Director of Communications, GSAS

Updated: 4 months ago
Deadline: The position may have been removed or expired!


Faculty of Arts and Sciences


Job Summary

Exciting opportunity to lead a high performing team in promoting the work of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) and advancing the School’s visibility within Harvard and beyond. The Office of Communications oversees all internal and external communications for the School, including print, web, podcast, video, social media, email, and media relations, directed at prospective and enrolled students, alumni, faculty and administrative partners, and the general public. Reporting to the GSAS Dean of Administration and Finance with a dotted reporting line to the FAS Associate Dean for Communications, the Director of Communications is responsible for developing and leading the effective communications, brand, and marketing strategies and execution in order to engage GSAS's varied audiences.

Position Description


  • Develops and ensures implementation of an annual communications plan in consultation with GSAS offices. 

  • Evaluates ways to promote GSAS within Harvard and externally, developing an outreach plan that both educates audiences on the value of a GSAS education and promotes the work of students and alumni more broadly. 

  • Working with the Dean and members of the Senior Leadership Team, develops and implements communications strategy in support of GSAS’s strategic planning and priorities 

  • Develops communications rollout plans for GSAS and University-wide campaigns, providing writing support for the senior leadership team 

  • Evaluates new communications vehicles and strategizes with key stakeholders in office to enhance existing communications  

  • Represents GSAS at Harvard communications leadership meetings, collaborates with others at the University on shared goals 

  • Oversees the GSAS brand and style, ensuring that usage is consistent and appropriate, and represented properly to internal and external audiences 

External Relations 

  • Partners with the Associate Director of Communications to oversee storytelling operation, ensuring that the priorities of the GSAS Dean, FAS Dean, and other relevant Harvard leaders are reflected 

  • Experience in crisis issues management and work with leadership on internal and external responses 

  • Serves as GSAS spokesperson, responding to media requests and developing relationships with reporters 

  • Offers counsel and guidance to management for dealing with the media and staff interviews  

  • Manages public relations and media in partnership with FAS Communications and HPAC, working with GSAS Dean and members of the Senior Leadership Team to leverage content in enhancing the reputation of the school inside and outside Harvard. 

Team Management 

  • Leads the work of the Communications Team, ensuring that all audiences have access to relevant content through all communications channels—website, email, social media, video, podcast, publications, etc. 

  • Manages communications budget and stewardship of GSAS funds 

  • Identifies vendors for high-level projects 

  • Negotiates and signs contracts on behalf of GSAS 

  • Interviews and hires staff, assigns and reviews work, conducts annual performance reviews and takes corrective action, up to and through termination 


  • Oversees GSAS website, ensuring content remains relevant to various audiences and adheres to brand and style guidelines 

  • Supports GSAS staff members of the web steering group and guides annual update process 

  • Works with website developers on enhancements to the site 

  • Monitor and evaluate website analytics, using data to inform communications strategy and guide work of GSAS offices 

Other Experience 

Experience managing sensitive information 

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • 8+ years of experience in communications, marketing or public relations management, digital and multi-media.
  • Supervisory experience.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, strategic communications, or other relevant content areas preferred 

  • Experience managing a website and associated web infrastructure as well as other communications channels such as social media, video, podcast, publications, etc.

  • Experience leading a team and supervising staff

  • Experience in higher education or non-profit setting helpful  

  • Ability to collaborate as part of a team, contributing to major plans and high-level direction  

  • Ability to build strong and sustainable relationships and interact at all levels of the organization 

  • Experience developing multifaceted, strategic communications strategies to reach target audiences in alignment with organizational goals, with demonstrated measurement of impact 

  • Ability to work with confidentiality and discretion  

  • Ability to work well under pressure and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment  

  • Exemplary oral and written communication

Working Conditions

This position will be based in Cambridge, MA and requires at least 3 days in the office. Furthermore, individual flexible and remote work options for this role will be discussed during the interview process. All remote work must be performed in a state in which Harvard is registered to do business. 

Additional Information

Please note: Applicants must submit a cover letter as part of their application for this position. 

All formal written offers will be made by FAS Human Resources.


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


Department Office Location

USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code

CM0559 Communications Management IV


Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences


00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Pre-Employment Screening

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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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