Jobs at OSA

OSA Careers

OSA is a great place to work! With its attractive benefits package, community atmosphere and stimulating environment, the Society offers diverse and challenging opportunities for personal and professional growth. OSA fosters a productive environment in which all employees are valued as a vital part of the Society and deliver quality service to external and internal community, in compliance with all legal requirements.

To apply for a position, please send resume and cover letter to or fax them to +1 202.223.1096.

Current Employment Opportunities

Chief Communications Officer
Chief Meetings & Industry Officer
Sales Manager, Industry Relations
Senior Meetings Program Manager


Chief Communications Officer

The Optical Society is recruiting for a Chief Communications Officer (CCO) who will develop and implement an exceptional communications plan for The Optical Society (OSA), directly managing communications activities that promote, enhance, and protect the organization’s messages and brand. The individual will be an ambassador for the organization and will build relationships with the volunteers and stakeholders across the globe, as well as with other members of the OSA Executive Team to ensure consistent branding, messaging and advocacy. The goal is to advance the organization’s position and visibility with relevant constituents, as well as to drive broader awareness and donor/financial support for OSA and the value and benefits of optics and photonics.  The CCO serves as an active member of the Executive Team and works collaboratively across OSA to complete projects and meet/exceed goals.
Communications Strategy, Vision, and Leadership
Lead, direct, manage, monitor, and evaluate OSA Communications activities focused on internal and external relations to support OSA’s mission and enhance OSA’s reputation.  Develop and implement an integrated strategic communications plan to advance OSA’s brand identity; broaden awareness of its programs and initiatives; and increase the visibility of its programs across key stakeholder audiences.  Identify challenges and emerging issues faced by the organization. Work with Executive Team and staff to recognize internal and external communications opportunities and solutions, and define and execute appropriate strategies to support them. Provide input to the strategic planning process.

Organizational Branding and Marketing

Serve as principal convener of OSA Branding and Marketing Steering Committee composed of individuals from appropriate OSA divisions (Publishing, Meetings and Industry, Membership, Foundation, etc.). Work collaboratively with units and outside consultants as needed to develop and maintain a comprehensive branding strategy, updating current brand guidelines, creating templates for use, empowering units to be creative, and auditing their usage. The Steering Committee will be responsible for ensuring compliance with branding guidelines and messages throughout the organization in a consistent manner. The Steering Committee will also be responsible for ensuring that marketing and communications efforts throughout the organization are consistent in extending the OSA brand and logo.
OSA Digital Platforms
Serve as principal convener of Steering Committee composed of individuals from appropriate OSA divisions (IT, Publishing, Meetings and Industry, Membership, Foundation, etc.) to ensure optimal visibility, timeliness, and consistent messaging on and its constituent websites. Working with IT and outside consultants as needed, oversee, overhaul and redesign of and updates to Oversee video content strategy and creation across OSA platforms for brand, tone and voice.

Public Relations
Ensure effective development, implementation, and evaluation of public relations plans for individual programs.  Initiate proactive focus on positioning OSA and evaluation of efforts and modification based on assessment. Work with individual OSA divisions to develop social media guidelines and monitor compliance with guidelines. Ensure that all opportunities for the CEO, Executive Team and Officers are fully vetted.  Draft materials for the CEO and officers of OSA as needed, including speeches, messages, columns, presentations, and introductions. Use various forms of video to create engaging stories which align with our brand values and goals.
Internal Communications
Develop and deliver an annual internal communications strategy, with goals of promoting strategy and brand awareness and inspiring employee engagement across the company. Strategically manage and partner with key stakeholders with content development and programming across communication delivery channels including intranet, all staff meetings, events, webcasts, digital communications and email distribution. Work with highly confidential materials across a wide spectrum of constituencies and coordinate multiple projects simultaneously. Establish, interpret and recommend communications for company-wide policies and practices. Collaborate with PR Director to anticipate and manage internal and external crisis communications.
  1. Oversee special projects/initiatives as requested
  2. Liaise with teams and organization for crisis management
  3. Oversee, coach, and mentor staff by challenging, motivating, and promoting their professional development through goal-setting and effective evaluations
  4. Anticipate operational needs and plan accordingly for appropriate staffing, costs, and efficient operations
  5. Establish policies and procedures for communications and ensure the development of operational guidelines as needed
  1. Master’s degree required; candidates with relevant experience will be given priority
  2. Fifteen years’ professional work experience in progressively more responsible roles in external and internal communications, branding, including at least five years professional work experience in project management and proven supervisory experience
  3. Experience working with a volunteer, governance-driven science-based organization (i.e., professional & individual membership); priority will be given to candidates who have worked in scientific/engineering nonprofit organizations and scientific/engineering societies
  4. Experience with a fast-paced office environment and shifting priorities
  5. Strong record of accomplishment of high integrity, sound judgment, confidentiality, and discretion
  1. Strong interpersonal skills, including ability to operate diplomatically, effectively, and collegially with volunteers, members, customers, colleagues, and staff
  2. Outstanding leadership; oral and communication skills
  3. Ability to lead by example, develop and challenge staff, and develop effective teams
  4. Innovative and resourceful problem-solving ability, focus, and initiative
  5. Ability to see the “big picture,” think strategically, synthesize large amounts of data and information, and draw appropriate conclusions
  6. Excellent planning and project management skills, with a keen attention to prioritization, execution, deadlines, and efficiency
  7. Excellent financial skills from developing and managing budgets to analyzing return on investment, explaining variances, writing budget narratives, and making projections
  8. Ability to adapt to a rapidly changing situation/fast paced environment
  9. Ability to travel domestically and internationally
Located in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC, OSA offers a competitive salary and excellent benefits. Please send your resume and cover letter with salary requirements to


Chief Meetings & Industry Officer

The Optical Society (OSA) is recruiting for a Chief Meetings & Industry Officer (CMIO). The CMIO works with the CEO and related governance to develop the vision and set the strategic priorities for the management of all meetings, exhibitions, and OIDA (OSA’s Industry Development Associates) membership and OIDA related programs. The CMIO is responsible for ensuring the planning, implementation, success and evaluation of programs and products within the meetings and industry portfolios. As a member of the OSA Executive Team, the CMIO partners with other Division heads on overlapping goals and initiatives.   OSA Science Advisors, who are responsible for OSA’s scientific content, support and partner with the CMIO.  
1. Strategic Planning, Vision, and Leadership 

Collaborate with the CEO in developing and implementing OSA’s overall meetings and industry vision and strategies for achieving the vision. Effectively organizes and interprets data (including internal content, competitive and comparative) to understand and gain from trends, leading to improvements, both financial and non-financial. Identifies and recommends new business development opportunities, new technological solutions, product/program opportunities, and monitors and adjusts OSA’s lines of business to react to market changes. Maintains rich and relevant content in programs while continually searching for more effective delivery and greatest impact. 
Develops specific strategic plans for each of the below listed areas and, with support and direction from the CEO, advisory committees and key stakeholders, creates the specific goals, tactics, and implementation plans in order for these programs to expand successfully:
  1. OIDA membership and corporate industry programs
  2. Meetings and Exhibitions Portfolio
  3. OSA managed events: OFC and CLEO, co-sponsored conf. of 15K and 4K attendees, respectively
2. Meetings and Industry Division Operations 

Oversees and leads a staff of 30+ who plan and successfully execute OSA’s exhibitions, scientific congresses, topical meetings & conferences (ranging from 40-60, for an annual attendance of 22K), and OIDA membership (280) and Corporate Industry programs to benefit the Society. Works with staff to provide high-level project oversight, approving project scope, budget, and deliverables within the department. Anticipates operational needs and identifies growth opportunities. Together with the CEO establishes and monitors progress against program and organizational metrics and milestones. Advises the Board as needed on Department activities, initiatives, goals and outputs. Specifically, these duties and responsibilities encompass the following:
  1. Sets and implements through staff, Policies and Procedures for on-going implementation of all Meeting, Exhibition, and Corporate Membership/Programs, including Meeting R&Rs for committee management. Develops, ensures implementation, and enforces the use of systems that facilitate smooth work flow, equitable and efficient work allocation, quality control, monitoring and evaluation, and communication within and among programs and with other OSA departments.
  2. Designs/introduces performance-based metrics to gauge success and encourage fact-based decision-making.
  3. Develops and manages financial responsibilities, including budgets and related assumptions, monthly review of financial statements, estimates, cost/benefits analysis, and other non-dollar benchmarking for Meetings portfolio and OIDA/Corporate Program budgets.
  4. Oversees technical, scientific paper peer-review process from submission through the completed, printed document (Calls for Paper, Advance Programs, and Technical Digest).
  5. Assures abstract and peer review process is conducted in a coordinated, systematic and timely process.
  6. Manage risk by overseeing contract negotiations with hotels, convention centers and facilities, airlines, travel agents, food and beverage vendors, typesetters, printers, audio-visual and other service suppliers. Obtain appropriate conference insurance policies and approves contracts as appropriate under OSA contract and policies guidelines.
  7. Direct efficient, customer-focused registrations systems and procedures.
3. Marketing and Sales 

Oversees the development and implementation of marketing programs to promote each meeting and Corporate Membership/Program. Works with Exhibit, Sponsorship, and Corporate Membership Sales team to ensure revenue goals are appropriately set and measures are in place to track progress and ensure we reach quarterly, monthly and annual targets. Leads ongoing market and competitive education of sales and marketing teams to ensure they have enough content knowledge to effectively promote division’s products and programs. Leads efforts to continuously improve targeting and market penetration of OSA’s Meetings and Industry programs.
 4. Committee, Volunteer, and Co-sponsor/Partner Engagement
Enhances communication with OSA leadership to assure appropriate scheduling and coordination of meeting activities with staff and volunteer groups (technical program and steering committees, officers, and board of directors).  Holds primary responsibility through dept. Sr. staff liaisons for administration and implementation of the following committees and their leadership engagement: OSA Meetings Council, OSA Board of Meetings, OFC Steering and LRP (Long Range Planning), CLEO Steering and JCA (Joint Council on Applications), OIDA Council, Meeting program and strategic committees for each Congress and Topical meeting. Acts as Primary Liaison with OFC and CLEO Co-sponsors on operational and strategic issues. Develops and enhances relationships for the Society including responding to members and the general public. Develop high-impact opportunities to promote OSA and to encourage greater volunteer participation in industry related committees and programs.
  1. Manages personnel related issues, including supervision, coaching, and professional development of department staff.
  2. Develops innovative initiatives to enhance internal communication, education, efficiency, and effectiveness.
  3. Introduces change in a constructive and clear manner, so that the team can embrace improvements behind changes.
  4. Maintains professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops, reviewing professional publications, establishing personal networks and participating in professional societies.
  5. Creates opportunities to forge strategic partnerships with other providers and funders, especially regarding to identifying service gaps & business opportunities. 
  6. Seeks leading practices globally and is current with industry developments, maintaining leadership role for introducing innovative programs and services.
  7. Creates and improves existing links between internal OSA teams and workgroups focused on increasing Industry-related content, participation and/or support.
  8. Act as a key stakeholder in OSA Strategic Planning Process representing Meetings, Exhibitions and Corporate Membership/Programs.
  1. Bachelor’s degree required and Master’s degree in business related field a plus.
  2. Fifteen years professional work experience in progressively more responsible roles in meetings, exhibitions, conferences, and sales or new business development. Experience working with a volunteer, governance-driven science or technology-based organization as well as experience in high-tech corporate environment are a plus.
  3. Ten+ years of staff management experience with multi-layered reporting structure (direct and indirect reports) required.
  4. Experience managing vendors, volunteers and customers globally based (Asia/Europe).
  5. Experience managing large-scale tradeshows with 800+ exhibitors and 150,000 net sold square feet of exhibit space.
  6. Track-record of meeting and exceeding short and long term financial goals personally and through management of direct and indirect staff reports.
  7. Experience with a fast-paced office environment and shifting priorities.
  8. Strong record of accomplishment of integrity, judgment, confidentiality & discretion.
  1. Outstanding leadership and management skills, strong interpersonal skills and ability to build relationships on behalf of the organization.
  2. Outstanding communications and interpersonal skills, including the ability to relate well to a wide range of constituencies.
  3. Understanding of multiple vertical and technology markets related to Optics & Photonics, and govt. agencies & corps. to underwrite industry & meeting investments.
  4. Knowledge of scientific, peer-reviewed technical paper process.
  5. Ability to establish and maintain collaborative working relationships with volunteers, members, customers, colleagues, and staff.
  1. Ability to see the “big picture” and act to benefit the organization. Ability to survey the existing environment and move to position programs to gain greatest impact.
  2. Strong analytical ability, budgets, marketing, critical thinking and organizational skills.
  3. Strong project management, program planning, and implementation skills.
  1. Demonstrated knowledge of principles, practices and theories of not-for-profit needs in a diverse scientific or technical community.
  2. Ability to execute high level of engagement within target market areas including, corporations, academic institutions and government agencies/research institutions.
  3. Ability to travel domestically and internationally.

 OSA offers a competitive salary and benefits. Please send your resume and cover letter with salary requirements to




Sales Manager, industry Relations

The Optical Society (OSA) is recruiting for a Sales Manager, Industry Relations position. It is an integral part of the OSA Industry Relations sales team. The Sales Manager has overall responsibility for selling exhibit space and sponsorship participation at OFC, CLEO, Frontiers in Optics (OSA’s Annual Meeting) and OSA’s Congresses and Topical Meetings (smaller meetings which include 3 – 55 exhibitors on average) as well as print and digital advertising for OSA’s OPN Magazine. The Sales Manager will need to be an effective communicator and build strong relationships between OSA and industry specific companies.   The Sales Manager will need to maintain consistent communication with prospects by phone and by email. To succeed in this position, the Sales Manager must take initiative, ownership and have strong management skills. This person will be assigned as Project Lead on half of the portfolio of meetings and exhibitions each year. The main goal in this position is to meet and/or exceed revenue goals for OFC, CLEO, FiO, Laser Congress, OSA’s OPN Magazine and OSA’s Congresses and Topical Meetings.
Primary Responsibilities:
  • Act as a sales lead on assigned exhibitions and meetings. Responsible for managing sales budget, sales goals and administrative responsibilities related to maximizing sales pre-show, on-site and post-show.
  • Manages each day effectively to efficiently and proactively manage his/her calendar to maximize daily responsibilities (including sales calls, administrative responsibilities and meetings)
  • Make high volume outbound sales calls daily.
  • Initiate conference calls and meetings (ideally scheduling them in Outlook calendar) with current and potential clients to determine sales and marketing objectives, budget and timing.
  • Proactively research and identify new sales prospects, always having a top prospect list readily available
  • Maintain an accurate and robust prospect list for all projects to include past participants as well as using competitive publications, websites and trade shows to identify and communicate with new prospects.
  • Utilize CRM system to track efforts, update contact details and create accurate sales projections.
  • Collaborate with Director, Exhibition and Sponsorship Sales to draft and email proposals to prospects.
  • Provide regular sales updates to the Director, Exhibition and Sponsorship Sales, on sales and pipeline activity at weekly meetings and through maintaining renewal reports.
  • Write copy and execute outbound e-blasts and mailings.
  • Review and email through completed OPC meeting exhibit space and sponsorship contracts to the Sales Administrative Coordinator.
  • Regularly maintain and update the web site exhibit sales pages using Kentico.
  • Regularly maintain and update exhibit floor plans in Expocad.
  • Maintain regular contact with committee members in an effort to leverage their personal contacts to maximize the number of potential exhibitors and sponsors.
  • Actively and collaboratively participate in regularly scheduled individual, departmental, and organizational team meetings.
  • Responsible to the Director, Exhibition and Sponsorship Sales for meeting and exceeding revenue goals.
  • Performs other special assignments as directed by the Director, Exhibition and Sponsorship Sales.
  • Ability to problem solve and confidently in representing exhibit sales staff at various OSA team meetings.
Education and Experience
  • College degree required
  • Minimum of three to five years sales experience, preferably event/tradeshow experience (advertising sales experience is helpful)
  • Management position; does not supervise staff
  • Association or optics industry experience preferred
Skills and Abilities:
  • Experience and proven track record in effective follow up and negotiation skills, specifically as it relates to working within established product prices and closing sales to maximize customer decision-making.
  • Desire to succeed in a fast paced environment.
  • A high level of initiative and attention to detail is required.
  • Required proficiency in: Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint.
  • Proficiency with contact relationship management (CRM) software; preferably ACT or SalesForce.
  • Experience with NetForum or other association management software system.
  • Familiarity with Kentico or other web content management software.
  • Prefer experience with ExpoCAD or other exhibit floor plan space-draw programs.
  • Strong interpersonal and customer oral, written and presentation skills.
  • Ability to focus effectively on multiple tasks at all times.
  • Ability to meet deadlines.
  • Ability to travel required. (Sales Manager travels 2 – 4 time average/per year)
OSA offers a competitive salary and benefits. Please send your resume and cover letter to

Senior Meetings Program Manager

The Optical Society (OSA) is recruiting for a Senior Meetings Program Manager. The position develops the Project Plan and manages the team’s performance of project tasks, coordinates and executes the logistical aspects, programming and volunteer management aspects of all assigned meetings.  The Senior Manager is responsible for communication, including status reporting, risk management, and the escalation of issues that cannot be resolved by the team, and, in general, making sure the project is delivered in budget, on schedule, and within scope while maintaining a co-operative, motivated and successful team environment – cross divisional and cross departmental.  The Senior Manager provides onsite supervision of staff and vendors as well as supervises and mentors direct report(s).
  1. Project Management
    1. Serves as primary contact with senior management, internal stakeholders and committee members
    2. Serves as on-site staff lead to ensure event is executed appropriately, troubleshoot issues, manage staff/vendors, and act as primary emergency/crisis contact
    3. Communicates dates, FAQs and key deadline changes to internal stakeholders (e.g. Exec. Team, senior department staff, customer service)
    4. Facilitates regular team meetings and communicates team decisions, action items, and interim and final reporting (accurate, thorough, meaningful)
    5. Develops and maintains a detailed project plan
    6. Monitors timeline and fulfillment of deliverables
    7. Records and manages project issues (inclusive of marketing, exhibits sales, registration and exhibit operations) and escalates where necessary
    8. Ensures website reflects key messages of the meeting
    9. Identifies conference staffing needs and schedule
    10. Evaluates effectiveness of programs and communicates improvement opportunities for next meeting
  1. Committee Education and Program Development
    1. Reviews past meeting wrap-up notes, event statistics and evaluations to determine program improvements
    2. Reviews meeting outline and prior meeting programs to determine general flow, parallel sessions, special events and meeting culture
    3. Highlights committee feedback on hot topics, scope, and committee suggestions
    4. Reviews expectations and process, to include peer-to-peer marketing
    5. Confirms meeting topics and/or categories with Chairs
    6. Supports needs to ensure key metrics are met
    7. Liaises with grant manager and chairs in grant development for budget and program objectives
    8. Works with committee to develop slot allocation and determine joint Congress activities
    9. Provides reports to assist with committee/speaker identification
    10. Develops and maintains key committee communication tools, such as the calendar of deadlines and slot allocation
    11. Updates meeting outline on a regular basis, at least annually
    12. Works with committee on resolving any session/speaker conflicts
    13. Works with both outreach programs and conference chairs on selection of special awards programs
    14. Manages correspondence with plenary speakers
    15. Generates agenda of sessions
  1. Budget Management
    1. Effectively plans and develops accurate budgets
    2. Ensures expenses remain within budget limits and revenue goals are met
    3. Reconciles event bills and invoices
    4. Provides interim variance statement reports
  1. Vendor/Site Selection
    1. Analyzes proposals, issues recommendations to supervisor for vendor selection, and negotiates terms
    2. Serves as liaison with all vendors and venues and manages their performance and delivery of services/products
    3. Ensures successful fulfillment of contract specifications
    4. Reviews hotel/venue terms during negotiation process
    5. Establishes and implements proactive processes to avoid attrition
    6. For larger conferences:
    7. Conducts site selection visits and planning trips 
    8. Negotiates convention center contracts, including rates and space
    9. Accurately forecasts and establishes room blocks and sub blocks
  1. Meeting Logistics
    1. Manages execution of plenary/general session(s)
    2. Maintains space diary
    3. Manages the development of signage, VIP and speaker rooming lists, concession usage and shipping
    4. Approves specs and signs off on BEOs
  1. Collaborates with other Senior Meetings Program Managers and departmental senior staff to effectively manage department resources
    1. Ensures consistent processes and policies for all programs are followed
    2. Identifies potential efficiencies
    3. Coordinates distribution of IT equipment and signage inventory
  • Four-year college degree required
  • CMP or like certification required
  • Five or more years of event planning experience required
  • Three or more years of volunteer (subject matter experts) experience required
  • Association experience preferred
  • Supervisory experience preferred
  • Contract & vendor management experience required
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to communicate effectively with both scientific minded volunteers and members
  • Superior analytical abilities
  • Ability to meet multiple deadlines, coordinate details, and work independently
  • Excellent ability to establish and build relationships
  • Ability to travel, approximately 20%
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office software and database applications
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Excellent project management skills

Located in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC, OSA offers a competitive salary and excellent benefits. Please send your resume and cover letter with salary requirements to