Director of Media Relations, FAS

Director of Media Relations, FAS

locationUnited States
PublishedPublished: 4/3/2024
Administrative Staff
Full Time


Director of Media Relations, FAS

University Administration


Job Summary

The Director of Media Relations, Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) leads media relations and issues management for the FAS as a member of, and in close coordination with, the Harvard Public Affairs and Communications (HPAC) team. The Director provides strategic guidance and media relations to the communication leads and support to senior leaders across the major units of the FAS, including Harvard College, the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), the Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS), and the Division of Continuing Education (DCE).  Serves as a spokesperson for the FAS.

The Director of Media Relations, FAS reports to the Associate Dean for Communications and Marketing, FAS and Harvard Public Affairs and Communication (HPAC).  


Position Description

Primary responsibilities include:

  • Issues Management: Provides support for issues management, including crisis communications, to the Associate Dean of Communications for FAS, and in close coordination with HPAC. Provides crisis communications and media relations support to the communications leads across the major units of the FAS.
  • Proactive and Responsive Media Relations: Serves as a spokesperson for the FAS. Manages a large day-to-day volume of media inquiries, working directly with reporters to manage stories. Initiates, cultivates, and maintains relationships with campus, local, regional, national, and international news media to actively pitch stories from within the FAS. Works with the Harvad Public Affairs and Communications (HPAC) team and FAS communication leads to ensure alignment with University media relations efforts. Manages incoming film requests for external groups wishing to conduct interviews and capture photos and videos on campus. Develops and maintains an editorial calendar of storytelling that highlights the work of the FAS with the news media. Given the nature of the 24/7 news cycle, this role requires availability outside of traditional work hours.
  • Team Leadership: Assists in the development and maintenance of FAS-wide crisis communications plans and participates in training exercises with planning teams to develop external messaging for the FAS. Ensures coordination across internal and external messages and communications efforts and leads directly by influence.
  • Strategic Communications Planning: Directly supports academic and administrative leaders across the FAS, in developing strategic communications plans in support of established internal and external FAS priorities. Provides media training and supports proactive story and op-ed placement for FAS senior leaders and faculty.
  • Message Development: Writes and edits external messages, public statements, talking points, FAQs, media briefings, press releases, news, and feature stories, and more in support of the FAS. Works with the Director of Internal Communications to ensure internal and external messaging is in alignment with the FAS and HPAC priorities.

Basic Qualifications

Bachelor's degree required. Minimum 10 years significant experience and proven success at the highest levels of media and communications work, including serving as a spokesperson during times of institutional crisis, and working with highly sensitive information in a complex environment with many stakeholders.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Experienced media professional and strategic thinker with a demonstrated capacity for skillful management and multi-tasking, with good political judgment, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, proven crisis management abilities, an understanding of complex organizations, and a commitment to the mission of education, scholarship, and research.
  • Experience in higher education, non-profit, government, or a decentralized organization desired. Successful track record as a leader and strategist in a large and complex organizational environment. Must have the proven ability to advise senior leaders effectively.
  • Must have the ability to innovate, think strategically and conceptually, listen carefully as well as to influence and persuade others. The position requires an extremely high level of professionalism, sound and mature judgment, and collegiality.
  • Must have excellent analytical, verbal, and written communication skills along with a high level of diplomacy, discretion, and problem-solving ability
  • Proven success in developing collaborative relationships across diverse constituencies. 
  • Strong project management and organizational skills and the ability to manage multiple priorities in a complex, decentralized environment are needed. 

Additional Information

This position has a 180-day orientation and review period. 

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 (https://hr.harvard.edu/totalrewards) 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


Department Office Location

USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code

CM0359 Public/Media Rltn Mgmt II

Work Format

Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)



Salary Grade





00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Time Status


Pre-Employment Screening

Education, Identity

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

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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