Development Assistant Specialist, Office of the Associate Vice President and Dean of Development, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Updated: 4 months ago


Alumni Affairs and Development


Job Summary

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).

FAS Development is responsible for the fundraising efforts supporting the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, including Harvard College, the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. FAS Development staff work with donors, alumni, parents, and friends who provide critical support for the FAS and often for other parts of the University.

This position is responsible for day-to-day administrative duties, drafting and accurate proof reading of high-level correspondence, report generation, and database maintenance for the Associate Vice President and Dean of Development for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Provides administrative support in a fast-paced, complex environment. Ensures the daily management of the AVP/Dean’s work, preparing meeting materials in a timely manner, scheduling meetings, making travel arrangements, electronic filing, maintaining donor contacts in Advance database, and handling reimbursement and processing for travel and expenses. Responsible for the proper formatting, drafting, editing, and distribution of correspondence. Works independently on specific project work and assists with ad-hoc project facilitation. Provides customer service to internal staff members and external clients such as donors and/or alumni. Assists with donor outreach and schedules meetings with alumni. Works closely with University-wide departments and other Alumni Affairs and Development (AA&D) sections, specifically with AA&D Executive team and their assistants.

Position Description

  • Provides high-level office support, including proactively maintaining AVP/Dean’s calendar, managing preparation and the smooth running of each day, responding to phone and email inquiries, and handling processing and reimbursements for travel and expenses.
  • Creates AVP/Dean’s daily briefing packet by acquiring pre-reading materials, agendas, meeting and event briefings and notes for the next day’s meetings. Proactively reaches out to managers of upcoming meetings to ensure that materials are provided well in advance.
  • Responsible for developing effective systems for managing the AVP/Dean’s administrative needs.
  • Provides support to all aspects of the AVP/Dean’s principal gift portfolio work including (but not limited to) data gathering and maintenance; drafting prospect outreach, memos, correspondence, and reports; scheduling meetings, preparing meeting materials and follow-up action items.
  • Assist with managing prospect-related tasks, workflow, and projects to help meet various and competing deadlines.
  • Ensure timely and effective follow up with donors and academic and administrative leaders, including tracking gift conversations, solicitation strategies, prepare follow-up steps and action items, keeping track of stewardship opportunities, liaising with Research teams.
  • Proactively and in a timely fashion, records donor meetings and posts donor contact reports on behalf of AVP/Dean the Advance database.
  • Makes travel arrangements including air travel, ground transportation and hotel booking, creates and updates travel itineraries with meeting and event logistics, donor information, directions, and other materials while adhering to the confidentiality protocol administered by AA&D.
  • Produces detailed expense reports (corporate card as well as out-of-pocket) for AVP/Dean. Works with the budget office to ensure smooth processing of expense reports.
  • Provides customer service to internal staff members and external clients such as donors and/or alumni. Assists with donor outreach and schedules meetings with alumni domestically and overseas.
  • Cultivates favorable relationships and works closely with other AA&D departments, University-wide departments, and administrators and faculty as needed.
  • Contributes to team effort by accomplishing related tasks and special projects and supports the Executive Director of Development, Planning, Operations and Donor Engagement as needed.
  • Attends AA&D All-Staff Meetings, FAS Staff Meetings, FAS Staff Forums, and Support Staff Meetings throughout the year.

Basic Qualifications

  • 1-3 years of administrative support or related experience, education beyond high school may count toward experience.
  • Strong knowledge of Microsoft Office software; strong writing skills; available to work additional evening and weekend hours if necessary.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • College degree from an accredited institution strongly preferred.
  • Must be highly organized, detailed oriented and have the ability to work competently and efficiently in a fast-paced, multi-task environment.
  • Knowledge of English grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Ability to accurately proofread and edit correspondence.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, excellent phone manner, and personal presentation.
  • Ability to work under pressure with poise and confidence, understand and follow policies and procedures, and accommodate change.
  • Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively on a team.
  • Experience interacting with corporate executives and senior level staff preferred.

Additional Information

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

To learn more about our Alumni Affairs and Development team, please visit our website 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.


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, General Administration

Department Office Location

USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code

403038 Staff Assistant III-Specialist

Work Format

Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)


Alumni Affairs and Development


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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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