Program Manager

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OrganizationMind and Life Institute
TypeFull Time
Application DeadlineJune 30, 2019
College Degree Required?Yes
Salary Range$49-60,000
Phone(434) 338-7380


For over 30 years, the Mind & Life Institute has been the driving force in creating and growing the contemplative sciences field. Beginning as a series of dialogues between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and leading Western scientists and scholars, Mind & Life has since expanded to become the leading convener, catalyst, and community builder in supporting contemplative research and bridging practice and real world applications.

The mission of the Mind & Life Institute is to alleviate suffering and promote human flourishing by integrating scientific inquiry with contemplative practices and the world’s wisdom traditions.

The Program Manager is responsible for overseeing the planning and content development, execution, and evaluation of assigned Mind & Life programs, both domestic and international, from initial planning phase through budget resolution and program evaluation.  This dynamic position works with many different groups including program planning committees, program faculty, cross-departmental Mind & Life staff, and outside vendors.


Job Duties

  • Manage selected programs from initial concept to onsite event operation, through post evaluation and archival process.
  • In collaboration with the Events & Logistics Manager and other staff, ensure all programming logistics are well coordinated, including site selection, coordinating faculty and staff travel, developing conference app for specific programs, and onsite AV needs, etc.
  • Oversee the program planning committees in developing themes, creating program layout, researching speakers, and generating content, including scheduling video call meetings, developing agendas, and maintaining minutes.
  • Develop and maintain detailed, clear, and efficient planning materials, including but not limited to organization-wide planning timelines, program schedules, and  day-of event plans.
  • Develop and maintain event budgets in coordination with the Events & Logistics Manager, including monitoring expenditures, noting significant variance from projected budget, and updating and communicating any changes in a timely manner.
  • Serve as the primary contact for presenters, program planning committee members, project coordinators, and participants, in regards to presentation requirements, program materials, and event schedules.
  • Collaborate with the Communications and IT teams to develop and execute event communications and marketing plans, website creation, and design of other printed and digital program media.
  • Travel 2-5 weeks per year for Mind & Life events.

Skills Required

  • Bachelor’s degree; advanced degree preferred in a field relevant to Mind & Life mission (e.g. Contemplative or Religious Studies, Neuroscience, Psychology, Humanities, Education, Sociology).  
  • 3+ years of program or project management experience.  Preferred in the academic or non-profit arena, may include managing a research lab.
  • Knowledge of Contemplative Studies/Science field.
  • Experience working with high profile individuals preferred.
  • High level of organizational and time management skills with the ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously with a keen attention to detail.
  • Excellent communication skills including interpersonal, written, verbal, listening and presentation, including aptitude within academic environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative, to create new plan of action and systems, and to work collaboratively.
  • Advanced proficiency with Microsoft Office and Google Drive required.  Experience with database management software and event planning platforms (Cvent and Salesforce preferred).
  • Global cultural orientation including familiarity and sensitivity in working with individuals from different cultures.
  • Excellent problem solving, analytical skills and proven ability to think critically.
  • Ability to main composure in difficult situations and to manage unexpected events and stressful onsite situations.
  • Strong commitment to organizational mission of the Mind & Life Institute.

Additional Info

Mind & Life is committed to building an inclusive community that integrates diversity of perspective and experience. We aim to maximize the benefits of diversity and to use diversity as a tool for enriching our organization and the field of contemplative research. We welcome candidates of all races, classes, genders, ages, religions, physical abilities, and sexual orientations.

Benefits Include: Health & Dental Insurance covered at 100% for employee and 50% for dependents, 403(b) Employee Deferral Plan, Profit Sharing Plan with 5% employer contribution, Disability Insurance, Professional Development, Paid & Retreat Time Off, Daily Group Meditation in dedicated contemplative room, modern office space and healthy work/life balance.

To Apply: Please submit cover letter and resume to using the subject line “Program Manager application”.

© Center for Nonprofit Excellence 2019

Contact Us

Center for Nonprofit Excellence
1701-A Allied Street
Charlottesville, VA 22903

Office Hours

Mon – Thurs: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Fri: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM