Managing Director, National Summit and Convenings

Position Purpose
The Carnegie Foundation has set its sights on tackling the nation’s most significant educational challenge: achieving educational equity for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian and Pacific Islander, and first-generation students, as well as those from low-income households.  Our mission is to catalyze transformational change in education so that every student has the opportunity to live a healthy, dignified, and fulfilling life. Carnegie will leverage its expertise, assets, partnerships, convening power, and social and reputational capital to address long standing educational inequities that impede economic mobility and exacerbate racial inequality.

To accomplish our mission, the Foundation will pursue four intersecting strategic priorities and will leverage conferences and events to engage key stakeholders in each of these strategic priority areas. : 

  1. Build capacity to increase educational attainment nationwide to ensure that 90% of underrepresented students will be on track to graduate from high school and succeed in postsecondary school.
  2. Catalyze postsecondary innovation, to improve economic and social mobility nationwide for underrepresented students.
  3. Explore the future of learning, with the aim to significantly increase access to engaging, rigorous, experiential, and effective modalities of teaching and learning.
  4. Fully leverage networked improvement science in support of Carnegie’s strategic priorities and make improvement methods, routines, and tools accessible at broad scale.

We are looking for a Managing Director, National Summit and Convenings to co-lead the development and implementation of the strategy for engaging stakeholders within each of its priority areas.  This work will include co-leading efforts to help the Foundation explore the viability of local, regional, and national instantiations of the Carnegie Summit as a resource to practitioners and institutional leaders seeking better outcomes for students.  

For 15 years, the Foundation has pioneered the development of improvement methods, tools, resources, processes, and mindsets. Since the inaugural conference in 2014, the Summit has grown to engage more than 2,000 registered attendees with a $1.8 million budget annually.  The Summit provides for those new to improvement, opportunities to learn about the productive use of improvement principles, networks, and supportive methods and tools; for those already engaged in improvement, opportunities to present their progress in sessions and at poster receptions; and for all attendees, a space for learning about practices that are resulting in measurable improvements and achieving ambitious goals for students.  We desire to expand engagement and constituency building around Improvement Science as well as the Foundation’s other emerging priorities within the U.S. and globally in the coming years, catalyzing transformational change in education so that every student has the opportunity to live a healthy, dignified, and fulfilling life.  

This position will work closely with Foundation staff – including, but not limited to – Associates, an Event Manager, Project Managers, and Program Coordinators to execute the Summit and other key events. 

Essential Responsibilities

Strategy and Planning

  • Partners with Foundation leadership to ensure the Summit and potential instantiations have a sustainable funding model to support operations and growth. 
  • Develops and oversees an annual event calendar for the organization, in consultation with leadership and key program teams. 
  • Works with the program staff to ensure programming for events that develops skills, supports the field, and builds constituencies to achieve the Foundation’s strategic priorities. 
  • Develops, manages and implements the strategic plan and budget for each event. 
  • Oversees the recruitment of sponsors and develops and ensures positive sponsor experiences.
  • Identifies additional revenue streams and strategies to meet revenue targets.
  • Develops and grows alliances and partnerships with other organizations to support and accelerate the Foundation’s strategic priorities.
  • Develops an event protocol to ensure consistency and quality of all events and target audiences 
  • Oversees and executes high-quality event planning and logistics including site selection, contract negotiation, vendor management, attendee experience, and event debriefs. 
  • Directs keynote and speaker recruitment, engagement, and coordination for events, in partnership with the Foundation leadership team. 
  • Develops and provides leadership for a diverse team that is responsible for the overall high-quality execution of all events. 
  • Oversees the development and administration of participant event surveys and other mechanisms to measure effectiveness of events and identify ongoing improvements for future events in partnership with the Evidence and Analytics team.
  • Oversees the engagement and training of all Foundation staff to provide high quality on-site support.
  • Provides status updates on event planning, financials, and post-event evaluations.

Event Design, Production and Coordination 

  • Oversees all aspects of event execution from site selection to program development, marketing, sponsorships, and VIP management
  • Oversees the utilization of systems and tools to support the management of event attendee, accreditation and lodging, and the creation of event run-of-shows for internal and external stakeholders 
  • Directs all on-site logistics including speaker check-in, room sets, audio visual, labor, etc. and troubleshoots as necessary.
  • Performs site visits, develops relationships with venue leadership to ensure that the venue is adequate and functions up to standards.
  • Oversees all day-of event logistics such as schedule creation and management and directing staff. 
  • Oversee the production of event programs and mobile apps and ensure all proper elements and requirements are met
  • Identifies and engages prospective keynote presenters aligned with conference messaging and identifies opportunities for event appearances by leaders across the organization. 
  • Maintains a national speaker registry of events where Foundation staff is speaking 

Event Marketing 

  • Partners with communications, marketing, and designer professionals to develop core messages, and ensure consistent branding
  • Coordinates with relevant team members to market to key audiences and keep website and other channels updated with relevant event information 
  • Works with the VP of Strategy, Finance and Operations to identify markets, and communications and marketing professionals to engage key audiences through social media, email marketing, referral campaigns, etc. 
  • Ensures follow-up outreach to event attendees

Education & Experience Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and direct experience
  • At least 5+ years of direct relevant experience 
  • Possesses deep understanding of K-12 education and/or higher education, preferred

Skills Requirements & Qualifications 

  • Strong leadership skills
  • Ability to manage multiple relationships and complex projects simultaneously. 
  • Exceptional project and task management skills
  • Outstanding skills in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access
  • Highly organized and creative problem solver
  • Collaborative 
  • Proven ability to delegate and remain calm under pressure 
  • Skilled communicator with executives of any level
  • Outstanding level of customer service and ownership


Benefits & Perks

  • Full medical, dental, vision, life, accidental death, disability, and long-term care insurance, as well as employer subsidized flexible spending plans
  • A retirement savings plan, including employer contributions after one year of service
  • Generous time-off benefits including paid holidays and paid parental leave
  • Matching Gift program to benefit charitable organizations
  • Educational Assistance to further your professional development
  • The facility is located in Stanford, California in a quiet pastoral setting near a hiking trail.
  • Amenities include a communal kitchen (coffee, tea, and drinks provided), outdoor eating areas, free parking, and electric car charging stations