Senior Associate, Meeting Planning, Events and Conference Services, MacArthur Foundation

The Organization

About the Foundation
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. MacArthur is placing a few big bets that truly significant progress is possible on some of the world’s most pressing social challenges, including over-incarceration, global climate change, nuclear risk, and significantly increasing financial capital for the social sector. In addition to the MacArthur Fellows Program, the Foundation continues its historic commitments to the role of journalism in a responsible and responsive democracy, as well as the strength and vitality of our headquarters city, Chicago.

MacArthur is one of the nation’s largest independent foundations. Organizations supported by the Foundation work in about 50 countries. In addition to Chicago, MacArthur has offices in India, Mexico, and Nigeria. To learn more about the Foundation please visit

Position Overview

Core Services is responsible for three key areas of Foundation operations: grants management, knowledge management, and meeting and event planning. Each of these service areas develops, implements and maintains strategies to ensure that efficient and effective processes, practices and systems are in place to support the goals and objectives the Foundation.

The Senior Associate, Meeting Planning, Events and Conference Services (MPE) is responsible for leading and managing the MPE team on all aspects of internal and external meeting/event planning, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Foundation’s conference center, and supporting MPE team members’ professional development. MPE is a critical internal service department that primarily supports its fellow Foundation colleagues as its “client.”

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
• Oversee the operation of the Foundation’s conference center space, particularly during the transition to managing that space more explicitly as a conference center
• Responsible for ensuring that Meeting Planners provide the highest level of service to support all aspects of meeting planning and execution
• Establish and implement standard processes and procedures for Meeting Planners and outside waitstaff to follow for all meetings and events
• Assign Meeting Planners to scheduled meetings and events, and manage own portfolio of meetings
• Provide support to the Board of Directors concerning travel, accommodations and logistics for all Board meetings, site visits, and other Foundation-related travel
• Create and maintain the MPE budget and the budget for the Board of Directors, and process Directors’ expenses
• Establish and implement mechanisms to collect feedback from programs/departments relating to meeting/event successes and areas for improvement;
• Ensure that the MPE team functions professionally, efficiently, and consistently
• Identify training tools and professional development opportunities for Meeting Planners individually, and for the team

Other Duties and Responsibilities:
• Participate on site visits of prospective venues for meetings/events as needed
• Develop and maintain a list of vendors best suited to the Foundation’s needs for meeting/event space and other accommodations, including minority-owned and diverse vendors; and monitor performance to ensure vendor quality and performance
• Ensure coordination with IT on all audio-visual and technology within conference center and meeting spaces
• Stay up-to-date on event planning, registration, and communication technology tools
• Perform other duties as assigned

The position is based in Chicago, Illinois.

Physical Requirements and Work Environment:
The work environment is an office setting.  Intermittent physical activities will include bending, reaching, sitting, and walking during working hours.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable a person with physical disabilities to perform the job.


• At least five years of direct staff management experience,  and a focus on staff development

• Minimum of six to ten years of relevant conference center and meeting planning experience, including supervisory experience

• A bachelor’s degree is desirable

• CMP designation (Certified Meeting Professional)preferred

• Proficiency in setting up and trouble-shooting audio-visual and technologies used in support of meetings/events

• Self-starter and creative problem solver

• Comfortable leading a service-oriented team and working in a team environment

• Excellent writing, editing, organization, and verbal skills

• Experience managing and organizing multiple projects

• Flexible, detail-oriented, and able to manage several projects simultaneously

• Able to work with many different personalities and staff  at all levels

• Proficient in Microsoft Products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook)

How To Apply

To Apply

Candidates must apply online at

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