Senior Program Manager, Innovation Field Lab New York

  • Job posted by Harvard University

Job Type

Full Time




United States


Senior Program Manager, Innovation Field Lab New York

Harvard Kennedy School


Duties & Responsibilities

Innovation Field Lab New York is a two-year program comprising data-driven experimentation, real-time innovation and improvement, and executive education for cities in New York State that aim to develop capabilities for cross-silo performance leadership. The Field Lab works with a unique collaborative of cities and organizations named Cities for Responsible Investment and Strategic Enforcement Program (Cities RISE) that provides cities with an opportunity to pilot creative and forward-thinking local initiatives in the fight against blight and distressed properties. Innovation Field Lab New York's role is to help municipal leaders to develop new policies and programs, navigate the barriers to implementing new programs, and use data to test and measure the success of these innovations. Specific learning objectives for cities will include problem-oriented innovation, risk-control challenges, cross-silo collaboration, predictive data-analytics, performance leadership, and change management. Research objectives will include collection and analysis of data from the implementation in practice of new approaches to problem properties-and reporting both immediately to the cities and in published research.

The Senior Program Manager is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the Innovation Field Lab New York. Reporting to the Academic Director of the Innovations in Government Program, the Senior Program Manager is a primary liaison between the Ash Center, Harvard faculty, city leaders, collaborators, and all others involved in Cities RISE. The Senior Program Manager will coordinate among the group on alignment of goals and strategies, on setting milestones and measuring success, and on ensuring effective communication and collaboration across the project. The Senior Program Manager monitors project performance in real-time to continually identify challenges, successes, and improvements.

The Senior Program Manager assists participating city leaders in defining goals, developing innovative strategies, planning implementation of these strategies, and measuring and evaluating progress. The position maintains ongoing relationships with Mayors and their staff to monitor progress, discuss emerging issues, provide assistance in strategically implementing change, and ensure they maintain interest. In engaging regularly with city leaders, the Senior Program Manager helps them to build momentum to change policies, foresee and avoid pitfalls, and build on failure to improve innovation rather than reverting to the status quo. The Senior Program Manager will actively engage faculty to facilitate two-way learning with cities while supporting their ongoing research and executive education efforts. The position will deploy state-of-the-art evaluation tools to collect evaluation data and generate useful evidence; coordinate student research assistants; help faculty collect, analyze and report data; and convene faculty regularly to ensure curricular alignment, cross-fertilization, and learning across project components.

Additional duties include ensuring timely and thorough project administration, including supervising a full-time project coordinator, and related responsibilities as needed.

Additional Information

This position is a fully benefits-eligible term appointment ending December 24, 2020.

The Ash Center is a vibrant and values-driven community. 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.

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 for Democratic Governance and Innovation

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.

Basic (Required) Qualifications

Bachelor's degree and at least 5 years of relevant program management experience.

Additional (Preferred) Qualifications

  • Progressively responsible experience supporting cities, working for cities, or providing technical assistance to cities on innovation, strategy, operations, or service delivery. Track record with mayors and executive leaders a plus.
  • Master's degree. MBA or MPA a plus.
  • Understanding of the leadership, managerial, and organizational challenges associated with governing cities.
  • Demonstrated familiarity with methods, strategies, and approaches to innovation, managing change, and/or organizational development - especially within municipal government.
  • Strong customer service orientation and persistent follow-through in service of clients or customers.
  • Strong team-builder with an ability to build productive relationships and lead work across all levels across a diverse organization.
  • Skill in managing multiple diverse activities simultaneously, delivering on commitments, and operating with speed, accuracy, and strong judgment.
  • An ability to drive to big picture goals while maintaining a strong attention to detail.
  • Proven organizational, creative problem-solving and analytical skills.
  • A relentless work ethic - coupled with an enthusiasm for rolling up their sleeves to do whatever it takes to get work done - whether strategic and or routine and mundane.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills that resonate with audiences of different backgrounds.
  • The ability to communicate persuasively, concisely, and unambiguously in speech and in writing.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Excel, Visio, Project, and PowerPoint.


Apply Here




Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree