Assistant Dean for Civic Engagement & Service (HC)

The mission of Harvard College is to educate citizens and citizen-leaders for our society.  We do this through our belief in the transformative power of a liberal arts and science education.  The Center for Public Service and Engaged Scholarship is the hub for civic engagement and community service programming at Harvard College, and strives to fulfill the civic education mission of the College.  Within the Center, the 115-year old Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA) coordinates student-led, community-centered programs that meet a variety of human service needs in neighboring cities, and the Mindich Program for Engaged Scholarship (MPES) mounts community-engaged courses and faculty-led research projects.  In addition, the Center supports public interest internships and programming to illuminate pathways to public service careers, student leadership development programs, and signature activities to promote social responsibility among Harvard College students.  Our programs are built on principled collaborations with community partners in direct service, civic participation, and social innovation, where teaching, learning, and research are inclusive, equitable, reciprocal, respectful, and sustained through service, activism, politics, and engaged scholarship. We empower our students with the knowledge, skills, and values to act with integrity and empathy to serve as active citizens and citizen-leaders throughout their lives.

The Assistant Dean for Civic Engagement and Service reports to the Faculty Director of the Center for Public Service and Engaged Scholarship and is responsible for overseeing a broad range of civic engagement programs and professional pathways to public service for Harvard College students.  In a diverse and varied programming landscape within the Center and across the College and University, the Assistant Dean maintains close collaborations with colleagues, ensures appropriate coordination and information sharing among these programs and other civic engagement and service initiatives across the University; leads strategic planning and development of new initiatives in response to student interest, including developing resources through fundraising and grant-seeking; and participates actively in outreach, representation, and promotion of civic engagement and service within the Harvard community as well as among external constituencies.


Strategic Planning, Development, and Assessment of Initiatives

  • Supports a cohesive and expansive vision for public service at Harvard College and works closely with the Center and College leadership to develop or revamp programs and activities that promote the vision and are responsive to student interests and needs;
  • Creates, implements, and evaluates residential public service programs in collaboration with the Dean of Students’ office and provides ongoing support to proctors, tutors and other residential staff in alignment with key initiatives;
  • Develops goals and assessment strategies for measuring effectiveness of public service activities, internships, and public interest career exploration efforts; leads implementation of assessment strategies to collect, manage, and report data related to public service at Harvard College.

Coordination and Representation

  • Facilitates regular meetings with directors of public service initiatives, internships and fellowships to promote coordination and to encourage collaboration and information sharing and promotes strategic opportunities for collaboration across public service efforts at the College and/or with other schools and community initiatives;
  • Liaises with the National Advisory Board for Public Service at Harvard College and the Harvard Alumni Association; serves on Center, College, and University committees, and represents the Center and College as appropriate on external committees and boards;
  • Develops and maintains strong relationships with local public and nonprofit leaders to ensure that public service at Harvard is connected to neighboring community needs; identifies and maintains relationships with host organizations domestically and internationally for summer internships, fellowships, and service projects;
  • Serves as primary liaison with support organizations, such as Massachusetts Campus Compact, Talloires Network, Massachusetts Service Alliance, and the Corporation for National and Community Service, as well as strategic state and national relationships, and disseminates best practices and opportunities to organizations at Harvard.

Communication and Outreach

  • Coordinate central messaging to elevate public service at Harvard. Develop communication strategy that reflects the importance of, approach to and impact of public service efforts at Harvard college to strengthen student volunteer engagement, partnership development and resources support;
  • Leads efforts to ensure a coordinated web presence for public service at Harvard College, including appropriate integration with related programs and activities; maintains a robust and dynamic inventory of public service opportunities and resources;
  • Works closely with the Harvard’s Office of Public Affairs and Communications (HPAC) to ensure that public service efforts are well-documented and illuminated in appropriate media (bi-annual reports, weekly digests, social media presence, etc.); serves as principal contact for HPAC and external media to ensure that inquiries are addressed.

Fundraising, Grant-Seeking, and Financial Management

  • Actively seeks and develops opportunities for external funding of student programs and departmental infrastructure to augment existing sources;
  • Manages budgets to maximize programmatic impact, ensures balanced resource allocation across competing needs, and stewards endowments and gifts appropriately;
  • Maintains relationships with donors and donor prospects and works closely with FAS Development staff on initiatives related to fundraising.

Oversight and Support of Staff and Students

  • Supports, supervises and evaluates program directors, Center and residential staff, and other employees engaged in delivering public service programs;
  • Support strategy for meaningful professional development to build core competencies and understanding among staff and student leaders;
  • Works closely with students engaged in public service programming and activities to develop leadership and program management skills;
  • Ensure adequate and appropriate staffing to meet public service priorities and department needs.


  • Masters’ degree
  • 8+ years of progressively senior leadership roles in a non-profit, educational, or public-serving organization


  • Successful record of program development, implementation, and assessment
  • Knowledge of and competence in student leadership development
  • Understanding of civic engagement, scholarship, and service landscape in higher education
  • Particular depth of experience in one of the following areas: Service Years; social innovation, social enterprise, or start-ups; STEAM-focused programs; urban planning/development; and/or international service opportunities
  • Experience stewarding and building thoughtful community partnerships
  • Ability to work across difference/cultural competency
  • Collaborative workstyle and strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Experience managing staff and working closely with students in program development
  • Experience stewarding finances and fundraising or grant-seeking
  • Terminal or doctoral degree
  • Competent user of Office suite and other productivity and communications technologies


Follow this link to apply: Resume review will begin May 13th, 2019; Applications must include a cover letter for consideration.

Finalists will be required to submit a short writing sample.



Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.