Director of Development

Company Details

Harvard University

Job Summary

The Director of Development works within an entrepreneurial and dynamic School environment and closely collaborates with faculty, senior administration, and University officials to independently manage an international portfolio of prospects who have the capacity to give $1M+ , secure funding for School priorities, and meet or exceed department revenue goals. The Director is responsible for identifying, qualifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding a portfolio of major gift prospects in assigned regions, including Europe and select African and Latin American cities. The Director will also play a leadership role in the annual strategy planning process, take on additional related projects, and recommend strategies to enhance fundraising in collaboration with senior staff within the Office of Alumni Relations and Resource Development. The Director will represent the Kennedy School at events, meetings, and off-site presentations and will engage in extensive travel to meet with prospects and donors.

This position contributes to meeting and exceeding department revenue goals by developing and executing prospect strategies, cultivating and stewarding prospects and donors and directly soliciting gifts. This position would also advise and work closely with leaders in School centers and/or research programs to further their fundraising strategy in alignment with broad School priorities.

Position Description

Job-Specific Responsibilities

1. Manages a portfolio of 100-125 prospects in assigned regions and at various stage of their relationship with Harvard Kennedy School. Travels approximately 30% of the time.

2. Develops appropriate cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategy to enhance retention, grow revenue, and improve donor advancement. Will be required to meet set individual revenue and moves management goals.

3. Makes a minimum of 100 face-to-face visits annually. Qualifies, progresses, and cultivates newly identified prospects and evaluates major gift potential and next steps.

4. Coordinates closely with faculty and administrators at School-based research centers to provide guidance on and help implement fundraising strategy, recruit donors and board members, and raise funds for the center or program. Also responsible for educating other ARRD members about center or program priorities.

5. Co-manages a shared staff coordinator.

6. As needed, utilizes email, digital, and phone outreach to meaningfully contact prospects outside of typical travel areas.

7. Researches and prepares background information, drafts high-level strategy briefings for faculty, senior administrators and volunteers, and draft correspondence or other communications.

8. Works with senior staff to strategize and plan development trips. May coordinate any or all aspects of development travel including prospect identification, scheduling, logistics, travel arrangements, event logistics, briefing, staffing and follow-up correspondence.

9. Staffs faculty or senior administrators in meetings with donors and represents Alumni Relations and Resource Development at events, meetings, and 1:1 appointments. Coordinates briefings and follow-up correspondence. Prepares contact reports and enters them in the development database.

10. Manages research needs for assigned portfolio by completing research or by assigning research to the Senior Research Analyst when appropriate.

11. Works with the Communications staff to ensure talking points are written for the Dean or other senior administrators for speaking engagements.

12. As a member of the Alumni Relations and Development Office team, attends meetings and events and takes on critical project work as needed. This might include working on planning efforts, development committee meetings or events, drafting reports and presentations, or writing proposals.

13. Performs other responsibilities upon request, as needed, with or without accommodation.

The above covers the most significant responsibilities of this position. It does not, however, exclude other duties, the inclusion of which would be in conformity with the level of the position.

Basic Qualifications

Bachelor’s Degree required and at least 8 years of related experience. Demonstrated track record in soliciting and closing six-and seven-figure gifts in a complex environment.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

Excellent communications skills, both oral and written. Basic understanding of fundraising needed, as well as a desire to learn more. Ability to manage a busy office with competing demands; not easily flustered nor easily overwhelmed by a high volume of activity and projects. Integrity and trust with a demonstrated ability to manage highly confidential information. Ability to problem solve. Ability to work with a diverse constituency required. Ability to analyze and explain data. Strong knowledge of MS Office and ability to learn new software quickly.

Competencies: Action oriented, ability to deal with ambiguity, composure, comfort around higher management, decision quality, integrity and trust, interpersonal savvy, listening, planning, written communications, learning on the fly, organizing, peer relationships, personal learning.

Working Conditions

Ability to work nights and weekends and to travel extensively as required are a must.

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: $109,200 – $193,000

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

Alumni Affairs and Development


USA – MA – Cambridge

Job Code

302060 Development Manager



Alumni Relations & Resource Development

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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