Organization: Harvard Graduate School of Design

Location: Cambridge, MA

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The Harvard University Graduate School of Design is dedicated to the education and development of design professionals in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, and urban design. With a commitment to design excellence that demands the skillful manipulation of form and technology and draws inspiration from a broad range of social, environmental, and cultural issues, the Graduate School of Design provides leadership for shaping the built environment of the 21st century.

The Graduate School of Design is seeking a Director of Communications and Public Programs who will assume a curatorial and management role in developing and overseeing the functions of Publications, Exhibitions, Events, Digital Media and Communications from both an intellectual and administrative perspective. The Director will formulate creative strategies for internal and external communications to effectively represent the School’s vision and agenda to its various constituencies. Reporting directly to and working closely with the Dean, the Director will also work with Academic Leadership and senior members of the Academic Programs to help articulate the school’s publications, exhibitions, and events programming.

This is a full-time position located in Cambridge, MA. For more information on the Harvard Graduate School of Design, please visit


Provides leadership to the overall communication strategy for the School to ensure that GSD is recognized by internal and external audiences as a leader in its varied disciplines. This includes promoting and stewarding the School’s vision online and in other media, exhibitions, events, publications and specific PR strategies.

  • Provides leadership to a staff of six within an overall office of 11 and serves as a liaison between these staff and the Dean. These include: Director of Exhibitions, Communications Manager, Public Programs Manager, Assistant Director for Digital Content & Strategy, Editor in Chief of Publications and the Harvard Design Magazine, and a Financial Associate.
  • Exhibitions: Consult with the Dean and Director of Exhibitions to develop mission driven exhibitions and oversee implementation plans for the various exhibitions that occur simultaneously throughout the school year.
  • Publications:  Work with the Dean and Editor in Chief to help prioritize, refine, and systematize several on-going publication series, including Harvard Design Magazine; to develop new initiatives; and to advise outreach, distribution, and promotion of publications.
  • Public Programs: Works with the Public Programs Manager and the Dean to develop a program of up to70 public lectures and 5 conferences per year, and monitors approval of proposals for public events by department faculty and student groups.
  • Digital Content: Work with the Assistant Director for Digital Content to ensure that the school’s programs and news are well represented through the website and social media.
  • Communications: Oversee the Communications Manager who develops and shapes communications; organizes and defines messages, drafts reports and documents for the Dean and Executive Dean, writes press releases, talking points and other briefing materials. Manages contact with the press.
  • Identifies opportunities to promote the School’s mission, programs and initiatives.
  • Works closely with the Associate Dean for Development and Alumni Relations to develop a communications strategy for campaign, donors and alumni, which is in turn implemented by the communications manager and his staff.
  • Hires and works with consultants. Serves as a liaison to others with communications-related functions at the University. Serves as School PIO (Public Information Officer) and on the Local Emergency Management Team.
  • Working with the Dean and faculty, oversees staff efforts to facilitate communications related to upcoming lectures, symposia, faculty and student research initiative, and other activities.
  • Collaborates with Dean on developing speeches and special presentations.


  • Passion for and commitment to the mission of the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
  • A deep appreciation of the arts and design worlds and an ability to inspire others with their creative vision.
  • 10+ years directly related communications or related experience in a design/arts environment.
  • Strong leadership skills demonstrating strategic vision along with experience leading teams to excellent results.
  • High energy and able to work both at both a strategic and hands-on level.
  • Highly strategic mindset, including the demonstrated ability to develop and execute plans for growth and produce results.
  • Ability and willingness to take initiative while managing multiple priorities and associate staff.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills with an ability to work with a range of stakeholders including senior leadership, staff, faculty, external partners and the public.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred.

Compensation & Benefits:

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.


The Harvard Graduate School of Design has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Erin Reedy here.

The Harvard Graduate School of Design is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBT applicants.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit