners at Heritage on multiple projects related to event planning activities by leading first with event purpose and objectives, and ultimately aligning with Heritage’s strategic priorities.
  • Programming & Speakers – Collaborate with internal partners on event programming strategy. Develop desired programming structures, ensuring content builds upon the priorities of each event, and manage internal and external speakers. Consult with Event Operations Advisor on VIP speaker outreach plans.


  • Venue & Vendor Selection – Research venues and vendors, draft RFPs, and negotiate contracts – including on large-scale signature events – in a manner that is consistent with industry best practices and aims to protect Heritage’s interests. This process may include conducting site visits to ensure venues continually uphold Heritage’s standard of excellence and meet the specific programmatic needs of the event.
  • Event Budget & Expenses – Submit expense reports, process invoices, produce event revenue and expense reports, and exercise budget discipline by making cost-effective decisions and carefully monitoring expenses throughout the planning process to adhere to established budgets. Determine new and innovative ways to reduce costs associated with events.
  • Professional Development – Regularly seek out continuing education especially on event management best practices, trends and new inspiration by reading publications, attending seminars, and consulting with other industry professionals. Stay informed on current events and political priority updates in order to suggest new featured speakers and programming ideas. 

Education:                   Bachelor’s Degree 
Experience:                 4-5 years of experience of relevant experience in event management,                                                     including experience in directly managing team members.
Communication:          Clear, effective, and gracious written and verbal communication across all                                           levels of an organization and with external speakers.
Technology:                Proficient in MS Office (Excel and Word), Outlook, and the ability to learn                                           new software (familiarity with email marketing platforms a plus).

Other Requirements:

  • Mission alignment: Understand and support the Heritage mission and vision for
    America, conservative principles, and the department’s goals and objectives.
  • Organization: Ability to self-organize, multi-task, maintain a strong attention to detail, and handle multiple projects while setting appropriate priorities to achieve goals.
  • Entrepreneurial and business mindset: Proactively propose and execute creative solutions to business challenges. Demonstrated ability for budgeting, financial management, and financial reporting skills.
  • Critical thinking: Capacity to think critically and handle emergency situations, demonstrating sound judgment under pressure and be accountable when working with a team.
  • Availability to work nights, weekends, and travel when necessary.


Benefits and Salary:

The Heritage Foundation offers a highly competitive benefits package that includes, but is not limited to, best-in-class health care, vision, and dental insurance, employer-sponsored retirement funding, “take what you need” PTO and sick leave, 14 weeks of paid leave for new moms and 6 weeks of paid leave for new dads, among other programs.


The salary range for this role is $73,000 - $88,500 annually. This range is a good faith estimate, and the final salary offered to a selected candidate depends on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, the candidate’s experience, education, and other qualifications; internal and external market pay for comparable jobs; and level of hire based on aforementioned qualifications.


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