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Kurt Svoboda has been at Harvard since 2005 and is an Assistant Athletic Director serving as the department's chief public and media relations executive. Svoboda is the departmental spokesperson responsible for disseminating information for the nation's largest Division I intercollegiate athletic program, with 41 varsity programs (42 teams in 2013-14), to appropriate organizations.
Svoboda leads the communications team in integrating relationships between the public and Harvard athletics – including general counsel, marketing, development, facilities, alumni and external relations and event operations. Svoboda directs Harvard's digital and TV efforts and, working directly with athletic marketing, executes branding and promotional efforts in the department's print and online platforms.
In November 2012, Svoboda completed an initiative to bring Harvard's multimedia and production efforts in-house, creating the first full-time position for an Ivy League school and without any budgetary increase. Concurrently, he created Harvard's first television partnership and utilized cutting-edge IP technology to broadcast original HD programming for Harvard Crimson Productions. Meanwhile, Harvard's online digital productions and video features continue to set the pace at the Division I level with over 150 live events and 1.5 million viewers each year.
His reach on social media and networking platforms has garnered national attention and he has held workshops for numerous varsity athletes and clients. In 2011, he gained notoriety for his unique twitter campaign soliciting online viewership of Harvard's men's basketball teams from Associated Press voting members. Harvard attained its highest national ranking ever at 21 during a record-setting season.
On the individual sport level, Svoboda works directly with football baseball and skiing while overseeing men’s basketball. He has also served as the contact for men's and women's soccer, men's and women's golf, men's and women's squash and men's and women's water polo during his tenure.
In 2006, Svoboda oversaw more than 200 media members as the host coordinator for the NCAA Women's Final Four at the TD Banknorth Garden. His office also hosted the 2008, 2009 and 2012 Men's Lacrosse Championships at Gillette Stadium.
Svoboda serves on the advisory board for the College Sports Video Conference, hosted each year by the Sports Video Group.
Prior to Harvard, Svoboda served as the director of sports information at Saint Anselm College from 2001-05. He was the recipient of 18 district and national publications awards, including the nation's top baseball media guide (Division B) in 2003, the best media guide cover in 2005 and a second-place finish for his 2002-03 men's basketball media guide.
Svoboda completed his master's degree from Harvard in liberal arts management with a concentration in finance and control, graduating with honors. In 2012, he was chosen among a small group of Harvard administrators to complete a certificate in Foundations of Leadership. Svoboda is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Colby-Sawyer College with a B.S. in exercise and sport sciences and a discipline in sport management.
As an undergraduate, Svoboda was a four-year letterwinner with the baseball team, earning academic all-conference honors and playing on two conference championship squads. After graduating, he served as the first James "Lou" Gorman Publicist for the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) while also working as an assistant director of sports information and assistant baseball coach at Franklin Pierce University.
After a two-year stint as an assistant baseball coach in the NECBL, he returned to the central office as deputy commissioner of the league, responsible for player contracts and eligibility while serving as Major League Baseball scouting bureau liaison.
Svoboda has served as an official scorer for the N.H. Fisher Cats AA-level baseball team (Toronto Blue Jays affiliate) and the N.H. Wolves Arena Football League team. He has been active in regional youth baseball and has coached with successful programs including the New Hampshire Blackflies, New England Ruffnecks and Nokona USA Baseball travel programs.
Svoboda resides in Jamaica Plain, Mass., with his wife, Joanna, and their son, Jaxon.