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Harvard University Senior Communications Officer, in Cambridge, Massachusetts

52931BRAuto req ID:52931BRJob Code:CM0958 Communications Sr Spcialist I Location:USA - MA - Cambridge Business Title:Senior Communications Officer, Creative Marketing and OutreachSub-Unit:------------ Salary Grade:058Time Status:Full-time Union:00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary Basic Qualifications:Bachelor’s degree required, with a minimum of seven years of related work experience in journalism, grant/proposal-writing, development writing, case-writing, preferably in an academic/fundraising setting.Additional Qualifications and Skills:

  • Exceptional research, writing, editing, and content strategy skills. Experience writing persuasively, as well as using visuals and data, in a communications, marketing, or journalism function is desirable.

  • Strong research skills and ability to interact with a wide range of stakeholders to gather relevant data with tact, diplomacy, and persistence.

  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, and an ability to establish and promote good working relationships with prospects/donors, alumni, colleagues, faculty, and administrators.

  • Able to take direction regarding overarching narratives for written materials and augment with relevant research and new ideas through own initiative and creativity.

  • Highly collaborative, team-focused and able to move projects forward with independence, in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment.

  • Flexible, intellectually curious, passionate about learning and furthering the HDS’s mission in education and research and dedicated to being part of and contributing to an inclusive workplace and environment.

  • Excellent speaking and client-service skills required.

  • Ability to successfully prioritize and manage multiple assignments simultaneously and deliver materials on a strict timeline.

  • Ability to receive and integrate feedback quickly.

  • Ability to maintain a high degree of confidentiality and responsibility regarding information related to University business and prospect information.

  • Experience and familiarity with gift terms, gift acceptance and gift policy a plus.

Familiarity with the workings of Harvard a plus.

  • Must have proficiency and understanding of office productivity suites and databases.

  • Experience in higher education and large research universities a plus.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Your cover letter and resume should be combined into a SINGLE DOCUMENT under the resume tab. Cover letters are required for every position at Harvard Divinity School.

We regret that the Harvard Divinity School does not provide Visa sponsorship.

Additional Information:Candidates wishing to be considered must supply a cover letter in addition to a resume.

The Harvard Divinity School (HDS) seeks to respect, understand, and learn from the cultures and beliefs of the members of our diverse community and cultivate an environment in which all members of our community can participate and thrive. We endeavor to accept responsibility for the impact of our actions on our community, our environment, and the world as we advance our shared commitment to education and scholarship. We are dedicated to building a community, and, ultimately, a world, in which people can peacefully live and work together across religious and cultural divides. HDS actively seeks and welcomes people of color, women, the LGBTQIA+ community, persons with disabilities, and people at intersections of these identities, from across the spectrum of disciplines and methods to contribute to our mission to educate students of religion for intellectual leadership, professional service, and ministry.

Harvard Divinity School is a nonsectarian school of religious and theological studies. To help build a world in which people can live and work together across religious and cultural divides, Harvard Divinity School educates scholars, teachers, ministers, and other professionals for leadership and service in religious, government and public service spheres.

Department:CommunicationsPre-Employment Screening:Education, IdentitySchedule:Monday to Friday, 9-5pmJob Function:Communications Job-Specific Responsibilities:Development and External Relations (DER):

  • Lead and execute Development Communications strategy, in partnership with DER team, including honing core messages and crafting content for communications, appeals, collateral and website pages

  • Works with the DER team, Dean’s office, key faculty and senior leadership to translate the Dean’s priorities into compelling concept papers, gift proposals, an annual Dean’s Report, and other materials for circulation among internal stakeholders and external prospects, alumni, volunteers, and donors; serves as the primary writer for development and external relations

  • Creates presentation content and writes speeches, remarks, talking points and communications for the School’s leadership

  • Ensures materials are accurate and reflect well the objectives of the academic priorities and perspectives of HDS. Seeks input from and vets materials with appropriate academic, administrative, alumni and development leadership.

  • Partners with Communications and DER colleagues to highlight the impact of HDS alumni/ae and supporters

  • Participates in and leads major research projects needed to develop content for concept and position papers, ensuring HDS is following best practices in the field

  • Works with the DER frontline team to prepare for and follow up from donor visits, including providing content for faculty and administrator briefings.

  • Represents HDS to the central Alumni Affairs and Development office for communications and content, including participation in monthly University-wide development communications meetings

  • Serves on ad-hoc committees focusing on School-wide marketing and communications strategies


  • Works with stakeholders throughout HDS to develop brand and marketing strategy, to increase awareness and understanding of HDS and its impact on the world among a range of constituencies (including potential students, alumni, donors and potential donors)

  • Works with stakeholders to proactively anticipate marketing needs and create an annual marketing and communications calendar that serves the needs of admissions/enrollment, development, and outward-facing programs.

  • Works with stakeholders on marketing budgets, making recommendations for spending based on strategy and calendar

  • Executes campaigns and supports outreach goals by using both traditional tools (such as an Admissions Viewbook and print advertising) and digital assets such as Google Ads, social media streams, and other digital advertising and promotional tools and platforms

  • Analyzes data to inform strategic decisions and tactics prior to and during campaigns; analyzes data from completed campaigns to inform future campaigns; creates user-friendly and intuitive reports and presentations on key metrics, suitable for use with senior leadership and external committees and councils

The above covers the most significant responsibilities of the position. It does not, however, exclude other duties, the inclusion of which would be in conformity with the level of the position.School/Unit:Harvard Divinity School 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, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.Working Conditions:Please Note: During the current period of COVID-19 related restrictions, this position will start as a remote position, with transition to onsite in Cambridge when the HDS campus reopens. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility with our interview process. We will be conducting interviews virtually for selected candidates until further notice. Job Summary:Reporting to the Director of Communications, the Senior Communications Officer will be a partner in creating resources to drive fundraising, student recruitment, and strategic marketing programs to achieve the goals of the Harvard Divinity School (HDS). The Senior Communications Officer will shape development communications and external marketing strategies, craft key messages for a range of stakeholders, develop content, and analyze results of marketing/outreach. From creating development presentations and proposals for major donors to assisting Admissions and Executive Education in their recruiting efforts, the Senior Communications Officer will create and maintain high-quality, consistent, compelling professional content across all HDS platforms and materials. The Senior Communications Officer also has a reporting line to the Associate Dean for Development and External Relations.