The Director, Media Relations and Communications, is responsible for developing and leading effective communications strategies and issues management for Harvard University, positioned as a leader within the Harvard Public Affairs and Communications (HPAC) team. The Director provides strategic communications planning, guidance, management and support to senior leaders and units across a broad portfolio of issues and priorities related to the central administration of Harvard University, and in close coordination with Harvard's Schools. Reporting to the Senior Director of Media Relations and Communications, the Director will serve as a primary communications strategist, managing and collaborating with HPAC staff, as well as leaders and teams across the University's central administration to advance key priorities, initiatives and programs.
Direct a team of communications professionals charged with leading, developing and executing strategies to advance and support the priorities and programs of several units within the University's central administration, including through communications, content, media relations and digital strategies.
Work collaboratively with HPAC colleagues, as well as communications teams across Harvard's schools, affiliates, and centers, to implement effective proactive and response strategies related to key priorities and issues.
Lead issues and crisis management on key university and central administration matters, including coordinating and collaborating across media relations, digital and content colleagues to develop and implement comprehensive and effective strategies around often complex academic and operational matters.
Advise HPAC leadership, both strategically and tactically, in organizing and defining messages, as well as through recommendations that strengthen the University's ability to advance key priorities of the academic and operational units within the central administration.
Represent HPAC on various cross-university/cross-central administration committees, working groups, task forces, etc., to advise and lead communications planning and strategy related to various priority topics or initiatives.
Develop and lead media relations strategy, including serving as a spokesperson or coordinating with spokesperson colleagues, on topics, issues or initiatives related to the Director's management portfolio.
Prepare and edit internal messages, public statements, talking points, FAQs, briefings, press releases, news and feature stories, and other communications relating to University efforts and activities.
Analyze and assess the effectiveness of existing and proposed communication strategies and mechanism, leading change efforts as needed. .
Given the nature of the 24/7 news and issues cycle, this role requires availability outside of traditional work hours.
Other duties as assigned and relevant to executing work within the general scope of the role.
Applicants should complete an application and submit a resume and cover letter via the Harvard Careers site.
Recruitment and Hiring During COVID-19: This position will be based on our campus in Cambridge, MA. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this role will begin remotely. The remote nature of this job is only temporary. Once the University and the supervisor determine that it is appropriate, we look forward to welcoming the new hire to campus. At that time, the employee will be required to move work location to the Cambridge campus as a condition of continued employment. Candidates will be provided a laptop and must have the capability to support telework, including internet connection and phone.
Harvard Public Affairs and Communications is committed to diversity and fostering an inclusive workplace. We welcome applicants who bring varied experiences, backgrounds, and expertise to advance the work of the department in service to Harvard's mission.
All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran.
Harvard will require COVID vaccination for all Harvard community members who will have any on-campus presence. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University's COVID vaccination requirement and exceptions may be found at the University's
Bachelor's degree required. Minimum of 8 years significant experience and proven success at the highest levels of communications work working with highly sensitive information in a complex environment with many stakeholders.
Experienced communications professional and strategic thinker with a demonstrated capacity for skillful management and multi-tasking, with good political judgment, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, proven crisis management abilities, an understanding of complex organizations, and a commitment to the mission of education, scholarship, and research.
Experience in higher education, non-profit, government, or a decentralized organization desired. Successful track record as a leader, manager, and strategist in a large and complex organizational environment. Must have the proven ability to advise senior leaders effectively.
Must have the ability to innovate, think strategically and conceptually, listen carefully as well as to influence and persuade others. The position requires an extremely high level of professionalism, sound and mature judgment, and collegiality.
Must have excellent analytical, verbal, and written communication skills along with a high level of diplomacy, discretion, and problem-solving ability. The selected candidate will have proven success in developing collaborative relationships across diverse constituencies. Strong project management and organizational skills and the ability to manage multiple priorities in a complex, decentralized environment are needed.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER: We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
Internal Number: 54280BR
About Harvard University Administration
Harvard University is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally. The University, which is based in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, has an enrollment of over 20,000 degree candidates, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Harvard has more than 360,000 alumni around the world. The University has twelve degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, offering a truly global education. Established in 1636, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States.