Reporting directly to the CEO, the Executive Assistant & Manager of Special Projects provides executive support in a one-on-one working relationship. This position serves as the primary point of contact for internal and external constituencies on all matters pertaining to the Office of the CEO. The Executive Assistant & Manager of Special Projects also serves as a liaison to the executive and management teams, donors, partners and board members; organizes and coordinates executive outreach and external relations efforts; and oversees special projects. Our CEO was recently selected as an Obama Fellow and this has and will continue to pull her towards more external facing work.
The Executive Assistant & Manager of Special Projects must be detail oriented, strategic, solution-driven and a strong relationship builder. The ideal individual will have the ability to work with a sense of urgency, exercise good judgment in a variety of situations, has strong written and verbal communication, administrative, organizational skills, and the ability to maintain a realistic balance among multiple priorities. The ideal candidate will have the ability to work independently on projects, from conception to completion, and must be able to work under pressure in a fast paced environment at times to handle a wide variety of activities and confidential matters with discretion. The Executive Assistant & Manager of Special Projects is also a thought partner to the CEO and should feel comfortable sharing thoughts and opinions about areas of growth and opportunity.
Completes a broad variety of administrative tasks for the CEO including: managing extremely active calendar of appointments; composing and preparing correspondence that is sometimes confidential; scheduling meetings with agendas.
Plans and coordinates the CEO schedule and ensures they are followed and respected. Provides "gatekeeper" and "gateway" role to ensure that their time is spent most effectively and being strategic in scheduling needs.
Conserve CEO’s time by reading, researching, and routing correspondence; responding to emails, drafting documents; collecting and analyzing information.
Communicates directly, and on behalf of the CEO with Board members, donors, staff, and others, on matters related to President & CEO strategic initiatives.
Works closely and effectively with the CEO to keep them well informed of upcoming commitments and responsibilities, following up appropriately. Acts as a "barometer," having a sense for the issues taking place in the environment and keeping them updated.
Provides leadership to build relationships crucial to the success of the organization, and manages a variety of special projects for the CEO, President/COO, and executive team, some of which may have organizational impact.
Prioritizes conflicting needs; handles matters expeditiously, proactively, and follows-through on projects to successful completion, often with deadline pressures.
Coordinate all meetings and events hosted by the President & CEO with the room set-up, reservations, refreshments, and materials.
Communication & External Relations
Works closely with CEO to respond to emails in a timely and professional manner.
Draft thank you emails after each meeting with partner/donor.
Ensures that the CEO’s biography and headshot are kept updated and responds to requests for interviews, speaking engagements, and securing the materials that may be needed.
Creates first draft of speeches for all major events in conjunction with CEO and/or Development team.
Creates communications and presentations: Quarterly CEO newsletters, PowerPoint presentations, letters and documents for stakeholders.
Coordinates partner requests to rent Chicago Scholars space for events; manage all logistics.
Schedule annual meetings with individual board members.
In partnership with the CEO and development team leadership, draft agenda for board and committee meetings.
Provide logistical support for board and committee meetings and retreats, including set-up, dial-in information, minute taking, and other support as needed.
Maintain a roster of board and associate board bios, face sheets, and contact information.
Support board communications and other board activities, as needed.
Ensure follow up tasks are accomplished and on the CEO’s radar after key board/committee meetings.
Ensures 1:1 meetings are regularly scheduled with direct reports.
Supports in the planning and execution of quarterly all staff retreats and leadership team retreats.
Ensures agendas are created and shared in advance for Executive team meetings.
Perform other special projects and administrative duties as necessary.
Required to attend and support mandatory all staff events: the UnTied Gala, College Choice Celebration, New Student Orientation, All Scholar Retreat, the Onsite Admissions Forum, New Student Interview nights, and our Quarterly Staff Retreats.
This role will occasionally work on nights and weekends.
Other tasks, as assigned.
Education: Bachelor’s degree required
Experience: 10-15 years of relevant work experience in administration, executive assistant roles to C-suite Executives, or project management in a fast-paced environment, preferably in non-profit organizations.
Demonstrated experience effectively managing up with busy senior executives.
Proficient in Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), Adobe Acrobat, and social media web platforms.
Problem solving and initiative: Able to break down tasks into manageable sections in order to make informed decisions and solve problems. Able to independently and proactively anticipate needs and perceive and resolve a gap to achieve goals.
Optimistic: Ability to assume good intent and support a positive work environment.
Communication: Proven ability to handle confidential information with discretion and demonstrate the highest level of customer service and responsiveness, including honest and direct communication. Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to build relationships with stakeholders, including staff, board members, external partners, and donors. Service-orientation approach to working with colleagues.
Confidence: Belief in one’s own abilities to provide solutions and accomplish tasks in increasingly challenging circumstances. Comfortable with managing up and providing honest, kind, and direct communication.
Adaptability and flexibility: Ability to operate effectively and flexibly in changing contexts and operating environments.
Detail-oriented: Strong organizational skills that reflect ability to perform and prioritize multiple tasks.
Accountability: Demonstrated ability to achieve high performance goals and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
Growth mindset: Views growth as important for personal and professional development; seeks out opportunities to expand skills, even if change is required.
Decision-making: Good judgement and effectively structures and facilitates decision-making processes; makes decisions effectively and responsibly to improve organizational health and impact.
- Please click 'Apply' to submit your application which should include a resume and cover letter no later than June 3rd.
About Chicago Scholars
About Chicago Scholars
Chicago Scholars is transforming the leadership landscape of our city by resolving the fundamental barriers to success for academically driven, first generation college students from under-resourced communities. Through college counseling, mentoring, and by providing a supportive community to our Scholars through each phase of our program: College Access (Launch), College Persistence (Lift) and College to Careers (Lead), we ensure that they realize their full potential as students and leaders.
86% of Chicago Scholars graduate college within 6 years. Per the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research, only 49% of their peers earn a degree within 6 years. Upon graduation, our Scholars move into leadership positions across Chicago, helping to drive the economic future of their communities and our thriving city.
These are a set of guiding principles that apply to all stakeholders within the Chicago Scholars ecosystem. We select and retain stakeholders based on these stated expectations for how we achieve our mission and vision. Each are supported with core competencies and narrative for the sake of clarity.
We Dream Big.... We speak up, innovate, push the boundaries and keep the creativity flowing. We don’t accept the status quo because the stakes are too high. We have an incredible belief that growth and change is possible. While we dream big, we are laser focused on our intended goals and outcomes for our Scholars, our city and the world.
We Show Up. We show up every day; not just physically, but with a positive attitude and willingness to work, connect, challenge, engage, solve problems and have fun. We don’t wait for someone to tell us what to do. We take action and get the job done. If we don’t know how, we figure it out through our knowledge, exploration or our network.
We Embrace Our Differences. We represent a multicultural nation and our collective backgrounds, experiences, styles, values, perspectives and beliefs are an asset to the world. We recognize that together we achieve better outcomes more quickly. Justice and equity starts with us using our collective voice.
We Model the Way. We exhibit the behavior that we want to see in others and in the world. Titles are granted, but our behavior is what earns us respect. In order to model the way, we must be clear about our guiding principles, celebrate our accomplishments and learn from our challenges and failures.
We Care For Each Other Along the Way. We adapt to the needs of the person in front of us. We pause, reflect and listen. We do our best work when we are in good relationship together. We care personally and challenge directly.
We Keep Our Word. When we commit, we are all in. Whether for events, a Scholar, a peer or ourselves. Our words are as powerful as our actions and are the building block of trust, respect, self worth and integrity.