The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation is a premier university think tank focused on making the world a better place. It houses multiple programs and initiatives, including the Democratic Governance Program, which aims to be a focal space for generating deep understanding about how to improve democracy in the United States and around the world. Through the engagement of scholars and practitioners, the program distinctively seeks to focus on finding solutions to the challenges to democracy.
The Program Assistant is an integral part of the team and reports to the Associate Director of the Democratic Governance Program. The Program Assistant provides administrative and programmatic support to multiple initiatives under the Democratic Governance Program including Making Democracy Work, Legislative Negotiation, Democracy Fellowships, Technology and Democracy Fellowship, and future efforts to strengthen democracy through improved participation, engagement, and governance.
Main responsibilities include:
Cultivate and support democracy-focused community The Program Assistant is critical to creating and supporting a democracy focused-community at Harvard University consisting of faculty, fellows, practitioners, students, and the public. For visiting scholars and other fellows affiliated with the Democratic Governance Program, the Program Assistant helps to recruit, process fellowship appointments, handle visa and other documentation requirements, organize weekly seminars, plan community-building events, and serve as the fellows' primary point of contact. Coordinate outreach and communications The Program Assistant plays a critical role in amplifying the research, programming, and profile of the Program through external and internal communications. They help in building, tracking, and engaging new and existing audiences including practitioners, scholars, students, and others. They help with messaging on behalf of the Program and the work of faculty, fellows, and other affiliates. They maintain a robust web presence for the Program including: consistently updating content on Ash Center platforms; writing, editing, and curating a regular newsletter; writing, editing, and posting blogs and other content; managing social media; and other communications and outreach efforts. Provide programmatic support The Program Assistant will help organize multiple (5-10) events per month—of varying size, format, audience and purpose—with a key role in everything from agenda setting to logistics planning to implementation. They will regularly liaise with faculty, staff, fellows, practitioners, and others on various aspects of these events as well as other programming and will provide additional programmatic support as needed. For the Legislative Negotiation project, for example, the Program Assistant will work closely with Harvard faculty and outside collaborators to support the ongoing development and dissemination of materials and provide other support as needed.
Meet administrative needs The Program Assistant will handle a variety of administrative responsibilities related to all aspects of the Democratic Governance Program including processing financial transactions (reimbursements, invoices, and corporate card transactions) and tracking and maintaining expenditures for a handful of faculty, senior staff, and fellows. Other responsibilities include overseeing travel arrangements for visiting speakers and fellows and other clerical support as needed. The Program Assistant will roll up their sleeves and meet the evolving needs of the program.
Support team Advancement The Program Assistant will help foster and contribute to a culture of excellence grounded in problem solving, accountability and teamwork. They will collaborate with colleagues to identify recommendations for programmatic improvements.
This position is a fully benefits-eligible term appointment ending one year from date of hire, with a very strong possibility of renewal.
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.
Salary Grade: 054
Union: 55 - Hvd Union Cler & Tech Workers
Bachelor's degree. 1 year of relevant experience through previous positions, internships, or practicums. Advanced research experience as part of college coursework may count toward experience.
Demonstrated experience and interest in the key organizations, thought leaders, and issues pertaining to the reform and improvement of democratic governance, institutions, and politics.
Strong administrative experience specifically in providing complex administrative support to one or ideally more supervisors.
Excellent communication skills: verbal, writing for internal purposes and for wide external audiences, editing, and proofreading.
Proven organizational skills: takes initiative, mastery of time-management, see completion of tasks/projects from ideation to implementation, ability to prioritize work and meet competing deadlines.
Values team work and community building: adaptable, responsive, able to effectively communicate across teams, helps cultivate the Democratic Governance community among faculty, fellows, and practitioners.
Exercises creative thinking and problem solving: able to iterate processes, introduce innovative ideas to the team, learn new technical and financial tools.
Available to staff events and programs 2-3 evenings per week during the semester.
Proficient in Word, Excel, e-mail, PowerPoint, cloud-based platforms and internet tools.
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.
Internal Number: 49902BR
About Harvard University Kennedy School
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. The 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.