Open Position: Head of Public Programs

The Head of Public Programs (HPP) is responsible for overseeing all event activities at swissnex San Francisco and creating meaningful public programs that foster exchanges and connections between the Swiss and Bay Area innovation ecosystems. In collaboration with the swissnex team and external partners, the HPP will design and fundraise for a public program that reflects and caters to the organization’s greater strategic goals, and present swissnex in an imaginative, interdisciplinary, and innovative way.

Key responsibilities include: generating program ideas and overseeing event and exhibition creation; building event partnerships, including securing funding for public programs; overseeing partner and “hosted events” (like event rentals with external partners); setting and monitoring quality and impact assessment standards for events; and budgeting and planning.

We are looking for an outgoing and well-networked individual with strong interdisciplinary connections to Switzerland and the Bay Area in science, technology, design and the arts. We need an active leader with constant enthusiasm for the “new” who can identify technology trends, ideas, and projects early on. The position provides the opportunity to be part of a creative, dynamic, and innovative organization and team; to expand your network, skills and update your knowledge by participating in events and conferences; to meet key players from diverse industries and backgrounds; and to contribute to a flourishing know-how transfer between some of the most promising minds from Switzerland and the US.

Projected start date: September, 2017


Key Tasks and Responsibilities:

  • Research and develop engaging, mission-aligned public programs that reflect swissnex’s strategic goals, while also helping to define overall swissnex strategy and vision.
  • Coordinate, manage, and moderate a wide range of events and exhibitions, from multi-day symposiums, workshops, and short talks to performances and networking parties. Build partnerships and sponsorships in the Bay Area and Switzerland to co-organize events, share audiences, insights, and resources, and grow networks. Attend external events, conferences, and meetings.
  • Mentor and collaborate with one direct report, the Head of Exhibitions. Assess future staffing needs and make recommendations for the department.
  • Act as swissnex’s focal point for all event activities. Manage internal and external event requests. Coordinate event-related meetings with cross-functional teams. Create and manage event budgets and project requests.
  • Analyze target audiences and develop appropriate outreach strategies. Partner with the Marketing & Communications team on event promotion. Partner with the Operations team on events production.
  • Work closely with relevant team members to define event objectives, ensure proper follow-up and monitor quality and impact of public programs.
  • Research new subjects, themes, and trends, and package them not only in the form of public programs but also into blog posts and articles, in collaboration with the Marketing & Communications team.


To be successful, you must be:

  • Outgoing, resourceful, creative, visionary leader
  • Independent, self-motivated, adaptable, and flexible
  • Avid networker and connector
  • Hands-on, proactive team player
  • Enthusiastic public speaker and writer
  • Passionate about technology


Required Experience and Skills:

  • Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent work experience in science, technology, and communications
  • At least 3-5 years’ experience in events organization and/or project management
  • Strong network in Switzerland, deep knowledge of Swiss innovation ecosystem required
  • Strong network in the Bay Area, a plus
  • Excellent people, leadership, and management skills
  • Familiarity with, and strong interest in, the latest tech trends and ideas
  • Experience in project fundraising
  • Excellent English communication skills (spoken and written)
  • One Swiss national language required (German, French, or Italian), a second one is a big plus
  • Demonstrated ability to multi-task and manage and prioritize time

Note: due to our legal status as an annex of the Swiss Consulate, applicants must either be Swiss citizens or residents or US citizens or residents. No exceptions.

We Offer:

  • A full-time position; start date ideally September 1, 2017
  • Compensation range $75K-100K depending on experience and country of residence for tax purposes, plus 4 weeks’ vacation,12+ annual holidays, sick leave, employer-matched 401(K) for those with a US tax obligation, medical and dental insurance
  • A multi-cultural, fast-paced, interdisciplinary, and team-oriented work environment
  • Beautiful location at the end of Pier 17, next to the Exploratorium


To Apply:

Interested candidates please apply as soon as possible. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, and the position will remain open until filled. The position was posted on June 28, 2017. Apply


About swissnex:

swissnex San Francisco connects the dots between Switzerland and North America in science, education, art, and innovation. We seek out possibilities for the future through an interdisciplinary program of events, exhibitions, study tours, trend scouting and startup acceleration. We are a platform for innovation that brings together partners from universities, startups, creatives, and entrepreneurs in a shared co-working community.

swissnex San Francisco is an initiative of Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation and is managed in cooperation with the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs.