Operating Director, Custom Programs, Executive Education

companyHarvard FAS
locationUnited States
PublishedPublished: 12/8/2023


Operating Director, Custom Programs, Executive Education

Harvard Business School


Position Description

The Operating Director (OD) reports to the Managing Director, Custom Programs, Executive Education and is a key partner who collaborates with the MD in overseeing all facets of operations, processes and planning for the HBS Executive Education (ExEd) Custom Programs portfolio. In this capacity, the OD oversees administration, operations and delivery for the entire portfolio. The OD is a key leader on the team and in the ExEd enterprise, with keen relationship and influencing skills that must be deployed with an eye toward balancing institutional interests and contributing to realizing the HBS mission.

This role requires a unique blend of analytical, operational and administrative capabilities, along with knowledge of the HBSEE business. As a fully engaged “partner’ in the business, the OD understands the challenges and opportunities for the business and staff colleagues, and regularly bridges institutional, client and staff needs.

Responsibilities Include:
Planning, Financial, & Commercial:

  • Partner with MD on Custom portfolio planning and goal setting
  • Partner with MD on budgeting, budget management (tracking, reporting) and multi-year plan
  • Lead financial reporting, metrics, and analysis (Dashboard, FORD, Quarterly Close, Year Close)
  • Collaborate with the Director, BD to continually update and analyze the operating plan; ensure team compliance and data integrity; forecast and reforecast
  • Work with Finance on Custom invoicing and accounts receivable; reconcile accounts
  • Liaise with OGC and ExEd Finance on contracting templates and commercial terms; manage contracting with external vendors, other Harvard schools, etc.
  • Monitor faculty utilization and compensation (sessions, chairs, cases) and communicate to MD and team.
  • Work with ExEd Finance to resolve faculty compensation questions/issues.
  • Trusted advisor to the MD—and the entire team—for all of the above

Operations & Delivery:
  • Lead the Custom Programs team interface with the Program Delivery and Guest Services teams.
  • Monitor and manage Custom Programs delivery schedule, liaising with the Program Delivery and Guest Services teams for scheduling, delivery, and utilization.
  • Along with the MD, represent Custom Programs on ExEd policy development questions relating to planning, operations, and delivery
  • Troubleshoot a wide range of operations and delivery challenges for all Custom staff
  • Work with MD to set guidelines (e.g., off-campus delivery) and “guardrails” (e.g., foreign governments) for Custom Programs; monitor implementation and balance client/institutional needs
  • Monitor ExEd policies, procedures, and administrative change, and regularly update the team to ensure compliance • While this role is distinctly not a Portfolio Director, the OD may function in a client interface role when clients are transferred, or when there are staff changes on the Custom team.

Business Development & Marketing:
  • Partner with the Business Development (BD) team to continually analyze market trends and sales pipeline; provide data and analytics and interpret them to drive decisions on targeting and managing lead flow, opportunity pipeline, and new client pursuit strategies
  • Maintain fees model; constantly align with portfolio and P&L
  • Oversee and lead the contracting process, including all client agreements (ensure consistency with ExEd policies and terms); all Portfolio Directors (PDs) are accountable to the OD for this purpose
  • Manage the process for renewing agreements with returning clients
  • In collaboration with the Director, BD partner with and support the Custom PDs in realizing client expansion opportunities
  • Partner with MD and Director, BD on developing new program models
  • Responsible for other duties as assigned

Basic Qualifications

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

Additional Qualifications and Skills

Additional Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree required
  • An additional 2 years of related experience is required

Additional Preferred Qualifications:
  • Master’s in related field preferred.
  • Significant executive education or higher education, consulting or related professional services experience strongly preferred.
  • Requires strong business acumen (particularly analytics), outstanding communication and organization skills, and a mindset of learning and collaboration.
  • Candidates with less experience may be considered as a Grade 58/Associate Operating Director

Additional Responsibilities: Administration:
  • Organize and set agenda for weekly team meetings
  • Monitor and manage resource loading: PD portfolio balance, faculty utilization, space utilization
  • Field questions and troubleshoot on a wide range of issues across ExEd, HBS and Harvard.

Additional Information

This role is offered as a hybrid (some combination of onsite and remote) where you are required to be onsite at our Boston, MA based campus. Specific days and schedule will be determined between you and your manager.

We may conduct candidate interviews virtually (phone and/or via Zoom) and/or in-person for this role.

A cover letter is required to be considered for this opportunity.

Harvard Business School will not offer visa sponsorship for this opportunity.

Culture of Inclusion: The work and well-being of HBS is profoundly strengthened by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and life experiences. Explore more about HBS work culture here https://www.hbs.edu/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

Faculty & Student Services

Department Office Location

USA - MA - Boston

Job Code

S0659M FSS Exec Education Mgt V

Work Format

Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)



Salary Grade



Executive Education


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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