Serving as the essential support to a Council-affiliated expert, the Special Assistant provides high-level administrative support ensuring the expert is organized and prepared for all work projects, and is the point of contact for staff, partner organizations, and high-profile constituents. The expert works primarily offsite, traveling extensively, so much of the work the Special Assistant does is completed virtually out of the Chicago office. Additionally, the Special Assistant provides some assistance to other governance team members. The role is foundation-funded for an estimated 18-month duration.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
Serve as gatekeeper to and principal support of the expert, handling the information flow in/out of the office and proactively researching, prioritizing, and following up on inquires and determine appropriate course of action, referral, or response; preemptively prepare the expert by advising on any pertinent information
Complete a broad variety of administrative tasks including: managing active calendar of meetings, conference calls, speaking engagements, and travel; composing/preparing and proofing/editing all correspondence for the expert’s signature; arranging detailed travel plans, itineraries, and agendas for domestic and international travel; completing expense reports and other accounting/budgeting reconciliation
Assist with preparing for international meetings including sending communications/invitations and handling meeting logistics, advance, and sending thank you notes; researching and acquiring relevant information about people and organizations and preparing materials; ordering food, preparing technology, and reserving/setting up/breaking down meeting space
Support and execute varying projects and tasks, including creating PowerPoint presentations with complex graphs, Excel spreadsheets, and other documents, and conducting research and compiling mailing lists
Provide administrative assistance for additional governance team members including arranging travel, completing expenses/accounting reconciliation, planning/preparing for meetings, and other tasks as assigned
Attend and prepare for weekly governance team meetings (some virtual), take notes, and track action items; attend other Council team meetings as requested and advise expert on action items and outcomes accordingly
Occasionally assist at the front desk to relieve Reception and Database Services Assistant in meeting/greeting Council constituents and handling incoming calls
Provide support at Council events approximately 3 – 4 times monthly (registration, ushering, etc.), requiring some evening and early morning hours
Perform other projects as assigned
5+ years of experience as an assistant to a senior corporate, UN, nonprofit, academic, government, or think tank executive
Excellent organizational and multi-tasking skills with the ability to meet tight deadlines
Superb, polished interpersonal skills with the ability to build rapport and communicate with people at all levels using courtesy and discretion
Ability to work effectively and efficiently under pressure in a fast-paced, demanding environment with conflicting and changing priorities; juggle multiple tasks and requests in a mature and calm manner
Precise verbal and written communications skills; keen attention to grammar and punctuation
Willingness and ability to work independently with colleagues in person and via electronic/virtual communications and phone calls
Team player, willing to assist colleagues when required; great initiative and a proactive spirit (e.g., the ability to anticipate needs)
Superior computer skills, including extensive knowledge of and experience using MS Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook (MS Office 2010/2013 version preferred), and experience with databases (Salesforce preferred)
Demonstrated interest in international affairs or public policy a plus; diplomatic experience useful
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. We convene leading global voices, conduct independent research, and engage the public to explore ideas that will shape our global future. Ranked the #1 Think Tank to Watch worldwide, the Council is committed to bringing clarity and offering solutions to issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.
Please email a cover letter and résumé as Word documents to firstname.lastname@example.org. Other career opportunities can be found on the Council’s website at www.thechicagocouncil.org. EOE
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, founded in 1922, is an independent, non-partisan organization committed to educating the public — and influencing the public discourse — on global issues of the day. The Council provides a forum in Chicago for world leaders, policymakers and other experts to speak to its members and the public on these issues. Long known for its public opinion surveys of Amer...ican views on foreign policy, The Chicago Council also brings together stakeholders to examine issues and offer policy insight into areas such as global agriculture, the global economy, global energy, global cities, global security and global immigration. Learn more at thechicagocouncil.org.