Executive Assistant to the President
The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation was created after World War II, when the United States faced a shortage of university professors to teach a tidal wave of GIs and others entering higher education. It offered the best and brightest students fellowships to attend doctoral programs, leading to professorial positions. As educational needs evolved, the Foundation supported specific needs and populations underrepresented in the academy, including African Americans and women. Starting in the mid-1990s—in both higher education and K–12—WW built human capital and sought to influence policy, particularly in the humanities. It focused its human capital emphasis on STEM and school leadership, reshaping practice on the ground and driving policy change. Its higher education work sustained the longtime fellowship focus. To date, Woodrow Wilson has supported more than 27,000 Fellows who have won an astounding number of awards and honors,including 16 Nobel Prizes, 41 MacArthur “Genius” Awards, 19 Pulitzer Prizes, two appointments as Poets Laureate of the United States, and even one Academy Award.
The Foundation’s mission is to identify and develop the most talented minds for the nation’s greatest challenges. It does this by offering fellowships to recruit, support, and prepare the next generation of leaders for important fields.
As the Executive Assistant to the President, you will work closely with the senior staff and colleagues across the organization, and you will often represent the President in a number of ways. Your work will be varied, complex, and wide-ranging, including the following:
• Priority and Logistics Management: You will work in close partnership with the President to ensure that his time and energy is being spent on the Foundation’s key priorities. Your success will flow from your ability to understand, prioritize, and manage the endless demands on his time, while supporting the people who want to learn more about our work and who want to be partners. You’ll carefully balance the needs of external stakeholders with administrative senior management responsibilities and internal management meetings, working with the President to understand everything that’s happening in his work, so that you can proactively manage his calendar. You will be responsible for all logistics (flights, hotels, meals, reservations, appointments, and logistical support), as well as the management and completion of travel and expense reports related to Foundation matters for the President and two senior staff. With so many demands on his schedule, your role is to support the President in achieving his key priorities while maintaining a reasonable work/life balance. At times, you will work with the Vice President/Secretary to the Board, Operations Manager, and Program Directors to ensure the success of the entire organizationby supporting staff, program, and Trustee events such as annual retreats, Board meetings, program workshops, and recurring staff meetings. You will be responsible for all logistics related to these events (including venue and activity research and reservations, material preparation, flights, hotels, meals, and the coordination of multiple schedules).
• Internal and External Affairs: Because the President is frequently in external meetings or traveling, you will need to know everything that’s going on at the Foundation—the meetings, major conversations, staff commitments,communications priorities, media releases, and convenings—figure out what’s important for our team to know, who might need to attend, and capture key summary points (while attending yourself or gleaning them through colleagues) so that the President and all your colleagues at the Foundation can keep up on all that’s happening. You will also work with other colleagues to ensure that the President is in the appropriate meetings representing the Foundation. This requires scheduling with internal and external parties, as well as preparation for the discussions themselves (including printing materials, sharing presentations, setting up phone/video conferencing, etc.). You will become known internally as the “go-to” person in the organization if there are questions that need to be answered, troubleshooting that needs to be done, or logistics that need to be figured out. You will also provide logistical leadership through event and schedule coordination of organization-wide meetings,such as the regular stand-up meetings and the periodic retreats that bring our team together.
• Brand Ambassador: You will represent the President and the Foundation externally, serving as the point person for A wide variety of senior leaders and others who want to engage who wants to engage with our people, learn about specific fellowship programs, or arrange meetings. You’ll demonstrate graciousness and gratitude in triaging those requests, helping make the best connection possible for all interested parties. As you become more knowledgeable about all the projects, programs, and events at the Foundation, you’ll develop a valuable perspective on how external people think about our work, what value they attach to our brand, and what their greatest interests are. This, in turn, will help you communicate effectively about our work.
• Communications: You will be the final check on the President’sexternal communications, drafting and reading, and answeringphone, email, and other communications for and from the President to ensure the proper direction and tone. You will transcribe minutes and capture salient points from meetings, disseminating action items and next steps to the group, so that everyone involved knows what things need to be done next—and who is responsible for doing them.
• Fundraising Relationship Development: At its core, brand management and fundraising are dependent upon relationship management. You will be a part of many strategic meetings regarding donors and candidates, aware of all that’s happening in the fundraising and communications arena. You’ll be involved in key conversations with the President, the Chief Communications and Strategy Officer, the Chief Development Officer, and the Director of Fellowship Solutions so that you know the strategy behind brand development. You will have a supporting role in donor stewardship (sourcing background briefs from the development team and helping to put together materials for yearly donor reports). On the many occasions that we benefit from the help or thought partnership of one of our colleagues or an external body, you’ll help us remember to send thank–you notes and words of gratitude to steward those relationships.
• Problem Solving: In this role you’ll learn about, and solve, problems before the President even hears about them. You’re a “fixer” who troubleshoots everything from logistical snafus to upset stakeholders to cancelled flights.
• Bachelor’s degree required.
• A minimum of five years of experience supporting senior executives in a high–profile setting.
• Strong task management skills. Able to manage multiple priorities across internal and external stakeholders. Demonstrated success coordinating projects, from start to finish, in a timely manner. Accurate attention to detail.
• Technologically savvy, particularly with Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook.
• Focus on getting the job done, which may require working on evenings and (rarely) weekends to keep specific, time-sensitive projects on track.
• Mission-oriented. You are committed to and hold a strong belief in the potential of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation’s mission. More than to any one individual or program, you are loyal and committed to the goals of the organization and the work we seek to accomplish through our programming.
• Service-driven. You take delight in being part of a highly organized team and deeply enjoy exceeding others’ expectations and supporting their effectiveness. You develop and maintain relationships across all levels of the organization and with a broad spectrum of stakeholders. You treat a 22-year-old program participant with just as much respect and kindness as you would a 36-year-old job applicant to our team as you would a 70–year-old retired Trustee meeting with the President.
• Confident, self-assured, direct, and humble. You enjoy spirited conversations with leadership and peers alike. You are diplomatic, you’re a good listener, and you understand the productive value of candid team discussions. You offer unflinching support for colleagues and work well at all levels of the organization.
• Strong task management and execution skills. You are strategic, thoughtful, and resourceful, known for taking the initiative, and you are consistent with your follow-through. You share information, coordinate effectively, and execute responsibilities while working seamlessly across teams. In projects, you seek out relevant information, decide the appropriate steps, and facilitate to get the desired results. “I was waiting for instructions” or “I forgot to follow up” should never be used as excuses for delays in productivity. It is up to you to manage your workload and communicate when assistance is required.
• Influence versus authority. Though you report to the President, you will not use that as leverage for getting things done—rather you will engage with folks so that you can work to get to the best answer and influence people to understand that the best answer wins. “Because my boss said so” is not part of your lexicon or your thinking.
• Flexible. You ask questions, listen, and learn. You are not afraid to try a new approach. You adapt to change and shift gears as appropriate. You confidently handle risk and uncertainty. You are comfortable working in a fluid environment and capable of making adjustments in both day-to-day and larger-scale activities based on new information and situations.
• Judgment. You are able to make decisions with the data available; yet, at the same time, you are able to understand when it is necessary to have help or insights in advance of making a decision. You know when to ask for help and can determine when to ask for direction.
• Strong communicator. You possess exceptional written and oral communication skills and communicate effectively at all levels, one-on-one and in groups. You write clearly and succinctly and easily adjust to different communication settings and styles.
• High standards. You appreciate order and know how to achieve it efficiently. Your work product is impeccable. You see the big picture and understand how the details relate to the overall mission of the organization. You have command of both the process and the details. You get it done right the first time.
• Able to hold anything in confidence. While you are friendly to all, you divulge nothing confidential to anyone and never give the impression to anyone that you are holding any confidential information. You use the utmost discretion, inside the office and out, about the knowledge and information that you hold. You understand that the President must be able to trust you implicitly, which means never participating in office or outside gossip about our business or its people.
What’s Attractive to the Right Candidate?
• The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation has a strong, positive reputation for educational leadership and programming, and this is an area where we are looking to broaden our scope and impact. The Foundation continues to create programming that is effective, scalable, and broadens the reach of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundationbeyond the constituencies it currently serves.
• You have the backing and resources of the Foundation to support our programs. You will work in close partnership with the President and proven leaders in the field of education, and have the backing of the entire Foundation—all of whom are committed to spending their time and energy identifying the nation’s greatest challenges and developing relevant programming.
• You will have the opportunity to help build a national network of programming which will have a lasting, positive, and likely career-altering impact on the Fellows who participate.
• You will like and respect the people who you work with—we have a dedicated team and a high degree of communication, trust, and mutual respect.
To apply, simply email your resume to [email protected] with “Woodrow Wilson—Executive Assistant #2019-2535 CW” as the subject of the email.
An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer
The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.