Assistant Director of Human Resources – Harvard – Cambridge, MA

Website Harvard University

Assistant Director of Human Resources

Faculty of Arts and Sciences


Position Description

In the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, we research and teach how the collective behavior of molecules and cells forms the basis of life. We are driven by a passion for discovery and value collaborative approaches to scientific inquiry, where connections between people fuel interdisciplinary science and break boundaries across varied experimental systems. Against a backdrop of cutting-edge biological research, we work as a team of educators and mentors to inspire and train the next generation of scientists and global citizens.  The Department has an opening for an Assistant Director of Human Resources, responsible for a broad range of human resources services and administration for the department.

Job Specific Responsibilities:

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Assistant Director of Human Resources serves as a member of the leadership team, responsible for a broad range of human resources services and administration for the Department. This position also leads the MCB Community Task Force, partnering with Faculty of Arts and Sciences Human Resources, MCO (Molecules, Cells and Organisms) graduate program and other affiliated stakeholders in planning and implementing departmental initiatives on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging.

HR Operations and Administration

  • Serve as a visible resource and partner for MCB faculty, staff, students, administrators, and other stakeholders.
  • Develop strategies and best practices for improved recruitment and hiring practices for all categories of community members.
  • Manage MCB human resources operations, including Human Resources Coordinator and oversee payroll and appointment processes.
  • Work closely with Executive Director, Faculty, and Managers on issues related to personnel relations and personnel development.

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Activities

  • Responsible for strategic and administrative oversight of MCB’s Diversity and Inclusion program, including but not limited to oversight and leadership of the Community Task Force on DIB (a cross-functional team of ~20 department members) who are charged with carrying out initiatives in support of the department’s strategic priorities.
  • Coordinates and facilitates monthly meetings, oversees annual recruitment and sustainability, helps to carry out deliverables, sustain momentum, and keep initiatives moving forward.
  • Design and co-facilitate conversations to engage community members in a process of discovery to determine factors that would draw them further into participation.
  • Follow the findings in these events to develop pilot programs to foster community interaction, and mentoring, focusing on models that once established can be self-sustaining.
  • Gather benchmarking research and best practices of successful programs and establish metrics that serve as guideposts as to whether policies are succeeding.
  • Assist in the production of reports, internal and external documents, presentations, and briefs related to diversity, equity and inclusion to maintain consistent communication and transparency for the department.
  • Determine the appropriateness of and resources required for introducing various initiatives that increase diversity and equity and further inclusion.
  • Leverage efforts of other schools and connect to and partner with the goal of increasing impact where appropriate.
  • Make recommendations for the design and coordination of educational programs, workshops and learning modules for faculty, staff, students, and researchers that supports inclusive excellence in teaching and research.
  • Research and apply for funding resources to support programs, activities, and initiatives.
  • Assist in building a narrative history of MCB departmental culture that informs the values, opportunities, and challenges of the current community.

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience required
  • Minimum of 5 years’ relevant HR experience

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Professional Experience in a Higher Education STEM setting strongly preferred.
  • Knowledge of human resources principles and best practices highly desirable.
  • A calm demeanor and ability to hold space for complex emotional discussions is vital to success in this position, as is integrity to the truth and an ability to balance intent with impact as core values.
  • Experience with community engagement and culture building.
  • Experience in establishing objectives, leading training, event planning, logistics, and strong oral and written presentation skills.
  • Demonstrated success building effective partnerships, credibility, rapport, and trust with stakeholders at all levels.
  • Demonstrated experience transitioning projects from the start-up phase to an enduring model.

Working Conditions

This is a hybrid position on our campus in Cambridge, MA. This position is required to work in-person on campus a minimum of three days per week. Specific days and schedule will be determined between you and your manager.

The University requires all Harvard community members to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and remain up to date with COVID-19 vaccine boosters, as detailed in Harvard’s Vaccine & Booster Requirements. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University’s COVID vaccination requirement, exemptions, and verification of vaccination status may be found at the University’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” webpage:

Additional Information

In order to be considered for this position, a cover letter and resume must be submitted.

All formal written offers will be made by FAS HR.

Harvard offers a generous benefits package including:

  • Time Off: 3- 4 weeks paid vacation, paid holiday break, 12 paid sick days, 11.5 paid holidays, and 3 paid personal days per year.
  • Medical/Dental/Vision: We offer a variety of excellent medical plans, dental & vision plans, all coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive tuition assistance program, $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and discounted options through participating Harvard grad schools.
  • Transportation: Harvard offers a 50% discounted MBTA pass as well as additional options to assist employees in their daily commute.
  • Wellness Options: Harvard offers programs and classes at little or no cost, including stress management, massages, nutrition, meditation and complimentary health services.
    Harvard access to athletic facilities, libraries, campus events and many discounts throughout metro Boston.

At the core of the MCB department is a commitment to foster an environment in which all individuals have the opportunity to thrive. It is our shared responsibility to create an inclusive culture, where we support and respect each other as colleagues. We embrace a diverse range of perspectives, expertise, identities, experiences, talents, and abilities. By continually strengthening this foundation of investing in the well-being of our people, we enable our community’s growth and pursuit of the creative and innovative approaches that underlie scientific excellence.

Job Function Human Resources

Location USA – MA – Cambridge

Job Code H0457M HR Generalist Management III

Sub-Unit ————

Department Molecular and Cellular Biology

Time Status Full-time

Union 00 – Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Pre-Employment Screening Criminal, Education, Identity

Schedule 35 hours per week

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.

To apply for this job please visit