Position: Executive Assistant to the President & CEO
Reports to: President & CEO
The Chicago Landscape
There is a deep reservoir of talent in this great city! In order to remain a world-class city, we must invest in talent from an education and leadership perspective. Locally and nationally, we are not fully equipping our youth with the skills and tools to be successful. Just 14% of Chicago Public Schools freshman will graduate with a college degree by the age of 25 per the University of Chicago Consortium of Chicago School Research. There also remains a lack of diversity in the workforce at all levels and in every industry. We must continue to invest in building a diverse pipeline of talent if we are to remain a vibrant, thriving and competitive city.
About Chicago Scholars
Chicago Scholars is transforming the leadership landscape of our city by resolving the fundamental barriers to success for academically driven, first generation college students from under-resourced communities. Through college counseling, mentoring, and by providing a supportive community to our Scholars through each phase of our program: College Access (Launch), College Persistence (Lift) and College to Careers (Lead), we ensure that they realize their full potential as students and leaders.
88% of Chicago Scholars graduate college within 6 years. Per the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research, only 49% of their peers earn a degree within 6 years. Upon graduation, our Scholars move into leadership positions across Chicago, helping to drive the economic future of their communities and our thriving city.
Chicago Scholars is at a particularly exciting and critical juncture. Due to the success of our program, we have recently received support to expand our impact to serve 675 incoming students and a total student body of 4,500 by FY19.
We seek new members to the Dream Team who can help realize our vision for the future and who exemplify our core values, which do lead our work.
• Mission Driven: We must be relentlessly focused on our Scholars and their potential for success.
• Belief: We demonstrate a strong belief in our Scholars, our city and the potential that exists
• Excellence: We are intentionally in pursuit of quality inputs and outputs programmatically and operationally. Feedback collection is a critical part of a continuous improvement process in pursuit of that excellence. This also includes the demonstration of leadership, honesty, integrity, respect and equity.
• Data Driven / Results Oriented: We will use data to inform our program. We will have clear outcomes and response. We will use our data to demonstrate credibility and effectiveness as a high quality organization.
• Collaboration: We will collaborate internally among teams as well as externally within Chicago. Programmatically, we also recognize that we are just one part of a support system for our Scholars and we must collaborate with those organizations to support our Scholars.
• Innovation: We will always think about how to do things differently and more effectively. We will be thoughtful about how to use resources and technology to achieve growth and efficiency. We will focus on learning, questioning and forward thinking.
Reporting directly to the President and CEO and also supporting the Chief of Staff, the Executive Assistant provides executive support in a one-on-one working relationship. The Executive Assistant serves as the primary point of contact for internal and external constituencies on all matters pertaining to the Office of the President. The Executive Assistant also serves as a liaison to the leadership team, donors, partners and board members; organizes and coordinates executive outreach and external relations efforts; and oversees special projects.
The Executive Assistant must be detail oriented, creative, results-driven and community oriented. The ideal individual will have the ability to work with a sense of urgency, exercise good judgment in a variety of situations, with strong written and verbal communication, administrative, and organizational skills, and the ability to maintain a realistic balance among multiple priorities. The Executive Assistant will have the ability to work independently on projects, from conception to completion, and must be able to work under pressure at times to handle a wide variety of activities and confidential matters with discretion.
o Completes a broad variety of administrative tasks for the President & CEO and Chief of Staff including: managing an extremely active calendar of appointments; composing and preparing correspondence that is sometimes confidential; scheduling meetings with agendas.
o Plans, coordinates and ensures the CEO and Chief of Staff’s schedule are followed and respected. Provides "gatekeeper" and "gateway" role, creating win-win situations for direct access to the CEO’s and Chief of Staff’s time and office.
o Conserve CEO and Chief of Staff’s time by reading, researching, and routing correspondence; responding to emails, drafting documents; collecting and analyzing information.
o Communicates directly, and on behalf of the President & CEO and the Chief of Staff, with Board members, donors, staff, and others, on matters related to CEO's strategic initiatives.
o Works closely and effectively with the CEO and Chief of Staff to keep him/her well informed of upcoming commitments and responsibilities, following up appropriately. Acts as a "barometer," having a sense for the issues taking place in the environment and keeping the President & CEO and Chief of Staff updated.
o Provides leadership to build relationships crucial to the success of the organization, and manages a variety of special projects for the President & CEO and Chief of Staff, some of which may have organizational impact.
o Successfully completes critical aspects of deliverables with a hands-on approach, including drafting acknowledgement letters, personal correspondence, and other tasks that facilitate the CEO and Chief of Staff 's ability to effectively lead the organization.
o Prioritizes conflicting needs; handles matters expeditiously, proactively, and follows-through on projects to successful completion, often with deadline pressures.
o Coordinate all meetings and events hosted by the President & CEO and Chief of Staff, including the room set-up, reservations, refreshments, materials, and briefing the President & CEO and Chief of Staff in advance.
Communication & External Relations
o Works closely with President & CEO and Chief of Staff to respond to email in a timely and professional manner.
o Drafts thank you emails after each meeting with partner/donor.
o Ensures that the President & CEO’s bio and headshot is kept updated and responds to requests for interviews, speaking engagements, and materials regarding the President and the organization in general.
o Creates first draft of speeches for all major events in conjunction with President & CEO and/or Development team.
o Creates first draft of bi-weekly update to board and associate board (e.g. Things You Should Know from the CEO).
o Create communications and presentations: Quarterly CEO newsletters, PowerPoint presentations, letters and documents for stakeholders.
o Coordinate partner requests to rent Chicago Scholars space for events; manage all logistics
o Schedule annual meetings with individual board members
o In partnership with President & CEO, draft agenda for board and committee meetings
o Ensures follow up tasks are accomplished and on President & CEO radar after key board/committee meetings
o Ensures 1:1 meetings are regularly scheduled with direct reports
o Supports in the planning and execution of quarterly all staff retreats and leadership team retreats
o Ensure that the All Staff meetings meet the organizational objectives of communication, community and innovation; record all key discussions
- Perform other special projects and administrative duties as necessary (e.g. C4, African American Male Initiative, etc.)
- Attend and support mandatory all staff events: the UnTied Gala, College Choice Celebration, New Student Orientation, All Scholar Retreat, First Look, the Onsite Admissions Forum, New Student Interview nights, and our Quarterly Staff Retreats.
- This role will occasionally work on nights and weekends
Education: Bachelor's degree required
Experience: Strong work tenure: five to 10 years of experience supporting C-Level Executives, preferably in a non-profit organization, Proficient in Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, and Power Point), Adobe Acrobat, and Social Media web platforms.
• Strong organizational skills that reflect ability to perform and prioritize multiple tasks seamlessly with excellent attention to detail
• Very strong interpersonal skills and the ability to build relationships with stakeholders, including staff, board members, external partners and donors
• Expert level written and verbal communication skills
• Demonstrated proactive approaches to problem-solving with strong decision-making capability
• Professional & Emotional maturity
• Highly resourceful team-player, with the ability to also be extremely effective independently
• Ability to speak in public and engage all stakeholders (students, parents, mentors, volunteers, college representatives)
• Proven ability to handle confidential information with discretion, be adaptable to various competing demands, and demonstrate the highest level of service and responsiveness
• Demonstrated ability to achieve high performance goals and meet deadlines in a fast paced environment
• Forward looking thinker & thought partner who actively seeks opportunities and proposes solutions
• Ability to communicate in a manner which consistently demonstrates excellence, respect, concern, and responsiveness.
• Demonstrated ability to cultivate and sustain relationships with diverse audiences (educational level, socio-economic circumstance).
• Ability to remain flexible and adapt to changing needs and priorities.
Please submit your resume and cover letter, no later than Friday, March 9th.
In your cover letter, please describe your management and leadership philosophy on working with an executive, managing multiple priorities and ensuring that the executive is positioned for success.
All candidates must be available for a first round group interview on Friday, March 16th. If invited, Round 2 will be the morning of Tuesday, March 20th and Round 3 in the afternoon on Friday, March 23rd.
About The Chicago Scholars Foundation
The Chicago Landscape
There is a deep reservoir of talent in this great city! In order to remain a world-class city, we must invest in talent from an education and leadership perspective. Locally and nationally, we are not fully equipping our youth with the skills and tools to be successful. Just 8% of Chicago Public School students will graduate with a college degree by the age of 25. There also remains a lack of diversity in the workforce at all levels and in every industry. We must continue to invest in building a diverse pipeline of talent if we are to remain a thriving and competitive city.
About Chicago Scholars
The mission of the Chicago Scholars Foundation (Chicago Scholars) is to provide talented, academically ambitious, and underserved high school students access and success through college and beyond.
We provide Chicago’s young future leaders with the support they need to achieve their dreams through mentorship, college admission support, and access to leadership and career programming. Our program targets high need, first-generation students from every single neighborhood and every high school. We nurture their talent through an innovative five-year colle...ge success program plus a two-year leadership development program. We work to ensure that our academically ambitious Scholars are not only investing in their own career growth and success but also enhancing Chicago’s competitive position in the global economy for years to come. We are extremely proud that the support provided by our program is allowing our Scholars to persist and graduate at a rate of almost 90% (compared to just 8% of CPS peers).
Our Future – Growth
Chicago Scholars is at a particularly exciting and critical juncture. Due to the success of our program, we have recently received support to expand our impact from serving 300 new students each year to 1000 new students, over the next five years.