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Executive Assistant

  • Requisition no: 518738
  • Work type: Full Time
  • Location: Morningside
  • School/Department: English and Comparative Literature
  • Grade: Grade 12
  • Categories: General Administration, Administrative Support
  • Job Type: Officer of Administration
  • Bargaining Unit:
  • Regular/Temporary: Regular
  • End Date if Temporary:
  • Hours Per Week: 35
  • Salary Range: Commensurate with Experience

Position Summary

This dynamic position requires the ability to anticipate needs, multitask in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment, think critically, and offer solutions to problems with a high degree of accuracy, organization, professionalism, and confidentiality.  The Executive Assistant has oversight of a globally committed Humanities Professor’s office’s daily operations and expedites the careful coordination, planning, implementation, and follow-up of the Professor’s top priorities. The position supports the Professor by coordinating meetings and keeping the Professor’s calendar, collecting and disseminating information, maintaining records, and completing special projects as assigned. The incumbent will make decisions based on priorities learned on the job. The incumbent will exercise independent judgment in managing the Professor’s schedule, largely unsolicited high-level requests and therefore with no anticipatable structure. Additionally, they will keep the Professor to her deadlines while attending to her various publications and global commitments.


  • Manage a large volume of emails daily on behalf of the Professor. Craft responses primarily by dictation.  High typing speed and accuracy in proofreading are required. A quiet, collaborative working rhythm is best for this office.
  • Maintain a complex calendar for the Professor exercising independent judgment to prioritizing and assessing the urgency of ongoing and new meeting/appointment requests and deadlines. Prepare meeting arrangements, materials, and communications. Schedule meetings, arrange travel, and determine priorities related to managing the Professor’s calendar and time. Bring to the Professor’s notice all activities potentially of interest to the Professor; develop and maintain systematic follow-up systems to ensure that deadlines are met. Monitor a complex recommendation letter, tenure review, endorsement routine. Prioritize and keep track of urgent international appeals.
  • Review incoming mail and email; sort as to importance and priority; obtain and add background material to facilitate action; check dates of requested future commitments; draft communications and answers or refer to others for response and maintain appropriate follow-ups; coordinate daily errands with undergraduate casual workers.
  • Draft written correspondence on behalf of the Professor, minutes, and other materials as needed.
  • Record, file, and/or forward as appropriate all incoming internal and external paperwork, emails, and telephone calls in a prompt and professional manner. Ensure all of the files and the Professor’s Curriculum Vitae are accurate and up-to-date.
  • Research, analyze, and prepare material for the Professor concerning meetings, activities, reports, inquiries, agendas, and presentations.
  • Coordinate meeting logistics, including planning the agenda, coordinating and reserving any catering, room, or A/V needs, identifying appropriate participants, serving as the point of contact for the day of events, and taking meeting minutes.
  • Finance: Responsible for submitting procurement contracts and other research expenses as they come up and reconciling purchase expenditures with account encumbrances. Work closely with the Departmental Administrator to manage the Professor’s research budget and manage forms required for international payments going out of the office. Manage all accounts payable and expense activities in collaboration with the Departmental Administrator. Ensure that all receipts, including those associated with the Faculty Research Allocation Program, are submitted following university and departmental requirements.
  • Review and prioritize all incoming correspondence, compose high-level drafts and/or proof final draft responses, and maintain accurate records of all correspondence on behalf of the Professor.
  • Compile information about fundraising opportunities, update fundraising effort data and prepare reports as requested.
  • Oversee management of all logistics for high-level domestic and international travel involving the Professor and guests for international and domestic events arranged by the Professor’s office. Manage a heavy international travel schedule, including arranging foreign and domestic transportation, seeking reimbursement for expenses from other institutions, maintaining information on visa requirements, and keeping track of out-of-pocket expenses for tax records.
  • Keep track of several unique projects and special events relating to the breadth of the Professor’s activities. Daily selective multitasking on various special projects and events.
  • Answering phone calls for the Professor; The EA manages a multi-line international telephone system involving conference calls in different time zones.
  • Be responsible for visitor access and keep in touch with building management for issues of upkeep.
  • Collaborate with research and teaching assistants as needed, especially in coordinating appointments for office hours and paper deadlines.

Note: The job requires a quick learning curve depending on the experience of looking after the schedule of senior professional persons concerned with the Humanities and/or the Arts. Administrative supervision is given by the Departmental Administrator.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree (foreign equivalent or higher Degree). A minimum of three years of full-time, progressively responsible executive experience.
  • Experience drafting correspondences/communications on behalf of supervisor or employer.
  • Highly proficient professional experience in word processing, spreadsheet management, electronic messaging, and internet applications Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Google Drive, etc.). High proficiency with PC, Microsoft Office Suite, including preparing complex PowerPoint presentations to be produced at urgent short notice.
  • Event coordination experience.
  • Experience managing an Executive’s calendar
  • Demonstrated managerial skills with analytical ability
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a high-pressure, fast-paced environment
  • Ability to work with changing priorities and multiple projects
  • Excellent analytical, organizational, interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills, including a high level of attention to detail and active listening skills.
  • Ability to problem-solve and troubleshoot, in addition to the ability to work independently in a dynamic team environment.
  • Passionate commitment to exceptional quality and grace under pressure.
  • Demonstrated editing and writing experience.
  • Ability to exercise discretion in handling confidential information.
  • Flexibility to adapt to changing needs and priorities.

Preferred Qualifications

  • A Master’s Degree, though not required, is preferred.
  • Experience in a Humanities academic environment is preferred.
  • Experience interacting with individuals at various levels at a Research 1 university and the general public and affirmative action groups whenever necessary. Demonstrated ability to effectively partner with a diverse group of the Professor’s global collaborators.

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.

Applications open: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:

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