Meeting and Conference Planner/Program Coordinator


Under supervision of the Executive Director, the Meeting and Conference Planner/Program Coordinator (MCPPC) has general oversight of the association’s annual meeting, which attracts between 1,500 and 2,300 attendees over four days in the fall, and works on projects related to the association’s mission. The annual meeting is the association’s primary way to bring together members to share research and embark on collaborative work. Income from the annual meeting is critical to the financial well-being of the association. The MCPPC plays a lead role in insuring the success of the annual meeting.  

Sample Responsibilities

  • Works with ED and external conference planning company to source appropriate locations/properties for MESA’s annual meetings. Includes site visits when necessary, and involves negotiating favorable rates and contract terms on behalf of MESA.
  • Locates and contracts with outside suppliers for annual meeting audiovisual equipment, temporary staffing, security, and any other areas where MESA sources outside vendors.
  • Prepares the annual meeting revenue and expense budgets, monitoring progress and adjusting spending when necessary, and alerting Treasurer to any issues that may arise.
  • Maintains communication and works with staff member who is in charge of the annual Book Bazaar, which includes approximately 80 vendors occupying 100 8’ x 10’ booths.
  • Maintains communication and works with staff member who is in charge of processing annual meeting registrations and running onsite registration.
  • Manages MESA’s group room block at the hotel, monitoring reservation pacing, making recommendations on room block adjustments, and helping to insure that MESA meets its contractual obligations.
  • Prepares with the help of a representative of the conference planning company the hotel agenda, a detailed chronological listing of all events, room sets, audiovisual and technical equipment needs, food & beverage requirements, etc.
  • Schedules meeting program and tracks sessions and presenters, regularly updating program details online and in the printed versions of the program.
  • Solicits and schedules all events of MESA’s affiliated associations and other entities held in conjunction with MESA’s annual meeting.
  • Works with FilmFest director to schedule the fest and prepares the FilmFest insert for the meeting program booklet.
  • Arranges for an annual dance party or reception, special events, art exhibits, etc. at the annual meeting.
  • Manages all meeting onsite details, working with a representative of the conference planning company to insure all aspects of the meeting are operating smoothly.
  • Oversees the work of the program committee, working with the program chair on committee composition, committee program review, the spring program committee meeting.
  • Prepares preliminary and final meeting programs and works with external printer on program production and delivery to the annual meeting location.
  • Receives and manages advertising for the annual meeting program and banner ads for the mobile application
  • Creates the annual meeting mobile application and updates it throughout the meeting.
  • Manages meeting database and assists members with submission issues.
  • Issues letters of acceptance/rejection for the meeting and assembles panels created by the program committee
  • Manages onsite revenue flow and processes receipts, prepares reports, etc.
  • Prepares annual meeting signage

Other Duties and Responsibilities

The MCPPC is a fulltime position. Due to the ebb and flow of work related to the annual meeting, the MCPPC likely will have additional responsibilities assigned based on need at the Secretariat determined by the Executive Director. This may include serving as assistant to the ED, working with MESA’s various committees, overseeing projects, etc.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in any field
  • Minimum of five years’ experience in event management
  • CMP designation preferred but not required
  • Demonstrated excellent communication skills, both written and oral
  • Experience working with hotels, convention centers
  • Top-notch organizational and project management skills

Computer programs regularly used by the MCPPC

  • Expression Engine (for website)
  • Association Management Software (member database and annual meeting submission system)
  • Microsoft:  Word, Excel, Access, Outlook
  • Adobe Suite: Indesign, Photoshop, Acrobat/Reader

Other Information

The MCPPC will work at MESA’s new location: Elliott School of International Affairs, Institute for Middle East Studies, 1957 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052.

Salary: Based on experience. Anticipated range: $57,500 to $65,000

Anticipated start date: September 16, 2019.

Application Procedures & Deadline

The deadline for applications is August 6, 2019.

Please send a letter of application, resume, and the names of three references (with contact information) to:

Mark Lowder, Interim Executive Director, at

Review of applications will begin at the application deadline and will continue until the position is filled.


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