Position Overview: The Communications Officer, Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) is a seasoned media relations professional who manages reactive and proactive issues in support of the major units of FAS, including Harvard College, the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS), and the Division of Continuing Education (DCE), as part of and in close coordination with the Harvard Public Affairs and Communications (HPAC) team. The Communications Officer reports, and serves as the primary deputy, to the Director of Media Relations, FAS, HPAC and is part of the HPAC team. This position plays a supporting role in protecting and advancing Harvard College's overall brand reputation externally with the media, as well as with internal audiences, including students, faculty, and staff. This position is a supporting member of the FAS communications team and serves as the deputy to the Director of Media Relations, FAS. This role must exercise sound judgment, extreme discretion, and be able to lead directly and through influence when advising the deputy, and other leaders within the College, and at times the FAS, on how best to communicate (or not communicate) on a range of often sensitive and challenging issues. The role must have discretion to make decisions within the scope of their responsibilities. This position has responsibility for supporting the Director of Media Relations, FAS in developing strategic communications messaging and plans around issues as they arise, independently and in conjunction with the FAS communications team. This position is part of Harvard College's support team and is held accountable, along side the Director of Media Relations, FAS for College communications priorities, as well as FAS media relations overall.
Principal Duties and Responsibilities (Essential Functions*): This position will respond to and manage media inquiries and proactively pitches news and stories to the press (both campus and external media) on behalf of the FAS, with particular focus on Harvard College. This position also works as part of the HPAC team to meet and ensure alignment with University media relations efforts. Given the nature of the 24/7 news cycle, this role requires availability outside of traditional work hours. This role is also part of the HPAC on-call team, managing calls outside of business hours for one week each semester. Working alongside the Director of Media Relations, FAS this position will create internal messages, public statements, media briefings, press releases, news and feature stories, and more in support of Harvard College and the FAS. Working alongside the Director of Media Relations, FAS this position will develop strategic communications plans in support of internal and external Harvard College and FAS announcements and opportunities.
Salary Grade: 057
Union: 00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary
BA/BS required along with five or more years of experience in public relations or communications.
The ideal candidate has direct experience working with the press, including serving as a spokesperson, and demonstrated experience working with highly sensitive information in a complex environment with many stakeholders. Excellent written and oral communications skills. Strong organizational and time management skills with a focus on attention to detail. Ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously while consistently meeting deadlines. She/he must also have a positive, collaborative, flexible disposition with the ability to work independently and as part of a team. Crisis communications experience strongly preferred. Creative problem-solving and the ability to lead by influence across multiple stakeholders are critical. Experience in higher education administration or a government environment a plus.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER: 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, or any other characteristic protected by law.
Harvard University is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally. The University, which is based in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, has an enrollment of over 20,000 degree candidates, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Harvard has more than 360,000 alumni around the world. T...he University has twelve degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, offering a truly global education. Established in 1636, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States.