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Senior Manager Conference and Event Services (Hybrid Schedule)

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
United States, Maryland, Chevy Chase
4000 Jones Bridge Road (Show on map)
January 07, 2023
Primary Work Address: 4000 Jones Bridge Road, Chevy Chase, MD, 20815 Current HHMI Employees, click here to apply via your Workday account.

HHMI is focused on supporting and moving science forward in a variety of different ways ranging from conducting basic biomedical research, empowering educators, inspiring students, developing the next generation of scientists - even stretching into film and media production. Our Headquarters is in the greater Washington, DC metro area and is home to over 300 employees with expertise in investments, communications, digital production, biomedical sciences, and everything in between. The work housed here supports and augments the groundbreaking research conducted in HHMI labs across the nation. As HHMI scientists continue to push boundaries in laboratories and classrooms, you can be sure that your contributions while working here are making a difference.


The Senior Manager is responsible for the successful operation of on site and virtual conferences and events for HHMI Headquarters and HQ hosted meetings at the Janelia Research Campus. They manage and lead a mix of in-house conference and event staff and contract staff to deliver high-quality and innovative services that go above and beyond client expectations. The person in this role develops strategy to meet overarching goals, manages creation and tracking of budgets, promotes innovation with the conference services group, and develops staff to be self-directed and engaged in the mission of HHMI. They also develop and review metrics to understand trends and improve services. This role owns the service delivery and guest experience but will do this work in collaboration with other HHMI support teams including banquet & food services, housekeeping, audio-visual/IT, facilities, travel, and transportation. This position champions the importance of Conference and Events Services' role in the mission of advancing science and keeps that focus on the forefront for all team members.

In this role you will...

  • Lead all aspects of conference operations at Headquarters to ensure that conference center staff provide consistently high-quality guest services, accommodations, housekeeping, and conference catering services.

  • Displays leadership in guest hospitality, exemplifying excellent customer service. Sets transparent performance standards and goals that ensure accountability, for preparation and implementation of all meetings and events, for the conference and events team.

  • Provides guidance and timely feedback to help conference and events team and contract staff develop and strengthen their ability to provide high-quality service to all customers while handling their needs in a professional, friendly, and efficient manner.

  • Develop and implement strategic plans and annual conference budgets based on both booked and forecasted conferences; ensuring appropriate conference chargeback process to accurately account to program departments.

  • Oversee HHMI's overall conference schedule following prioritized guidance and be responsible with ensuring execution of activities to support management of events

  • Leverage critical thinking to resolve logistical issues and ensure that decisions reflect good stewardship of the Institute's resources while meeting the needs of the customers.

  • Establish accountability through the creation of clear performance goals, evaluation methods and data analysis, keeping a pulse on hospitality trends to better understand customer needs, provide a base for new forward-thinking business solutions and report on conference and event activity to the Senior Director, Campus Operations.

  • Critically review feedback from customers and operations staff on a regular basis and propose solutions to improve service levels, effectiveness, and efficiency of the conference center and events operations.

  • Seek innovative opportunities and be able to guide team to deliver effective conference management solutions in the new virtual/hybrid meeting environment.

  • Collaborate with various teams across HHMI to ensure high-quality, innovative delivery, and excellent execution of on-site conferences and events that meet or exceed client expectations.

  • Manages lodging, travel, and on-site logistics communication with Travel Services department for HHMI Trustees and HHMI leaders to ensure consistency in high-quality service.

  • Ensure the maintenance of relevant profile information of regular conference center guests and reference information to anticipate customer needs and seek to always go above and beyond.

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor's degree required or combination of education and related work experience. Bachelor's Degree in Hotel Management preferred.

  • Minimum ten years of experience in hotel or conference center management and event management required

  • Experience managing customer-service or hospitality-related services

  • Experience in catering preferred.

  • Experience in leading and implementing virtual and hybrid meetings and webinars preferred.

Skills and Abilities:

  • Ability to connect with and handle multiple customers at a given time to provide high-quality customer service.

  • Superior organizational skills with ability to coordinate many sets of details in a logical manner, catch details others may miss, and to plan for those details to be carried out in a timely, budget-conscious fashion.

  • Ability to creatively problem solve, maintain composure, and remain focused on solutions in a high-volume, time-sensitive driven environment.

  • Strong technical ability to leverage and implement technology that improves workflow and communication while also enhancing the guest and employee experience.

  • Knowledge of techniques and equipment for preparing and presenting food products.

  • Ability to build trusting relationships, communicate effectively, and skillfully navigate interpersonal dynamics with various levels of end-users including senior management, scientists, operations staff, contractors, and vendors.

  • Adaptability to change and willingness to try new things and challenge the status quo in appropriate situations.

  • Ability to make decisions with minimal supervision, displaying a clear sense of ownership and accountability.

  • Leverages industry affiliations for training and networking opportunities.

  • Working knowledge of catering and event management systems.

  • Working knowledge and understanding of policies, procedures, and standards of the department to include, conference and event planning, operations, and technology for different types of events.

  • Must maintain a flexible schedule to accommodate varying needs of conferences and events operation.

This job will require occasional lifting of heavy materials (up to twenty pounds)

Physical Requirements

Remaining in a normal seated or standing position for extended periods of time; reaching and grasping by extending hand(s) or arm(s); dexterity to manipulate objects with fingers, for example using a keyboard; communication skills using the spoken word; ability to see and hear within normal parameters; ability to move about workspace. The position requires mobility, including the ability to move materials weighing up to several pounds (such as a laptop computer or tablet).

Persons with disabilities may be able to perform the essential duties of this position with reasonable accommodation. Requests for reasonable accommodation will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Please Note:

This job description sets forth the job's principal duties, responsibilities, and requirements; it should not be construed as an exhaustive statement, however. Unless they begin with the word "may," the Essential Duties and Responsibilities described above are "essential functions" of the job, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Compensation and Benefits

Our employees are compensated from a total rewards perspective in many ways for their contributions to our mission, including competitive pay, exceptional health benefits, retirement plans, time off, and a range of recognition and wellness programs. Visit our site to learn more.

Compensation Range

$113,328.00 (minimum) - $141,660.00 (midpoint) - $184,158.00 (maximum)

Pay Type:


HHMI's salary structure is developed based on relevant job market data. HHMI considers a candidate's education, previous experiences, knowledge, skills and abilities, as well as internal equity when making job offers. Typically, a new hire for this position in this location is compensated between the minimum and the midpoint of the salary range.