Administration and Finance Manager, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative

Harvard University

Job Summary

The Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) is a university-wide academic and research center in humanitarian crisis and leadership. HHI is based at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Department of Global Health and Population and is affiliated with the Department of Emergency Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). As an Inter-Faculty Initiative at Harvard University, HHI collaborates closely with all Harvard Schools and Harvard Teaching Hospitals, and is the primary humanitarian outreach arm of Harvard University. The mission of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative is to create new knowledge and advance evidence-based leadership in disasters and humanitarian crisis. HHI was founded in 2005, currently operates 20 projects in 26 countries, and consists of over 75 staff, faculty, affiliated experts, students, fellows, and collaborators. HHI’s aim is to promote interdisciplinary dialogue in pressing humanitarian issues, advance the science and practice of humanitarian response worldwide, and improve the lives of communities in war, conflict, and natural disasters.

HHI seeks an experienced, detail-oriented Administration and Finance Manager to manage all administrative and finance functions. The Administration and Finance Manager will report directly to the HHI Executive Director (ED) and will work closely with all HHI faculty, staff, students, visiting scientists, and external collaborators. This includes the respective administrative and finance teams at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Close and daily collaborating departments include Sponsored Program Administration, Human Resources, Finance, Faculty Affairs, External Relations, Real Estate, Information Technology, among others. The candidate will have a deep understanding of sponsored research administration, financial analysis, budgeting, grant writing, and administrative processes, and act as the primary liaison on all administrative and financial functions for HHI. This person assists the Executive Director with long- and short-range administrative and financial planning for a unit with an annual operating budget of ~$18M, 70+ team members, and a complex funding/income model.

The successful candidate will work well both independently and within a team, and display excellent communication skills when corresponding with a range of external and internal stakeholders to further the mission of the HHI. They will also have a heightened sense of responsibility and ownership, understand when to elevate/escalate a priority, and apply critical thinking on resolutions to issues related to finance and administration.

Position Description

Additional duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:


  • Have significant responsibility and oversight of HHI overall administrative and financial management
  • Implement multiple administrative and financial projects across HHI, create and revise policies, disseminate new guidelines, and ensure compliance with Harvard policies
  • Assess, initiate, and implement improvements on current organizational, financial, administrative, and programmatic processes for greater efficiency and synergies
  • Draft, review, and edit various financial, administrative, and programmatic documents, reports, and web content across the organization
  • Lead the core operations team, set agenda, and maintain meeting notes
  • Train new staff on HHI finance and administration matters relevant to their programs
  • Navigate and effectively use internal software and databases (Wasabi, PeopleSoft, GMAS, Bamboo, etc.)
  • Advance practices that foster diversity, equity, and inclusion


  • Oversee all internal administrative, personnel matters, and academic appointments
  • Maintain an internal people management system
  • Prepare projections for administrative and hiring needs, and conduct presentations
  • Act as primary contact for institutional HR partner, recruiter, and payroll team
  • Manage human resources functions and recruitment for all personnel, including benefits-eligible staff, temporary workers, and students. This ranges from job descriptions and requisition development to onboarding and personnel actions such as time reporting, extensions, layoffs, departures/terminations, and leaves of absence
  • Develop and implement thorough recruitment, interview, onboarding, and orientation processes
  • Manage all HHI non-faculty academic appointment processes and promotions, including postdoctoral job searches in collaboration with the GHP administrative team.
  • Coordinate purchasing of supplies and equipment, IT, travel arrangements, payments, reimbursements, and expense/invoice processing and reconciliation
  • Oversee general administrative functions including office space, calendar, meetings, etc.
  • Serve as the key contact person with HSPH Human Resources and other administrative offices


  • Handle financial transactions (payments, reimbursements, etc.), prepare complex financial analyses and progress reports, and make projections for financial needs
  • Support the grant proposal process throughout all life cycle stages in collaboration with the GHP and BWH grants management teams
  • Track and update projection spreadsheets for sponsored awards, endowments, and gifts
  • Maintain internal financial tracking system for all HHI income sources
  • Manage staff effort allocations across grants, gifts, and endowments, and create costing changes in databases
  • Serve as the key contact person with HSPH Finance offices

The Administration and Finance Manager will also perform other duties as assigned.

PLEASE NOTE: This position has a term end date of one year from the date of hire, with the possibility of extension.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a benefits-eligible position with a schedule of 35 hours/week. This is a hybrid position and this position will be based in Cambridge, MA. Additional detail pertaining to this position will be discussed during the interview process. All remote work must be performed in a state in which Harvard is registered to do business (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, California (exempt staff only), Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, Virginia, and Washington).

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience is required
  • 3+ years of related experience required

Additional Qualifications and Skills

The following job-specific skills and competencies are preferred:

  • Master’s Degree is a plus
  • Experience working in higher education, knowledge of the academic environment, and appreciation for the roles of faculty, research, staff, and students
  • Experience with sponsored research administration
  • Experience working with budgets, grant proposals, general administrative processes, accounting, and forecasting expenses
  • Administrative management skills (staff planning, internal policy development, university compliance)
  • Experience and skills with MS Office, Excel, and data visualization software preferred, and willingness to learn new software as needs arise.
  • Experience using technology to improve workflow in an office environment
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, organizational skills, and detail orientation
  • Experience working effectively in a cross-cultural environment
  • Experience juggling multiple priorities, excelling in a high-volume environment, using tact and discretion, and using sound judgment and diplomacy
  • Strong independent decision-making and consensus-building skills, as well as proven capacity to work both independently and as a team leader

The following cultural competencies are also preferred:

  • Awareness of and aptitude to appropriately and effectively understand, respect, and adapt to cultural and identity-based differences within group environments
  • Knowledge of and commitment to concepts and issues tied to social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Skills related to creating and supporting an environment that allows for inclusion, effective intercultural engagement, and personal humility and authenticity
  • Experience fostering and reinforcing an environment that values unique experiences, cultures, backgrounds, and goals

How to apply

Please visit the Harvard Careers Portal and search using code: 60458BR