Executive Assistant 2, Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

Northwestern University
Evanston, Illinois
Commensurate with qualifications and experience
Jun 27, 2022
Jul 27, 2022
Position Type
Executive Assistant
Employment Type
Organization Type
College / University

Executive Assistant 2, Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

Northwestern University

Job ID: 44873

Location: Evanston, Illinois


Department: Buffett Inst Global Affairs
Salary/Grade: EXS/7

Job Summary:

Under limited supervision, the Executive Assistant manages and oversees the daily operations of the Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs, and Northwestern Associate Provost for Global Affairs/Northwestern Buffett Institute Executive Director.  Incumbent relieves the Executive Director of administrative functions handling a wide variety of situations involving the administrative and operational functions of Northwestern Buffett.

The incumbent will interact with Northwestern Buffett staff and faculty fellows as well as Northwestern’s Office of the Provost, Deans and Vice Presidents on a regular basis and exercise discretion in the coordination of sensitive and confidential materials.  The Executive Assistant provides specialized, complex and confidential support to the Northwestern Buffett Executive Director and Northwestern Associate Provost for Global Affairs and requires a high functioning administrative professional capacity with excellent written and verbal communications skills, the ability to manage multiple priorities, relational skills, diplomacy and exemplary judgment.

The incumbent is the face of Northwestern Buffett to domestic and international visitors, plays a coordinating role among teams across Northwestern Buffett and with other units across the University, builds and maintains internal and external relationships within the community (at the local and national levels), prepares routine and advanced correspondence and manages the calendar, travel and expense reports of the Executive Director.

Specific Responsibilities:

Office Management and Communication

  • Manages and oversees the daily operations of the Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs; manages the day-to-day activities for the Associate Provost and Executive Director, which includes preparing the Associate Provost and Executive Director for meetings and public engagements, anticipating the needs of the Associate Provost/Executive Director and their department needs, and preparing in advance of expressed need(s). 
  • Coordinates communications for the Associate Provost/Executive Director, represents the Associate Provost/Executive Director among internal and external constituencies and supports Northwestern Buffett in its strategic, programmatic, and coordination efforts.
  • Drafts, edits, and prepares presentations and communications for the Associate Provost/Executive Director, including recommendation letters, CV updates, responses to requests, and the day-to-day operations.
  • Develops and maintains work procedures and standards for the Institute’s activities to improve efficiency and effectiveness of operations.  Coordinates and facilitates internal and external communications for the Associate Provost/Executive Director (for example, greeting guests, determining the nature and purpose of visits, directs or escorts guests to specific destinations, tending to their personal needs as appropriate (e.g. offers coffee, water, etc.), ensures appropriate presentation of facilities and meeting spaces), receives and reviews incoming requests and correspondence to determine significance and the appropriate response. 

Administrative Support, Research, Analysis

  • Provides administrative support to the Associate Provost/Executive Director.   Uses analysis, research, and/or knowledge of subject matter, professional field and/or topic to independently create correspondence, agendas, minutes, notices, proposals, reports, queries, charts, analysis, etc.  Determines which documents require supervisor's review, edit and/or approval. Ensures creation and distribution as appropriate of all necessary documents.   Creates project timelines and determines tasks and methodologies to accomplish goals and objective set by Associate Provost/Executive Director.  Independently coordinates with others, resolves conflicts and/or determines the best courses of action and follow-up.

Calendar Management and Scheduling

  • Applies a high degree of independent judgment and discretion when managing the Associate Provost/Executive Director’s calendar and the associated complexities. Decides the disposition of each appointment to balance importance, efficiency, conflicting priorities, travel arrangements, etc.
  • Exercises considerable discretion and judgment as to the priorities and effective use of the Associate Provost/Executive Director’s time.  Ensures the Associate Provost is prepared at all times with meeting materials and presentations, pertinent information and/or data, and travel itineraries.
  • Coordinates complex global travel arrangements, trip materials, logistics related to meetings, travel itineraries; collecting and/or creating agenda and background materials; coordinating complex itineraries; scheduling meetings internationally, etc.  Coordinates meeting logistics, meeting materials and distribution, room reservations and catering needs.

Budget Development and Monitoring

  • Administers ongoing departmental budget; processes payments; identifies and resolves discrepancies; and creates spreadsheets, reports, statistics, summaries, etc. to continually monitor and ensure adherence.  Coordinates purchasing efforts for department including order review and placement, payment and tracking reimbursements, etc.  Prepare, reviews, and tracks expenditures and prepares reimbursements, and coordinates regular budget updates.  Processes registration fees and purchase gifts as directed.  Explain and report budget variances as necessary.

Special Projects

  • Relieves Associate Provost/Executive Director of as much administrative detail as possible by efficiently and independently performing all duties as required and any additional duties as requested.  Creates and disseminates well written documents as required.  Proofreads and edits correspondence and other material for accuracy.  Assists in the coordination of other activities as directed by Associate Provost/Executive Director.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Handling public contacts with courtesy, maturity, and diplomacy is a required, essential function in this role. 
  • The successful candidate will be highly organized and take initiative.
  • The person must be able to maintain a calm and courteous demeanor while handling competing priorities, a heavy workload, complex problems and tight deadlines. 
  • The successful person must have the ability to manage sensitive and confidential situations and information with absolute discretion.  
  • Bachelor's degree or the equivalent combination of education, training and experience from which comparable knowledge and skills can be acquired.  Education with a related coursework in business or human resources or equivalent preferred. 
  • Five to seven years of progressively responsible senior level administrative experience supporting academic leaders and executives.
  • Demonstrated ability to accomplish goals within a timeframe; ability to work successfully in a fast-paced, team oriented setting, handling multiple tasks with differing deadlines, and to prioritize work on projects simultaneously.
  • Have superior written and oral communication skills; and have exhibit professionalism in all business dealings and interactions.
  • The candidate must be able to condense complicated issues into simple summaries that can be understood by a variety of constituents.
  • The successful person will use sound judgment and have excellent problem solving skills.  They may to work non-traditional hours, upon occasion, to meet deadlines and accomplish tasks.

Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

  • Demonstrated proficiency with the Microsoft Office Suite of products, typing, grammar, and spelling, and punctuation, oral and written communications.
  • Excellent customer service and interpersonal skills and tactful in dealings with people.
  • Demonstrates discretion, good judgment, strong organizational or management ability, initiative, and the ability to work independently, is adaptable, versatile and can maintain confidentiality.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • A bachelor's degree along with 7 years progressively advanced administrative support experience in the international field; culminating with assisting an executive level employee.

Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)

  • Advanced degree preferred.
  • Bilingual or speaking multi languages preferred.

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