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Programme Manager, Education and Youth Event

Department: Programming
Reporting To: Head of Programming
Working Hours: Full Time

Company Structure

The Emirates Literature Foundation is a not-for-profit non-governmental organisation that supports and nurtures a love of literature in the UAE and across the region through a programme of varied cultural initiatives.

Recognising the distinctive contribution that literature makes to children’s lives, the Foundation focuses on introducing and cultivating a spirit of reading while acting as a catalyst for writing and cultural exchange. The Foundation governs the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the UAE’s premier literary festival, and as part of its initiatives, has implemented a School Librarian of the Year Award, a programme bringing authors to engage with inmates at Dubai Prisons, Voices of Future Generations, as well as year-round School Education Programmes, Book Clubs and Creative Writing Courses.

Established in 2013 by Royal Decree issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, the Foundation aims to foster a life-long love for all literature.


The Programme Manager, Education and Youth Events role is a key position in the Foundation’s programming department. Working closely with the Head of Programming, programming and education colleagues, and other departments including marketing and communications and operations, the Programme Manager, Education and Youth Events will devise, produce, and promote education and public programme events for families, young adults, school and university students, and educators with a particular focus on growing the Foundation’s relevance in the lives of these audiences.

Key Responsibilities

  • Lead on the creation of an inspirational and world-class programme of education and public events and activities for family audiences, young adults, students, and educators, featuring writers, illustrators, performers, and subject matter experts from across the UAE and the world.
  • Maintain an up-to-date list of authors, artists, publishers, literary agents, and other relevant contacts which would help in the successful execution of the duties of this role.
  • Keep abreast of important developments in the worlds of children’s and young adult literature, publishing, education, and cultural events.
  • Research, propose, and deliver new strategic initiatives and projects which will sustainably expand the Foundation’s engagement with family audiences, young adults, students, and educators.
  • Negotiate agreements with speakers and/or agents, taking into consideration exchange of value and leveraging of opportunities.
  • Develop, implement, and maintain programme schedules, systems, and operating procedures to ensure the effective delivery of events and initiatives, including creating and maintaining documents, spreadsheets, and databases.
  • Liaise with colleagues in programming and operations to ensure all speakers are properly briefed for participation in events, and work closely with speakers, both in the lead up to and during events, to ensure the highest quality experience and hospitality is offered.
  • Facilitate communication with relevant internal departments and external collaborators by ensuring programme information is both accurate and timely, and successfully communicated to relevant colleagues and stakeholders.
  • Liaise with the marketing and communications team to gather speakers’ details and assets.
  • Manage copywriting processes, including drafting, writing, and editing copy and briefing internal and external copywriters.
  • Assist with maintaining relationships with sponsors, partners, and collaborators.
  • Participate in programming initiatives, brainstorming, and strategic and operational planning.
  • Contribute to programme and event evaluation and suggest ways to improve processes to mitigate any risk or challenge for future events.
  • Additional reasonable duties related to the accountabilities abovementioned and wider Foundation activities, particularly those of the education department.

What We’re Looking For


  • Demonstrable experience developing and producing cultural events at an autonomous level.
  • Experience curating and/or collaborating with authors, illustrators, performers, and subject matter experts.
  • Thorough knowledge of, and passion for, children’s and young adult literature and/or the education sector.
  • Comfortable working with children, their parents or guardians, and/or teachers or school librarians.
  • Highly developed administrative skills and a systematic approach to completing tasks.
  • Experience managing multiple projects, often with competing priorities.
  • Experience working with a wide variety of stakeholders and collaborators, including marketing and production professionals, and using persuasion and influence to achieve objectives.
  • Entrepreneurial flair and commercial acumen.
  • Strong team and relationship management and leadership skills.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, and the ability to communicate honestly, openly, and consistently.
  • Proven ability to work within set budgets.
  • Computer literacy in Microsoft Office and online databases.


  • Fluent in both spoken and written English and Arabic.
  • Network of contacts throughout the international children’s and young adult publishing sector.
  • Previous experience working in a cultural, not-for-profit environment.
  • Tertiary qualification in literature, education, publishing, or a related field.

Other Relevant Information

  • As with all positions at Emirates Literature Foundation, some evening and weekend work is required, and during the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, staff are expected to work increased hours, with Time Off In Lieu (TOIL) provided.
  • Unless otherwise stated, all staff are subject to a six-month probationary period and annual performance review.
  • The position is based in the Emirates Literature Foundation office, located in Al Shindagha, Dubai.
  • Flexible working arrangements may be considered for the right candidate.

To Apply

Please send the following as a single PDF document with the file name ‘First Name+Last Name — ELF Programme Manager, Education and Youth Events’to

  • A one-page cover letter outlining why you are the right candidate for this position, which should address the essential selection criteria.
  • A CV detailing your recent work, skills, and experience.

Applications are due by 5:00 PM on Friday 5 January, however we reserve the right to close applications early should the right candidate be found before then. We encourage you to apply for this role as soon as possible if you are interested in the position.

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