Senior Director, Custom Programs - Wharton Executive Education

Senior Director, Custom Programs - Wharton Executive Education

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America's Best Employers By State in 2021.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

COVID-19 vaccination is a requirement for all positions at the University of Pennsylvania. New hires are expected to be fully vaccinated before beginning work at the University. For more information about Penn's vaccine requirements and the use of Penn Open Pass, visit the Penn COVID-19 Response website for the latest information.

Posted Job Title
Senior Director, Custom Programs - Wharton Executive Education

Job Profile Title
Director E

Job Description Summary
The Senior Director, Custom Programs leads, manages and develops a team of directors who collaborate with faculty and the clients in designing, developing, and delivering high-quality customized executive education programs as measured by participant's evaluations, client's feedback, fit to Exec Ed's strengths and external rankings. The Senior Director is directly responsible for client retention and P&L, thereby assuming overall financial responsibility for programs in her/his Team's portfolio to assure the appropriate contribution to the profitability of the division, including managing costs. The Senior Director is directly responsible for a portfolio of strategic clients.

Throughout the program experience, the Senior Director and his/her Team members, along with Business Development partners are accountable for understanding and assessing client needs, working with faculty to ensure a high quality of instruction that delivers on those needs, responding to client questions and concerns, and resolving problems to the satisfaction of the client. Immediately after a program concludes, he/she is expected to determine client satisfaction and solicit suggestions, if any, for improving the program. He/she is also responsible and accountable for overseeing a consistent approach to post-program follow up, outcome measurement, and reporting.

He/She is accountable for client retention and satisfaction. He/she is responsible for assessing client executive development needs and for designing programs that help clients develop solutions that satisfy their needs. The Senior Director and his/her Team will take the lead in maintaining and fostering these client relationships resulting in multi-year relationships. The Senior Director is expected to work closely with his/her counterparts in Business Development to develop proposals and to build, cultivate, and deepen client relationships by generating new custom business as well as open enrollment business from existing clients.

The Senior Director will work closely with Wharton and Penn standing faculty, other instructors if needed, and industry speakers to help them understand the client's needs as well as program requirements unique to the client. He/she is expected to be knowledgeable about the teaching experience, professional interests, and preferred teaching methods. The Senior Director is also expected to develop a relationship with Wharton/Penn faculty, other instructors when needed, and industry speakers that encourages and promotes their involvement in program design, including needs assessment when necessary. The Senior Director will work collaboratively with the Managing Director to diversify the faculty pool by including new Wharton/Penn standing faculty and speakers from the industry in their programs.

The Senior Director must have demonstrated ability and willingness to work with ease across cultures and geographies and be willing to travel as needed.

Job Description

Quality Management
  • Work collaboratively with clients to understand their business dynamics and their development needs, more broadly, as well as specific to the program being designed. Identify specific issues to be addressed in program design and delivery.
  • Ensure high-quality customer experience throughout the learning journey (pre, during and post program) across his/her portfolio, as well as the larger Team portfolio as measured by participants' evaluation, clients' feedback, and external rankings.
  • Review all program evaluations and oversee consistent practice of disseminating those evaluations to key stakeholders. When necessary, act quickly to understand issues/problems raised by the evaluations, and initiate corrective actions to reaffirm Wharton's commitment to client satisfaction.
  • Design and oversee a consistent approach to post-program follow up and outcome measurement for each program in the Team's portfolio.
  • Assume overall financial responsibility for programs in her/his Team's portfolio to assure the appropriate contribution to the profitability of the department, including managing costs.
  • Assist BD/Managing Director on contracts and pre-program P&Ls. Work with Team members to assure they develop a solid understanding of steps for estimating revenues and expenses, and for developing budgets that assure adequate profitability. Coordinate with Operations Team on contract execution and invoice generation.

Stakeholder Management
  • Develop and maintain relationships with key client contacts (client representatives, program sponsors, and other senior executives in the client's organization) based on trust and honest feedback. Be responsible and accountable for renewing business with existing clients. Deepen relationships with existing clients by marketing open enrollment programs and identifying opportunities for additional custom programs.
  • Partner with colleagues in Business Development to inform them of client developments and possibility of new programs. Collaborate with Business Development Team to develop proposals to market and negotiate new programs for existing and/or new Clients. Participate with BD Team in BD presentations to clients when relevant.
  • Develop effective working relationships with Wharton and Penn faculty, other instructors, and external speakers.

  • Provide leadership and oversight to a team of program directors, program managers, and program coordinators who collaborate in designing, developing, and delivering high-quality executive education programs.
  • Collaborate with other Team leaders and with Team members to determine appropriate goals and performance measures. Ensure that Team members know what is expected and how their performance will be evaluated.
  • Responsible for the development and career progress of Team members. Provide encouragement and timely, constructive feedback to support Team members in the continued development of their capabilities. Create a continuous learning environment.
  • Leverage strengths of Team members as needed (in the form of SME, product specialist, etc.).

  • Track all activity in CRM.
  • Lead and manage the assigned members of the Delivery Team during program runnings.
  • Participate in regularly scheduled Team meetings. Interface with other Team members to ensure full support of strategic priorities. Share best practices.

Professional Development
  • Work with the Managing Director to determine appropriate performance goals and measures.
  • Serve at all times as a professional and knowledgeable representative of Wharton Executive Education.
  • Maintain a working knowledge of developments and trends in executive education. Communicate with all colleagues on competitive intelligence and share best practices adopted by other leading providers of executive education.

Perform additional duties as assigned.

QUALIFICATIONS: Master's degree in a related field and a minimum of 10 years of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience is required. Experience in designing educational solutions preferably in a high-end solutions environment or higher education, academic environment. Understanding of the sales and business development cycles and experience.
  • Demonstrated track record of designing innovative educational solutions for senior leaders in global companies. Work with Custom Team members to create and implement a portfolio of programs and services that provide sophisticated educational solutions to business challenges of executives and corporations.
  • Proven success in completing needs assessments. Collaborate with clients to evaluate their learning needs. Identify specific business and/or organizational issues and challenges to be addressed, and design a solution to be presented in an educational format.
  • Financial acumen and ability to understand and manage complex financial models. Assume overall financial responsibility for programs to assure the appropriate contribution to the profitability of the department, including managing costs and ensuring accurate pricing. Coordinate efforts with the Finance staff.
  • Experienced, skilled, highly effective leader who is able to motivate and manage a diverse staff through outstanding verbal and written communications. Must have demonstrated personal strengths that contribute to building a strong, dynamic and unified organization. Ability to design, manage, and lead teams and individuals and to manage multiple priorities and projects.
  • Maintain Wharton as a leader of innovative and financially successful programs by designing innovative programs and products to expand Wharton's markets, and developing analytical processes to measure the investment returns for Executive Education clients and the participants. Suggest improvements to programs and processes.
  • Collaborate with Managing Director and Business Development Team in support of developing proposals and RFPs.
  • Work with Team members to renew existing clients.
  • Experience utilizing business development, sales, or other CRM systems, and the ability to develop and drive metrics and dashboards. Action-oriented, results-driven approach to a professional team.
  • Independent, self-confident and highly credible in representing WEE. Proven ability to work within a team
  • Ability to negotiate complex and difficult environments.
  • A proven ability to foresee, analyze, and understand international and domestic business trends and the concerns of executives. Be innovative in approaches to educational and management problems, including blended formats incorporating synchronous and asynchronous learning and simulations.
  • Ability to travel internationally and domestic.
  • Must be able to work in a fast-paced, results-oriented environment.
  • Ability to work non-traditional hours, including weekends, early mornings and late evenings as needed.

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
Wharton School

Pay Range
$108,411.00 - $173,457.66

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits
  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family-whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement-and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

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