Harvard University — Executive Director, The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Harvard University

Executive Director
Harvard Kennedy School

Job Summary
The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs is the hub of Harvard Kennedy School’s research, teaching, and training in international security and diplomacy, environmental and resource issues, and science and technology policy. In 2021, the Belfer Center was named a “Center of Excellence” by the University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, in recognition of the Center’s six consecutive years as the world’s #1 university-affiliated think tank.

The Center has a dual mission: (1) to provide leadership in advancing policy-relevant knowledge about the most important challenges of international security and other critical issues where science, technology, environmental policy, and international affairs intersect; and (2) to prepare future generations of leaders for these arenas.

We believe that creating a diverse and inclusive organization is central to our ability to achieve our mission. It is our goal to promote historically underrepresented groups within our organization and within the fields of science and international affairs.

Job Code
361060 Administrative Manager

Job-Specific Responsibilities
The Belfer Center seeks a highly talented leader to serve as Executive Director. Reporting to the Director and Co-Director, the Executive Director will have six main responsibilities:

  • First, the Executive Director will serve as a key member of the Center’s senior leadership team and as the Belfer Center’s Chief Operating Officer. The Executive Director will oversee and manage all financial and operational functions of the Center, including human resources, fellowship selection processes, quality control of research funding submissions, and diversity and inclusion efforts. The Executive Director will be responsible for building and maintaining a high-performing, positive organizational culture that values each member of the team. The Executive Director will be expected to use management and leadership best practices for training and professional development of staff throughout the Center.
  • Second, the Executive Director will develop and contribute to the Center’s substantive and intellectual work. For example, the Executive Director could develop a new research initiative, write research reports and other publications, and speak publicly about issues related to international affairs, science and technology. The Executive Director will be expected to develop her/his own areas of expertise in which she/he strives to advance policy-relevant knowledge.
  • Third, the Executive Director will work with the Kennedy School’s leadership, faculty, students, benefactors, and others in ensuring that the Center’s initiatives move forward and are integrated into the larger mission of the School. The Executive Director will serve as a key liaison between the Center and the Kennedy School, the Harvard community, and audiences beyond the University.
  • Fourth, the Executive Director will lead the Center’s work in support of students who have interest in science, technology and international affairs. The Executive Director will manage Belfer’s student fellowship programs, and will be expected to develop and execute creative new ways to support and spark student interest in science and international affairs, including workshops, conferences, study groups, research seminars, and field work.
  • Fifth, the Executive Director will guide the strategy for all of the Center’s external communications, including website, email campaigns, and social media. The Executive director will ensure that the Center is leveraging the most innovative tools and techniques to engage policymakers, journalists, students, and other key constituencies to drive toward policy impact.
  • Sixth, the Executive Director will play a leadership role in maintaining and expanding a sustainable fundraising framework for the Center. The Executive Director will work closely with other Center and Kennedy School senior leaders in maintaining current donor relationships and cultivating new ones with the aim of increasing resources available to support the Center’s activities.

Additional Information

  • We regret that the Harvard Kennedy School does not provide Visa Sponsorship.
  • Harvard University requires pre-employment references and background checks.
  • Harvard University is committed to supporting a healthy, sustainable learning and working environment.

Please note: During the current period of Covid-19 related restrictions, this position may start as a remote position, with transition to onsite in Cambridge, Massachusetts when the office reopens.

We continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 and lifting of restrictions. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility with our interview process. We will be conducting interviews virtually for selected candidates until further notice.

Job Function
General Administration

Sub Unit

USA – MA – Cambridge

Belfer Center

Time Status

00 – Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Salary Grade

Pre-Employment Screening
Credit, Criminal, Education, Identity

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.

Basic Qualifications
Master’s and/or advanced professional degree and five years of increasingly challenging management experience in the private, public or non-profit sectors.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Outstanding communications skills.
  • A minimum of three years of experience with finance, controls and budgeting, including the ability to read, understand, and act on complex financial reports.
  • A successful history of managing, motivating, supporting, and leading teams.
  • Expertise in an area of science, technology and international affairs.
  • Proven experience in raising money and/or conducting business development.
  • A demonstrated ability and commitment to develop and maintain productive relationships with a wide set of stakeholders, such as faculty, fellows, staff, students, senior government and private sector leaders, donors, and board members.
  • An entrepreneurial spirit and a demonstrated capacity launching and running new projects.


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