Director of Communications and Outreach

14 May, 2021


Director of Communications and Outreach

Harvard University
Cambridge, MA

Job Summary

The Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy (the Center) is at the forefront of social policy research, teaching, innovation and practice – impacting policy questions on inequality, economic mobility, workforce development, urban poverty, criminal justice, mass incarceration, education, race and history, child welfare, health policy, immigration and labor.  Over three decades the Center has become an influential hub of social policy research and related activities at Harvard University.  The Center serves as a leading forum for debate and conversations among university scholars, researchers, students and policymakers about ideas and policies that can promote social justice and economic opportunity in the United States.

The Center has an immediate opening for the position of Director of Outreach and Communications (the Director).  Reporting to the Malcolm Wiener Center Director and Executive Director, the Director will collaborate with Center leadership and faculty members and develop and implement a new, expanded outreach and communications strategic plan for the Center. The Director’s main goals will be to increase the external footprint and visibility of the Malcolm Wiener Center by maximizing the dissemination, coverage and impact of faculty research on social policy, and to promote Center programs, initiatives, events and activities among policy makers, policy-influencing constituencies, the media, and the general public. Outreach and engaging with policy makers, legislators, their staff members and target audiences in Washington D.C. and NYC will be important components of this new outreach and communications strategy.

Job-Specific Responsibilities

The Director is responsible for translating and communicating complicated research content and its relevance to top-tier, topic-relevant mainstream, online and specialty media outlets.   They are responsible for identifying critical audiences and constituencies and establishing contacts and relationships with key influencers such as: local and national journalists and commentators, policy makers, and leading scholars in relevant fields.  The individual in this position will be capable of developing an understanding of a wide range of social policy programs and research subjects in order to write about them compellingly for practitioners, academics, journalists, and the general public. In addition, they will identify the appropriate outreach and communication channels, resources, tools and events needed to effectively reach target audiences.

The Director of Communications and Outreach will have a central role in the development of the Center’s digital presence in order to help the Center achieve its communications objectives and build its reputation as a leader in advancing relevant knowledge. This includes creating, managing and updating content for the Center’s website, social media channels, newsletter and other digital communications.

Additional responsibilities: will develop and disseminate materials to the Center’s Advisory Board; will develop outreach strategies around special events and programs; will write  press releases, briefing materials, digital content, newsletters and other materials necessary to maximize messaging opportunities and strategic impact; will oversee the development of marketing materials and website video content; and will ensure consistency and quality of brand management in accordance with Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) standards.  Internally, they will develop strong working relationships with Center faculty members, researchers and staff and provide strategic and operational communications support for them as needed. The Director will also collaborate with and act as the liaison between the Center and staff members in the HKS Office of Communications and Public Affairs.

Travel: Occasional US domestic travel.

Basic Qualifications

BA/BS and minimum of 5 years related work experience in strategic communications and outreach in academic settings, social science, policy or politics or a related field.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

Highly ambitious individual with work experience in social policy, think tank, or Capitol Hill/government communications is desirable as is an MPP degree or graduate degree in a social policy field.  Experience developing and implementing strategic outreach and communications plans, as well as in using/leveraging digital communications channels and social media, networking, and producing press releases, newsletters, digital content and outreach materials.  Strong written and verbal communications skills and a record of strategic collaboration with a leadership team.   Must be able to work as part of a larger team and balance the interests and needs of a variety of stakeholders in a highly decentralized environment.  Proven ability to manage projects, establish priorities among multiple deadlines and to multi-task.  Writing samples may be required.

Physical Requirements

Travel: Occasional US domestic travel.

Additional Information

Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy website:

We regret that the Harvard Kennedy School does not provide visa sponsorship.
Harvard University requires pre-employment references and background checks.
Harvard University is committed to supporting a healthy, sustainable learning and working environment.

Please note: During the current period of Covid-19 related restrictions, this position may start as a remote position, with transition to onsite in Cambridge, Massachusetts when the office reopens.
We continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 and lifting of restrictions. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility with our interview process. We will be conducting interviews virtually for selected candidates until further notice.

Harvard Kennedy School’s Mission and Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

At Harvard Kennedy School, fostering a diverse and inclusive community where everyone feels they belong is a matter of basic fairness consistent with our core values as an institution. It is also essential to our mission of improving public policy and leadership—because recruiting the best people and creating an environment where they can thrive make us better at what we do, because we learn more from people with different perspectives, and because we work in diverse groups and serve diverse societies.

Learn more about Harvard Kennedy School’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and belonging.

Salary Range: $67,700 – $113,900
Note: Starting salaries typically fall in the lower half of the salary range; however, they are ultimately determined by the scope of the position, the candidate’s relevant experience, and internal equity.

Harvard offers a generous 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.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2021-05-14