Strategic Initiatives Project Officer
Harvard University
United States

Duties & Responsibilities

The Democratic Knowledge Project (DKP) at Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics seeks a Strategic Initiatives Project Officer.

This is a new, grant-funded position that will be situated within the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. At present, the Center has three major strategic initiatives, and the new Strategic Initiatives Project Officer will oversee one of these—the National Civics Initiative.

The National Civics Initiative is focused on cultivating civic engagement on the Harvard campus and on supporting civic education in the K-12 space. With regard to the latter goal, the Center houses a research and action lab, the Democratic Knowledge Project (DKP), for which the Principal Investigator is the Center’s Director, Professor Danielle Allen. At present, the DKP has two post-doctoral fellows and a team of approximately twenty graduate and undergraduate RAs. The DKP is executing the K-12 component of the National Civics Initiative. This K-12 work includes curriculum development, provision of professional development offerings to educators, and the development and dissemination of assessment tools and strategies. The DKP has contracts for the creation and dissemination of civics curricula with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in the State of Massachusetts, and is currently working directly with approximately twenty-five districts. The DKP is currently completing a strategic planning process with the goal of spinning out a sustainable non-profit to carry forward the implementation work, while research and development work continues inside the University.
The Strategic Initiatives Project Officer will assume overall project management and coordination from the PI. This will involve hiring key high-level staff in the areas of assessment, curriculum development, and professional development, guiding and completing the strategic planning process, tracking and managing workflow for the existing team as the professional team gets fully built out, and creating and managing budgets. The Strategic Initiatives Project Officer will work in close collaboration with Professor Allen on all of the above.
A breakdown of responsibilities will be as follows:

  • In consultation with the PI, drive the strategic planning and implementation processes required to get the project off the ground; identify and implement program goals and priorities.
  • Develop and implement staffing plan and provide oversight of human resource functions, including recruiting, hiring, and managing assessment and curriculum staff; explore and secure strategic partnerships; serve as liaison to Faculty Committee and other contributors to promote engagement with project.
  • Provide fiscal management including oversight of budget planning, including mix of philanthropic, government, and outside funding; Manage sponsored research activities, including grant applications and reporting.
  • Develop organizational structure for the work and track work-flows, providing project coordination and oversight until all key personnel are in place; and managing transitions.
  • Provide oversight and execution of administrative functions, including infrastructure development, compliance with Harvard and FAS policies and procedures, and space identification.
  • Establish and maintain working knowledge of subject matter.


Basic Qualifications

Master’s degree; Minimum 5 years of progressively responsible administrative management experience including at least 2 years of direct professional staff supervision.

Additional Qualifications

MBA preferred. Entrepreneurial spirit with leadership experience in motivating and empowering individuals to work toward common goals. Comfort with ambiguity; patient enthusiasm and willingness to work toward the answers. Zeal for piecing together operational nuts and bolts. Substantial writing experience, especially in the context of fundraising and grants management. Exceptional oral and written communication skills. Must have ability to represent the Faculty Director and the DKP at all levels of the University and with external constituents, including donors, foundations, scholars, policy makers, Harvard alumni and peer institutions. Familiarity with Harvard desirable. Demonstrated success leading collaborative projects and achieving exceptional operational results.

Additional Information

This is a one year term position which will be renewed annually, based on business needs and funding availability. The position is currently grant-funded for two years, with a strong likelihood of extension.

All formal offer will be made by FAS HR.

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