Director of Communications and Outreach

Director of Communications and Outreach

Harvard University

Harvard University

Harvard Kennedy School


Job Function

Time Status

Wiener Center

Salary Grade

00 – Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Duties & Responsibilities
The Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy is at the forefront of social policy research, teaching, innovation and practice – impacting policy questions on inequality, mobility, urban poverty, criminal justice, mass incarceration, education, child welfare, health policy, American Indian economic development, immigration and labor. Over nearly thirty years the Center has developed its role as a hub of social policy research and related activities for the university community, bringing together researchers from across campus working in the fields of poverty, inequality and social mobility. The Center serves as a leading forum for debate and conversations among scholars, researchers, students and policymakers about ideas and policies that can promote safety, social and economic opportunity, and mobility, especially in America’s poorest communities.

The Director of Communications and Outreach at the Malcolm Wiener for Social Policy works closely with the Center’s Director, Executive Director, faculty, staff and fellows to increase the visibility of the Malcolm Wiener Center and maximize the impact of research generated by faculty, staff and affiliates of the Center, initiatives and activities among policy makers, policy-influencing constituencies, and the general public. Reporting to the Executive Director, s/he develops and executes overall communications strategy for the Center, in close consultation with the Center’s leadership.

The Director of Communications and Outreach is responsible for communicating complicated content and its relevance in top-tier, topic-relevant mainstream, online and specialty media outlets. S/he is responsible for identifying critical audiences and building relationships and arranging briefings with important constituencies, including with key influencers: journalists and commentators, policy makers, as well as leading scholars in the relevant fields. The person in this position will be capable of developing a sophisticated understanding of a wide range of programs and research subjects in order to write about them compellingly for practitioners, academics, journalists, and the general public. In addition, s/he will identify and execute the appropriate communication channels, tools and events necessary to reach target audiences effectively.

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

Additional responsibilities include and will develop and execute a communications plan and related activities and materials for the Center’s Advisory Board; developing press and outreach strategies around specific events and programs; developing press releases, briefing materials, digital content, collateral, and other material necessary to maximize strategic impact; overseeing development of the Wiener Center’s marketing materials; ensuring consistency and quality of brand management, in accordance with HKS standards, for all Wiener Center marketing and communication vehicles; supporting major events and presentations of the Center’s work; and developing strong working relationships with the faculty and staff of the programs and projects within the Center, providing strategic and operational communications support for them as needed. Will collaborate with and act as the liaison between the Center and staff members in the HKS Office of Communications and Public Affairs.

Additional Information
Please upload your cover letter and resume as one document.

Harvard University requires pre-employment reference and background checks.

Harvard University is committed to supporting a healthy, sustainable learning and working environment.

Pre-Employment Screening

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, or any other characteristic protected by law.


Basic Qualifications
BA/BS and minimum of 5 years related work experience in communications, media relations or related field. Experience developing and implementing communication plans, leveraging digital communications channels and social media, and producing press releases and other promotional materials.

Additional Qualifications
Strong written and verbal communications skills. Exceptional interpersonal skills and proven record of working collaboratively with a wide range of constituents. 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 simultaneous, deadlines and multi-task. Writing samples may be required.

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