Senior Executive Assistant: Job Description

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation ("Foundation") is a not-for-profit, grantmaking organization that seeks to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies.  It makes grants in five core program areas (higher education and scholarship in the humanities; arts and cultural heritage; diversity; scholarly communications; and international higher education and strategic projects).  The Foundation seeks a Senior Executive Assistant to support the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.


The Foundation is seeking a thoughtful, experienced, results oriented and congenial executive assistant with well-honed communication competencies (verbal and written), organizational skills, and excellent judgment.  The work is detail oriented and time sensitive, and the executive assistant will need to be adaptable, timely, measured in manner, sensitive both to the priorities and to the circumstances of the moment and an adept problem-solver.  He or she will also need to be an exceptionally clear written and oral communicator.  There will be substantial calendaring, proactivity, and project management skills required.

Position Description

The Senior Executive Assistant is a full-time position that reports to the COO and works collaboratively with other members of the COO's staff as well as staff throughout the Foundation.  The Senior Executive Assistant:

  • Schedules and organizes a heavy schedule of continually evolving meetings and outside activities involving multiple participants in a fast-paced environment
  • Manages complex and intricate travel arrangements, ensuring detailed itineraries are accounted for, confirmations are maintained and advance materials are coordinated
  • Maintains the COO's daily calendar and interacts with the Board, Officers and staff throughout the foundation in the day-to-day work of the office
  • Manages work deadlines and schedules for the Office of the COO and is proactive in meeting them
  • Organizes, answers, and directs large volumes of correspondence, information and calls
  • Opens mail, drafts responses, and replies by phone or email, as needed, in a time-sensitive manner, with a clear understanding of office priorities
  • Works both independently and as part of a team on projects; handles matters expeditiously, proactively, and with follow-through to successful completion
  • Assists in the preparation of correspondence, memoranda, charts, tables, and other documents and has facility with technology tools that enable this work
  • Processes, formats, and proofreads copy for spelling, grammar, layout, and typographical errors and is a strong and lucid writer
  • Establishes, maintains, and updates the office filing system, and files regularly
  • Organizes and locates documents stored electronically and in paper files on a continual basis
  • Prepares expense reports and manages and tracks expenses through the reimbursement process in accordance with Foundation's policies
  • Serves as the COO's right-hand assistant

Required Skills and Experience

The successful candidates will have the following qualifications:

  • Excellent knowledge of office administration procedures and the operation of standard office equipment, systems, and programs
  • Relentless attention to detail in composing, processing, and proofing materials, effectively establishing priorities, and meets deliverables with grace and finesse
  • A self-starter, who can be self-directed, manages well through ambiguity, yet consults appropriately
  • Superior proficiency in a variety of computer software applications (Outlook, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Concur, SharePoint)
  • A high level of communicative and interpersonal skills, and the ability to handle discreetly sensitive and confidential matters; position continually requires demonstrated poise, tact, sound judgment, diplomacy, humility, and aplomb
  • The ability to manage multiple projects and interruptions with ease and good humor
  • A strong and proven work ethic, high energy, and outstanding organizational skills
  • Analytic ability to gather and summarize data
  • A bachelor's degree and 10+ years of C-suite experience is preferred
  • An interest in the humanities, the arts, and higher education is desirable

The Foundation is an equal opportunity employer that offers a competitive salary, outstanding benefits, and excellent working conditions.

Contact Information

Candidates should apply by submitting a thoughtful cover letter describing fit for the position together with a resume to:  Senior Executive Assistant to COO.  The Foundation will consider each response carefully, but only contact those individuals it believes are most qualified for the position.