Director of Communications for Alumni Relations and Resource Development
Harvard University - Cambridge, MA

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The Harvard Kennedy School of Government (HKS) seeks an experienced communications professional to fill the position of Director of Communications in its Department of Alumni Relations and Resource Development (ARRD). The successful candidate will have at least 10 years of communications or related experience in higher education, non-profit organizations, or the private sector. Reporting to the Senior Associate Dean of Alumni Relations and Resource Development at the Harvard Kennedy School, the ARRD Director of Communications is a senior level position that serves as part of the Department’s leadership team.


We seek a senior level development professional in communications who will support the work of the HKS development and alumni relations office and work closely with the School’s Office of Communications and Public Affairs, related university-wide functions and other stakeholders at HKS, including the Dean’s office. The University and the Kennedy School are engaged in the final year of planning and preparation for a major comprehensive fundraising campaign. This position will directly support the work of the Senior Associate Dean in the development of communications strategies and materials for the Campaign including print, web, social media, and other creative vehicles to engage donors and prospective donors of HKS. The successful candidate will be expected to bring a high level of creativity, strategic thinking, branding knowledge, and the ability to work in a highly collaborative environment and work closely and effectively with multiple constituencies including external volunteer committees.

Additional responsibilities include :
  • Overseeing ARRD’s Communications Division and managing a team of three communications professionals with responsibility for media releases, email messaging, donor correspondence, and public relations within the Harvard and HKS donor and alumni communities;
  • Creating new and vibrant communications efforts to drive the Kennedy School’s comprehensive capital campaign and other key initiatives;
  • Developing a communications strategy for ongoing outreach efforts with alumni, donors, and friends of the Kennedy School;
  • Managing the overall strategic communications and messaging to prospective and existing donors, including the development of key messages about the impact of giving to the Kennedy School through various publications, direct mail, online communications, and programming opportunities on and off campus;
  • Write and develop proposals as needed to support fundraisers in securing major gifts;
  • Providing high-level writing and communications advice to the Dean, the Senior Associate Dean and other senior leaders and volunteers, including the development of strategic messaging and advance briefing materials;
  • Working with Dean’s staff to draft high-level remarks for alumni and donor events and other targeted speaking platforms.
  • Generating content for and overseeing the design and development of promotional print materials related to the campaign and ARRD activities, the alumni section of the Kennedy School website, and the capital campaign website;
  • Working with the School’s Office of Communications and Public Affairs to leverage the school’s various communications channels and materials and to ensure consistent positioning/campaign messaging;
  • Serving as a key interface across the School’s various stakeholders around campaign and development-related communications – including donors, alumni, faculty, staff, students, and the School’s volunteer leadership councils and committees; and
  • Taking on other duties directly related to development and alumni relations communications on behalf of the Harvard Kennedy School.

Basic Qualifications
Bachelor’s degree is required along with a minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible communications experience with direct and indirect management/supervisory experience required. Experience working in development communications, advertising and marketing, or university public affairs is also required.

Additional Qualifications
Graduate degree in a related field highly preferred. Prior experience in website management, e-marketing/communications and social media highly desired. Must have proven ability to function effectively and to successfully oversee major institutional projects within a highly decentralized environment. Must exhibit good judgment, diplomacy, and effective management skills as well as an ability to think strategically, creatively and operationally. The ability to work independently, collegially across departmental boundaries, and as part of a team and to work under deadline is also required. The nature of contemporary communications demands constant awareness of the ever changing landscape of social media and methods of conveying information and messages. There will be an expectation for the Director to be a thought leader in the use of new technologies, messaging and engagement of our various constituencies.

Additional Information
Please upload your resume and cover letter as one document.

Harvard University requires pre-employment reference and background checks.

The Harvard Kennedy School and Development

The Alumni Relations and Resource Development Office of the Harvard Kennedy School has a staff of 34 responsible for engaging alumni in substantive support of the mission of HKS; identifying, cultivating and successfully soliciting alumni and others for large gifts in support of the academic and co-curricular programs of the School; supporting the Dean and other members of the leadership team in issues related to alumni and donors; and creating and reinforcing messages that are consistent with overall HKS messages and enable our key constituencies to have a clear understanding of the HKS vision, mission, values and priorities. While contributing in some measure to each of these areas, it is this latter responsibility where the Director of Communications plays a critical role.

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