21 October 2021

Now Hiring! Executive Director for Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies & Harvard China Fund

Faculty of Arts and Sciences


Job-Specific Responsibilities

The Executive Director (ED) of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies (FCCS) and the Harvard China Fund (HCF) plays a critical role in leading two of the university’s key centers for research, teaching and outreach regarding Greater China. Reporting to the faculty directors of the Fairbank Center and Harvard China Fund, the ED ensures effective implementation of interdisciplinary China-focused research and teaching activities across the university; manages a high-performing team; and supports university engagement with Greater China including at Harvard Center Shanghai. The ED represents the FCCS and the HCF to internal and external stakeholders and other groups including other area studies centers at Harvard, university leadership, and donors.

Candidates should be knowledgeable and curious about Greater China; diplomatic when engaging with internal and external constituencies; committed to the advancement of the field of China Studies; and committed to the deepening of Harvard’s engagement with scholars and institutions in Greater China.

The holder of the position will spend approximately 70% of their time on Fairbank Center work and approximately 30% on the Harvard China Fund.

Responsibilities at the Fairbank Center:
Reporting to the Faculty Director of the FCCS, the ED is the administrative and programmatic leader of the Center. The ED will:

•    Propose, implement, and manage new programs and initiatives
•    Oversee FCCS programs, seminars, and public events
•    Build and maintain relationships to enhance China studies within FAS, Harvard and beyond
•    Oversee the appointment of, and provide guidance to and build relationships with FCCS visiting scholars, postdocs, associates-in-research, and graduate student associates
•    Oversee the production of annual reports and other communications
•    Collaboratively set agendas for executive and advisory committee meetings
•    Hire, train and manage the FCCS staff
•    Set and manage FCCS budgets and work with the Faculty Director on long-term strategy

Responsibilities at the Harvard China Fund:
Reporting to the Faculty Chair of the HCF, the Executive Director is the administrative and programmatic leader of the HCF, overseeing budgets and leading staff in the Cambridge office in implementing the Center’s goals.  The ED will:
•    Work closely and collaboratively with the Harvard Center Shanghai team on short- and long-term planning for Harvard’s programs in China, including programming at Harvard Center Shanghai.
•    Facilitate connections between US-based Harvard faculty and staff and the Harvard Center Shanghai; support and enhance Harvard’s engagement with China at a time of strained U.S.-China political relations.
•    Work with Harvard faculty—China specialists and non-specialists alike—to facilitate their research and teaching in and about Greater China, and with colleagues in that region.
•    Oversee the administration and delivery of all HCF programs and events
•    Schedule and plan the meetings of the Harvard China Fund Steering Committee, composed of Harvard faculty across the University.
•    Oversee the recruitment of students for an internship program in Greater China each summer and a Harvard Summer School, currently based in Hong Kong.
•    Manage the budget of the Harvard China Fund and work with the director and financial staff on long-term strategies.
•    Supervise staff at the HCF Cambridge Office.

Basic Qualifications

  • Eight years’ experience in academic, research, or related administrative roles.
  • Advanced degree in a related discipline or equivalent professional experience.
  • Supervisory and budgetary experience.
  • Proficiency in Mandarin and written Chinese.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Broad knowledge of China Studies and familiarity with current affairs in Greater China
  • Personal experience living and working in Greater China a plus.
  • Excellent English-language oral and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan and manage organizational growth and balance multiple competing objectives
  • Ability to work productively in a highly decentralized
  • Strong interpersonal and leadership skills, and proven commitment to teamwork
  • International travel is required

Note that this is NOT a remote or work-from-home position

Working Conditions

Office. Note that this is NOT a remote or work-from-home position

Job Function

General Administration


USA – MA – Cambridge

Job Code

361059 Administrative Manager




Fairbank Center

Time Status



00 – Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Pre-Employment Screening



M-F, 9-5

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.