Programs Specialist

Job Type

Full Time




55000 Hwy 1
Big Sur
United States


Program Specialist

Come roll up your sleeves and level up the learning experience at Esalen.

At Esalen, we care about being present. We bring that to everything we do. We don’t just build a table, we build a work of art that’s also a table. We don’t just say hello, we make eye contact and listen with intention. We feel the same way about our team members - showing up in support of their full being. We offer great health care, access to workshops, and the space to do your personal and collective work.

We stand for supporting you to realize your potential.


The heart of Esalen’s mission is programming. It is through programming – the delivery of public courses and seminars, invitational conferences and conversations, staff education, internships, and other educational programs – that Esalen catalyzes and synergizes the new thinking and approaches that make its mission real. Every job and aspect of the department needs to be aware of and aligned with this larger mission.

This position plays a key role plays in supporting the organization’s reputation for offering strong program content while maintaining high standards and learning environments. Your primary responsibility is to hold and support new and existing faculty relationships, and guide each workshop through its lifecycle from recruitment to evaluation. This is a full-time exempt position and reports to the Director of Programs. This position requires on-campus presence with faculty and departmental colleagues. Attendance at faculty arrival receptions held Friday and Sunday evenings is required.

What will this role do?

  • Research potential workshops/conferences
  • Review unsolicited proposals and make follow up recommendations
  • Contribute to new and unique faculty/workshop/strategic partnership identification and development
  • Contribute to the scheduling process of returning and new faculty
  • Prioritize and manage faculty relations: supervise between 100-150 faculty a year, responsible for faculty support needs throughout workshop lifecycle, serve as faculty’s primary contact at Esalen
  • Ensure faculty are set up for success before arrival, meet with faculty upon arrival, and check in throughout stay; follow up once program is concluded; troubleshoot support issues as they arise
  • Work with coordinator to successfully qualify workshops for continuing education
  • Support catalog production cycle
  • Adhere to production timelines
  • Support catalog needs such creating write ups/bios, obtaining faculty photos, etc
  • Identify high impact programs and marketing strategies
  • Support organization’s operational needs
  • Act as a programming liaison between presenters and internal departments; work on obtaining departmental support for successful operational execution
  • Ensure operations has necessary information needed to create reservation database, online reservation web pages, contracts, and and other execution details that ensure successful event delivery
  • Ensure workshop and faculty are being correctly represented in catalog/online/ and with seminarians
  • Responsible for overseeing faculty and support team housing and meeting room allocations
  • Monitor, review, and modify enrollment targets - assist with resolving low enrollment, over enrollment and/or cancelations
  • Ensure faculty receive feedback; review and address concerns, report on success level to program team and organization
  • Monitor workshops and ensure teaching and content quality is maintained; provide leadership and best practices mentoring when needed
  • Assist in developing Experiential Program and community offerings (lecturettes and open classes)
  • Report on metrics at regular intervals
  • Complete other projects and tasks when assigned

Qualifications + Requirements + Skills

  • Experience with Esalen or a like-minded organization is essential as well as some interest in participating in a business/community model
  • Proven understanding of and commitment to personal growth and social change
  • Demonstrated history of developing, cultivating and maintaining strong interpersonal relationships with faculty, clients, partnerships, etc.
  • Minimum of 3 years direct experience in working with personal growth content/curriculum
  • Ideal candidate will hold an existing network in this field
  • Possesses a demonstrated ability to recognize and develop workshops, conferences, and events in alignment with Esalen’s mission
  • Awareness of trends and emerging content 
  • Demonstrated history of creative program development AND hands on execution
  • Proven understanding of budgets, revenue generating programming, and opportunity/risk analysis
  • Critical thinking and good judgment
  • Ability to see the big picture and how the individual pieces interact with each other
  • Knack for assessing many diverse needs at once and creative problem solving
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to work in partnership with the rest of the organizational departments
  • Deep understanding of the operational process is necessary
  • Ability to act as a liaison between the creative and realistic tensions is invaluable
  • High attention to detail – precise, accurate, organized and multitask with ease is essential
  • Knowledge of Excel, Word, Macintosh operating systems, CRMs, and database technology as well as skills in web-based applications (such as Google Drive) is necessary 
  • Metric reporting experience and competency
  • A genuine willingness, ability, and appreciation for carrying out administrative tasks
  • Ability to write and communicate effectively (oral and written) with an upbeat attitude is essential
  • Strong commitment to Esalen’s mission and the desire to support others in finding and engaging in transformational experiences, as well as being in service to our faculty
  • Excited to deliver the best possible customer service to our faculty, our guests and our staff
  • Proven history of successful service orientation is required
  • Ability to keep calm, stay centered and bring perspective into a situation
  • Strong discernment, leadership and decision making ability 

Physical Requirements:

While performing the duties of this job, the employee must be able to maneuver on uneven ground, sit for long periods of time, occasionally carry and lift up to 25 pounds, and be able perform daily repetitive hand motions as it pertains to computer mouse and keyboard. 


The pay for this position is commensurate with experience. This role includes a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, and paid time off. Esalen gives teammates access to an extensive range of daily experiential classes (yoga, dance, tai chi, and meditation), ongoing in-house education and training programs, and scholarship for Esalen workshops and massage.

Esalen provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetics, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

No requirement