Highlander is searching for a dedicated and reliable colleague to be an Executive Assistant to the Co-Executive Director (Allyn Maxfield-Steele). While often called to serve as a public voice for Highlander, the Co-Executive Director primarily facilitates and directs Highlander’s behind-the-scenes work and many of Highlander’s organizational development strategies, including building and land projects, creation/revision of policies/procedures, internal operations and systems, donor relationships, staff recruitment and development, and work with the Board of Directors. The Executive Assistant will assist the Co-Executive Director in implementing his primary responsibilities in a highly participatory and complex work environment. With all of Highlander’s staff, this role will contribute to Highlander’s educational and accompaniment work with grassroots organizing and movement building in the US South and beyond.
The right candidate will understand and believe in Highander’s role in social justice movements and able to express a clear interest in supporting Highlander’s work for this particular position.
Learn more about Highlander’s current and past work here: https://www.highlandercenter.org/our-story/
ROLE & RESPONSIBILITIES
A successful person in the Executive Assistant (EA) role will anticipate needs, be highly organized, communicate clearly and directly, and will provide seamless support to the Co-Executive Director (Co-ED). The EA organizes and coordinates executive outreach and external relations efforts, facilitates workflow, helps the Co-ED track and coordinate short-, medium-, and long-range organizational projects, and will work independently on special projects as assigned. The EA engages in high-level external and internal communications and correspondence; conducts research, drafts reports, and prepares presentations; manages the Co-ED’s calendar and other work-related logistics (i.e., travel); coordinates meeting scheduling; and occasionally supports event planning.
Specific responsibilities will include:
- Timely management of high volume of Co-ED external and internal communications.
- Monitor, prioritize, respond to, and distribute incoming communications.
- Prepare and edit outgoing communications, correspondence, presentations and other documents.
- Organize, store, and retrieve Co-ED’s electronic and physical records on on-line server, donor database, and other platforms
- Conduct research, analyze data, and prepare reports and documents in support of Co-ED functions.
- Develop presentations and visuals that help communicate to visual learners and tell the story of the work.
- Ability to develop and use images, charts, graphs, and slides within Power Point and Excel.
- Manage and maintain the Co-ED’s calendar and appointments using good decision making and judgment.
- Coordinate and manage air and ground travel arrangements across the US and, at times, internationally (please note: this will be a more significant responsibility after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides)
- Plan and prepare for meetings
- Manage organizational calendar for the Co-ED
- Record, transcribe and distribute minutes of weekly Organizational Leadership Team meetings, and other meetings as appropriate.
- Review operating practices and systems and implement improvements where necessary.
- Facilitate a collaborative work environment by aiding Co-ED and other staff in troubleshooting and problem solving.
- Assist in Board meeting preparation and serve as administrative liaison to the board.
- Assist with special projects as needed.
- occasional evening, late night, and weekend hours
REQUIRED SKILLS, EXPERIENCES, and UNDERSTANDINGS
Applicants invited to an initial interview will show evidence of a majority of the following:
- at least 3 years of commitment to social justice work (unpaid or paid)
- excellent speaking, writing, and communication skills
- detail oriented with superior organizational skills
- ability to maintain a high level of discretion and confidentiality (absolute must)
- ability to keep cool under pressure
- the ability to exercise good judgment
- the ability to balance multiple priorities and pivot quickly to address important, urgent issues as they emerge
- expertise at negotiating complex schedules and plans
- ability to work independently on projects from conception to completion
- ability to work under pressure at times to handle a wide variety of activities
- eagerness to take on the occasional additional administrative responsibilities depending on the needs of the organization
- strong familiarity with Google suite, Microsoft suite, and ability to learn new technology quickly
- familiarity and comfort with project management tools (i.e., Asana, Slack)
- commitment to thinking and acting organizationally
- sense of humor
- ability to connect and build relationships with many different kinds of people across race, class, gender, age, and (dis)abilities
- familiarity with air/ground travel logistics
- proofreading skills
- commitment to self- and community-care
- ability to learn context quickly
- ability to work remotely and with minimal day-to-day supervision
DESIRED SKILLS, EXPERIENCES, and UNDERSTANDINGS
- English-Spanish speaking/writing fluency.
- graphic notetaking skills and/or other strengths in visual expression
- financial literacy (budgets, P&Ls, cash flow tracking)
- familiarity with safety/security culture
- familiarity with Highlander and the organizations and movements we support
- familiarity with and comfort with rural/small town settings
- commitment to long-haul, organizational change and growth
- ability to drive to/from Highlander on occasion and on short notice
This position is responsible to the Co-ED, will work closely with other administrative staff, and will interface with staff in all areas of the organization. The EA will attend weekly meetings that are facilitated by the Co-ED, the Organizational Leadership Team meeting and other team meetings, monthly staff meetings, annual staff retreats, and three multi-day Board meetings.
COMPENSATION & EMPLOYEE BENEFITS
Currently expected to average 30 hours/week, this position’s salary is set at 75% of Highlander’s full time Level 1 salary, totaling $35,044. The position includes a stellar benefits package, including Blue Cross/Blue Shield (Tennessee) Health, Vision, and Dental coverage (extended to dependents), employer-paid annual retirement contribution to TIAA-CREF account after a year of employment, a nominal life insurance plan, significant sick and vacation leave, generous holiday leave, and a variety of other policies intended to encourage health and wellness, such as an annual professional development stipend. Work cell phone and computer provided.
Highlander is located on 186 acres of land in rural East Tennessee (near Knoxville) and is considered a “movement home” by thousands of people from all over the world. Much of this position’s work can be completed remotely. Based on the nature of the Co-ED’s responsibilities and the assistance required, however, we will give special consideration to applications from people who live or are willing to move within a 2-3 hour (or less) drive from Highlander. Highlander offers up to $1,000.00 in relocation reimbursements and, when available, temporary transitional housing.
HOW TO APPLY
Step 1: In one PDF document, compile:
- cover letter
- name & contact information for 3 references
Step 2: Email that PDF document to email@example.com. Write “Executive Assistant” in the Subject line. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Optional: In addition to the required information above, you can send other application content that showcases your skills, interests, and experiences. Make sure to include any explanation needed of the content. The content can come in any form of media, which can include but is not limited to:
- A Timeline of your work, life, or experiences
- A Video
- A Powerpoint or other form of presentation
- A Graphic design, Collage or sets of Pictures and Photographs
- A Song, poem, or other writing samples
Timeline: The application process will be open until position is filled. We hope to fill this position as soon as possible. Select applicants will receive an initial invitation to interview with a hiring committee. The final candidate(s) will participate in a final interview to which all Highlander staff are invited. During the pandemic, all interviews will be via Zoom.
Highlander is an equal opportunity employer, and we especially encourage applications from Black, brown, and indigenous people, women, LGBTQ+ and gender variant/non-conforming folks, and working-class/cash poor people. Folks directly impacted by the criminal justice system are also encouraged to apply.
If you have a question about the position before applying, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and someone from the hiring committee will reply.