Job Details

Harvard University
  • Position Number: 2295374
  • Location: Cambridge, MA
  • Position Type: Business - Information Systems and Technology

Harvard University

Systems Engineer
Harvard Kennedy School

Job Summary

The Harvard Kennedy School's mission is to improve public policy and leadership so people can live in societies that are more safe, free, just, and sustainably prosperous. By combining cutting-edge research, the teaching of outstanding students, and direct interaction with practitioners, we have an impact on solving public problems that no other institution can match.

You can be part of this endeavor.

The [SYSTEMS ENGINEER], is part of the IT Operations team within a thirty two+ person Information Technology Department at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). The [SYSTEMS ENGINEER] maintains the reliability, security, and integrity of the Linux environment and services powered by it, and collaborates on new services and projects with cross-functional teams. Furthermore, act as the primary technical contact and administrator for a wide portfolio of HKS's cloud-hosted websites.

Job Code
383257 Sys Progrmng/Analysis/Admin

Job-Specific Responsibilities

  • Act as the primary technical contact and administrator for cloud-based websites (Drupal), including managing vendor relationship with serverless CMS hosting (Pantheon).

  • Design, build, configure, automate and document Linux-based systems and services.

  • Monitor, troubleshoot, automate, and optimize OS, virtualization and application performance.

  • Manage and develop configuration as code for system provisioning, patching, and change management (Ansible, AWS CloudFormation, Azure ARM).

  • Ensure compliance with security best practices, and consider security implications of systems changes.

  • Provide Tier 3 application support across all Linux-based services in our portfolio including, but not limited to:

    • Mailing Lists (GNU Mailman)

    • JAMF Pro

    • SMTP Mail forwarders (Postfix)

    • Web Crawlers (Scrapy)

    • Search Indexes (Apache Solr)

  • Work on cross-functional teams to develop new service offerings and extend existing infrastructure.

  • Execute and assist in developing tools/scripts to automate and streamline day-to-day tasks and processes.

  • Participate in an on-call rotation.

  • Abide by and follow the Harvard University IT Code of Conduct (

Reporting to this Position:


Physical Demands and Work Environment:

The department is currently operating in a modified manner resulting from restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Until the department returns to full operational status, this position will require a combination of on-site and remote work. The specific on-site hours will be determined throughout the onboarding process, although they may change in the future based on the needs of the department. The position will also require compliance with additional, updated re-entry policies and guidance.

Physical Requirements

  • Required to move about in an office environment and sit for extended periods of time

  • Required to move about within the School and University

  • Reach with hands and arms

  • Frequent use of hands for data entry / keystrokes and simple grasping

  • Required to lift, and move up to 50 pounds of equipment using available moving tools

Must be able to work remotely in the event of business continuity plan activation due to events at the School or University

Additional Information

We regret that the Harvard Kennedy School does not provide visa sponsorship.
Harvard University requires pre-employment reference and background checks.
Harvard University is committed to supporting a healthy, sustainable learning and working environment.

Please note: During the current period of Covid-19 related restrictions, this position may start as a remote position, with transition to onsite in Cambridge, Massachusetts when the office reopens.
We continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 and lifting of restrictions. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility with our interview process. We will be conducting interviews virtually for selected candidates until further notice.

Harvard Kennedy School's Mission and Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

At Harvard Kennedy School, fostering a diverse and inclusive community where everyone feels they belong is a matter of basic fairness consistent with our core values as an institution. It is also essential to our mission of improving public policy and leadership-because recruiting the best people and creating an environment where they can thrive make us better at what we do, because we learn more from people with different perspectives, and because we work in diverse groups and serve diverse societies.

Learn more about Harvard Kennedy School's commitment to diversity, inclusion, and belonging.

Salary Range: $67,700 - $113,900
Note: Starting salaries typically fall in the lower half of the salary range; however, they are ultimately determined by the scope of the position, the candidate's relevant experience, and internal equity.

Harvard offers a generous benefits package including:

  • Time Off: 3- 4 weeks paid vacation, paid holiday break, 12 paid sick days, 11.5 paid holidays, and 3 paid personal days per year.

  • Medical/Dental/Vision: We offer a variety of excellent medical plans, dental & vision plans, all coverage begins as of your start date.

  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with full vesting after 3 years of service.

  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive tuition assistance program, $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and discounted options through participating Harvard grad schools.

  • Transportation: Harvard offers a 50% discounted MBTA pass as well as additional options to assist employees in their daily commute.

  • Wellness Options: Harvard offers programs and classes at little or no cost, including stress management, massages, nutrition, meditation and complimentary health services.
    Harvard access to athletic facilities, libraries, campus events and many discounts throughout metro Boston.

Job Function
Information Technology

Sub Unit

USA - MA - Cambridge

Information Technology

Time Status

00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Salary Grade

Pre-Employment Screening
Criminal, Identity


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.

Basic Qualifications

  • Minimum of 2 years' post-secondary education or relevant work experience.

  • Experience in at least two programming/scripting languages (Java, C, Bash/Shell, Python, PHP, Javascript).

  • Demonstrated experience with cybersecurity fundamentals.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

If you meet some, but not all, you are still encouraged to apply; we value employees with a willingness to learn.

Technical Qualifications:

  • 2+ years' experience supporting enterprise UNIX/Linux infrastructure.

  • Significant experience deploying and managing cloud infrastructure and services, preferably Azure and AWS.

  • Significant scripting experience using Python, Bash/shell, Perl, PowerShell, or other scripting languages.

  • Significant experience in automation and configuration management tools, preferably Ansible.

  • Basic experience with system monitoring tools, preferably LogicMonitor.

  • Basic experience deploying to Code Version Control, preferably Git.

  • Basic experience with secure software design.

  • Familiarity deploying or developing for the Drupal CMS.

  • Familiarity with log aggregation tools, preferably Splunk.

  • Familiarity with relational and /or NoSQL databases, preferably MySQL.

Non-technical Qualifications:

  • Self-motivated; able to work independently; able to quickly learn new technologies.

  • Demonstrated ability to multitask and adjust to changing priorities and meet deadlines.

  • Strong diagnostic and troubleshooting skills.

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

  • Demonstrated team performance skills, service mindset approach, and the ability to act as a trusted advisor to both internal and external customers

  • Background in higher education is desirable, however, a fresh perspective is also welcome.

Apply Here:


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