Vice Dean for External Relations

23 Dec, 2021


Vice Dean for External Relations

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Boston, MA

Job Summary

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Office for External Relations is committed to securing the financial resources, time, and loyalty of alumni, friends, corporations, and foundations to promote the School’s work of educating new generations of global health leaders and producing powerful ideas that can transform the lives of people everywhere.

Job-Specific Responsibilities

Reporting to the Dean of the Faculty, the Vice Dean for External Relations is responsible for leading the Office for External Relations (OER) – by articulating a sustainable fundraising strategy and providing leadership to inspire an expansion of high quality engagement – via alumni, donors, and key public health stakeholders. The OER is comprised of ~50 staff members, each of which serve in various development, communications, and/or administrative and operations-related functions. As such, the Vice Dean for External Relations will:

  • Work with the Dean of the Faculty to shape the strategy and overall alumni engagement and fundraising objectives for the School
  • Work with the Dean of the Faculty and external relations colleagues, as well as School’s academic, financial, and volunteer leadership, to increase an expansion of philanthropic support for the School
  • Oversee and manage the administration/operations, communications, alumni affairs, and fundraising teams — including the direct supervision of multiple full-time staff members
  • Craft and execute comprehensive fundraising plans to meet the annual and fundraising objectives, with a focus on revenue that benefits the core mission of the School; with a particular focus on building a long-term and sustainable revenue model that aligns with the research and academic mission of the School
  • Conceptualize strategies and tactics for reaching out to non-traditional prospective donor constituencies, as well as create meaningful and effective engagement opportunities for alumni, donors, and friends of the School
  • Build and operationalize business systems that support OER staff (operations, communications, alumni affairs/career development, strategic priorities, and fundraising); and ensure the overall operation is integrated and interfaces in a systematic way with academic units and leadership
  • Collaborate closely with the Office for Research Strategy & Development, Office for Technology & Development, Office of Sponsored Programs Administration, and the Office of Financial Services
  • Establish and maintain a personal portfolio of transformational gift prospects
  • Serve as a resource and partner with senior development leadership at and across Harvard University, key faculty and scientists, volunteers, and administrative colleagues to identify and develop donor relationships
  • Other related duties as assigned

PLEASE NOTE: The primary work location for this position is Boston, MA and in order to be on Harvard payroll, you must reside in one of the following states – MA, NH, RI, ME, CT, VT, NY, MD, or CA. We are also working primarily remotely at this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Until our return to campus, which is anticipated to begin in fall 2021, this interview process and position will be conducted virtually – including virtual interviews, remote onboarding, and remote work. The remote nature of this position is only temporary. Local, on-campus work will be required as a condition of continued employment once the School and this role return to an operational status that supports it. The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health will support flexible work schedules upon this return, subject to individual departments’ business needs.

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience required
  • 15+ years of related experience, with progressively responsible experience in the development field, required
  • Prior supervisory experience required

Additional Qualifications and Skills

The following job-specific skills and competencies are preferred:

  • Master’s Degree
  • Experience applying traditional development craft to a global and dynamic enterprise which is dependent on non-traditional philanthropic constituencies
  • Comprehensive, collaborative, and quantitative results-driven approach to planning, building and managing diverse teams of development staff, faculty partners and volunteers
  • Experience managing change, prioritizing and managing multiple complex activities in a time-sensitive environment, and meeting deadlines with attention to detail and quality
  • Professional maturity and agility to focus on constructive and enabling alliances with internal and external constituencies
  • Success in resource development, particularly at a senior level and in an academic or scientific research institution/organization
  • Experience in strategic planning, and strong organizational and managerial skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, and outstanding oral and written communications skills

The following cultural competencies are also preferred:

  • Awareness of and aptitude to appropriately and effectively understand, respect, and adapt to cultural and identity-based difference within group environments
  • Knowledge of and commitment to concepts and issues tied to social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Skills related to creating and supporting an environment that allows for inclusion, effective intercultural engagement, and personal humility and authenticity
  • Experience fostering and reinforcing an environment that values unique experiences, cultures, backgrounds, and goals

Additional Information

At the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, we believe that diversity is integral to the Harvard experience and our mission of improving public health education, research and policy. Diversity of cultural backgrounds, identities, lived experiences, perspectives, and ways of understanding the world enriches our community and enables us to best meet the public health needs of the United States and the world. Ongoing learning and development related to diversity allows for both individual and institutional growth, and is necessary to foster and sustain a culture of inclusion. To achieve this, we are committed to ensuring equitable access to opportunities for learning, living, and working at the Harvard Chan School. We maintain an unwavering dedication to diversity, inclusion, and belonging as core to our institutional values and to actively counter, minimize, and address racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, gender bias, and all forms of discrimination.

Learn more about the School’s mission, objectives, and core values and our diversity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives.


Harvard University offers an outstanding benefits package including:

  • Time Off: 3-4 weeks paid vacation, paid holiday break, 12 paid sick days, 12+ paid holidays, and 3 paid personal days per year.
  • Medical/Dental/Vision: Excellent and affordable medical, dental & vision plans, with coverage beginning as of an employee’s start date.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance & Reimbursement Programs: $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School, discounted options through participating Harvard graduate schools, and reimbursement options for accredited schools outside of Harvard.
  • Transportation: 50% discount on MBTA passes, as well as additional options (rideshare, biking, etc.) to assist employees in their daily commute.
  • Wellness & Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including stress management, hard & soft skills development, career planning, massages, nutrition, meditation, and complimentary health services. Additionally, access to Harvard athletic facilities, libraries, campus events — and many discounts for various cultural and leisure activities 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!


  • The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health does not provide visa sponsorship, now or in the future, for staff positions.
  • Harvard University requires pre-employment reference checks and background screenings.
  • This position has a 180 day orientation and review period.


Learn more here

Job posted: 2021-12-23