Director of Programs

Job Description

Under the direct supervision of the President, the Director of Programs is responsible for developing and implementing American Friends programs, including alumni activities and fund-raising initiatives.

American Friends seeks an energetic program professional with an interest in transatlantic scholarly and scientific cooperation to develop programs that engage the alumni of the AvH and create new opportunities for partners and sponsors. Reporting to the President, the Director of Programs will play a key role in developing programs and identifying and cultivating new funding opportunities to advance the goals outlined in the organization’s strategic plan. The position is also responsible for planning and executing the organization’s annual fund. The successful candidate will be entrepreneurial and enjoy the challenges of working in a small, growing organization. The candidate should have an international orientation, experience in organizing programs and events, excellent administrative and communication skills (written and oral), the ability to work effectively with diverse stakeholders, and a proven ability to manage details and multitask.

Job Posting Date: June 23, 2013

Job Closing Date: July 8, 2013

Job Responsibilities


  • Work with President and Board to develop and implement programs that engage alumni of the AvH and explore key issues related to the internationalization of research, and the role of science in policy and society. Programs may include breakfast, luncheons, dinners, receptions at professional meetings, and roundtable discussions. Responsible for topic research and content development, and for identifying potential program speakers and panelists. Coordinate speaker and panel invitations. Arrange and manage logistics onsite, to include room set-up, audio-visual, food and beverage and sleeping room needs. Negotiate venue and vendor contracts and manage event budgets.
  • Under the leadership of the American Friends Alumni Council, support development and implementation of plans to engage US alumni of the Foundation, including the “Humboldtians on Campus,” and to strengthen volunteer opportunities for Humboldtians. Support, as appropriate, planning for local, regional, or national events, and online networking and social media opportunities.
  • In close cooperation with the AvH and the alumni Steering Committee, plan and execute the triennial meeting of the German Chancellor fellows. Make all logistical arrangements and organize events in conjunction with the meeting. Solicit updates to alumni profiles; edit and post profiles to the website.
  • Responsible for managing the programs and alumni portions of the AF website, to ensure that content is up-to-date and accurate.
  • Manage alumni and donor database records, files, and gift processing. Work with AvH to reconcile data differences with the AvH database.
  • Respond to relevant requests from the American Friends Board, US alumni, and the staff of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
  • Prepare reports, correspondence, talking points and other materials related to alumni activities the President, the Alumni Council, and the Board of Directors.

Development and Fund Raising

  • Identify and help to cultivate program funding prospects; draft program funding proposals; work with President to develop budgets.
  • Manage annual appeal to US alumni, including drafting appeal letters, preparation and execution of appeal, processing of donations, and preparation of letters of acknowledgement.
  • Manage donor records and gift record-keeping.
  • Develop letters, program descriptions, and other materials, as needed, for President and others presenting AF and its programs.
  • Prepare fund-raising reports for President and Board of Directors, and annual report of donations and donors.
  • Maintain and update the fund-raising portion of the American Friends website.

Job Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications:

  • A passion for transatlantic relations and interest in scientific and professional exchange between the United States and Europe.
  • Bachelor’s Degree required, Master’s degree preferred.
  • Minimum of three years experience in program development and implementation, preferably in a nonprofit setting, including proposal and grant writing, planning and execution of events.
  • Some experience in planning and execution of an annual fund-raising appeal.
  • Ability to interface with wide range of stakeholders, including university faculty and senior leaders in government, academe, and science organizations.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills; ability to write clearly and persuasively.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Comfort and collegiality in working in a small team
  • Able to establish priorities, meet deadlines and manage a variety of tasks with accuracy and efficiency; able to multitask.
  • Knowledge of database programs; experience with Salesforce and Constant Contact preferred.
  • Candidates must be willing to be available to work flexible hours, including weekend and evening receptions as necessary.
  • International experience and ability to work in a cross-cultural context
  • German language preferred.
  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Other Information

Salary/Benefits: American Friends offers a competitive compensation package, including a salary commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefits package. American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Association is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to the belief that each individual is entitled to equal employment opportunity.

How To Apply

Email a cover letter describing your interest in the position, relevant experience and qualifications; a resume; two 1-5 page writing samples; salary history; and three references with contact information to No phone inquiries, please.

Application Deadline - July 8, 2013

About AvH

American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH) is the professional partner in the United States of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Founded in 1999, American Friends of the AvH promotes networking, exchange, and creative collaboration among scientists, scholars, artists, and other professionals in the United States and Germany, consistent with the goals of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Its current core activities are to identify outstanding US scholars and professionals who might benefit from research experience in Germany, to cultivate and support the community of 4,600 “Humboldtians” – alumni of the AvH – in the United States, and to maintain contacts to the US science and science policy communities in the United States in service of its mission and goals. American Friends is currently implementing a strategic plan, which calls for the development of new programs to engage alumni and to raise the profile of the organization and its German partner as resources on the globalization of the research and the reshaping of the US research landscape.