Harvard University Director of Strategic Priorities in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Auto req ID 42586BR

Business Title Director of Strategic Priorities

School/Unit Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Sub-Unit ------------

Location USA - MA - Boston

Job Function General Administration

Time Status Full-time

Department Office for Research Strategy and Development

Salary Grade 059

Union 00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Duties & Responsibilities The Office for Research Strategy and Development is responsible for providing catalytic support for the School’s research operation. In the last several years ORSD has become more extensively involved in working directly with teams of faculty from across departments to build interdisciplinary research programs & platforms designed to grow the School’s resources in key priority areas. In addition, ORSD has increasingly played a more central coordination role in developing multi-pronged development strategies that incorporate federal, non-federal, philanthropic and industry-sponsored opportunities, drawing on the resources of OER (Office of External Relations), OTD (Office of Technology Development) and other units across the university.

The Director of Strategic Priorities position reports to the Assistant Dean for Research Strategy in the Office of Research Strategy & Development (ORSD), with a dotted line to the Deputy Vice Dean for External Relations in the Office of External Relations (OER).

The Director of Strategic Priorities works closely with the ORSD and OER to develop a strategy for the use of the School’s leadership, faculty, and administrative assets to focus on the following:

(a) recalibrate research development resources to more efficiently and aggressively target key investments;

(b) assist in driving the School’s fundraising/research development efforts to support activities that are academically mission-driven, budget relieving and strategically position the School’s financial and scientific priorities; and

(c) advance emergent transdisciplinary research opportunities.

The Director of Strategic Priorities works collaboratively with colleagues in ORSD, OER and across the School to develop priorities, plans, and strategies for a select portfolio of initiatives to support the School’s emerging priorities. The work will involve a range of duties including outreach to faculty and staff, project development and management, aligning priorities, managing resources, and tracking progress and activities. Will work with the Strategic Priorities team in OER to help develop and implement fundraising plans for Dean’s initiatives, as well as liaise with Harvard University partners, and designated faculty; this position will also work with OER colleagues to translate academic priorities and needs into fundraising objectives and activities that can be readily operationalized.

This role also helps to triage non-priority fundraising requests for funding from academic units, as well as from donors who wish to support non-priority areas. This role is a strategic partner with OTD and OER to ensure that they have an internal resource to vet ideas, map potential opportunities to School fundraising priorities, and act as a resource for academic vetting. This role will also work closely with OER Communications, Office of Global Partnerships, Dean’s Office, Departments, and Harvard University partners (e.g. – UDO, HGHI, other Schools, and centers), and with other units dedicated to managing and organizing the School leadership around its emerging priorities. This role will also proactively explore and develop opportunities for Harvard Chan to collaborate with other Harvard Schools, particularly HMS, in priority areas where there is complimentary research expertise, fundraising efforts, and the possibility of duplicative efforts in either/both.

Duties and responsibilities will be continued in the "Additional Information" section.

PLEASE NOTE: This position will require travel, for events and special meetings, approximately 15% of the time.

PLEASE NOTE: There is a strong internal candidate in mind for this position.

Basic Qualifications - Bachelor’s Degree required.

  • 8+ years of related experience, with 5+ years of such experience in fundraising, required.

    Additional Qualifications - Master's Degree preferred.

  • Computer skills in an Apple/Mac environment, with experience mastering software applications and technologies in database management preferred.

  • Extensive experience in Microsoft Excel, Word, BSR Advance, mail merging and report generation preferred.

  • Understanding of the goals and objectives of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the ORSD organization, and Harvard University’s AA/RD organization preferred.

  • Understanding of faculty research at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, as well as a familiarity with the field of public health more broadly, preferred.

This position requires good judgment and discretion to represent Harvard Chan constituencies in a highly professional manner - experience with both academic planning, private/corporate philanthropy as well as institutional financial support of tertiary education sector, as well as navigating a complex university environment preferred.

Experience handling confidential materials with discretion; sophisticated and comprehensive understanding of engagement, cultivation, and stewardship principles and practices, extremely high levels of professionalism, collegiality, self-motivation, and organization preferred.

Excellent writing skills – experience writing in another person’s voice, strong knowledge of English grammar, and detail-orientation and accuracy in proofreading preferred.

Experience prioritizing work; analytic and research skills to gather and determine essential data from a variety of written and individual sources; focused and motivated to learn and be flexible to change; excellent client service and interpersonal skills, and initiative to maintain a strong work ethic at all times; experience working successfully under pressure, understanding and following policies and procedures, and accommodating change; experience working both independently as well as collaboratively on a team.

Additional Information Duties and Responsibilities continued:

Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Work closely with academic leadership, ORSD, OER, and OTD to ensure that School fundraising needs are mapped to School-wide fundraising priorities.

  • Quality control on academic priorities and, in particular, those that will be translated into fundraising priorities (e.g. from government, corporate and foundation, as well as private philanthropy)

  • Manage process of academic / resource development coordination as it relates to prioritizing development priorities.

  • Work with ORSD and OER leadership to develop and help execute multi-pronged development strategies that leverage diverse sponsored and non-sponsored resources and involve coordination across ORSD, OER, and Harvard University, with particular focus on the Dean’s Priorities and other emerging research priorities.

  • Serve as the primary liaison to Office of External Relations regarding fundraising support from OER; alternatively, manages and coordinates donor/faculty requests to fundraise for non-Dean priorities; ensures that emerging ideas are vetted by Dean (and other leadership at Harvard Chan), Office of Research Strategy and Development, and appropriate academic and OER leadership.

  • Strategic partner to OER, OTD, and Government Relations at Harvard; assisting with strategy, content and overseeing translation of academic priorities into gift opportunities.

  • Establishes the agenda for regular meetings with academic/administrative leadership (e.g. Dean’s Office, Office of Research Strategy & Development, Department Chairs) and other School leadership where appropriate. These meetings are designed to discuss upcoming activities, briefings, and prospect strategy, ensure alignment of financial targets, as well as the chance to discuss funding priorities.

  • Where appropriate, orchestrates conversations between and among fundraisers across OER & Harvard University.

  • Other duties as needed.

PLEASE NOTE: This position will require travel, for events and special meetings, approximately 15% of the time.

PLEASE NOTE: There is a strong internal candidate in mind for this position.


Harvard offers an outstanding benefits package including:

Time Off: 3- 4 weeks paid vacation, paid holiday break, 12 paid sick days, 11.5 paid holidays, and 3 paid personal days per year.

Medical/Dental/Vision: We offer a variety of excellent medical plans, dental & vision plans, all coverage begins as of your start date.

Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with full vesting after 3 years of service.

Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive tuition assistance program, $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and discounted options through participating Harvard grad schools.

Transportation: Harvard offers a 50% discounted MBTA pass as well as additional options to assist employees in their daily commute.

Wellness Options: Harvard offers programs and classes at little or no cost, including stress management, massages, nutrition, meditation and complimentary health services.

Harvard access to athletic facilities, libraries, campus events and many discounts throughout metro Boston.

Join the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to support our mission of health research and education, and to be a part of the oldest institution of higher learning in the country!

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EEO Statement 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, gender identity, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by law.