Job Listings

Assistant Director

Harvard University
Job Location:
Cambridge, 02138
Sponsored Programs, Grants, and Contracts
Harvard Divinity School


Job Summary

The Center for the Study of World Religions is an integral part of Harvard Divinity School (HDS). By its resources and programming the Center supports, focuses, and enhances the School's mission, with respect to research, teaching, and community. 

Reporting to the Center's Executive Director, The Assistant Director serves a key role at the Center, ensuring the smooth management of administration, finance, and events in support of the Center's expanding research programs. The position is also responsible for high-level financial and grant management functions for the overall Center's budget, as well as its gifts and grants portfolio. The position supervises the Center's Administrative Coordinator. 

Position Description

Administrative Operations:

  • Administers the internal appointment process for post-doctoral fellows, research associates, research assistants, visiting scholars, and all other academic appointments, including answering inquires, facilitating communications and appointment postings, application tracking and review, drafting offer letters and processing appointments in PeopleSoft. 
  • Serves as liaison to International Office and handles visa sponsorship for international visitors.
  • Serves as primary liaison to HDS HR and HDS Faculty and Academic Affairs, coordinating posting and advertisement of open academic, staff and Center-funded teaching positions, and scheduling of interviews. 
  • Oversees day-to-day, program and office administration related to operations, such as upgrades of office equipment, furniture and furnishings.
  • Directly supervises the Administrative Coordinator and provides indirect oversight of the Events Coordinator; temporary staff, and independent contractors. 
  • Supervises first-response to phone calls and email messages received in the Center's inbox.

Events, Programming and Publications:

  • Manages the Center's events schedule and gift-funded programming, including conferences, lecture series, workshops and fieldtrips; ensures that all logistical, financial, outreach and event coordination tasks are on track and on schedule; keeps track of all operational and administrative components for each of the programming offerings.
  • Manages the implementation of targeted outreach campaigns in support of the CSWR's programming, including development of a database of local and external contacts, departments, organizations, as well as implementation of advance outreach campaigns.
  • Works with the Executive Director and Researchers on executing local and international fieldtrips, including developing programming and workshops, ensuring all travel and accommodation logistics are secured, as well as contracts with field partners and contractors.
  • Coordinates the publications of edited volumes and books. Manages contracts with designers, printing and publishing groups; manages agreements with authors, contributors, external institutions around copy-rights, reprints, etc.

Financial Administration:

  • Develops monthly budget reports; tracks and monitors ongoing expenses across core administrative operations; building operations, sponsored research, and investment accounts; administers current grants, sponsored research contracts.
  • Provides oversight of regular purchasing, expenditures, and financial processes, including payments and IC documentation for speakers and performers.
  • Prepares the Center's core, as well as fund-specific budgets. Writes budget narrative in collaboration with the Executive Director. Tracks budgets, runs and analyzes budget reports. Monitors expenses against program and project specific budget allocations and projections, as well as funding distribution. Working with the Executive Director and the Events Coordinator, makes corrections.
  • Processes financial transactions (reimbursements, documentation and payments for speakers, performers and contractors).
  • Serves as primary liaison between Center and HDS Finance office.
  • Monitors adherence to deadlines, scheduling, payment of stipends and reimbursements.
  • Responsible for reviewing, and implementing corrections of all financial transactions processed by two CSWR staff members in PCard system, B2P, and Concur.
Basic Qualifications
  • Undergraduate degree plus three or more years of academic or nonprofit administration or in a role requiring advanced office, budget, and program management capabilities.
  • Demonstrated experience with financial reporting and analysis, as well as budget development.
  • Proven track record in overseeing programs, budgets, people, or a diverse range of projects.
  • Proficient in technology with expertise in the Microsoft Office suite, Microsoft Publisher, Adobe Photoshop (or equivalent graphic design software), along with familiarity with website development and management tools.
  • Candidates wishing to be considered must supply a cover letter in addition to a resume. 

PLEASE NOTE: As part of the selection process, finalists will be asked to complete a simulated finance exercise. This will involve working with two hypothetical scenarios and accompanying mock financial records, from which they will be assessed on their ability to generate a sample expense report and create budget forecasts.

Additional Qualifications and Skills
  • Master degree in business administration or humanities preferred.
  • Experience in directly or indirectly managing staff.
  • Demonstrated ability to adapt quickly to new challenges and projects, ensuring smooth operations throughout varying workloads.
  • Ability to maintain high levels of productivity and quality of work, even when under pressure or faced with tight deadlines. 
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Facility with Harvard financial and administrative systems, policies and guidelines, e.g. Peoplesoft, Concur, HR Analytics, personnel manual.
  • Exceptional organizational abilities with the skill to prioritize tasks effectively amid multiple projects or deadlines.
  • Resilience and a positive outlook in response to the changing needs of the organization.
  • Competent in managing a high volume of client communications and maintaining timely correspondence.
*IMPORTANT NOTE: Your cover letter and resume should be combined into a SINGLE DOCUMENT under the resume tab. Cover letters are required for every position at Harvard Divinity School. We regret that the Harvard Divinity School does not provide Visa sponsorship.*

Working Conditions
This position is based in Cambridge, MA and requires an on-campus presence. All HDS positions have a regular schedule of Monday - Friday, 9am - 5 pm. A hybrid schedule, involving some remote work, may be possible, subject to business needs and manager and HR review/approval. HDS may adjust flex schedules as necessary or appropriate. Harvard has an established Flexwork Policy.

Please Note: We are currently conducting interviews virtually for selected candidates. Final interviews may be conducted on campus.

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
Starting salaries typically fall in the lower half of the salary range; however, they are ultimately determined by the scope of the position, the candidate's relevant experience, and internal equity.

Harvard Divinity School seeks to respect, understand, and learn from all cultures, beliefs, and faith backgrounds, including those who are unaffiliated with a traditional denomination, of the members of our diverse community. HDS actively seeks and welcomes people of color, women, the LGBTQIA+ community, persons with disabilities, and people at intersections of these identities.

Founded in 1816, Harvard Divinity School is most religiously diverse divinity school in the United States and is one of 12 graduate/professional schools at Harvard University. HDS is grounded in pluralism and fosters the kind of thoughtful, respectful exchange of ideas that is vital for human flourishing. The School's degree programs prepare students for careers in academia, ministry, and a wide range of roles across the nonprofit, private, and public sectors.

Work Format Details
This position is based primarily on-campus, in Massachusetts. This may include in-person during emergency situations (if applicable). Additional details will be discussed during the interview process. Certain visa types may limit work location. Individuals must meet work location sponsorship requirements prior to employment.

We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website ( to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:
  • Flex-work options at HDS, including an optional summer compressed workweek (end of May through mid-August)
  • 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
359056 Admin Dept/Program Admin

Work Format


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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