Communications Specialist

Cambridge, MA, USA
Posted on  

Job Description

Job Summary

The Communications Specialist works closely with the Director of Communications and senior leadership at Harvard University’s Center for International Development (CID) to develop and implement communications strategies to support and advance the Center’s mission, priorities, and programmatic activities. Working closely with CID’s staff and faculty affiliates, the Communications Specialist contributes to a range of projects related to branding, storytelling, website content and design, publicity and marketing, and other collateral.

Housed at the Harvard Kennedy School, CID works across Harvard University and a global network of researchers and practitioners to build, convene, and deploy talent to address the world’s most pressing challenges. Through CID’s faculty affiliates, programs, fellows, students, and staff, our research center invests in growing development thinkers and doers by building a global pool of talent, convening academic and practitioner networks, and deploying breakthrough research. At CID, we are committed to move us beyond poverty to a world that delivers maximum value for all. We believe together we can design and implement policies that help everyone realize their full potential.

Position Description

Communications Strategy:

  • Implement CID’s overall communications strategies to promote and amplify CID’s mission, programming and research activities.
  • Serve as the CID’s primary storyteller, stay abreast of related work and communications efforts at Harvard, and identify and leverage opportunities to generate positive news about CID.
  • Collaborate with colleagues from across CID and at the HKS central communications office to share information and best practices.

Branding/Content Development:

  • Work closely with CID’s Director of Communications and broader team to develop content. Write and edit articles for CID Voices, including profiles of faculty, news releases, student content, and summaries of research projects.
  • Develop and edit content for CID newsletters, annual report, brochures, videos, presentations, or other vehicles and manage editorial/publication schedule.
  • Edit content produced by other CID members and contracted contributors, ensure adherence to University/CID brand standards and guidelines, and alignment with CID mission.
  • Maintain vibrant, dynamic website presence by working closely with members of the CID team; help formulate strategies and execute on plan for future enhancements to the website.
  • Manage CID’s digital presence including website, Facebook, Twitter/X, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram and other emerging channels/platforms. Identify opportunities and create high-impact content, in alignment with the CID voice and brand standards.
  • Be responsible for all audiovisual content to conform to Harvard University’s accessibility guidelines (closed captioning, etc.).

Event and Contract Coordination:

  • Support CID events through marketing and promotion, including day-of coordination as required.
  • Explore opportunities and coordinate with other centers at Harvard to co-host event of mutual events.
  • Monitor work of external contracted writers and other business partners (consultants and vendors) as needed. This may include engagement definition, contract negotiation, daily project management, analysis of engagement recommendations and implementation of recommendations.
  • Create quarterly analytics reports of existing digital strategies, establish key metrics, and identify actionable recommendations. Develop and execute content strategies to maximize engagement with CID website and social media platforms.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Basic Qualifications

3 years of progressive experience in communications, marketing, or related field. Demonstrated experience in writing and public relations, leveraging and integrating a variety of media, including print, online, multimedia, and social media, are required.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree in English, communications, journalism, public relations, or related field is preferred. Exceptional written and verbal communications skills are required.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop stories and narratives to promote research in creative ways through a variety of media.
  • A solid grasp of technology and understanding of media trends and applications.
  • Must be able to provide sound communications advice, demonstrate excellent judgment on complex issues, and successfully manage multiple projects simultaneously, working with numerous clients and stakeholders, under pressure of deadlines.
  • Must have the ability to innovate, think conceptually, and listen carefully.
  • Experience with Adobe Suites, website content management system such as WordPress, and Mailchimp or similar email marketing campaigns strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience as a collaborator and team builder.
  • The position also requires a high level of professionalism, sound and mature judgment, and collegiality.
  • Must have excellent planning, project management and organizational skills.

Additional Information

This position is a fully benefits-eligible term appointment ending one year from date of hire, with possibility of renewal.

Learn more about our work culture and see yourself at Harvard Kennedy School.

We regret that the Harvard Kennedy School does not provide visa sponsorship.
Harvard University requires pre-employment reference and background checks.
Harvard University is committed to supporting a healthy, sustainable learning and working environment.

This is a hybrid position based on our campus in Cambridge, MA. As a campus-based institution, we place a high value on the in-person experience, cross-team collaboration, and strong community building in order to create a vibrant campus for our students, faculty, staff, and research fellows. The position is required to work in-person on campus a minimum of four days per week during the academic year. Specific days and schedule will be determined between you and your manager.

The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up-to-date on CDC-recommended vaccines.

Salary Range: $64,051 - $101,923
Note: Starting salaries typically fall in the lower half of the salary range; however, they are ultimately determined by the scope of the position, the candidate's relevant experience, and internal equity.

Work Format Details

This is a hybrid position that is based in Massachusetts. Additional details will be discussed during the interview process. All remote work must be performed within one of the Harvard Registered Payroll States, which currently includes Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Washington, and California (CA for exempt positions only). Certain visa types and funding sources may limit work location. Individuals must meet work location sponsorship requirements prior to employment.


We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website ( to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:
  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

Job Function

General Administration

Department Office Location

USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code

403040 Coordinator II

Work Format

Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)



Salary Grade



Center for International Development


55 - Hvd Union Cler & Tech Workers

Time Status


Pre-Employment Screening


Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard Kennedy School’s Mission and Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Anti-Racism

At Harvard Kennedy School, fostering a diverse and inclusive community where everyone feels they belong is a matter of basic fairness consistent with our core values as an institution. It is also essential to our mission of improving public policy and leadership—because recruiting the best people and creating an environment where they can thrive make us better at what we do, because we learn more from people with different perspectives, and because we work in diverse groups and serve diverse societies.

Learn more about Harvard Kennedy School’s commitment to Diversity Equity, and Anti-Racism.

EEO Statement

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, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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