Open Position

Director of Events, Diversity, Equity, and Student Success (DESS)

The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) is a global membership organization dedicated to advancing the vitality and democratic purposes of undergraduate liberal education. Through our programs and events, publications and research, public advocacy and campus-based projects, AAC&U serves as a catalyst and facilitator for innovations that improve educational quality and equity and that support the success of all students. In addition to accredited public and private, two-year and four-year colleges and universities and state higher education systems and agencies throughout the United States, our membership includes degree-granting higher education institutions in more than twenty-five countries as well as other organizations and individuals. To learn more, visit

The office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success (DESS) is dedicated to liberal education on equitable terms for all students. DESS works to accelerate broad-scale innovation and institutional change to advance evidence-based educational strategies, including but not limited to the intentional design and implementation of high-impact practices and guided learning pathways that engage diversity and challenge inequities in student outcomes to make excellence inclusive. DESS seeks to fully prepare the next generation of strategic leaders and thinkers to advance equity, inclusion, and social justice through higher levels of personal and social responsibility.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Oversee and manage the logistics for DESS’ annual Diversity, Equity, and Student Success conference and the DESS Summer Institutes.
  • Negotiate venue and vendor contracts within AAC&U guidelines.
  • Develop and maintain DESS conference and institute web pages.
  • Organize the conference planning sessions with AAC&U member institutions.
  • Oversee and manage the conference proposal selection process and conference proposal management system.
  • Manage communications with conference speakers, attendees, conference vendors, and collaborate with other DESS staff and internal offices on the logistics and program for the DESS conference.
  • Develop conference agenda and program in collaboration with the VP for DESS, and upload conference program details to the selected online platform.
  • Develop conference and institute programs in collaboration with the VP for DESS, and upload program details to the selected online platform.
  • Maintain and upload programming and attendance tracking and data entry.
  • Manage conference budget within guidelines and process contracts and invoices for vendors.
  • Edit programs and marketing materials.
  • Maintain and organize DESS electronic files.
  • Work collaboratively with other AAC&U offices involved in event execution (i.e., marketing and communications, registration, database services, finance, membership, etc.)
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree is also required, and a master’s degree is a plus
  • 4-5 years of work experience in meeting planning required.
  • Experience in higher education desired
  • Excellent project management, organizational, and analytical skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication as well as editing skills
  • Strong computer and database management skills, including MS Office suite.
  • Outstanding attention to detail, with understanding of larger contexts
  • Experience working with diverse populations
  • Dependability, flexibility, and confidentiality
  • Experience maintaining and monitoring budgets
  • An understanding of and commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Ability to work both collaboratively, as a member of a team, and independently to accomplish goals
  • Effective time management skills with the ability to balance and set priorities among many tasks and meet deadlines
  • Self-directed ability to thrive in a fast-paced advocacy organization at the center of higher education reform

Salary commensurate with experience; plus exceptional benefits. Please submit a résumé and a cover letter describing relevant work to AAC&U, Box DESS, 1818 R Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009, or to [email protected]. Review of applications will begin May 15, 2024.

AAC&U believes that a broadly diverse staff is critical to achieving excellence as a national higher education association. We seek to recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. We are fully committed to equal employment opportunity and compliance with the full range of fair employment practices and non-discrimination laws.