Senior Director, Custom Programs - Wharton Executive Education

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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 D

Job Description Summary
Senior Director, Custom Programs, within the Custom Team, collaborates with faculty and clients in designing, developing and delivering high quality customized executive education programs as measured by participant evaluations, faculty and client feedback, and external rankings. The Senior Director, along with the Managing Director, are responsible for the program P&L thereby assuming responsibility for program profitability.

The Senior Director is accountable for understanding and assessing client needs, ensuring a high quality of instruction that delivers on those needs, responding to client questions and concerns, and resolving problems. Important to the position is understanding blended learning journeys including In-person, Online and Virtual programming, along with experiential learning. After a program concludes, he/she is expected to determine client satisfaction and solicit suggestions for improving the program. He/she is also responsible and accountable for overseeing the introduction of the latest Wharton innovations.

The Senior Director is responsible for client retention and satisfaction. The Senior Director will work with the Managing Director to ensure strengthening and enhancing client relationships resulting in multi-year engagements and higher value engagements. The Senior Director will collaborate with colleagues from the Business Development Team on new proposals and presentations both in-person and remotely. Once business is sold/retained, he/she will work collaboratively with clients and Wharton faculty to develop robust solutions, design customized curricula that enhances the learning experience of the executive education audience, identify program faculty, and incorporate appropriate post-program follow-up initiatives to ensure program satisfaction. Assessing outcomes such as but not limited to participants' success in application of program tools/knowledge is critical.

The Senior Director manages a high volume of programs in an assigned portfolio, and ensures learning objectives are met. To accomplish this, the Senior Director will understand the client's needs, be thoroughly knowledgeable about the faculty and resources available to Wharton Executive Education, and design and deliver unique, targeted, impactful solutions to accomplish agreed upon client objectives. This includes developing relationships with faculty, and cultivating new Wharton/Penn faculty, new instructors, and senior executives (when needed) for Executive Education programs.

This position requires matrixed oversight of each program's Delivery Team.

Job Description
  • Understand the needs of corporate clients. Work collaboratively with clients and Wharton faculty to develop robust solutions, design customized curricula, and identify appropriate internal/external Wharton faculty to ensure learning objectives are met. Ensure high quality customer experience throughout the learning journey (pre, during and post program) across his/her portfolio.
  • Cultivate and deepen relationships with all clients to ensure satisfaction and retention. Deepen relationships by identifying needs for new custom programs for clients and utilize the breadth of the divisions programs (OE, Online and Live). Collaborate with Business Development to enhance the relationship.
  • Design and oversee implementation of appropriate post-program follow up to measure client's satisfaction and their ability to apply learning solutions. Actively engage in follow-up practices with program participants, client representatives, program sponsors, and faculty.
  • Demonstrate financial acumen, and be responsible for assuring targeted contribution to the profitability of the department through active P&L measurement.
  • Manage the effort of the Delivery Team to ensure that all logistical issues for all programs are delivered with exceptional customer service for client and faculty. Provide post-program feedback to Delivery Team.
  • Collaborate with colleagues from the Business Development Team on new proposals and presentations, and contribute to development of pre-program P&L's, as needed.
  • Serve as an advocate and role model in using the latest technology in designing and delivering executive education programs; keep current on developments (business and executive development issues).
  • Become proficient in all current and future office processes and administrative systems, which support scheduling, faculty compensation, and client management (e.g. CRM/Salesforce, Engage, DocuSign, etc.).


Bachelor's degree and 7-10 years' experience required or equivalent combination of education and experience. Master's degree in a related field highly preferred. Experience in designing educational solutions preferably in a high-end solutions environment or higher education, academic environment. Experience in consultative selling and adult learning theory and practices highly desirable. Relevant experience and deep knowledge of at least one corporate sector such as financial services, health care, manufacturing, energy, technology or consumer products.

Main Tasks:
  • Maintain Wharton as a leader of innovative and financially successful executive education programs through a proven track record of designing innovative educational program solutions for senior leaders in global companies and suggesting improvements to programs and processes.
  • Collaborate with clients to evaluate their learning needs.
  • Proven success in completing needs assessments to identify specific business and/or organizational issues and challenges to be addressed, and design a solution to be presented in an educational format.
  • Ability to analyze and understand international and domestic business trends and the concerns of executives.
  • Demonstrate innovative approaches to educational and management problems, including electronic media.
  • Work independently and effectively to design, manage, and deliver a high volume of programs in assigned portfolio that provides sophisticated educational solutions to business challenges of executives and corporations over time.
  • Collaborate with Vice Dean, Managing Directors, Senior Director and Business Development Team in support of developing proposals and RFPs.

Expected Skills and Behavior:
  • Willingness to develop an in-depth understanding of Wharton and external faculty areas of expertise.
  • Experienced, skilled, highly effective professional and leader to represent WEE in client-facing settings and through written communications.
  • Action-oriented, results-driven approach, Self-starter and proven ability to work autonomously as well as collaboratively as a member of a program/project team in a fast-paced, results-driven environment.
  • Strategic-thinking partner with demonstrated personal strengths that contribute to building a strong, dynamic and unified organization.
  • Financial acumen P&L experience. Responsible for assuring positive contribution to the profitability of the department through cost management.
  • Experience utilizing Salesforce. Strong understanding of metrics and dashboards.
  • Ability to negotiate complex and difficult environments.
  • Ability and willingness to travel internationally and domestically.
  • Ability and willingness 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
$88,861.00 - $142,178.33

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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