the initiative

Fellowships and Job Opportunities




The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative is a joint effort of Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School, in close collaboration with and funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, to advance leadership, management, and innovation in cities. The program aims to equip mayors and their senior leaders with the tools, skills, and support required to tackle complex organizational challenges faced in running cities. The initiative is comprised of executive education (e.g. classes for mayors and senior city government leaders), ongoing support for cities to advance effective practices in their governments (e.g. coaching, workshops, research support), and research and curriculum development (e.g. new cases, tools for teaching, and knowledge about municipal governance and problem-solving) to advance the field of city leadership around the world.

The Senior Communications Manager develops, leads, manages, and executes a plan that strengthens our objectives to:

  • Inspire, strengthen, and equip city leaders with the tools to lead high-performing, innovative cities;

  • Advance the field of city leadership around the world; and

  • Convey the narrative of our initiative and share its impact on city leaders and the field of city of leadership.

Reporting to the Executive Program Director, the position works with a range of consultants, freelancers, partners, and colleagues to deliver on our initiative’s agenda.


Advance our communications strategy

  • Work with the Executive Program Director and Faculty Director to develop and deploy the initiative’s strategic communication plan

  • Advance awareness of programs, intellectual capital, and the initiative’s impact with relevant audiences

  • Forge and execute a plan to expand use of a growing library of courses materials, articles, and tools to support learning in cities around the world

Cultivate key partnerships with stakeholders

  • Effectively work with various partners throughout Harvard to ensure that the initiative’s communication strategy advances the overall objectives of the institution

  • Work closely with our donor’s communications team to identify opportunities for advancing the communications objectives of the initiative

  • Serve as point with city communications professionals in cities that are participating in our programming

  • Establish and maintain a network of partners that can be influential in disseminating our content and amplifying our communications

  • Serve as point person regarding any media (both academic and non-academic) interactions that help promote the initiative

Manage communications operations

  • Establish, develop, and maintain effective platforms to disseminate the initiative’s intellectual capital and content

  • Oversee development and maintenance of all collateral communications materials, including pamphlets, reports, and presentations

  • Maintain a segmented database of contacts that receive key communications and announcements from the initiative

  • Prepare talking points, speeches, presentations, and other supporting material to provide support for colleagues or partners communicating about the initiative

  • Provide quality control for all communications materials

  • Research, vet, manage contracts for, and oversee the use of any outside vendors or freelancers in support of the communications plan

Be a great teammate

  • Foster and contribute to a culture of excellence grounded in learning, problem solving, and teamwork

  • Collaborate with colleagues to support and advance their work


Bachelor's Degree and minimum of 8 years of experience (inclusive of graduate education) and progressively responsible strategic communications experience.


  • Advanced degree preferred

  • Experience in city government, organizations that support cities, and/or higher education preferred

  • Success in managing a comprehensive strategic communications program to advance an organization's objectives

  • Strong ability to communicate persuasively, concisely, and clearly in speech and writing

  • Knowledge of and experience with social media, new media, and content marketing; aptitude in using the various tools of digital technology and communications

  • Expertise in identifying and advancing opportunities that reach key audiences

  • Skill in building and managing relationships and networks with a diverse group of stakeholders for the purpose of delivering on an organizational priorities

  • Effectiveness in a translating strategy into action plans and output

  • Strong teammate with an ability to build productive relationships and lead work across all levels of a diverse organization

  • Skill in managing multiple diverse activities simultaneously, delivering on commitments, and operating with speed, accuracy, and strong judgment

  • Ability to make decisions in a changing environment and while anticipating future needs

  • Ability to drive to big picture goals while maintaining a strong attention to detail

  • A relentless work ethic—coupled with an enthusiasm for rolling up their sleeves to do whatever it takes to get work done—whether strategic and/or routine and mundane


Harvard University requires pre-employment reference and background checks. Harvard University is committed to supporting a healthy, sustainable learning and working environment.


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 or any other characteristic protected by law.


All applications must be submitted to the Harvard University human resources website. Click here to submit your application, or search for position number 49900BR at:


The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative offers a limited number of research fellowships in the field of leadership, management, and innovation in cities. The research fellow will work with the guidance of faculty on research and curriculum development projects that will address topics including cross-sector collaboration, teaming, public narrative, and leadership development. The work will involve a variety of research methods including case-studies, surveys, impact assessment, and possibly experimental research. Research fellows will be working both independently and collaboratively on teams. They will participate as full members of the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative team and will join a robust, exciting, and multi-disciplinary environment that spans multiple departments and schools across Harvard University.


Research, Analysis, and Design

  • Identify, collect, synthesize, and analyze primary and secondary source data.

  • Establish interview protocols, plan research visits to cities, and conduct interviews.

  • Review and summarize literature.

  • Create, disseminate, and analyze surveys.

Writing and Editing

  • Draft articles, cases, teaching notes, and other artifacts for practitioner and academic audiences.

  • Present output in clear and compelling prose.

  • Edit and prepare content for publication.

Management, Coordination, and Presentation

  • Prepare for research visits with leaders in cities.

  • Project manage all aspects of research work, providing clear milestones and markers of progress.

  • Manage delivery and presentation of research output.

This position is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


  • Advanced degree in a relevant field of academic study.

  • The ability to communicate persuasively, concisely, and clearly in writing. Academic writing experience a plus.

  • Understanding of the leadership, managerial, and organizational challenges associated with governing cities.

  • Familiarity with the academic and professional literature on mayoral leadership, urban governance, public sector innovation, etc.

  • Demonstrated understanding of executive education.

  • Familiarity with methods of academic research including case-study design and its application.

  • A track record of delivering on commitments, and operating with speed, accuracy, and strong judgment.

  • The ability to work effectively both independently and collaboratively, and recognize which one is most appropriate at which time.

  • Intellectual curiosity and passion for public sector innovation.

  • A relentless work ethic—coupled with an enthusiasm for rolling up their sleeves to do whatever it takes to get work done—whether strategic and/or routine and mundane.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills; the ability to ask insightful and probing questions while keeping people at ease.


Each fellowship will run for a period of one year with the possibility of extension. Research fellows will receive a salary, health benefits, shared office space at the Ash Center, and access to Harvard’s libraries and online library services.


To apply, send an email to with the following:

  1. Cover letter (one page maximum)

  2. Resume/CV

  3. Writing sample

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and will not be considered complete until all elements are received. Applicants chosen to move forward in the hiring process will be required to participate in multiple interviews and to submit references.