School of Government Services, Inc Program Event Manager Chapel Hill, NC · Full time

Provide coordination and management of the School’s annual programs, courses, and conferences. which occur online, onsite or off-site, with minimal supervision


School of Government Services, Inc. assists faculty and staff at the UNC School of Government in carrying out its important mission: to improve the lives of North Carolinians by engaging in practical scholarship that helps public officials and citizens understand and improve state and local government. It is a nonprofit corporation and an official associated entity of the School of Government at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (

As the largest university-based local government training, advisory, and research organization in the United States, the UNC School of Government offers up to 200 courses, webinars, and specialized conferences for more than 12,000 public officials each year. The activities of School of Government Services include assisting the School with or carrying out research, consulting, advising, trainings and educational workshops and seminars, and other services and projects.

The primary role of the Program Event Manager position is to provide coordination and management of the School’s annual programs, courses, and conferences. which occur online, onsite or off-site, with minimal supervision. The specific programs assigned vary and can change from year to year. Program Managers oversee programs of moderate to advanced complexity that range in size from single day programs to multiple day courses spanning 9 months. 


The Program Event Manager works closely with a lead faculty member for each program to determine format, location, agenda, presenters, activities, and additional services or functions and then takes the lead coordinating and implementing the program based on those decisions. Decisions must frequently be adjusted as the program develops, and the Program Manager is expected to apply the decisions to new contexts and identify and escalate issues that need further discussion. 


The Program Event Manager typically serves as the primary point of contact with program participants and is responsible for working with the Strategic Communications Division to build interest in the program and ensure that all marketing is aligned with the program and implemented correctly. Familiarity with Zoom, website management, Canvas, and Learning Stream are a plus.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities

The essential functions include, but are not limited to the following:


Event Management

·      Coordinate and manage event management services for continuing education programs, courses, and conferences of moderate to advanced complexity. Examples of such programs include, but are not limited to administration and tracking of participant assessment tools; conferences attended by 100+ attendees; courses with multiple, concurrent tracks; courses spanning over multiple months and courses for “high-touch” audiences.

·      Facilitate program decisions applying expertise in event management, virtual class management and facilities coordination.

·      Develop estimated budget for programs (analyze post-course financial report from previous year, consult with faculty coordinator on potential program needs, estimate costs for program, and complete budget workbook), monitor and manage expenses during implementation, and provide final financial and registration information to close the program.

·      Work with Strategic Communications Division to develop marketing plan for each program and ensure that the plan is implemented.

·      Monitor registrations and adjust communications and marketing approaches as appropriate to ensure program is effectively marketed to target audience and remains financially viable based on registration numbers.

·      Coordinate all logistics for virtual, on and off-site programs, including facilities and lodging, course presenters and activities, course materials, catering, and other logistics as needed.

·      Manage communications with prospective and registered participants before, during, and after the program.

·      Respond to participant questions and issues in a timely fashion.

·      Facilitate program post-mortems to identify lessons learned and changes to be implemented when the program is implemented again.

·      Contract negotiation with hotels, conference centers, meeting sites and other vendors.


Project Management

·      Coordinate projects for faculty and project leads that are of moderate to advance complexity and require working across multiple groups or a high-level understanding of the School’s mission, audiences, and/or processes. Projects may also include team-wide initiatives such as time tracking, designed to monitor workloads across the team and identify best practices. The time and scope for projects varies significantly, and some projects are considered ongoing assignments. Work with faculty, project leads, and Program Directors to define the scope of effort required.

·      Complete all tasks as identified in the project scope.

·      Provide regular updates on project progress.

·      Resolve issues that may arise, escalating issues to the Program Director and/or faculty only when unable to reach a satisfactory resolution within the limits of the position.


Best Practices and Process Improvement

·      The majority of event support efforts involve individual and independent coordination efforts by the program manager working with faculty and other support units across the School. In order to ensure that programs are run effectively and consistently, all program managers are expected to be active participants in identifying best practices, helping evaluate event management processes, and collaborating to improve processes.

·      Communicate post-mortem results to Program Director

·      Proactively identify processes or approaches that appear problematic or successful.

·      Collaborate with team members and managers to determine ways to adapt processes.

·      Contribute to the growth and ongoing evaluation of guidelines, processes, and best practices developed by and for the team.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities)

·      Bachelor’s degree in business administration or a related discipline or an equivalent combination of training and experience.

·      3-5 years of in-person and/or virtual event planning experience. 

·      Ability to communicate effectively with various groups of constituents.

·      Highly organized with the ability to adapt quickly if necessary.

·      Working knowledge of the Microsoft Office suite.

·      Familiarity with Zoom, website management, Canvas, and Learning Stream are a plus.


$45,000 - $50,000 per year