Associate Vice President and Executive Director, Harvard Alumni Association
Harvard University Alumni Affairs and Development
Location: USA - MA - Cambridge
Internal Number: 58621BR
Associate Vice President/Executive Director of the Harvard Alumni Association
Overview The Associate Vice President and Executive Director (AVP/ED) leads the alumni affairs efforts of Harvard University and, reporting to the Vice President, Alumni Affairs and Development (VP), serves as a member of the Alumni Affairs and Development Executive Team. The AVP/ED will play a critical role across the University in representing alumni viewpoints and attitudes to University staff and volunteer leadership.
Information for applying to this position is located in the Additional Information section of this posting.
Harvard University Harvard University, the oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the world's premier research universities, is at the frontier of academic and intellectual discovery. Those who venture here – to learn, research, teach, work, and grow – join nearly four centuries of students and scholars in the pursuit of truth, knowledge, and a better world. Harvard is led by its 29th President, Lawrence S. Bacow, who took office in July 2018
Alumni Affairs and Development The mission of Harvard University's Alumni Affairs and Development (AA&D) is to foster and sustain a highly engaged, vibrant community of alumni and friends worldwide and to lead the University's engagement and fundraising efforts in support of Harvard's mission. AA&D pursues these objectives via a central organization—comprised of the University Development Office, Faculty of Arts and Sciences Development, the Harvard Alumni Association, and AA&D Resources—which works in close collaboration with the individual Schools' development and alumni relations offices University-wide. The entire central AA&D organization has more than 430 full time employees.
Harvard Alumni Association The Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) is the University-wide alumni association for Harvard University. It is also the home to the Harvard College and Radcliffe College alumni/ae association and the staff that support them. In its University-wide capacity, the HAA serves alumni of all eleven schools at Harvard in a manner supportive of and complementary to the work of the individual school alumni offices. Harvard University alumni span the globe at nearly 400,000 strong – more than 327,000 are in the USA, with 204 international countries represented.
Job Summary: The Associate Vice President and Executive Director of the Harvard Alumni Association (AVP/ED) is responsible for the strategic direction of the HAA, as well as its staffing and administration. They serve as a leader in the broader AA&D organization and as a member of the AA&D Executive Team, leading with organizational values; as the leader of a network of more than 17,500 alumni volunteers, who are working to sustain communities of alumni in support of Harvard's mission; and as an important conduit of alumni sentiment to University leaders.
The AVP/ED will strive for alignment and synergy with AA&D partners across Harvard and be simultaneously sensitive to culture and historical context. The goal will be to sustain this best-in-class program and strive to continue to innovate and evolve. To do so, the AVP/ED must design an engagement program that has dexterity and can pivot within the constraints of an organization with deeply established processes and policies and to innovate in areas that can be strengthened.
Under the direction of University staff and volunteers, the Harvard Alumni Association has been effective and creative in finding new opportunities to build connections with and among Harvard's nearly 400,000 alumni. The team within AA&D is talented, hardworking, and dedicated to the mission of the University. The next AVP/ED will be asked to sustain the strengths of the organization through a period of transition.
The AVP/ED is responsible for the strategic direction, staffing, and administration of the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA), the umbrella organization for all University alumni, including for Harvard College alumni and FAS alumni broadly. The AVP/ED is both internally and externally facing, with responsibilities that span leading the HAA organization; collaborating with key University partners, particularly the dean of the FAS as pertains to strategizing around and engaging the College and Radcliffe alumni/ae groups; and serving as a visible leader for the HAA's volunteer community.
Working in consultation with the president and deans, acts as the chief spokesperson and contact for the HAA with the University Administration. Serves as an advisor to the University President and the VP AA&D on strategic matters related to the University's engagement with its alumni. Represents the HAA on University-wide committees and is a unifier for alumni relations activity throughout Harvard University.
Serves as a key ambassador representing the University throughout the world.
Creates a strategic vision for alumni volunteerism and the global volunteer network. Responsible for advancing inclusion and belonging in the Harvard alumni communities.
Works closely with the HAA President and the HAA Board to continue to develop opportunities for alumni of the College and of each of the professional and graduate schools to interact with each other and to engage, both socially and intellectually, throughout the University. Serves as a key leader in bringing together diverse groups of people, including in terms of gender, race, age, and much more.
Oversees the operation and content of numerous committees of the Board that include the committees for Alumni Awards, the Happy Observance of Commencement, and to Nominate Oversees and Elected Directors. Partners with the Harvard-Cambridge Scholarships and Schools and Scholarships committees, among others.
Responsible for leading, managing and empowering the HAA staff, including the following teams:
College Alumni Programs
Major reunions, 25th, 35th and 50th
Minor reunions, every 5 years
Senior Class Organization and Events
Class based engagement
Class Reports Office
Harvard Clubs and Shared Interest Groups
University-wide Alumni Engagement
Plays a key role in the AA&D organization as a senior leader and member of the AA&D Executive Team. Builds on and continues to develop efforts to ensure AA&D, including the HAA, is a data-driven organization. Maintains strong relationships with FAS Development and the University Development Office, as well as with peers across the School alumni affairs and development teams.
Works closely with the Office of the Governing Boards on issues related to elections of the Board of Overseers, including staffing the Committee to Nominate Overseers and Elected Directors; and other matters as they arise.
Serves as primary liaison to Harvard Clubs of Boston and New York and to Harvard Magazine.
Please note: Harvard University has retained Mr. Jack Gorman of the national executive search firm, Isaacson, Miller, to assist in this important recruitment. For more information, to submit a nomination, or to apply for this role, please visit: https://www.imsearch.com/8537
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.
This position requires a 6 month orientation and review period.
About Harvard University Harvard University, based in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, was established in 1636 and is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States. The University is home to over 20,000 students and employs 18,000 people, making us the fifth-largest employer in Massachusetts. Harvard is a special place, filled with diverse, energetic, and talented people who are driven to grow and succeed. By working here, you join a vibrant community that advances Harvard's world-changing mission in meaningful ways, inspires innovation and collaboration, and builds skills and expertise.
Why AA&D? We are a dedicated team of 400 alumni affairs and development professionals supporting Harvard's advancement activity through roles that include front-line fundraising, alumni and volunteer engagement, technology, events, communications, prospect management and research, business process, talent management and many other areas.
Harvard's Alumni Affairs and Development team inspires and galvanizes alumni, friends, and members of the University community to support Harvard through philanthropy, governance, and active engagement. AA&D believes a workplace that reflects the diversity of our society and our ever-evolving University constituency makes us a stronger and more effective organization. Our goal is to create an environment of respect that values the many talents, perspectives, and experiences of our community, to deliver the strongest possible results by incorporating diverse perspectives into our daily work, and to make AA&D a great place to work for everyone. AA&D strives to live our values of respect, inclusion, trust, collaboration, innovation and sharing of information in our daily interactions and our work.
Discover AA&D and Harvard University Benefits
Opportunities for internal advancement
A creative, high- energy, collaborative environment
Generous Vacation, Sick, Personal, and Holiday pay
Medical, Dental and Vision benefits starting on your first day
University-funded retirement plans
Tuition Assistance Program
Transportation benefits to help with your daily commute
Health and wellness discounts, memberships and programs
Additional benefits can be found at https://hr.harvard.edu/totalrewards
Accommodations: Harvard University welcomes individuals with disabilities to apply for positions and participate in its programs and activities. If you would like to request accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, please let your recruiter know.
Vaccine Requirements: The University requires all Harvard community members to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and remain up to date with COVID-19 vaccine boosters, as detailed in Harvard's Vaccine & Booster Requirements. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University's COVID vaccination requirement, exemptions, and verification of vaccination status may be found at the University's
The AVP/ED must command the respect of academic and administrative leadership, governance volunteers, faculty and staff, general alumni and other external constituents, and alumni relations professionals across the University.
The successful candidate will have a minimum of 15 years of related experience with a preference for demonstrated involvement with the field of alumni relations or university advancement and a preference for demonstrated leadership in a complex organization. To this end, the new AVP/ED will have a track record of having built strong teams of highly functioning and collaborative staff in a complex organization, preferably within a research university setting. The candidate will have an exemplary track record in both recruitment and retention of talented staff and an extraordinary discernment when hiring and evaluating individual and team performance. The new AVP/ED will have a strong personal commitment to diversity and a successful track record of recruiting and retaining a diverse staff.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER: 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.
About Harvard University Alumni Affairs and Development
Harvard University is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally. The University, which is based in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, has an enrollment of over 20,000 degree candidates, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Harvard has more than 360,000 alumni around the world. The University has twelve degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, offering a truly global education. Established in 1636, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States.