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Associate Director of Public Programs – Harvard Graduate School of Design

Position Description:
Job Summary :
The core responsibility of the Associate Director of Public Programs is to produce semester-length seasons of public programs for the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). Composed of lectures, panel discussions, symposia, and occasional performances, public programs at the GSD bring scholars and practitioners from around the world to the GSD’s campus in Cambridge. Taken together, this group of visitors reflects the full breadth of expertise and interests at the School, which spans a multitude of disciplines from within and beyond architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, and urban design—including economics, public policy, engineering, governance, medicine and public health, art, and the humanities.

The Associate Director of Public Programs will be very active in engaging faculty, students, staff, and other affiliates from across the School’s community to maintain a deep awareness of and sensitivity to department priorities, current topical interests, and other projects or initiatives that would benefit from the kind of public presentation and dialogue afforded by public events. One of the most critical components of this role is the capacity to collaborate with faculty to distill ideas surfaced from across the School into a coherent semester of events, one that is balanced, representative of, and complementary to the full breadth of academic pursuits at the GSD. Successful candidates must be able to anticipate all aspects of program planning, and be able to lead a team independently in organizing and carrying out program plans.

The Public Programs team—which includes two other colleagues, the Public Programs Coordinator and Assistant Director of Multimedia Production—is based in the Office of Communications, which also includes teams that manage the School’s exhibitions program, communications and editorial programs, media relations, art direction, Harvard Design Magazine, and Harvard Design Press. Collectively, the office often serves as a front line in engaging public audiences, and it is through the office’s collaborative work where the GSD’s people and ideas frequently come into dialogue with these publics. The Public Programs team is central to this effort, both conceptually in how a semester of programs is conceived, and operationally in how those programs are communicated about and delivered. The Public Programs team strives to cultivate a welcoming atmosphere for all audiences and maintains a high level of professionalism, preparedness, and hospitality to ensure that audiences and event participants alike have a rich and rewarding experience at the GSD.

The Associate Director of Public Programs reports to the Assistant Dean and Director of Communications, and together with the Public Programs team manages between 20 and 25 public events per semester (fall and spring). In addition to managing two direct reports, the Associate Director is expected to actively engage a wide variety of faculty, staff, and student group leaders, and to be available to offer guidance to individuals and offices seeking to plan their own events. The Associate Director must also become deeply familiar with a variety of web-based technologies used for space and event scheduling and digital communications.

This position is based in Cambridge and requires regular in-person work at the GSD throughout the academic year, and allows for remote work on days when events are not scheduled and when classes are not in session.

Position Description :
Works with the Assistant Dean of Communications to develop and produce a range of public programs across the School.
Engages the Assistant Dean of Communications, Dean of the School, chairs of departments within the school, and other faculty in conversation to source ideas and input for upcoming programs.
Works with conference organizers to prepare event proposals for presentation to the Assistant Dean of Communications and the Dean of the School.
Gathers information about the content, goals, number of participants, size and constituency of expected audiences for public programs.
Makes recommendations as to the scope and content of conferences, bearing in mind the conference goals and structure.
Develops new event formats and ways to stage them for in-person, online, and hybrid audiences, working closely with Assistant Director, Multimedia Production and the Digital Project Manager, and makes plans to operationalize them.
Working with the GSD’s Art Director and outside graphic designers, coordinates and prepares event promotion and marketing materials.
Collaborates with other School departments in the organization and execution of events and programs.
Coordinates communication of events with those involved across GSD such as the academic departments, Facilities Services, and IT.
Manages departmental event and A/V tech budgets and monitors expenses.
Maintains event calendar and creates spreadsheets to track the details related to each event.
Manages GSD events web pages.
Helps lead committee for GSD events calendar system, and participates on other event-related committees as necessary.
Researches and negotiates with conference venues, hotels, caterers, and other vendors.
Acts as a GSD resource for information regarding events and programs related to the School.
Supervises two staff: the Public Programs Coordinator well as the Assistant Director, Multimedia Production.

Basic Qualifications :
Bachelor’s degree with 7+ years of event management experience required. Must have project management, negotiation, interpersonal and communication skills, and a strong commitment to customer service.

Additional Qualifications and Skills :
Able to work a flexible schedule that includes evenings and weekend work as necessitated by the events schedule. Proficiency in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and electronic calendaring. Excellent judgment, discretion, diplomacy, communication and public relations skills required, as well as strong organizational, detail management and follow-through skills. Ability to develop effective working relationships with key departments and contacts across the school and to balance their priorities against established budgets. Flexibility in adapting plans consistent with changing needs. Ability to respond quickly and effectively to multiple priorities and situations. Knowledge of University and surrounding community helpful.

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.
The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up-to-date on CDC-recommended vaccines.

[Full-Time (Salaried)] Salary Range: 95000-105000

Schedule Requirements:

Minimum Requirements:
Standard office work environment.
Level of English Required: Advanced/Fluent

How to Apply:

Apply Online

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