International AIDS Society Job Vacancy: Director - Conference, Geneva - Switzerland

Director, Conference  

About the IAS:
Founded in 1988, the International AIDS Society (IAS) is the world's largest association of HIV professionals, with members from more than 180 countries. IAS members work on all fronts of the global response to AIDS, and include researchers, clinicians, policy and programme planners and public health and community practitioners on the frontlines of the epidemic.

The IAS organizes the world’s two most prestigious HIV conferences, each convened biennially in alternating years. The International AIDS Conference is the largest conference on any global health or development issue, and provides a unique forum for the intersection of science and advocacy. The IAS Conference on HIV Science brings together a broad cross section of HIV professionals and features the latest HIV science, with a focus on implementation – moving scientific advances into practice.

In addition, the IAS programmes advocate for urgent action to reduce the global impact of HIV, including increased investment in HIV cure research; optimizing treatment and care for infants, children and adolescents with HIV in resource-limited settings; preventing and treating HIV-related co-infections; and expanding access to prevention, treatment and care for key populations at higher risk for HIV – such as men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, sex workers and transgender individuals – including protecting their human rights by combatting punitive laws and discriminatory policies.

Details of Employment:
The Director, Conference position will be based in Geneva, Switzerland and report to the Executive Director. The position is open-ended and full-time to start as soon as possible.

Purpose of the Position:
The Director, Conference, a member of the IAS Senior Management team, will oversee the organization of both of IAS’ conferences: The International AIDS Conference and the IAS Conference on HIV Science.

Main Responsibilities:
  • Managing IAS’ convened conferences by: 
    • Guiding the location selection processes including bids, site visits, signing related contracts, including contracts with the city or government ministries 
    • Making strategic, evidence-based proposals/drafting concept notes to guide the direction of the conferences to maintain their best-in-class status 
    • Developing effective relationships with a variety of multidisciplinary external stakeholders including donors, government ministries. civil society organizations
    • Directing change management as needed related to new revenue sources, registration tiers, scholarship priorities, partnership models, governance structures and processes, etc. 
    • Understanding and proactively adapting processes and developing relationships as needed in shifting political, legal, and cultural contexts in country 
    • Identifying, addressing, and monitoring risks related to communicable disease, force majeure, cyberterrorism, terrorism, etc. 
    • Creating messaging for a variety of stakeholders relating to conference processes, resource allocation, etc.
    • Facilitating the work of several committees, to build the conference structure and framework and the programmatic content
    • Signing Memorandums of Understanding with conference partners; directing partnership funding and outreach plans
    • Developing, monitoring, presenting and evaluating the conference budgets, including expenditure and revenue
    • Supervising 12 – 18 staff working on the development of the conferences
    • Setting clear deadlines for all milestones related to the conferences and tracking adherence to those deadlines
    • Act as the principle point of contact for all high level VIP teams attending the conference by creating personalized detailed itineraries and liaising with local diplomatic and security agencies
    • Working closely with staff responsible for fundraising and communications for the conference
    • Working on grant applications, drafting, editing, suggesting strategies and ensuring compliance with grant requirements 
    • Ensuring the transparency of financial reporting and accountability to donors for the conferences with the support of the Development Director, the Director of
    • Ensuring smooth communications with major partners, stakeholders and IAS convened committees
    • Working with the Executive Director and Governing Council (GC) to ensure the
    • IAS’ perspective and priorities are reflected in the conference programme
    • Overseeing all on-site events and logistics for each conference 
  • Maintaining strong technical knowledge of issues related to HIV/AIDS and the HIV response
  • Serve as a strategic resource for the IAS Secretariat, the Executive Director, and the GC by participating in the development of the organizational strategic plan, providing monthly and as-needed updates on conference planning and facilitation, etc.
Perform any additional tasks requested by the Executive Director. 

Academic Qualifications: 
  • A university degree in the humanities or sciences is a minimum requirement 
  • An advanced degree in international relations, social science, political sciences or a related field is favorable.
Work Experience: 
  • At least 8 to 10 years’ experience in a similar role involving complex logistics, event management, and communications 
  • Experience in organizing events including conferences, seminars, workshops, meetings, committees or other events
  • Team and project management experience, including experience of budget management
  • Experience working with a diversity of stakeholders including high-level partners, clinicians, scientists, community activists, policymakers, and donors. 
  • Strong leadership and strategic thinking skills 
  • Close attention to detail that yields results that are accurate, well-thought out and meticulous
  • Sense of diplomacy and sensitivity in working with staff and partners
  • Cross-cultural interpersonal and political acumen skills
  • Ability to work efficiently under pressure with precision in a way that motivates others
  • Tested facilitation skills, business presentation skills
  • Fine-tuned team player
  • Events organization knowledge
  • Strong knowledge of HIV/AIDS preferably in an international context
  • Strong knowledge of the International AIDS Conference and its partners.
  • Fluency in English is required
  • Advanced level proficiency in French or Spanish is beneficial. 
How to Apply:
Interested and qualified candidates should send their CV and a cover letter, in English and by email only, to by Friday 21 September 2018.

Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Only candidates from Switzerland, from an EU/EFTA country or candidates already having a valid Swiss working permit will be considered.