Special Assistant to The President & Founder

Job Description

October 2019

The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation is seeking a Special Assistant to the President & Founder. This individual will be responsible for strategically and logistically supporting Rich Harwood, the President of the organization, in all aspects of his job. This opportunity will allow the Special Assistant to be close to the seat of decision-making and action within a highly successful social enterprise. The Special Assistant will be mentored by a successful leader and will learn what it takes to run a dynamic, impactful social sector organization. With self-initiative, there is room to help shape and grow the organization’s strategy, business development and scale.

Primary responsibilities include supporting the President in the following areas:

  • Partnerships Relationship Management

    • Business Strategy: Develop strategies, products and services that enable the Institute to work in new markets with a diverse array of partners.

    • Partnership Development: Be the primary point of contact with potential new partners to finalize contracts, budgets, and work through problems as they arise in order to finalize new partnerships.

    • Existing Partner Management: Maintain ongoing relationships with existing partners to drive impact and troubleshoot as needed.

    • Internal Stakeholder Management: Be the President’s representative to internal business development team, consultants, Certified Coaches, and Institute staff.

  • Research Management, Strategy Consulting, and Special Projects

    • R&D Management: Manage the Studio on Community, the Institute’s Research & Development arm. The Studio uses the Institute’s 20+ ongoing partnerships plus original research to identify new solutions to move communities and society forward.

    • Strategy Consulting: Work with the Institute’s President to manage and contribute to a handful of high profile, customized strategic consulting engagements.

    • Special Internal Initiatives: Identify and drive internal projects of strategic importance. Examples include: three-year strategic plan, impact evaluation, and developing a new line of services.

Additionally, the Special Assistant will be entirely responsible for managing the President’s daily calendar and logistics, and will be the first point of contact with all partners, projects, and prospects.

All candidates must possess the following qualities:

  • Strong sense of personal initiative

  • High emotional IQ

  • Flexible thinker

  • Ability to work with a team to co-create and co-design ideas and plans

  • Strategic problem solver

  • Quick learner

  • Ability to close deals

  • Excellent writer

  • A sense of humor

  • A willingness to commit to the position for a minimum of 2 years

Ideally, candidates will also posses:

  • A bachelor's degree in business, political science, sociology, psychology, or the like;

  • 1-5 years professional experience.

The Institute has a practice of how to create change that has been intentionally developed over 30 years. Candidates must be willing and open to learn the practice and apply it in their own lives.

Email resume, statement of interest, and a 1-page writing sample to Miranda Klugesherz at mklugesherz@theharwoodinstitute.org. We are looking to hire as soon as possible. 

The Harwood Institute is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

To counteract divisiveness in today’s world, The Harwood Institute equips leaders, organizations and networks to bridge divides, tackle shared challenges, and build potential in order to turn community into a collective force for change. 

The Harwood Institute began 30 years ago as a for-profit research and consulting firm. Now a highly entrepreneurial nonprofit, everything the Institute does remains market-tested and revenues are earned through services rather than donations to ensure relevance and impact.

The Institute has translated nearly $75 million of Research & Development spending into a practice we teach called Turning Outward about what it takes to create change in communities. Through training and coaching initiatives, research projects, convenings, strategy consulting, and change management, the Institute works with partners to apply the Turning Outward practice to their own contexts in order to drive social change and bring communities together. 

The Institute has spread its practice to all 50 states and 40 countries through partnerships with organizations such as United Way Worldwide, Goodwill Industries International, AARP, The Corporation For Public Broadcasting, The American Library Association, and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Institute also partners with organizations and communities to drive targeted social change at the local community level. A sample of partners include United Way of Greater Toronto (Canada), The Greater Clark Foundation (Kentucky), California State Library System, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (Australia), Hawaii Department of Education, New England Aquarium, and Walmart.