Associate Director of Development Communication

Associate Director of Development Communication

  • Full Time
  • Boston

Website HSPHJobs Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Powerful Ideas for a Healthier World

Job Summary:

Inspire some of the world’s most influential people to help Harvard’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health create a healthier future. The School’s Office for External Relations (OER) is seeking a mission-driven individual with a passion for storytelling, hands-on experience in digital communications, and an interest in philanthropy and science. If you can articulate the goals and vision of complex initiatives… clearly explain how something works and why it matters to diverse audiences, including individual philanthropists and sophisticated foundations…. weave in strategic messages that make a compelling case for support… have a deep knowledge of digital communications tools …can lead a project from inception to completion… then you could be the ideal candidate for this Associate Director of Development Communications position in our highly successful fundraising organization.

The Associate Director of Development Communications is an integral member of al strategic communications team that collaborates with colleagues across the Office for External Relations (OER), the Office of Communications, faculty, and administration to support School-wide donor and alumni engagement activities. The role is key to fulfilling OER’s communications objectives by delivering timely and actively engaging content that builds a genuine connection between our funding priorities and our target audiences.

This position reports to and works closely as a thought partner with both the Director and Assistant Director of Development Communications. Together with colleagues across OER, including annual campaigns, donor relations, and alumni affairs, and often in partnership with colleagues in the Office of Communications, OER’s communications professionals serve as a creative services team to produce both broad and highly customized engagement, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship communications for individuals and institutions.

Serving as the department’s primary storyteller, the Associate Director will create compelling copy and collaborate with team members on a portfolio of print and digital projects including email, direct mail, social media, website, event materials, proposals, and collateral. This position will work closely with the Dean’s Office on talking points and presentations for the Dean, as well as volunteer leadership, and senior staff. This person will work closely with faculty to synthesize often complex ideas and outcomes into compelling stories for multiple audiences. This person helps the Director to ensure the coordinated roll-out across channels for all campaigns, and deliverables that are on time, on message, and on budget.

The Associate Director also oversees the planning, design, implementation, and maintenance of OER’s digital communications channels, including email marketing and the fundraising presence on the School’s website, collaborating closely with key OER stakeholders and the Office of Communications. Within owned digital properties, the role will be responsible for developing and executing on a content strategy that engages potential funders and demonstrably improves engagement metrics. This person has experience running data-driven communications campaigns and will partner with the Director to analyze key metrics and campaign results to optimize communications by audience segment, frequently testing to achieve engagement goals.

Job-Specific Responsibilities:

Additional duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Develop deep content knowledge on a range of School programs and fundraising priorities, conveying the impact of philanthropy to a variety of audiences through multi-channel communications campaigns.
  • Communicate complex issues in a clear and compelling manner, using persuasive language and visuals to make the case for support, distilling information from multiple sources into distinct and cohesive communications across multiple platforms
  • Collaborate with and lead cross-functional teams within the School and across Harvard University, including senior leadership and faculty, to develop targeted, timely, and relevant communications that inspire giving.
  • Interview and interact with high-level leaders. Present to executive-level stakeholders on a wide variety of projects.
  • Research, write, and edit fundraising-focused materials, including newsletters, gift stories, proposals, videos, marketing and event collateral. Employ a wide variety of approaches to finding compelling content. Coordinate reviews by internal and external partners at all levels and incorporate feedback to ensure all materials are thoroughly researched, clearly written, approrpriately reviewed, and well edited.
  • In partnership with the Director of Development Communications, draft correspondence and talking points for the Dean and other senior leadership as needed.
  • Edit content produced by other members of the team and outside contributors – ensure adherence to brand standards and guidelines. Provide leadership to department and mentoring/training to team members to help build capacity.
  • Stay abreast of online marketing best practices and tools and make recommendations to optimize OER’s approach, including lead generation strategy, crafting audience-driven site promotions, e-communications, and social media campaigns. Gain alignment of needs among multiple internal stakeholders by collaborating as a strategic partner with OER operating units.
  • Direct website content, working closely with OER staff and the Office of Communications. Help formulate strategies and execute on plans for future enhancements.
  • Create monthly analytics reports of existing digital strategies, evaluating key performance indicators, with a point of view and actionable recommendations. Develop and execute content strategies to maximize engagement with the OER website, email, and social media.
  • Manage external business partners (consultants and vendors) as needed. This may include engagement definition, contract negotiation, daily project management, analysis of engagement recommendations and implementation of recommendations. 
    Market signature events throughout the year – Alumni Week, Volunteer Leadership Summit, Fellowship
  • Celebration, and others in partnership with project managers
  • Other duties as assigned

PLEASE NOTE: Please include a resume, cover letter, and 3 writing samples when applying. Candidates that do not submit these materials with their application will not be considered.

PLEASE NOTE: The primary work location for this position is Boston, MA and in order to be on Harvard payroll, you must reside in one of the following states – MA, NH, RI, ME, CT, VT, NY, MD, or CA. We are also working primarily remotely at this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Until our return to campus, this interview process and position will be conducted virtually – including virtual interviews, remote onboarding, and remote work. The remote nature of this position is only temporary. Local, on-campus work will be required as a condition of continued employment once the School and this role return to an operational status that supports it. The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health will support flexible work schedules upon this return, subject to individual departments’ business needs.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in English, Journalism, Communications or related field, or equivalent experience required
  • 7+ years of related experience required

Additional Qualifications:

The following job-specific skills and competencies are preferred:

  • Demonstrated understanding of current trends in fundraising and communications. Strong preference for experience with individual and/or institutional fundraising
  • Experience in copy writing and content creation as a staff writer on an in-house creative services team or with an agency.
  • Working knowledge of health care or public health
  • Well versed in digital strategies, tools, and tactics including email marketing, web analytics, SEO, Google Analytics, information architecture, and popular content management systems; experience co-managing institutional or corporate websites and digital communications
  • Experience with Asana, Cascade, or other project planning tools required.
  • Experience with Canva and other digital production tools preferred.
  • Experience with managing, tracking and reporting on budgets

The following cultural competencies are also preferred:

  • Awareness of and aptitude to appropriately and effectively understand, respect, and adapt to cultural and identity-based difference within group environments
  • Knowledge of and commitment to concepts and issues tied to social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Skills related to creating and supporting an environment that allows for inclusion, effective intercultural engagement, and personal humility and authenticity

Additional Information:

Join the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to support our mission of health research and education, and to be a part of the oldest institution of higher learning in the country!


  • The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health does not provide visa sponsorship, now or in the future, for staff positions.
  • Harvard University requires pre-employment reference checks and background screenings.
  • This position has a 90 day orientation and review period. 
  • Harvard offers an outstanding benefits package


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 “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” webpage.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging:

At the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, we believe that diversity is integral to the Harvard experience and our mission of improving public health education, research and policy. Diversity of cultural backgrounds, identities, lived experiences, perspectives, and ways of understanding the world enriches our community and enables us to best meet the public health needs of the United States and the world. Ongoing learning and development related to diversity allows for both individual and institutional growth, and is necessary to foster and sustain a culture of inclusion. To achieve this, we are committed to ensuring equitable access to opportunities for learning, living, and working at the Harvard Chan School. We maintain an unwavering dedication to diversity, inclusion, and belonging as core to our institutional values and to actively counter, minimize, and address racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, gender bias, and all forms of discrimination. 

Learn more about the School’s mission, objectives, and core values and our diversity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives.  

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