Strategic Advisor to the Dean

Updated: 3 months ago


Harvard Radcliffe Institute


Job Summary

The Strategic Advisor to the Dean, a member of the Institute’s senior leadership team, advises the dean of the Harvard Radcliffe Institute (HRI) and other senior leaders on Institute strategy and leads the planning and implementation of high-priority special projects and strategic initiatives on behalf of the dean. The incumbent will manage strategic planning and reporting projects across the Institute and will additionally oversee dean's office staff members responsible for writing, research, decanal communications, and project/program management.

Position Description

Leadership of Special Projects and Strategic Initiatives:

  • Direct the planning, development, and implementation of new projects and initiatives on behalf of the dean, including multi-year thematic focus areas, working in close partnership with the Associate Dean for Academic Programs.
  • Provide accurate, timely, comprehensive visibility into strategic initiatives including overall status / performance, organizational and stakeholder value and benefits, organizational and project-based risks, and issues.
  • Partner with the External Relations (fundraising) department to guide speaker selection and programming for Radcliffe Day, Radcliffe on the Road, and other major donor-facing events.
  • Ensure that all dean’s office projects and initiatives are completed successfully in a timely, effective, and impactful manner, considering a variety of complex organizational interests.  
Strategic Planning, Evaluation, Learning, and Integration:
  • Lead the development and implementation of Institute-wide strategic planning, monitoring, evaluation, and learning systems, in partnership with other senior leaders.
  • Manage Institute reporting, including annual reports to the President and Provost and periodic evaluations by the Board of Overseers.
  • Support effective coordination, integration, and strategic alignment across Radcliffe’s senior leadership team and its administrative and programmatic departments.
  • Participate as a member of relevant senior programmatic and administrative groups alongside and/or as surrogate for the dean.
  • Develop and maintain productive collegial relationships with Institute faculty, staff, and fellows and University leaders in order to effectively advance the dean’s priorities.
  • Manage and resolve conflict, promoting a culture of collaboration, trust, transparency, and respect.
Strategic Communications:
  • Direct research, drafting, and editing of speeches, remarks, talking points, executive communications, correspondence, articles, opinion editorials, and other commentary by the dean; ensure that the strategic content and messaging are clearly defined in each piece.  
  • Serve as final editor of high priority written materials from the dean's office or representing the dean's views or voice.
  • Partner closely with the Director of Communications and the Associate Dean for External Relations on public- and donor-facing communications, particularly where such communications have direct bearing on Institute strategy and/or the dean.
Dean’s Office Operations:
  • Ensure timely and effective information sharing necessary for smooth dean’s office operations, strategic and effective use of the dean’s time, and timely preparation of decanal communications.
  • Coordinate agenda-setting on behalf of the dean and prepare briefings and talking points for high-level internal and external meetings.
  • Advise on and support the development of efficient dean’s office processes, including by providing high-level oversight to the weekly briefing process.
Supervisory Responsibilities:
  • Supervises the work of assigned staff.
  • Carries out supervisory responsibilities according to the Institute’s / University’s management policies, procedures, and any applicable laws.
  • Responsibilities include hiring and training, planning, and assigning work, conducting performance appraisals, addressing performance issues, and resolving problems. 

Basic Qualifications

  • Post-graduate degree required. 
  • Minimum of seven years progressively responsible managerial/leadership experience overseeing strategic initiatives and working directly with senior executive leaders.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

Included in the seven years of experience noted in the basic qualifications section is:

  • Demonstrated aptitude for understanding complex issues; able to translate and simplify them for diverse audiences; and provide advice and counsel across a complex organization. 
  • Demonstrated leadership skills are preferred, including:
    • Communicating, negotiating, and thriving in a complex, matrixed organization
    • Building and maintaining meaningful collaborative relationships
    • Effectively sharing knowledge and experience
    • Working effectively at all levels of the organization and influencing others to progress toward a common vision/goal.
    • Building strong relationships with institutional constituencies, working independently, decision-making, exercising appropriate discretion and confidentiality, organizing, and prioritizing while maintaining high standards in a dynamic intellectual environment.
  • Demonstrated commitment to promoting diversity, inclusion, equity, and staff development.
  • Experience in higher ed, research administration, and/or program management in a non-profit is preferred.

Physical Requirements

  • Employee must have the ability to sit at a desk for extended periods of time and complete tasks requiring repetitive use of hands.  Employee must have the ability to see written documents, computer screens and to adjust focus.
  • Travel across the University campus is required. 
  • Additional physical/mental requirements may not be listed above but are inherent in performing the position's essential functions.

Working Conditions

  • The work associated with this position is performed in an office environment. 
  • This is a senior administrative management position. As such, the strategic advisor may have varied workdays and hours, as necessary, to meet Institute needs.
  • Work after regular hours may be occasionally required, particularly during the busy times of the year. 

Additional Information

Cover Letter:

Please note that cover letters are required for every application for a position at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute. Please combine your cover letter and resume into a single document that is uploaded when you are instructed by HARVARD CAREERS, Harvard’s online application program, to “Upload my resume/CV from my computer”.

Complete applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. However, we encourage all interested candidates to apply before September 30, 2023.


We will be conducting interviews virtually and might invite finalist candidates for on-campus interviews. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility with our interview process.

Flex Work Note:

This role is offered as a hybrid position (some combination of onsite and remote) where the incumbent will be required to be onsite at our Cambridge, MA-based campus regularly. There may be occasional needs-based opportunity to work remotely. Specific schedule will be determined between the incumbent and manager. Any remote work must be performed in a state in which Harvard is registered to do business (CA*, CT, GA, IL, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VA, VT, and WA). *Note: Harvard employees working in California must be in exempt role

About the Harvard Radcliffe Institute:

The Harvard Radcliffe Institute  is dedicated to creating and sharing transformative ideas across the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences. The Fellowship Program  annually supports the work of 50 leading artists and scholars. Academic Ventures and Engagement  fosters collaborative research projects and sponsors lectures and conferences that engage scholars with the public. The Schlesinger Library   documents the lives of American women of the past and present for the future, furthering the Institute’s commitment to women, gender and society.

We are proud to be an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and are committed to achieving our goals through the efforts of a highly skilled, diverse workforce. With outstanding benefitscompetitive payextensive learning opportunities , and a stimulating and attractive work environment, the Harvard Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University may be exactly the employer you have been looking for.


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

General Administration

Department Office Location

USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code

361060 Administrative Manager

Work Format

Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)


Radcliffe Dean's Office


00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Pre-Employment Screening

Education, Employment, 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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