Associate Director of Human Resources

Company Details

Harvard University

Position Description

The Associate Human Resources Director provides human resources consulting services in the areas of employee relations, organizational design and development, change management, compensation, training and development strategies, diversity initiatives, and efforts related to improving the work environment. The successful candidate will be a creative problem solver who is comfortable navigating an ambiguous environment. They will also have experience with complex employee relations issues and have a depth of knowledge in labor law. They will have a strong client-focused approach, with strong coaching and relationship-building skills and the ability to identify managers’ needs. We value and are dedicated to the goal of building a diverse community. We strongly encourage applications from candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of our community. We are an environment that values work/life balance and will consider requests for flexible work arrangements.

Strategic Client Consultation

Actively partners with managers, staff and bargaining unit representatives to address a variety of workplace issues in a strategic way that provides tangible value to the unit.

Facilitates problem solving and maintains a high level of customer satisfaction.

Demonstrates solid understanding of the operations of the client units as well as the needs and challenges of managers and staff.

Contributes to the business strategy by helping business leaders to identify, prioritize, and build organizational capabilities.

Organizational Design, Development, and Change Management

Understands and facilitates change management and organization development strategies.

Influences and assists organizational change initiatives in support of unit strategies.

Conducts organizational assessments, identifies areas in need of intervention and develops or identifies resources to address needs.

Talent and Performance Management

Supports managers in forecasting and planning their talent pipeline requirements in line with their department strategy.

Implements effective performance management to create and sustain a high-performance workforce.

Ensures that a strong leadership and coaching culture cascades through the unit.

Helps department leaders and managers to provide employees with development opportunities and ensure that they are able to meet current and future performance standards.

Provides appropriate and effective advice and coaching to employees as needed.

HR Knowledge and Programs

Maintains current knowledge of progressive HR practices and key trends.

Effectively implements the delivery of HR programs.

Understands how to use HR Analytics and other relevant data to help line leaders make informed decisions.

Skillfully creates and leads presentations, communicating and conveying information in a meaningful way to a wide variety of audiences.

Participates in all team meetings and other projects as assigned.

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience required
  • Minimum of 8 years’ relevant HR experience
  • Supervisory experience

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Experience in a multi-discipline Human Resources environment, including organizational development, performance management, recruitment, training and development, rewards and recognition.
  • Demonstrated experience managing employee relations issues.
  • Demonstrated ability to cultivate relationships and work collaboratively and cross functionally with all levels of staff.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with all levels of staff (written and verbal).
  • Proven record of influencing without authority and outstanding service orientation.
  • Experience working effectively in an ambiguous environment preferred.
  • Experience conducting HR program research and managing HR projects/programs from idea to full implementation.
  • Advanced degree and PHR/SPHR or SHRM-CP/SCP certification preferred.

Physical Requirements

Must be able to perform the essential responsibilities of the position with or without reasonable accommodation

Physical demands:

Required to move about in an office environment and sit for extended periods of time

Required to move about within the School and University

Frequent use of hands for data entry / keystrokes and simple grasping

Working Conditions

  • Moderate noise level, which includes customer and team member conversations within a small office environment
  • Must be able to work remotely in the event of business continuity plan activation due to events at the School or University.

Additional Information

  • 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.

Please note: This is an in-person/on campus position based in Cambridge, MA, with possible flexible work options.

The University requires all Harvard community members to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and remain up to date with COVID-19 vaccine boosters, as detailed in Harvard’s Vaccine & Booster Requirements. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University’s COVID vaccination requirement, exemptions, and verification of vaccination status may be found at the University’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” webpage.

Salary Range: $92,000 – $126,200

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.

Harvard offers a generous benefits package including:

  • Time Off: 3- 4 weeks paid vacation, paid holiday break, 12 paid sick days, 12.5 paid holidays, and 3 paid personal days per year.
  • Medical/Dental/Vision: We offer a variety of excellent medical plans, dental & vision plans, all coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive tuition assistance program, $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and discounted options through participating Harvard grad schools.
  • Transportation: Harvard offers a 50% discounted MBTA pass as well as additional options to assist employees in their daily commute.
  • Wellness Options: Harvard offers programs and classes at little or no cost, including stress management, massages, nutrition, meditation and complimentary health services.
    Harvard access to athletic facilities, libraries, campus events and many discounts throughout metro Boston.

Job Function

Human Resources


USA – MA – Cambridge

Job Code

H0459M HR Generalist Management V



Human Resources

Time Status


Salary Grade



00 – Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Pre-Employment Screening

Criminal, Education, Identity

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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