HBS Hires Firm To Find Dee’s Successor

Harvard Business school Dean’s residence - Ethan Baron photo

Harvard Business school Dean’s residence – Ethan Baron photo

The leading internal candidate, meantime, would be Eileen Chang, who has been in HBS admissions for many years as associate director. Chang popped up publicly in the spring of this year to relay news that Harvard had put 100 MBA applicants on its wait list, something that would have normally been announced by Leopold. But some admission consultants believe she may have no interest in the top job and is more of a behind-the-scenes operating person rather than an outward facing leader.


Among the numerous specs for the search, the school is noting that a “master’s degree is required” along with seven to ten years of work experience. An MBA degree is preferred, or the equivalent combination of education and experience. The school said is requiring “experience in assessment and selection, marketing, public relations and/or communications” as well as the “ability to work effectively with various constituents and stakeholders including students, prospective students, senior alumni, administrators, faculty, the press and corporate representatives.”

The school said the job reports to the executive director of the MBA Program and will work “closely and collaboratively with a variety of internal and external stakeholders including current students, alumni, faculty, and administration (and) oversee the development of a strong pool of applicants that yields a diverse and academically superior class. This represents an eleven percent acceptance rate and a ninety-one percent yield rate for the class of 2017. The managing director is also responsible for designing and implementing a strategic global marketing plan for the MBA program. S/he oversees the development of a strong pool of applicants that yields a diverse and academically superior class.”


As is typical in searches for any executive-level position, the specs for the job essentially describe a person who effectively walks on water. “The Managing Director is also responsible for creating and implementing an admissions and applicant assessment process that will deliver a high-quality class with wide-ranging talents and experiences, all of which will maintain Harvard Business School’s position as the premiere MBA program,” according to the job description. “The Managing Director must be a strong leader, capable of effectively representing HBS to both internal and external audiences.

“The role is an incredibly significant one, as the Managing Director strategically oversees one of the most critical components of HBS: the crafting of a class that shapes the students’ experience, and eventually adds to the already-rich tapestry of the School’s renowned alumni network. The Managing Director is also a key leader in driving future opportunities for HBS to expand its reach and impact, both in its admissions efforts and in other, broader, School-wide initiatives.

“The Managing Director of Admissions and Financial Aid is responsible for the selection of the MBA class (approximately 930 students). In doing so, the Managing Director will set and implement an admissions marketing strategy, manage global outreach to 9,000+ candidates and will ensure the sufficient technology/operations are in place to process applications with transparency, efficiency, and humanity. This pool of applicants also includes candidates pursuing joint degrees with Harvard’s Law, Medical, Dental, and Kennedy Schools.”


The public posting of the job, on Harvard’s Recruitment Management System called Aspire, invites interested candidates to apply online through the Aspire portal and to email their credentials to hbs-admissions@kornferry.com.

With direct oversight of the financial aid process and decisions, the Managing Director will strategize with HBS Financial Office on methods to enhance and maximize financial aid funding. Additionally, the Managing Director will assess and direct business processes in marketing, operations and evaluation to ensure a positive and valuable experience for all applicants.

The Managing Director will serve as an ambassador to internal and external constituencies alike, and will cultivate and maintain relationships with students, faculty, administrators, employers, university administration departments, etc.

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