Director, Global Alumni Engagement

Position overview:

The Director, Global Alumni Engagement is a new and exciting senior role for the Harvard Innovation Labs, and representative of our continued evolution as a multi-lab, multi-program ecosystem serving an ever-broadening set of constituents. The role and the recent formation of the department reflects our commitment to increasing the breadth and depth of our offerings to HIL and Harvard alumni entrepreneurs while also expanding the network of advisors and mentors that is so essential to the health and performance of the ecosystem.

The Director is charged with four fundamental responsibilities:  developing effective programs and mechanisms to fully engage Harvard Innovation Labs alumni ventures that have left the labs; piloting programs that bring together Harvard alumni entrepreneurs in select markets; refining the recruiting, curatorial, and engagement approaches to optimize the value and capacity of the Advisor Network and finally building the critical community facing systems and technologies necessary to ensure both consistency of quality and the ability to efficiently scale.

Job Mission:

Enhance and expand the Harvard Innovation Labs ecosystem by engaging HIL alumni entrepreneurs, select Harvard alumni entrepreneurs and the overall Advisor network in systematic ways that create material value exchange.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Working with the Alumni and Network Engagement staff and HIL leadership team to oversee, build and implement an annual department plan that supports the overall HIL Strategic Plan Strategic Imperatives while ensuring consistent progress of the department’s function and value in the following areas:
    • Develop and implement a Harvard alumni entrepreneur engagement plan that establishes opportunities for value exchange
    • Establish clear metrics for success and the capacity to assess the value of the effort across all investment areas
    • Explore the potential for providing structured support of HIL alumni entrepreneurs including online community technologies and programming
    • Pilot market specific One Harvard alumni entrepreneur engagement programming, e.g. New York, San Francisco, London, Paris
    • Explore the potential to develop a HIL alumni entrepreneur network “curator-concierge” in select markets that creates value for Harvard alumni entrepreneurs via connections, resource guidance and social programming
    • Work with the Tech Dev department to develop data management systems that support the efficient expansion of the Advisor Network and alumni engagement program
  • Oversee the development of a concerted plan to better recruit, curate, engage and measure the Harvard Innovation Labs Advisor Network, a network of almost 200 volunteer advisors (Experts-in-Residence, Mentors, Functional Specialists, PIC Judges, etc.) who volunteer their time in support of Harvard student (and alumni) entrepreneurs
    • Conduct ongoing and systematic 1:1 in person outreach to key individuals in the Harvard community and the Boston/New York ecosystem that can impact awareness of the Labs and generate potential new members of the Advisor Network
    • Oversee the development and implementation of a concerted recruiting program that identifies high value, high appeal speakers (e.g. Other Side Speaker Series) and workshop instructors
  • Establish a Global Alumni and Network Engagement performance dashboard and reporting system that insures the department makes consistent and material progress


Other Tasks and Accountabilities:

  • Challenge and motivate the Alumni and Network Engagement team to be innovative, to live the performance principles and to serve as the exemplar for strategic thinking, comprehensive systems design and implementation
  • Work directly with all department heads to ensure constant alignment of effort against need and ensure that the overall HIL ecosystem is expanding in both breadth and depth
  • Be an active participant in the development and implementation of the organization’s annual Strategic Plan and a contributor to progress on the Journey to i.


Requirements and Qualifications:

  • BA/BS required, MBA preferred
  • Harvard alum preferred
  • Strong leadership and management competencies, a high level of organization and deadline orientation as well as problem-solving skills
  • Hands on entrepreneurial experience preferred, founder experience ideal
  • Solid and growing network in Boston (and ideally New York) entrepreneurship ecosystem
  • Ten plus years in a business development and community engagement role
  • Must possess superior communications (verbal, written, presentation) with high creativity, energy, integrity, thoughtful judgment and decision making
  • Experience working in a university setting preferred
  • Extensive travel between Boston and NYC is likely, e.g. two weeks per month
  • Agility, gravitas, and high EQ are valued attributes
  • Solid PowerPoint and Excel skills required

Key Behaviors:

  • Outgoing – natural people connector
  • Proactive
  • Collaborative
  • Methodical
  • Innovative


HIL Brand Personality Attributes


 HIL Performance Principles

  • Raise your own bar – be an active learner
  • Start with Why – be strategic
  • Get outside – learn from others
  • Think sideways – collaborate across departments
  • Don’t look back – let go of legacy thinking


  • Client to Marketing, Tech Dev and Operations
  • Supplier to Advising


Direct Reports: AD, Network Engagement; Alumni and Network Engagement Coordinator

Reports To: Executive Director           Last Updated: 1.18.19

To apply: Please send a cover letter and resume as a single PDF, titled “[First name] [Last name] Director, Global Alumni Engagement to i-lab@harvard.edu with the email subject line “Application for Director, Global Alumni Engagement position”.