Harvard Still Searching For An MBA Admissions Chief

Harvard Business School is only now asking alums to identify candidates for the role of managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid, a post vacant for nearly six months

A full eight months after Harvard Business School’s admissions chief announced that he was leaving the job, the school is still searching for a successor in the post even with the help of executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles.

It was last September when Chad Losee publicly revealed he was stepping down from the post as managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid, to accept a job at Yale University as head of strategy in the university’s provost’s office. Losee, who earned his MBA at Harvard in 2013, left Harvard after six and one-half years as admissions chief. His announcement came on the same day that the head of admissions at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Kirsten Moss, stated she also would leave.

Losee left HBS at the end of last year. Both schools have yet to name successors, though it is surprising that the HBS search is not only very active but has apparently failed to turn up candidates who have met the school’s requirements or simply want to move forward.


That is especially true given the perks of the job which includes the ability to work remotely two days a week, on-campus childcare, access to HBS programs and classes at little or no cost, tuition reimbursement, and four weeks of vacation time along with 12.5 holidays plus a winter recess at year end and up to a dozen weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers. The job pays between $139,400 to $251,200 a year in salary.

In an email to Harvard MBA alums, the school is asking alumni to suggest potential candidates for the post to oversee a 30+ person admissions team in addition to more than 20 seasonal contractors. “Given your experience as a student at HBS, we are hoping you can help us identify candidates,” wrote Jana Pompadur Kierstead, executive director of MBA and Doctoral Programs.
“We believe this is an exciting opportunity to lead the admissions and financial aid effort and at such an important time in MBA education. It is a unique opportunity to drive the strategy on how we bring the mission of the HBS MBA to potential applicants, guide those applicants through the admissions process, and ultimately admit a class of outstanding students from across the world. Please review the job description online .”

Among other things, the school hopes to attract a candidate with at least eight years of “experience in marketing, sales, or other applicable external stakeholder-facing roles from other industries/sectors.” That requirement may well be a reflection of what HBS learned in having Losee, a former Bain consultant, in the role.


“I feel like Chad, despite what were surely solid-gold intentions, didn’t seem to be an active and visible ‘salesperson’ for the HBS brand in the way that perhaps his predecessors were,” an MBA admissions consultant tells Poets&Quants. “In a time when many are questioning the relevance of the degree, it’s good that they’re emphasizing the ‘public relations’ aspect of the job!”

Kierstead makes clear that prior admissions experience is not needed. “We are particularly open to candidates who might have transferable skills from other industries/sectors and whose own post-MBA careers would be aspirational to incoming MBA students,” she adds in the email obtained by Poets&Quants. “Prior experience in higher education is not required. If you have any recommendations, please reach out directly to the search team at hbsadmissions@heidrick.com.”

The posted job description for the role is below:

Job Summary
The role of Managing Director of Admissions and Financial Aid is an incredibly significant one. The Managing Director manages the Admissions team and process and, with their input, strategically oversees one of the most critical components of HBS: the selecting and crafting of a class that shapes the students’ experience, and eventually adds to the already-rich tapestry of the School’s 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.

Working closely and collaboratively with a variety of internal and external stakeholders including current students, alumni, faculty, and administration, the Managing Director oversees the development of a strong pool of applicants that yields a diverse and academically gifted class.

The Managing Director is also responsible for designing a strategic global marketing plan for the MBA program 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 HBS’s position as the premiere MBA program. The MD must be a strong leader, capable of effectively representing HBS to both internal and external audiences.

As head of the Financial Aid effort, a strategic part of the Managing Director’s role will be to extend the work done on access and affordability to remove financial barriers for students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. It is an also an important-and profoundly impactful-moment in time for this new leader. They will be making the case for the MBA degree in the midst of significant global macroeconomic, social, and political challenges. To ensure that the School is helping to lead the world in addressing these challenges, the leaders of the HBS MBA program have prioritized an invigoration of the sense of purpose in the program, a centering of the educational core of the experience, and an emphasis on ensuring that HBS is attracting the world’s most promising young leaders. The Managing Director will play a crucial role in helping to achieve these goals.

The Managing Director of Admissions and Financial Aid is responsible for the selection of the MBA class. In doing so, the Managing Director will set and implement an admissions marketing strategy, manage global outreach to 8,000+ 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 Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (MS/MBA), Law (JD/MBA), Medical (MD/MBA), Dental (DMD/MBA), Engineering and Applies Sciences (MS/MBA) and Kennedy Schools (MBA/MPP and MBA/MPA-ID).

Please note this search is being managed through Heidrick & Struggles – Executive Search Firm. Please direct any questions or inquiries to hbsadmissions@heidrick.com.

Position Description
With direct oversight of the financial aid process and decisions, the Managing Director will strategize with the 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.


  • Lead, manage, mentor, and motivate a 30+ person highly productive and diverse team in addition to 20+ seasonal contractors.
  • Delegate work assignments and provide direction and support as needed.
  • Recognize and develop talent within the staff, and recruit and retain high performing employees. Develop and articulate vision and direction for the department, identify objectives and markers of success. Foster and encourage clear, direct, and open communication.
  • Effectively collaborate with other departments at the School.
  • Form, build, and nurture external relationships with external constituents to expand and strengthen the diversity of the HBS MBA applicant pool.
  • Provide the voice of prospective students and the state of the admissions market in strategy and planning discussions with the Dean and other members of school senior leadership.
  • Willingness and desire to travel domestically and internationally is required.

Admissions/Financial Aid

  • Oversee the application process and lead the final Selection process resulting in a high-quality class.
  • Set direction and maintain the integrity of the evaluation of applications resulting in the selection of a high-quality class with the appropriate mix of skills, talents and diversity.
  • Review processes and, where possible, make improvements.
  • Oversee specific outreach strategies to underrepresented applicant pools.
  • Develop a strategic plan for financial aid and for overseeing the deployment and disbursement of financial aid funds. Develop sources of additional support for HBS MBA students.
  • More on the School’s commitment to need-based financial aid can be found here.
  • Understand and adhere to admissions rules and regulations.
  • Ensure that all financial aid rules and regulations are followed explicitly to meet the state and federal laws.
  • Oversee and guide all financial aid and admissions processes.
  • Keep current on the business school and industry environments and understand the global reach of HBS.
  • Understand and effectively work within a complex, ever-changing, intellectually stimulating environment that includes students, faculty, administrators and a highly engaged alumni community.
  • Recognize the importance of those constituents and the broader business community at large.

Marketing and Public Relations

  • Develop and execute an effective comprehensive global marketing plan for recruitment across wide ranging cultures worldwide.
  • Develop creative strategies including website and digital marketing.
  • Maintain knowledge of trends influencing global management education and design state of the art strategies for attracting high quality students.
  • Coordinate with other departments to effectively collaborate and develop effective messages to well position HBS and its key attributes in the market.
  • Actively lead in external communications and outreach to energize the HBS MBA brand to further build and expand the HBS MBA pool of applicants.
  • Represent HBS and the MBA Admissions effort at conferences, press events, and other external opportunities, leveraging media opportunities to promote the HBS MBA program.

This role is also responsible for other duties as assigned.

Basic Qualifications

  • Master’s degree is required.
  • 8+ years of experience in marketing, sales, or other applicable external stakeholder-facing roles from other industries/sectors is required.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Demonstrated leadership, managerial and supervisory experience managing a complex service organization.
  • Proven ability to foster creativity and promote employee participation.
  • Ability to be open minded, exhibit good judgment and be a thoughtful, but timely, decision maker.

Stakeholder Management:

  • Ability to work effectively with various constituents and stakeholders including students, prospective students, senior alumni, administrators, faculty, the press and corporate representatives.


  • Exceptional written and verbal skills coupled with excellent presentation and project management skills.
  • Ability to collect and synthesize large amounts of information, and to communicate relevant material to appropriate constituents in a timely manner.

Additional Information
This role is offered as a hybrid (some combination of onsite and remote) where you are required to be onsite at our Boston, MA based campus 3 days per week. Specific days and schedule will be determined between you and your manager.

We may conduct candidate interviews virtually (phone and/or via Zoom) and/or in-person for this role.

A cover letter is required to be considered for this opportunity.

Harvard Business School will not offer visa sponsorship for this opportunity.

Culture of Inclusion: The work and well-being of HBS is profoundly strengthened by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and life experiences. Explore more about HBS work culture here https://www.hbs.edu/employment.

We invite you to visit Harvard’s Total Rewards website to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

DON’T MISS: Harvard To Lose Its MBA Admissions Chief On Same Timetable As Stanfordor What The Dean & Top-Paid Faculty Earn At Harvard Business School


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