Associate Director for Practitioner Communities

  • Job posted by Harvard University

Job Type

Full Time




79 JFK Street
United States


Associate Director for Practitioner Communities

Harvard Kennedy School


Duties & Responsibilities

Working closely with the Director of the Ash Center's Innovations in Government Program, the Associate Director for Practitioner Communities is a senior member of the Innovations in Government Program team providing high-level coordination of a dynamic portfolio of peer-learning communities for elected and senior government leaders. The Associate Director's responsibilities include oversight of the Project on Municipal Innovation, a groundbreaking forum of the chiefs of staff to the mayors of 35 of America's largest and most creative cities. The Associate Director ensures that this project and other communities of elected and senior leaders in which we are involved engage participants in timely and substantive discourse on research-informed tools, competencies, and practices related to leadership, innovation, cross-sector collaboration, community engagement, equity, accountability, data and evidence, and more.

The Associate Director is responsible for planning, executing, and ensuring the quality of multiple high-level convenings per year. The Associate Director oversees personally or through her or his supervisees all planning and logistics from building agendas to ordering catering; maintains regular communication with community members and organizes between-convening activities (e.g. regular check-ins, gathering and sharing news/updates, webinars, conference calls, distributing helpful resources); and leverages close relationships with members both to inform an agenda for the communities and to capture and share best practices and lessons learned. The Associate Director understands and regularly assesses what keeps participants engaged, which formats and norms are most useful, and when new activities or topics would be useful. S/he documents and shares anecdotal or other evidence demonstrating when and how the community has made a difference for participants. The Associate Director revisits, as needed, the benefits, expectations, themes, objectives, and overall experience for participants. The Associate Director is responsible for leading efforts to launch new communities, from securing funding to identifying and inviting mayors and other participants to developing a research agenda and content strategy.

The Associate Director works closely with Innovations Program colleagues to produce high-quality knowledge products for and from the practitioner communities and also to build an outreach and wider audience strategy for the broad dissemination of key findings. Written deliverables tied to each community might include case studies, analyses of key challenges and successes, and briefs on topics of high value to participants and to wider audiences. The Associate Director works closely with the team in order to share information and contacts across the various practitioner communities and to support the planning and implementation of workshops, conferences, and similar events bringing together city leaders and scholars. The Associate Director develops and manages opportunities for students and fellows to engage with participating cities, builds and maintains important relationships with scholars and others across the university studying related topics, and serves as the key liaison for collaboration with funders. Other responsibilities as required.

The Ash Center is a vibrant and values-driven community that aims to advance excellence and innovation in governance and public policy. We are committed to diversity and welcome people of varied backgrounds, cultures, experiences, and disciplines. We actively seek applications from people of color, women, the LGBTQIA+ community, military veterans, persons with disabilities and underrepresented backgrounds.

Additional Information

This is a benefits eligible term appointment that is scheduled to term one year from date of hire, with a possible renewal.

Harvard University requires pre-employment reference and background checks.

Harvard University is committed to supporting a healthy, sustainable learning and working environment.

Job Function

General Administration

Sub Unit



USA - MA - Cambridge


Ash Center

Time Status



00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Salary Grade


Pre-Employment Screening

Education, Identity

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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Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree