Job Listings

Assistant Director, International Safety & Security Programs

Harvard University
Job Location:
Cambridge, 02138
Other Executive
Campus Services


Job Summary

The Assistant Director of International Safety and Security Programs is responsible for developing, leading, and managing safety and security programming and risk mitigation strategies that support Harvard Schools' and business units' international engagements. This role reports to the Director of International Safety and Security (IS&S) in Harvard Global Support Services (GSS). The position has a University-wide scope, interacting with a diverse population of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, academics, and higher education partners. In the absence of the Director, and as needed, this roles serves as the manager, assuming the role of the Director and representing IS&S with management and with University affiliates. This role also represents Harvard's international safety and security interests with government entities, security partners, and other external partners.

Program Management
Advise on international travel, including to high-threat environments, and prepare travelers and program leaders through in-person and online training and consultations. Perform planning and preparation as well as monitoring and debriefing for elevated-risk and high-risk trips. Develop and support protocols and procedures for travelers with identity-based risks, including one-on-one support, and adapt as needed. Lead the IS&S team's review, update, and content creation for pre-travel resources, training, and orientations based on emerging needs and trends among Harvard travelers and the global security landscape. Manage IS&S' Cooperative Education Program (Co-op) and supervise a Co-op Assistant Security Specialist. Serve as a liaison between GSS and relevant University partners, vendors, and external agencies.

Emergency Response & Crisis Management
Support the Assistant Director of International Safety and Security Operations with managing the University's response to international incidents, working collaboratively with IS&S team members and, as needed, leading the emergency response effort. Serve as a core member of the International Emergency Management Team (IEMT)-a working group led by GSS and comprised of 60+ representatives from every Harvard School, relevant Central Administration departments, and on-campus emergency support services. Support the IEMT's response to international incidents. As needed, consult with case managers from the University's global emergency response provider to monitor travelers' medical, mental health, and security incidents, facilitate the response to support travelers' needs, and inform relevant Harvard administrators and leadership. Share and rotate weekly 24/7 on-call responsibilities with IS&S team members.

Position Description
Program and Project Management
  • Manage the IS&S Co-op program, including recruitment and hiring (6-month cycle) of an Assistant Security Specialist.
    • Supervise, mentor, guide, and complete performance requirements for IS&S' Assistant Security Specialist.
  • Lead and manage the development of projects and procedures that facilitate and support risk assessment, risk mitigation, and pre-departure compliance and preparation to:
    • Educate travelers so they can make informed decisions and take reasonable precautions.
    • Help program leaders to develop security plans so they can safely and confidently execute their international engagements.
  • Develop and maintain a returned traveler debriefing program in consultation with the Assistant Director of International Safety and Security Operations.
  • Become a subject matter expert on travel risks and travelers with identity-based risks.
  • Independently conduct security risk assessments of international locations and program sites.
Training and Content Development
  • Independently lead and support the travel preparation process to deliver health and safety information effectively and consistently across all Harvard programs.
    • Develop, manage, and update pre-travel orientations (online and in person) and other training content, working with internal partners and external vendors as needed.
    • Conduct group and individual briefings for travelers to high- and elevated- risk locations.
    • Partner with Harvard administrators to lead, plan, develop, and implement health and safety training workshops and orientation programs for faculty leaders, administrators, and in-country office staff involved in Harvard-sponsored student travel.
  • Collaborate with the GSS Assistant Director of Communications on content and collateral that align with the department's brand standards and advance our communication strategy.
Outreach, Relationship Building, and University Collaboration
  • Collaborate with members of the GSS International Consulting & Operations team to address client inquiries, deliver presentations, and conduct University-wide outreach, including occasional off-hours events.
  • Work closely with University offices that support risk mitigation, health and wellbeing, public safety, and communications.
  • Represent GSS on various University and external working groups and committees.
  • Collaborate with peer institutions, external security and intelligence groups, and government agencies to pursue best practices on relevant health, safety, and security issues and risk mitigation strategies.
Incident Management and Emergency Response
  • Monitor and respond to international medical, mental health, and security incidents as appropriate.
  • Share and rotate 24/7 on-call responsibilities, serving as the primary point person for our global emergency response vendor, facilitating the response and communications with the IEMT and other relevant University stakeholders.
  • Communicate with and inform high-risk travelers as needed.
  • Conduct post-incident debriefs as needed to identify issues, learn, and improve processes.
Basic Qualifications
  • Bachelor's degree and 8 years of experience in global security or combined time in related fields, such as international risk management, emergency response and crisis management, and designing/facilitating international higher education programs.
  • International field experience (e.g., living, working, researching, or studying abroad).
  • Excellent written, verbal, and visual communication skills, organizational skills, and attention to detail.
  • Proven project management skills and ability to meet project goals with limited direction.
  • Strong relationship management skills and ability to work collaboratively and flexibly with people at all levels of an organization.
  • Demonstrated leadership, ability to remain calm under pressure and in crisis situations, and ability to manage sensitive and confidential information with discretion.
  • Demonstrated commitment to valuing diversity and contributing to an inclusive working and learning environment.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft 365 Office Suite.
Additional Qualifications and Skills
  • Advanced degree or equivalent experience/time in the field a plus.
  • Familiarity with study abroad/experiential learning programs.
  • Strong technical skills and comfort with technology (e.g., client relationship management systems; travel tracking software; communication technology).
  • Foreign language proficiency a plus.
Working Conditions
This is a hybrid position based in Cambridge, Massachusetts with a weekly in-office cadence. Remote work must be performed within one of the Harvard Registered Payroll States, which currently include Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Washington, and California.

The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up-to-date on CDC-recommended vaccines.

Additional Information
Emergency status designation: Critical operations personnel. Must be available 24/7 by phone, email, and digital device during defined on-call periods and during emergency response situations.

Travel: Occasional domestic and international travel (including high-risk locations) for conferences and trainings, site assessments, and/or emergency response.

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.

About Us
About Harvard University's international footprint
Harvard's international engagements are vast and deep-with more than 20 research centers across the globe and nearly 7,000 students, faculty, academics, and staff traveling abroad annually to more than 150 countries to study, work, conduct research, attend conferences, compete, and perform. The University funds or enables a significant amount of independent travel in addition to organized group travel.
About Harvard GSS
Harvard GSS offers international travel, research, and programming support in areas that span safety and security, health, culture, outbound immigration, employment, financial and legal matters, and research center operations. We serve students, faculty, staff, and academics across all Harvard Schools, departments, and centers. Since 2011, GSS has helped the Harvard community minimize risk, manage complexity, and feel confident about their international activities and travel. Join our dedicated, experienced team and help Harvard affiliates pursue extraordinary opportunities and achieve their international research, teaching, and learning goals. Learn more about GSS.

We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website ( 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
General Administration

Department Office Location
USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code
360058 Admin Offcr/SrIndiv Contrib

Work Format
Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)

Global Support Services

Salary Grade


00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Time Status

Pre-Employment Screening
Criminal, Education, Employment, 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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