About the Institute of Politics The Institute of Politics (IOP) at Harvard Kennedy School has a rich history as the first institution of its kind with a mission to inspire young people—especially undergraduates—to become leaders in the world of politics and public life. By offering a wide range of diverse nonpartisan programming, the IOP bridges the worlds of academia and practice in order to expose students to politics and civic life.
The activities of the IOP are extensive. For over 50 years, the IOP has welcomed Resident and Visiting Fellows to engage and lead students through study groups, policy discussions and job talks. The IOP also runs an extensive public service internship program; conducts educational seminars for elected officials; organizes conferences that bring together academic, political, and government leaders; the nation's leading millennial poll and oversees the JFK Jr Forum at the Kennedy School. To find out more about the IOP, visit iop.harvard.edu.
Job Summary: Reporting to the Executive Director of the Institute of Politics, the Forum Director (Director) is responsible for managing the John F. Kennedy, Jr. Forum, the premier space for political speech, discussion and debate. In collaboration with a small team, the Director is responsible for developing and implementing all Forum programming over the course of the academic year. In addition, the Director will oversee the long-term strategic planning to ensure programming is diverse and representative of topics and speakers that reflect today's political environment. The JFK Jr. Forum hosts an average of 30 events per semester that often includes Heads of State, elected officials, activists, thought leaders, academics, community organizers, and artists.
The Director is responsible for developing the overall strategy and to ensure that programming – and the messaging around it – is cohesive, compelling, and strategic. Together with the IOP communications team, the Director manages all outreach and communication to the undergraduate, graduate student populations and broader Harvard community.
Ideal candidate will establish and maintain a network of political, media and policy contacts to utilize as speakers, panelists or thought partners; will also define and implement plans for increasing engagement in our programs on campus, among students and faculty, as well as with alumni and former fellows. As a liaison to the Harvard Kennedy School communications team, the Director will coordinate press and social media outreach. In addition, the Director will manage technical capabilities and be responsible for maintaining video and podcast archives.
Candidate should have background, knowledge, interest and strategic skills to bring programming to national and global audiences in a variety of sectors (academic, public, non-profit and private).
The Forum Director will mentor IOP undergraduate student leaders including the Forum Committee and Executive Team of the Student Advisory Committee to encourage and support student involvement in all aspects of event planning and execution. Also, the Director will work collaboratively and effectively with colleagues from across the University and Kennedy School including security, Harvard police and communications to preserve safety, an enriching student experience and media participation.
Continued in 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.
Salary Grade: 059
Union: 00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary
Bachelor's Degree required. Minimum of 8 years of successful public affairs and management experience or Master's Degree and 5 years of successful public affairs and management experience. Experience managing, producing and promoting events a must.
Excellent written and oral communications skills. Must be a confident and capable public speaker. Ability to synthesize and integrate complex policy issues and ideas into effective discussion topics.Previous experience managing a communications plan from position in government, policy or politics recommended.
The Forum Director is expected to be onsite for most Forum events (3-5 per week) during peak programming months (Sept-Nov. & Feb-April). Some domestic travel required.
Passion for the IOP's mission of working with young people to inspire the next generation of political and public service leaders.
Intellectual curiosity, fresh thinking, and excellent instincts for where national, international, and local political and policy conversations are going next
Excellent written / verbal communication skills and ability to pitch ideas to others
Deep knowledge of and connections to leading actors in politics, journalism, public affairs and related fields
Proven track record of developing and managing multiple, complex events and producing work under demanding timelines.
Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively and professionally in a creative, fast-paced, intellectual team environment, as well as to work well with influential guests, key University audiences (students, faculty, and administrators) and other external stakeholders.
Self-starting, high energy, results-oriented, and able to handle simultaneous high-profile projects with minimum supervision.
Experience managing staff and building cohesive teams.
Strong commitment to diversity.
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: 50597BR
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.