SVP, Member Meetings and Professional Development

Washington D.C.
commensurate with experience + benefits
May 04, 2017
Jun 08, 2017
Full Time

SVP, Member Meetings and Professional Development
Washington, D.C.

About ULI

The Urban Land Institute is the preeminent multidisciplinary real estate organization, facilitating open exchange of ideas, knowledge and experience among local, national and international industry leaders and policymakers dedicated to creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Structured as a 501(c) (3), nonprofit, member-driven research and education organization, the Institute has more than 40,000 global members representing the entire spectrum of land use and real estate development disciplines, both in private enterprise and public service.

ULI’s strength comes from the collective intellectual capital and diverse on-the-ground experience of its membership. Members include real estate developers, builders, owners, investors, architects, public officials, planners, brokers, appraisers, attorneys, engineers, financiers, and academics. For these diverse constituents, ULI provides various educational programs, publications, forums and meetings, applied research, and advisory services.

ULI’s culture is focused on providing exceptional benefit to the member by leveraging its collective intellectual and experiential capital. The strength and value of the organization is deeply tied to connections made between members at all levels; ULI delivers its mission by inspiring, informing, and mobilizing its membership to improve the practices and policies that drive effective land use and urban development.

The work of ULI centers around five “pillars” or primary areas of programmatic emphasis: housing and communities, real estate investment and finance, sustainability, building successful cities and regions, and the practice of real estate development. For more about ULI, including a full list of employee benefits please, visit


The Opportunity 

One of the primary offerings of ULI’s program is our highly-regarded Spring and Fall Meetings and our professional development program. These offer our members the opportunity to connect with one another, learn from industry leaders and other luminaries, and build new networks and skills. ULI’s members work with staff to design and develop the programming for these major industry gatherings.

The primary role of the SVP is to lead this important function, to oversee the development and implementation of programs that deliver a great member experience, that interest and engage attendees, that reinforce ULI’s meetings brand as a content-rich, must-attend forum for the industry, and that advance ULI’s mission. This is accomplished in association with teams of volunteer members, internal executives, and professional staff. An important part of the job is the ability to successfully work across multiple networks and stakeholder groups. The successful candidate will be adept at managing multiple internal and external priorities while engaging and motivating members.

The SVP position provides general oversight and ultimate responsibility for ULI’s annual Fall Meeting (6,500+ attendees and gross registration revenues of $7 million+) and Spring Meeting (3,000+ attendees and gross registration revenues of $2.5 million+). The role will oversee and manage the meeting budget development and monitoring. This position also oversees ULI’s Professional Development program, which reaches more than 2,000 members each year and contributes gross revenues of $635k annually.

This position reports to the CEO of the Americas. This role works within the ULI Americas region, which constitutes the United States, Canada, and Mexico, where ULI currently has active programs and local networks. About 85 percent of ULI’s members are currently based in the Americas region. The position oversees the Vice President, Program Development, and Vice President, Professional Development.

The successful candidate will be well versed in building strong relationships with leaders, senior executives, colleagues, vendors and partner organizations. These relationships are critical to the success of the events and allows ULI to create the best “take-home value” for its members. Events should be state of the art, exciting, innovative and creative and set ULI events apart from other industry meetings. 

In addition to ULI’s flagship Fall and Spring events, the SVP will be responsible for overseeing and expanding the professional development program. Additionally, each year ULI holds several focused meetings for its leadership (Trustees, major donors, leaders of our member networks.) The successful candidate will play a critical role in the development of these programs, focusing on thought leadership opportunities for ULI’s most senior members. 

The SVP will work closely and collaboratively across departments including ULI’s logistics, marketing, sponsorship, and customer services teams. On an ongoing basis, the SVP will coordinate and communicate with staff of other ULI teams including the Executive Office (including the regional CEOs), Development, Content, Membership and Marketing, ULI Foundation, and Business Operations).

This role will provide oversight and support to two important member committees. The ULI Program Committee works to identify and develop appropriate themes, agendas, topics, and speakers. The local Host Committee for each Spring and Fall meeting is responsible for ensuring that each event tells the most compelling land-use and urban development stories, utilizes the most vibrant venues of the host region, and attracts the support and participation of local leaders.


Year One Expectations

During their first year, the successful candidate must oversee the delivery of the two signature events, participate with others to support various other leadership meetings, and build collaborative relationships with members, stakeholders and colleagues on the staff. They will also evaluate the department staffing structure and determine how to best use existing resources as well as leverage other internal resources as necessary. As part of ULI’s annual planning and budgeting cycle, the SVP will lead the creation of member-responsive strategies for the meetings function and will develop business plans and budgets to support their execution.

Professional Skills and Qualifications

  • The SVP will have demonstrated the ability to engage with a wide variety of stakeholders, both internal and external to ULI. They will be able to build strong working relationships with members to refine and implement a member-focused vision for the events.
  • Candidates should possess polished executive skills including vision, strategic thinking, consensus building, ability to read an audience, decisiveness, and authenticity.
  • Minimum of 10 years of highly relevant experience including senior level management role in a sophisticated and complex matrix environment that includes creating provocative, innovative, and engaging member gatherings and educational opportunities that are of high quality and innovative. Experience leading, strategizing and overseeing large-scale productions, meetings or programs either in a nonprofit or corporate setting.
  • Experience in an executive capacity within real estate, corporate, consulting or a nonprofit/membership association (501c3) of comparable size, strongly preferred.
  • Knowledge of ULI’s membership, program of work and content, Product Council and District/National Council programs preferred.
  • Demonstrated critical thinking and honed intellectual skills, advanced degree highly desired.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with a willingness to share information and the ability to communicate plans and outcomes at all levels of the organization. The ability to act as the spokesperson for meetings and programs - both internally and externally.
  • Superior leadership, management, budgetary, and interpersonal skills that include team management and mentorship.
  • Excellent creative and problem-solving skills that include working in a complex environment with multiple priorities.
  • Understanding of how a nonprofit operates strongly preferred.


To Apply

Expand HR Consulting,, has been retained to assist ULI with this search. To apply, please send a letter of interest and resume to Erica Thomas, Senior Consultant,, subject line “SVP, Member Meetings and Professional Development.” A list of ULI’s employee benefits can be found at EOE/m/f/d/v

Similar jobs