Chief Human Resources Officer

Massachusetts, United States
Salary Not specified
Dec 04, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

The mission of the Harvard Kennedy School is to improve public policy and leadership so people can live in societies that are more safe, free, just, and sustainably prosperous. By combining cutting-edge research, the teaching of outstanding students, and direct interaction with practitioners, HKS has an impact on solving public problems that no other institution can match.


HKS faculty, students, staff, fellows, and its 20,000 degree-program alumni and 50,000 executive education alumni tackle a diverse range of public challenges in the US and around the world.  The School houses 11 research centers and teaching, research, and engagement with practitioners focus on the following priorities:

  • Protecting security, freedom, and human rights;
  • Strengthening democracy;
  • Advancing social justice and human rights;
  • Increasing economic well-being;
  • Enhancing sustainability; and
  • Improving public leadership and management.


The Chief Human Resources Officer at HKS reports directly to the Executive Dean and is a key member of senior management team. They oversee all strategic and operational aspects of the human resources function for the School’s 600 staff employees (and many aspects for the School’s 600 research fellows), including the following:

  • talent acquisition; 
  • compensation, including reward and recognition; 
  • training and development; 
  • employee and labor relations; 
  • performance management; 
  • policy development; and
  • Individual coaching and HR problem solving. 


The CHRO serves as a strategic advisor to the Dean, the Executive Dean, research center executive directors, and department heads on all HR matters. They also work closely with Harvard Human Resources (“HHR”) and other senior HR leaders and administrators across the University. The CHRO will establish and promote a vision and strategy that attract, develop, and support a diverse workforce of human resources professionals who will advance the School`s mission, with an inclusive and welcoming culture.


HKS seeks a CHRO with a successful track record of leadership and management, and the ability to understand and develop possible resolution to complex problems. This is an outstanding leadership opportunity that requires an innovative, highly driven leader who is well versed in human resource practices, can collaborate and engage with faculty and staff with a sense of humor and calmness under pressure.


Candidates will be expected to hold a bachelor’s degree and progressively responsible experience in human resources, higher education administration and/or business; a master’s degree and equivalent experience preferred. In addition, strong candidate would be expected to demonstrate the following: 


  • broad human resources knowledge; 
  • expertise in strategic, collaborative, and consultative services; 
  • a sophisticated approach to organizational leadership; 
  • a deep commitment to and experience in developing and maintaining a diverse and inclusive community;
  • technical expertise in key areas of human resources; and 
  • experience leading human resources staff and programs in complex and/or decentralized organizations. 




Nominations, inquiries, and expressions of interest may be directed to


Harvard University is 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