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Senior Executive Assistant

Company: University of Chicago
Location: Chicago
Posted on: May 16, 2022

Job Description:


Becker Friedman Institute - Development Innovation Lab

About the Department

The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) works with the Chicago Economics community to turn its evidence-based research into real-world impact. BFI takes a unique approach to bridging the divide between academic researchers and decision-makers in the business community and government by translating and packaging the rigorous work of the Chicago Economics community into accessible formats, and proactively sharing those findings with relevant decision-makers and thought leaders around the globe. BFI is a collaborative platform serving the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, the Harris School of Public Policy, and the Law School. For more information visit

Job Summary

The Senior Executive Assistant will independently manage multiple administrative and management tasks, providing high-level support to organizational leadership to the Director of the Development Initiative Lab, senior level faculty member and Nobel Laureate of the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics. Must be able to provide a wide variety of exceptional strategic support and project assistance including scheduling and coordinating high-priority meetings, organizing meetings and workshops, running special events, and maintaining calendars, while upholding confidentiality and exercising discretion in handling sensitive matters.

The job provides confidential and high-level office and location support activities by acting as a lead and coordinating the work of others. Identifies, enhances, and applies specific processes and procedures to maximize the efficiencies of the University to which the support is being provided. May ensure the correct functioning of facilities, office and/or business support services.

Responsible for planning, directing, coordinating and managing daily operations individual organization units, clinical research facilities, centers or academic departments. Responsibilities are diverse and general in nature and may reflect more than one functional area.


* Stays informed of activities relating to University programs and initiatives, apprising the faculty of issues when deemed necessary.
* Provides high-level, complete, strategic oversight of schedule and engagements including triaging and confirming internal and external invitations; develops and communicates agenda and meeting expectations; and leads follow-up with meeting participants for resulting deliverables.
* Coordinates information flow from executive's office, representing the executive to other University executives, other University offices and outside agencies.
* Resolves routine and complex inquiries.
* Assists with coordination of faculty member's work with outside institutions, NGOs and government agencies.
* Manages speaking and media requests for domestic and international events. This includes screening requests, accepting via email or through form submissions from website (e.g. for interviews, speeches).
* Coordinates complex domestic and multi-country international travel arrangements for faculty member including associated visa(s), airfare and ground transportation, hotel, and payment and/or reimbursement, according to faculty member's preferences and with Dean's approval.
* May coordinate research support, including recommending various personnel actions related to research staff including but not limited to hiring, performance appraisals, and promotions, determining work priorities and scheduling workflow to meet deadlines and ensuring accuracy and timeliness of work.
* Manages the transcription of voice files recorded by faculty member to draft and edit emails and documents. This includes both actual transcription work, and managing a small team of transcribers.
* Monitors faculty member's internal and external communications to maximize research impact and exposure. Handles sensitive written and telephone communications effectively in a professional manner at all times; answers, screens, and directs communications with utmost courtesy, professionalism, and confidentiality. Composes and edits emails, letters, memos, reports and meeting agendas. Monitors faculty member's website, course sites and special websites for specific events or research.
* Manages faculty member's day-to-day expenses and reconciliations of expense reports and work in collaboration with the finance administrator with soliciting and processing travel reimbursements, honoraria and other internal and external receivables, to ensure timely dispersal of obligated payments using GEMS.
* Manages faculty discretionary account. Orders supplies and equipment using Buysite.
* Guides projects from onset to completion, with a particular focus on the faculty member's many external, internal, and publication related deadlines, accountable to ensure deadlines are monitored, and met on time. May be responsible for obtaining permissions and copyright registrations.
* Organizes on and off-campus meetings including lab meetings, dinners, workshops and other special events. Coordinates speakers, handling all travel arrangements and reimbursements using E Payment; handles speaker's itinerary; makes room reservations in ASTRA, arranges for ground transportation.
* Prepares faculty annual report using Interfolio. Prepares and coordinates letters of recommendation for graduate students and postdocs.
* Creates lecture materials and schedules Zoom calls for graduate classes taught by the faculty member. Prepares PowerPoint presentation materials and exams.
* Assists with processing faculty recruitment cases as needed.
* Provides confidential and high-level administrative support for a leader. Stays informed of activities relating to University programs and initiatives, apprising the leader of issues when deemed necessary. Coordinates information flow from leader's office to University. Relieves leaders of administrative responsibilities.
* Prepare special reports and summaries, assists in managing daily operation of the office, and may assist in developing administrative goals and policies. Maintains the leader's calendar, exercising considerable discretion and judgment as to priorities and effective use of the leader's time.
* Coordinates special projects as directed by the leader. Prepares write ups for recommendations for operational and administrative problems. May manage a portion of the leader's budget, monitoring and reconciling accounts. Prepares financial and/or administrative reports.
* Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include vocational training, apprenticeships or the equivalent experience in related field (not typically required to have a four-year degree).

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Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 7+ years of work experience in a related job discipline.

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Preferred Qualifications


* Four-year bachelor's degree in a related field.


* At least 7 years of experience providing administrative support required. Experience supporting faculty.
* Experience in calendaring, planning special events, and scheduling complex appointments and high-profile meetings.
* Experience in coordinating complex domestic and international travel preferred
* Experience obtaining visas for international travel.
* Familiarity with University financial policies and procedures and with domestic and international tax regulations.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

* Proficiency in Microsoft Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, and Word. Experience in project management.
* Demonstrated knowledge of University financial systems - GEMS, Buysite, purchase order (PO) process.

Preferred Competencies

* Excellent organizational and analytical skills with high-level of accuracy and sharp attention to detail.
* Superior interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of individuals and constituencies in a diverse professional environment.
* Demonstrated excellence in written and verbal communication.
* Handle highly confidential and sensitive materials and situations.
* Effectively manage a heavy workload, competing priorities, and tight deadlines.
* A quick, self-learner with ability to initiate, organize, prioritize and complete multiple, high-level projects; meet tight deadlines; and work effectively with minimal supervision in a fast-paced environment.
* Demonstrated ability to anticipate and respond to future needs.
* Works well independently and in a team environment.
* Use appropriate resources and follow an issue through to resolution.
* Demonstrated sound judgment with the ability to solve problems and make effective decisions.

Application Documents

* Resume/CV (required)
* Cover Letter (preferred)
* Three Professional References Contact Information (required)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family

Administration & Management

Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Requires Compliance with University Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

Employees must comply with the University's COVID-19 vaccination requirements. More information about the requirements can be found on the University of Chicago Vaccination GoForward.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

Keywords: University of Chicago, Chicago , Senior Executive Assistant, Other , Chicago, Illinois

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