Assistant Director, Development Strategy, University Development Office

Updated: about 10 hours ago


Alumni Affairs and Development


Job Summary

Alumni Affairs and Development (AA&D)
Alumni Affairs and Development is a dedicated team supporting Harvard’s advancement activity through front-line fundraising, alumni and volunteer engagement, technology, prospect management and research, business process, events, communications, and many other areas.

Our goal is to create an environment of respect that leverages the many talents, perspectives, and experiences of our employees; 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. We strive to live our values of respect, inclusion, trust, collaboration, continuous improvement and innovation; and open communication and effective information sharing in our daily interactions and our work.

AA&D is comprised of the University Development Office (UDO), Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Development, AA&D Resources, the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA), and the Office of the Vice President (OVP).

As a member of the University Development Office (UDO) team, the Assistant Director will report jointly to the Senior Executive Director, UDO, and the Senior Director, Principal Gifts. The incumbent will be responsible for project management and strategic coordination across the UDO fundraising teams. The Assistant Director will develop and manage a range of processes and best practices necessary to ensure organizational focus on UDO top prospects, fundraising objectives, cross-university coordination and collaboration, and overall team management and performance through a variety of means, including: planning and goal setting; the creation of effective communication channels for the timely dissemination of information to staff and School colleagues;  fundraiser and prospect strategy meetings that foster communication and collaboration; reporting and accountability structures to track and evaluate performance; appropriate structures to track top prospect identification; strategy development and follow-up; and other activities of the teams to ensure ongoing success. This position will also develop bespoke engagement plans and serve as a project manager for high-level engagement events and activities for top prospects.

Position Description

  • Responsible for building and maintaining operational systems and processes necessary to ensure organizational focus on our top prospects, fundraising objectives, and overall team management and performance through a variety of means including:
  • Develop the structure for frontline fundraiser team meetings and prospect strategy sessions. Oversee support staff in the creation of agendas and systems to track next steps. Iterate on the initial format to ensure the meetings fulfill the goals and objectives identified in partnership with development unit heads.
  • Oversee the timely development of data-driven annual operational plans and goals for the fundraising teams.
  • Identify mechanisms for timely communication flow with staff and across development teams, including regular cross-development team meetings as well as strategy and coordination meetings with School colleagues.
  • Manage the fundraising teams’ interface with UDO and AA&D partner teams, such as donor relations and research. Identify areas to improve communication, collaboration, and efficiency.
  • Develop and implement processes and systems to ensure the appropriate prioritization and timely development of proposals, gift terms, and the accurate booking of complex gifts.
  • Develop knowledge of top donors and prospects necessary to drive the creation of annual and multi-year strategic plans with input from fundraising staff, senior fundraising leaders, School colleagues, and relevant volunteer managers.
  • Develop tools to track top donor solicitation strategies and tactics of the development teams, primarily for Principal Gifts and at times including the work of the Vice President of Alumni Affairs and Development and Associate Vice President of UDO, to inform proposal development with content strategy partners, terms creation, and relevant briefings.
  • Provide additional capacity to fundraising teams in times of high-volume, especially in advance of presidential trips and donor visits, by managing workflow across support staff.
  • As required, drive planning and execution of university development committee meetings and events that require participation by the President and/or the Provost.  

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Minimum of 4+ year’s experience in university development or related field.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Must be able to collaborate with a range of diverse stakeholders and lead and manage key organizational processes and activities with confidence and good judgement.
  • Experience working with prospect strategy and in a fundraising environment preferred.
  • Strong operational skills that demonstrate professionalism, organization, strong time management, managing and measuring work, managing work processes.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; must be detail oriented.
  • Ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment; to prioritize work and work independently.
  • Good judgment and discretion to represent the Alumni Affairs and Development constituencies in a highly professional manner. Ability to handle confidential materials with discretion.  Collaborative and diplomatic – able to advance projects and work outside of their direct authority by building and maintaining strong internal relationships.
  • Solid computer skills in a PC environment with the capability to master new software applications and technologies in database management. 

Additional Information

  • This position requires a 3 month orientation and review period.
  • Please include a cover letter with your application.

To learn more about the AA&D team, please visit our Careers site at

To learn more about how Harvard supports diversity and inclusion throughout the University please visit the Office for Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at .

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.

COVID 19 Vaccination Information: 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.

Work Format Details

This is a hybrid position that is based in Massachusetts. Additional details will be discussed during the interview process. All remote work must be performed within one of the Harvard Registered Payroll States, which currently includes Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Washington, and California (CA for exempt positions only). Certain visa types and funding sources may limit work location. Individuals must meet work location sponsorship requirements prior to employment.


We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website ( ) to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

Job Function

Alumni Affairs and Development

Department Office Location

USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code

300057 Development Professional

Work Format

Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)


Alumni Affairs and Development


00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Pre-Employment Screening

Education, Identity

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

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.

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.

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