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Director, BiGS

Harvard University
Cambridge, Massachusetts, US
Closing date
Nov 27, 2021

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Academic / Research
Conservation science
Climate Change
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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Director, Institute for the Study of Business in Global Society
Harvard Business School


Job Summary

Are you interested in helping to launch a research and content development endeavor that aims to tackle some of the most critical questions facing today's society? Are you excited about making an impact in the areas of social entrepreneurship, social enterprise and exploring new definitions for the purpose of today's business organizations? If so, consider the Director, BiGS, where you will oversee the research, data management and programmatic functions of a new research institute that will serve to transform the discussion of the role of business in global society.

Harvard Business School (HBS) is launching the Institute for the Study of Business in Global Society (BiGS) to spark new research and integrate existing work on the myriad of ways in which business affects and intersects with global society. As capitalism today comes increasingly under attack, BiGS strives to engage with some of the most dominant criticisms, and to position HBS and its faculty, students, and alumni as leaders in exploring how capitalism is functioning in the 21st century, and what capacities and responsibility business has to make it work better. BiGS' intellectual mandate is thus wide by nature, but it will focus in particular on issues of equity and inclusive prosperity; gender and racial diversity; climate change and environmental sustainability; and the impact of digital and other far-reaching technological changes.

BiGS will support a wide range of objectives. First, by providing dedicated research resources to convene faculty and thought leaders around critical societal issues, BiGS will seek to deepen our collective knowledge of how business shapes its external environment, and to develop rich sources of data on these interactions that can be made widely available to a broader community of scholars. Second, by engaging with business leaders and practitioners, BiGS will provide a setting for experimentation, pilots, convening and assessment within HBS and the world. Third, by integrating research, data, and related content, BiGS will be uniquely positioned to amplify and communicate, and serve as a source of expertise on the topic of business and society.

Job-Specific Responsibilities

The Institute is in the early stages of its development, therefore, the responsibilities of the Director will evolve as BiGS matures. The Director, reporting to the Managing Director, Administrative and Educational Affairs in the HBS Dean's Office, will work closely with the Sr. Associate Dean, Business and Global Society and will have a close team of administrative colleagues who will serve as resources to advise and assist with implementation. Initially the Director will serve as a key part of the planning and design team helping to define and develop the BiGS strategy, research, and communications agenda. The Director will focus on the operational details of creating a new business unit such as establishing the budget, hiring staff, logistics and policy development, and building relationships with key stakeholders. The early strategy will also focus on creating a brand and communications platform, marketing and outreach.

Specific Responsibilities
Working closely with the Senior Associate Dean, Business and Global Society, the Director will lead the development and implementation of a strategy for BiGS, lead research operations, and oversee operations. Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

Initial 6 - 9 months
  • Establish close working relationships with the Senior Associate Dean and affiliated faculty to help craft and implement a strategy for the launch of BiGS
  • Design a data strategy, assessing existing resources across HBS and Harvard for alignment with processes to determine the best approach
  • Create an operating plan to move the strategic plan forward, including hiring staff (3 additional FTE initially) and establishing a budget
  • Develop and implement the policy and infrastructure for access to BiGS research funding
  • Benchmark best practices in this area and serve as an expert source of information for internal and external audiences
  • Design and launch targeted pilots focused in the areas of research, the curriculum, communication and convening.

On-going responsibilities:
  • Oversee, design and participate in the Institute's research agenda, including the data strategy and reporting
  • Develop and manage operations including budget, staffing, and technology. Manage a small multi-faceted team of staff who provide research, data analysis, administrative and program management
  • Design and implement a dissemination strategy for research and content created by BiGS
  • Manage the brand and marketing of BiGS, both in the formal sense of being one of the key spokespeople for the media and related outlets, and by overseeing the overall brand through social media, convenings and reports
  • Serve as a pro-active link to the community of like-minded faculty, researchers, alumni, thought and business leaders to assess how BiGS may serve as an appropriate nexus for connecting and supporting the community
  • Design and deliver formal and informal programs that link thought leaders together including hosting events such as seminars and think-tanks
  • Other duties as assigned

Basic Qualifications
  • The successful candidate will have an academic background including but not limited to an MBA and/or Ph.D.
  • A minimum of 8 years of related experience is required.
  • Prior experience managing a research function and working closely with research faculty strongly preferred.
  • A high comfort level with a changing and evolving agenda is required along with the flexibility to adapt to that agenda.
  • Proven communication skills, and enjoys serving as a spokesperson.
  • Key skills include being self-motivated, creative and comfortable building collaborative relationships across a complex organization to advance the work of BiGS.
  • A proven track-record of generating excitement about a new idea while simultaneously managing operational details is required.
  • The ideal candidate will bring experience and relationships within a research community, along with experience in an operational management role.
  • A deep understanding of research and data methodologies is required.
  • Prior experience with developing a new research program is an asset.

Additional Qualifications and Skills
  • They must be curious about, committed to, and passionate about the intersection of business and society.
  • They will be excited about taking a plan from idea to reality and be able to accomplish a great deal with a lean staff.

Additional Information

This role is offered as a hybrid (some combination of onsite and remote) where you are required to be onsite at our Boston, MA based campus 3 days per week. Specific days and schedule will be determined between you and your manager.

While we continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions, we appreciate your understanding and flexibility with our interview process. Please note that we will be conducting interviews virtually (phone and or Zoom) for selected candidates until further notice.

Harvard requires COVID vaccination for all Harvard community members. 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: .

A cover letter is required to be considered for this opportunity.

Harvard Business School will not offer visa sponsorship for this opportunity.

Culture of Inclusion: The work and well-being of HBS is profoundly strengthened by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and life experiences. Explore more about HBS work culture here.

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.
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