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Senior Executive Assistant to the Dean

School of Law

Senior Executive Assistant to the Dean

  • 531540
  • Morningside
  • School of Law
  • Full Time
  • Opening on: Dec 6 2022
  • Grade 13
  • Job Type: Officer of Administration
  • Bargaining Unit:
  • Regular/Temporary: Regular
  • End Date if Temporary:
  • Hours Per Week: 35
  • Salary Range: $95,000 - $112,000
The position in on-site, Monday-Friday.

Position Summary

The Senior Executive Assistant (SEA) provides executive support to the Dean of Columbia Law School. Reporting directly to the Dean, the SEA manages a complex calendar of meetings, appointments, and travel, and is also responsible for reviewing and drafting a high volume of correspondence to and from the Dean. The SEA serves as the primary point of contact on the Dean’s behalf, and works closely with the Dean’s Office staff—as well as colleagues throughout the Law School and the University—to ensure smooth and efficient operations.


  • Manages the Dean’s highly complex calendar. Schedules appointments and plans meetings, exercising independent judgment to assess and prioritize commitments, resolve conflicts, and adapt in response to changing needs. Ensures that the Dean is fully prepared for all meetings, events, and other engagements, and that the Dean’s schedule is followed and respected. Works proactively to identify and protect time on the Dean’s schedule for strategic thinking and preparatory work, and to identify and set aside time to work on important projects in advance. Secures space and makes arrangements for technology and facilities support for meetings hosted by the Dean. Books travel for domestic and international business trips, and creates necessary itineraries. Ensures that all arrangements are confirmed and accurate. Interacts with the Dean’s guests and contacts in a welcoming and professional manner. (40%)
  • Reviews and tracks all incoming electronic and physical communications to and from the Dean, many of which are highly sensitive and/or confidential, and uses independent judgment to assess their substance. Prioritizes communications for the Dean’s review; makes recommendations to the Dean for directing inquiries and delegating to senior administrators as appropriate. Drafts email messages, responses, and other correspondence on the Dean’s behalf—with grammatical precision and accuracy in tone and style—as directed by the Dean. Follows up to ensure that tasks and threads of conversation are brought to an appropriate resolution. (40%)
  • Distributes important communications on behalf of the Dean to the Law School community. Maintains a coherent database of Dean’s contacts, speeches, remarks, and other relevant information. Answers the Dean’s Office phone and reviews messages received in the Dean’s Office email inbox in the absence of the Executive Assistant/Office Manager.  (10%)
  • Assumes additional responsibilities as needed, including planning and executing certain events that the Dean may host, performing research and/or liaising with the Library to facilitate the Dean’s scholarly work, compiling reports or other information to aid in the Dean’s decision making, and providing assistance on a variety of personal matters for the Dean. (5%)
  • Prepares materials and coordinates the Dean’s schedule as it relates to courses the Dean may teach. This also includes maintaining the Dean’s course web page, as well as updating any relevant information on other web pages which relate to her teaching or administrative duties. (5%)

  • Minimum Qualifications

    • Bachelor’s degree (or the equivalent). 
    • Four to six years of direct work experience, in an academic, government/non-profit, or corporate environment, providing high-level administrative support to one or more executives. Experience working with highly sensitive and confidential matters. Prior work in a complex, multi-layered, multi-stakeholder environment is especially desirable. 
    • Exceptional written communication skills, including the ability to consistently draft correspondence free of spelling or grammatical errors. Must be able to type quickly, take dictation, and transpose verbal direction into cogent written correspondence. Experience with editing and proofreading is a plus. 
    • Comprehensive knowledge of computer software applications such as Gmail, Google Workspace (Docs, Sheets, Slides), Word, Power Point, Excel, Zoom, and other remote conferencing applications, and ability to learn new technology quickly.
    • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple competing responsibilities at once, exercise judgment in prioritizing tasks, and remain calm under pressure in a fast-paced environment. Superior organizational skills, and a commitment to accuracy, organization, detail orientation. 
    • Impeccable judgment and discretion. Articulate, respectful, welcoming, professional, and collegial in an office setting. 
    • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to exercise tact and diplomacy, while also being firm and confident. Must have a solution-oriented approach to conflicts. 
    • Commitment to strong performance, high standards of accountability, and openness to feedback.
    • Commitment to the mission of the Law School, including working with diverse constituencies and fostering an inclusive work environment. 

    Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

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

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