Skip to the main content
Opportunity: Institute Director

Opportunity: Institute Director


Introduction: The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University (BKC) seeks an Institute Director to lead an ambitious, newly launched, three-year “pop-up” Institute for “Rebooting Social Media.” Based at the Berkman Klein Center, the Institute will convene world-class talent from academia, industry, and the public sector to improve the future of social media and online communication. The Institute Director will shape a broadly participatory initiative that collaboratively creates a portfolio of research and projects that better articulate the harms and opportunities of networked communication, prototype new tools and protocols, develop policies enriched by attention to sociotechnical issues, and encourage accurate and accessible narratives about the harms and possibilities of social media.

Core Duties: The Institute Director will join the Berkman Klein Center’s exceptional community of scholars and practitioners, and will lead the Institute’s respective staff, fellows, and faculty to execute interdisciplinary, cutting-edge programs and research about social media, online communication, and the future of the Internet. The Director will report to Berkman Klein Center Faculty Director Jonathan Zittrain, in coordination with Institute co-lead James Mickens. The Institute Director will provide vision and leadership, set substantive direction in partnership with the faculty directors, and manage the Institute’s programming and research leads, providing strategic direction to the team. The Institute’s team will include core functions in programming, research, and communications, commensurate with fundraising and capacity.

Job Specific Responsibilities:

As Institute Director, you will:

  • Direct the Institute’s strategy, goal setting, and execution, in partnership with the Institute’s two faculty directors, providing vision and subject matter expertise on social media and online communication to the Institute, staff team, and field at large.  
  • Represent the Institute’s programming and research in public and private events to various stakeholders, including academics, members of civil society, industry professionals, policymakers, and funders.
  • Provide diplomatic, grounded leadership for a complex participatory Institute, with a highly networked and engaged community;
  • Cultivate and maintain relationships that foster collaborative research efforts, outreach campaigns, and fundraising opportunities, as well as the collaboration with Institute staff and participants, BKC administration and community, other Harvard stakeholders, and external partners to achieve the Institute's goals.
  • Lead all operational processes and systems for the Institute, with support from the relevant Institute and BKC staff – including management, information flow, organizational planning, communications, and research development and publishing – in support of the Institute’s mission and the promotion of an inclusive, equitable, and innovative work environment.
  • Manage two direct reports, the Institute’s research and programming leads, to clarify research agendas, guide programming strategy, and define evaluation metrics for success. Provide overarching strategic direction to overall Institute team.
  • Perform other duties and tasks related to Institute leadership as needed.

Basic Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree and 10+ years of administrative management experience, including at least two years of direct professional staff supervision.

Additional Qualifications:

We are looking for people who are/have:

  • Subject matter expertise in an area of concern to the Institute (broadly: social media and the future of networked communication)
  • Professional experience in a large-scale, complex academic institution, business, advocacy group, or charitable organization
  • A strong desire to uphold the honor and build upon the history of the Berkman Klein Center, while bringing innovative, fresh thinking to the table.
  • A strategically minded, analytical leader; a facilitator and problem solver with a high tolerance for ambiguity; as well as an autonomous self-starter with intellectual confidence and flexibility, a command of process and technical savvy. 
  • Well-developed emotional intelligence
  • The ability to build substantive relationships with academics, students, entrepreneurs, activists, and other professionals, both as a collaborative leader and a contributor. 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Additional Information

As with all Berkman Klein Center positions, this is a term appointment currently expected to extend to June 30, 2022 with potential for renewal, subject to departmental funding and need. This position is intended to be a central figure within the pop-up for the duration of the 3-year initiative. To learn more about Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, visit us at

We regret that we are unable to offer visa sponsorship for this position.

About the Organization: The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is dedicated to exploring, understanding, and shaping the development of the digitally-networked environment. A diverse, interdisciplinary community of scholars, practitioners, technologists, policy experts, and advocates, we seek to tackle the most important challenges of the digital age while keeping a focus on tangible real-world impact in the public interest. Our faculty, fellows, staff and affiliates conduct research, build tools and platforms, educate others, form bridges and facilitate dialogue across and among diverse communities. More information at

The pop-up Institute for Rebooting Social Media is an ambitious three-year initiative that seeks to contribute to the growing body of work on social media and the future of online communication: more clearly defining both the harms and opportunities of social media; envisioning new, healthier futures for online social engagement; forging, testing, and amplifying new and under-discussed ideas to make progress in this space; and partnering to implement and socialize the best of these ideas to impact broad change.

Commitment to Diversity: The work and well-being of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society are profoundly strengthened by our differences in background, culture, experience, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, age, ability, and more. We actively seek and welcome applications from people of diverse backgrounds, including Black, Indigenous, Asian, Hispanic, and Latino/Latina/Latinx people; LGBTQIA+ people; non-binary people; women; people with disabilities; people at intersections of these identities; and people from and working across the spectrum of disciplines.  

All offers to be made by HLS Human Resources.