Director of Communications, Office of Technology Development (OTD)
Harvard University Administration
Location: USA - MA - Cambridge
Internal Number: 59896BR
The Harvard Office of Technology Development (OTD) promotes the public good by translating technologies developed at the University into useful products that are available and beneficial to society. Our integrated approach to technology development comprises industry-sponsored research and alliances, intellectual property management, and technology commercialization through startup formation and licensing. To further bridge the academic-industry development gap, Harvard OTD manages the Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator and jointly oversees the Harvard Grid. For more information, please visit https://otd.harvard.edu.
Position Overview Reporting to the Director of Media Relations and Communications in Harvard Public Affairs and Communications (HPAC), with a dotted line to the Senior Associate Provost and Chief Technology Development Officer in the Office of Technology Development (OTD), the Director of Communications will be an integral part of OTD's senior business development team and a key advisor in communicating the impact of OTD initiatives. The activities of OTD involve launching significant alliances with high-level internal and external stakeholders in support of innovative initiatives that have broad impact across the University.
The Director of Communications will leverage industry expertise to develop a communications strategy that supports the launch of such efforts and will serve as the chief spokesperson for OTD, engaging and responding directly with mainstream media outlets and outside stakeholders to convey the University's intent in launching such industry leading efforts.
The Director of Communications will be responsible for the creation, implementation, and maintenance of a strategic communications plan for OTD, under the guidance of OTD leadership and in coordination with HPAC. This position is also responsible for the coordination, creation, implementation, and delivery of all communications materials, both internal and external, using appropriate traditional and new media channels. The scope of the position will include the development and management of infrastructure, content, and flow of communications related to promoting the various priorities, objectives and activities of OTD.
Providing strategic communications counsel to OTD's senior team and other University leaders, setting the strategic direction of OTD communications consistent with OTD's mission and working closely with HPAC and OTD leadership.
Developing and maintaining timely, relevant, and strategically aligned materials to educate members of the Harvard community and the wider innovation ecosystem about OTD's activities and objectives, with the goal of elevating OTD's visibility, presence, and overall brand. Examples include such materials as press releases, feature stories, newsletters, social media/website content, and annual reports.
Pitching to, fielding inquiries from, and coordinating with external and campus media regarding significant OTD developments, events and announcements, as well as coordinating with other parts of the University to promote Harvard's approach to technology transfer, cultivating entrepreneurship, and business development, and its impact.
Developing coordinated communications plans with external partners, and internal stakeholders, to celebrate the contributions of Harvard innovation and Harvard researchers in notable achievements, such as the launch of a new startup. Creatively seek alignment on goals, messaging, and execution, with sensitivity to the culture and values of academic research, in compliance with School and University policies on use-of-name and non-endorsement and in consultation with OTD, HPAC, and the Harvard Trademark Program. Work collaboratively with communications teams within Harvard Schools to achieve OTD communications priorities.
Developing an overall outreach and education plan that raises awareness of distinct OTD activities (e.g., events, Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator, Harvard Grid, strategic alliances, startup formation and licensing, etc.) and that is tailored to the interests and needs of faculty, postdocs, and graduate students. Activities may include symposia, seminars, panel discussions, guest speaker series, boot camps, and the like.
Maintaining an OTD social media strategy aligned with the University social strategy.
Overseeing the development of new features and functionalities for the OTD social media channels and website. Managing vendor relationships, such as with web developers, designers, and photographers.
Conceptualizing, designing, and building strategic communications vehicles to support operational priorities. This will include identifying relevant and appropriate mechanisms, such as OTD website, video, print, digital and social media, and online portals, to effectively reach OTD audiences and facilitate core activities.
Working closely with HPAC to leverage marketing communications best practices, and to participate in University-wide communication initiatives, when appropriate.
Developing and executing a plan for OTD to host or participate in exhibitions, conferences, and other relevant and appropriate external-facing events.
Communications support to the Senior Associate Provost as needed. Examples include periodic reports to University leadership, and occasional internal and external correspondence, talking points, and speech writing.
Managing OTD's event activities, including developing a strategy to effectively position key OTD initiatives, maintaining an events calendar, recruiting speakers from both within and outside Harvard and executing the delivery of these events. As part of these responsibilities, the Director will dotted line management oversight of the activities of two Operations Coordinators, who will assist in event execution.
Additional duties as assigned.
Harvard University has retained the Executive Search Firm, The Ward Group, to the lead the search efforts. Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume to: [email protected] and reference
BA/BS required, along with 12 or more years of related experience. Must have direct experience with media relations and developing/implementing organizational communications plans. Related experience in the business aspects of OTD including private industry and technology related fields.
The ideal candidate must have exceptional interpersonal, project management, reporting, writing, and editing skills, and a proven record of working collaboratively with a wide range of constituents. Though a self-starter, the candidate must be able to work as part of a larger team, and to balance the interests and needs of a variety of stakeholders. Strong experience with digital communications channels and social media is required. Should have a demonstrated record of success in positions of progressive responsibility in communications and event planning for a complex and fast-paced organization. Should also possess the ability to set priorities and manage competing demands. Should have strong writing experience, with particular experience working with highly technical subjects and the ability to develop content intended for sophisticated non-technical audiences. Experience or demonstrated interest in technology transfer and science communication preferred. Management experienced preferred. Prior experience with print and web design, principles of digital accessibility, information architecture, content management, and proven ability to take text and transform it into web-oriented content and visuals preferred. Proficiency with PowerPoint, Adobe Creative Suite, basic HTML, a plus.
Additional Information The successful candidate will gain exposure to the activities of industry engagement and technology commercialization in a high-profile, fast-paced office, alongside professional and energetic staff. Must possess the ability to anticipate and prioritize cross-organization needs to formulate outreach plans for an integrated, multi-part organization. Applicants should be flexible and able to work with all levels of staff, administration, faculty, and other constituents. Strong organizational, time, and project management skills and the ability to see a project through from conceptualization to completion are necessary.
The ideal candidate will be collaborative and deadline oriented, with the ability to work successfully under pressure. Must possess tact, judgment, and a high level of discretion. Prior related experience in a university setting preferred.
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. 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.