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Assistant Director for Honoring Nations


Harvard Kennedy School




Job Summary

Reporting to the Senior Program Director for the Harvard Kennedy School Project on Indigenous Governance and Development (the Project), the Assistant Director of Honoring Nations is responsible for the day-to-day management of Honoring Contributions in the Governance of American Indian Nations Program (also known as Honoring Nations), a national award program that identifies, celebrates, and shares outstanding examples of tribal governance in the United States. Candidates must demonstrate knowledge of American Indian affairs, exceptional communication and organization skills, and willingness to approach problems with creativity and collegiality. The Ash Center is a global and values-driven community that believes diverse perspectives are paramount to better understanding and addressing real-world problems. In fostering an environment of rigor, curiosity, and integrity, we value and respect different opinions, lived experiences, and diverse research and policy areas and approaches. We actively seek candidates who share our commitment and values.

Since its founding in 1998, the Honoring Nations program has awarded 142 programs from over 100 tribal nations in a broad range of topic areas including economic and social development, education, healthcare, natural resources, justice, and governmental reform. Honoring Nations serves as a vehicle for shifting the focus to what works in Indian Country, fostering pride and confidence in the ability of American Indian governments to make positive contributions to the well-being of their respective communities and citizens. Working with the Harvard Project’s leadership and the Board of Governors, the Assistant Director of Honoring Nations determines programmatic priorities and manages those priorities to completion.

This position has primary responsibility for executing a three-round evaluation process that culminates with a major public event and financial awards. The Assistant Director of Honoring Nations also develops and implements dissemination strategies that provide tribal leaders, public officials, scholars, and the public with resource materials designed to spotlight and facilitation the spread of tribal government best practices. As a key member of the Harvard Project on Indigenous Governance and Development team, the Assistant Director spends up to 20% of their time contributing to and coordinating with the Project’s other activities, including applied research and its application to Indian nations.


Position Description


  • Identifies and recruits of Honoring Nations applications to the Honoring Nations awards program.
  • Works with the communications team to manage social media outlet content development and communications.
  • Maintains connections with the family of awardees.

Awards Process

  • Leads each of the 3 rounds of evaluation.
  • Facilitates evaluation selections, including site visits during summer months.
  • Acts as the primary liaison with all applicant programs.
  • Manages and maintains relationships with the Honoring Nations Board of Governors.


  • Curates digital content related to Honoring Nations awardees and the Project educational tools to facilitate the spread of tribal government best practices, including multimedia cases, online exhibits, Nation Building Toolboxes, and social media.
  • Coordinates dissemination efforts and media relations with communications team and with key institutional collaborators to amplify and share lessons from the awardees.
  • Speaks with and gives interviews to tribal and national reporters on the best practices in Indian Country.
  • Represents Honoring Nations and the Harvard Project at 8-10 domestic and international conferences and public speaking engagements per year.

Program Management

  • Participates in organizational communications: writing, editing, publication design, public speaking, general correspondence.
  • Interacts with and builds strategic relationships with our communities of interest: tribal leaders, public officials, scholars, and others in American Indian affairs.
  • Assists with fundraising and grant writing, as needed.
  • Takes on other duties as needed and remains flexible in tasks required by the team.


Basic Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree and five years of relevant experience demonstrating increasing responsibility. Demonstrated experience in/knowledge of American Indian affairs.


Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Advanced degree (master level or higher) in Social Sciences, Public Policy, Law, Sociology, Education, or other policy­ related field.
  • Deep Knowledge of American Indian affairs.
  • Familiarity with and use of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media outlets.
  • Excellent writing, public speaking, and organizational skills.
  • Ability to travel, including nights and weekends.
  • Excellent computer skills, including Google G-suite/Drive, MS Teams, Word and Excel.


Additional Information

This position is a fully benefits-eligible term appointment ending one year from date of hire, with possibility of renewal.

Learn more about our work culture and see yourself at Harvard Kennedy School.

We regret that the Harvard Kennedy School does not provide visa sponsorship.
Harvard University requires pre-employment reference and background checks.
Harvard University is committed to supporting a healthy, sustainable learning and working environment.

This is a hybrid position based on our campus in Cambridge, MA. As a campus-based institution, we place a high value on the in-person experience, cross-team collaboration, and strong community building in order to create a vibrant campus for our students, faculty, staff, and research fellows. The position is required to work in-person on campus a minimum of three days per week during the academic year. Specific days and schedule will be determined between you and your manager.

The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up-to-date on CDC-recommended vaccines.

Salary Range: $74,200 – $126,200
Note: Starting salaries typically fall in the lower half of the salary range; however, they are ultimately determined by the scope of the position, the candidate’s relevant experience, and internal equity.


Work Format Details

This is a hybrid position that is based in Massachusetts. Additional details will be discussed during the interview process. All remote work must be performed within one of the Harvard Registered Payroll States, which currently includes Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Washington, and California (CA for exempt positions only). Certain visa types and funding sources may limit work location. Individuals must meet work location sponsorship requirements prior to employment.



We invite you to visit Harvard’s Total Rewards website ( to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.


Job Function

General Administration


Department Office Location

USA – MA – Cambridge


Job Code

358057 Admin Pro/Indiv Contrib


Work Format

Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)





Salary Grade




Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation



00 – Non Union, Exempt or Temporary


Time Status



Pre-Employment Screening

Education, Identity


Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard Kennedy School’s Mission and Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Anti-Racism

At Harvard Kennedy School, fostering a diverse and inclusive community where everyone feels they belong is a matter of basic fairness consistent with our core values as an institution. It is also essential to our mission of improving public policy and leadership—because recruiting the best people and creating an environment where they can thrive make us better at what we do, because we learn more from people with different perspectives, and because we work in diverse groups and serve diverse societies.

Learn more about Harvard Kennedy School’s commitment to Diversity Equity, and Anti-Racism.


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.


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