ASSISTANT TO THE DIRECTOR

University of Washington - Seattle, WA4.1

Full-timeEstimated: $70,000 - $97,000 a year
EducationSkills
As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty. All of which has allowed the UW to be nationally recognized as a “Great College to Work For” for five consecutive years.

EarthLab is a new initiative at the University of Washington seeking to link and apply the amazing environmental research happening at the UW with decision makers working on solutions to environmental challenges. Stewarded by the College of the Environment, EarthLab supports application-focused interdisciplinary collaboration across and beyond the University of Washington. EarthLab focuses on addressing our world’s most pressing environmental challenges – catalyzing collaborations with partners across the private, public, and non-profit sectors. By linking knowledge and action to accomplish meaningful change, EarthLab will help develop lasting solutions that are scientifically sound, technically feasible, and economically viable, while promoting equity and justice.

The College of the Environment promotes diversity and inclusivity among our students, faculty, staff, and public. Thus, we are strongly seeking candidates whose experiences have prepared them to fulfill our commitment to inclusion and have given them the confidence to fully engage audiences from a wide spectrum of backgrounds. The University of Washington (UW) is located in the greater Seattle metropolitan area, with a dynamic, multicultural community of 3.7 million people and a range of ecosystems from mountains to ocean. The UW serves a diverse population of 80,000 students, faculty and staff, including 25% first-generation college students, over 25% Pell Grant students, and faculty from over 70 countries. The UW is a recipient of a National Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Award to increase the advancement of women faculty in science, engineering, and math (see http://advance.washington.edu/).

Earthlab has an outstanding opportunity for an Assistant to the Director. The Assistant to the Director role will provide professional executive-level support to the Executive Director of EarthLab. With minimal supervision, this person will exercise independent judgment and decision-making in the management of daily operations of the EarthLab Executive Director’s office and calendar. The EA will serve as the gatekeeper and logistician for the Director’s Office and serves as the liaison to upper-level UW and College-wide leadership and donors, EarthLab Advisory Council and Executive Steering committee members, as well as leadership from state agencies, the Governor's Office, Federal agencies, non-profits, and the private sector. The Assistant must be able to communicate efficiently, empathetically, firmly, and effectively, and to independently recognize situations that require confidentiality and expediency, and act accordingly. They will develop communication tools and materials for the Director. Given the start-up nature of EarthLab, they will need to be flexible and effective in prioritizing and coordinating the Director’s workflow and comfortable with delegated decision-making regarding the Director’s schedule, balancing competing demands. They will need to work independently on assigned projects (researching information, creating agendas, preparing and writing reports, communicating with EarthLab staff and leadership, etc.) in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment. This is a full time position.

Executive Administrative Support for Executive Director (ED)
  • Develop communication tools/materials and talking points for the Director that support the Director’s effectiveness in meetings, presentations, and public events. Prioritize communication relative to on-going and evolving priorities of EarthLab, and the College of the Environment as a whole.
  • Develop and implement policies and procedures for EarthLab’s governing bodies including the Executive Steering Committee, the Faculty Advisory Council and the Advisory Board of Deans
  • Prepare briefing materials as needed by independently performing research on people, organizations, and issues in advance of the Director’s meetings or outreach efforts.
  • Prepare written reports/correspondence at the request of the Director; prepare in a polished professional manner
  • Provide professional support for the Director’s complex and demanding work portfolio and calendar by prioritizing and scheduling meetings; sorting and prioritizing email, and phone communications; maintaining an online calendar that is balanced; tracking salient EarthLab meetings, events and program milestones using means and methodologies that accommodate the Director’s preferences.
  • Track EarthLab donor data and advise the Director on his follow-through on donor stewardship; write correspondence or make phone calls that can be highly sensitive and confidential.
  • Independently initiate, follow up and resolve requests for information with key University officials, faculty, staff, peer contacts, and vendor representatives-based on knowledge of EarthLab’s commitments. Provide information based on knowledge of EarthLab’s priorities, programs, policies and procedures, and direct individuals courteously and appropriately. Provide accurate responses to requests and/or inquiries received by the Director, coordinating the necessary data collection and research, including (but not limited to) public records requests, State budget funding, research awards, and other information.
  • Build creative PowerPoint presentations that convey complex data and information in a manner that is clear and understandable as well as compelling.
  • In the absence of the Director, serve as the Director’s representative in meetings.
  • Arrange Director’s travel and submit receipts for travel reimbursements.
  • Arrange for Director’s technical support; test and apply technical solutions as needed.
Administrative support for Distinguished Fellow of the College of the Environment
  • Manage all incoming communications for the Distinguished Fellow, prioritizing for critical issues that need immediate attention.
  • Develop and maintain a follow-up practice for emails that meets the Fellow’s requirements.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of the Fellow’s direct communication methods.
  • Arrange College-related calendar events for the Fellow as requested.
Administrative Support for EarthLab
  • Produce written reports and partner with the EarthLab Administrator in collecting budget and programmatic information that will inform EarthLab discussions and decisions.
  • Develop strong connections with all levels of EarthLab governance and administration in order to have a comprehensive understanding of what is occurring within EarthLab at any time, in order to support and inform strategic day-to-day decision-making.
  • Schedule and staff EarthLab meetings to ensure the following duties are completed in a timely and accurate manner.
  • Maintain communication among staff and faculty involved in the leadership and administration of EarthLab.
  • Support events and conferences for EarthLab programs as needed.
  • Develop and maintain familiarity with other people and resources associated with EarthLab, e.g. the Schools within the College of the Environment including the administrative staff, especially the Assistant to the Dean of the College; and the members of the various committees and boards that advise EarthLab, including their assistants.
  • Monitor the general communication methods for EarthLab.
  • Other duties as necessary to support the growing EarthLab team.
As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs. For detailed information on Benefits for this position, click here.

Required Qualifications:
  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field.
  • Three or more years of progressively responsible experience in administrative support to executive level personnel in academic, public agency, non-profit organization, or private sector organization.
  • Political acumen and discretion; ability to independently discern when confidentiality is required.
  • Ability to be timely and professional in all interactions, and to work in a collaborative, team environment committed to social justice, diversity, and inclusiveness.
  • Experience multi-tasking in high pressure (short timeline for product deadlines) environment and flexibility to respond to changing demands and priorities.
  • Proven accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Proven ability to work efficiently and with minimal supervision.
  • Ability to manage both long-term and short-term tasks, being responsive to the latter while still maintaining focus on the former. Ability to manage multiple competing demands.
  • Ability to produce high quality written products, including experience building creative, compelling PowerPoint presentations that share complex information in a concise and effective manner.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to thrive in ambiguity and maintain strong interpersonal professional relationships.
  • Proficiency in Word, Excel, Outlook/Exchange, and ability to learn new software systems.
  • Proven ability to handle confidential information with a high degree of tact, discretion, diplomacy, and to maintain strict confidentiality.
Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except where there are legal requirements such as license/certification/registration.

Desired Qualifications:
  • Background/degree in a policy or science-related field such as environmental studies, public affairs or business.
  • Five years or more of progressively responsible experience as an administrative support professional.
  • Exposure and personal commitment to environmental, equity, and justice issues.
  • Familiarity with process improvement initiatives such as Lean and relevant tools (flowchart software, Kanban boards, etc.)
  • Fact checking/research and analysis skills.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office and Google Apps; media collaboration tools (e.g. Zoom); on-lin survey tools (e.g. doodle, lettucemeet).