Open Society Foundations (OSF) is a global network of foundations committed to local knowledge and national expertise, and including national foundations, regional foundations, and other geographic programs operating in more than one hundred countries. In Berlin, OSF has one of its key hub-offices housing more than 80 employees working for various programmatic or operational units. OSIFE works at national, local and pan-European level to support European progress towards open society goals though grant making, convening, advocacy and research mainly, and supports OSF’s foundations and thematic programs to achieve their Europe-focused strategies.
The Executive Assistant
will provide a day-to-day administrative and logistics support to the Director of Berlin Office / Co-Director of OSIFE (one person).
The successful candidate will undertake a wide range of activities that include:
Pertaining to Berlin office:
- scheduling meetings and maintaining active line of communication with internal and external partners;
- keeping the director in touch with other OSF offices globally;
- supporting the work of various coordination bodies in the hub-office in Berlin;
- formatting, organizing, printing and scanning memos, documents, reports and updates to the Director and other senior managers as required;
- preparing meetings in support or behalf of the Director;
- and assisting the director in presenting the work of OSF in Berlin.
Pertaining to OSIFE:
- Same as above but linked to the work in Europe, especially liasing with colleagues in OSIFE offices in Barcelona and London. The colleague will also liaise with the Open Society’s Communications team and the special assistant to the Regional director for Europe, as needed.
The role requires familiarity with a wide range of secretarial and executive assistance tasks. It also requires interest and familiarity with Berlin. A general interest in European current affairs, knowledge of European civil society networks, familiarity with philanthropy in Europe, and experience in pan-European or several national European contexts are all highly valued. Understanding and prior experience with German civil society, in particular in Berlin, are an advantage.
This position requires high-level planning, organizing and writing skills and will attract candidates that are comfortable working on a variety of tasks simultaneously, across various time zones. The role also requires self-confidence and a respectful collegial style in dealing with a wide range of people in both senior and junior roles and of diverse backgrounds; strong diplomatic skills, respect for confidentiality and high personal integrity will be important. The successful candidate will be working in a team but may at times be expected to perform tasks and take responsibilities with little supervision.
Essential duties and responsibilities will include:
- Scheduling meetings, liaising with colleagues and external partners
- Booking facilities, planning small events and gatherings in Berlin
- Planning director’s travel, liaising with travel agencies, hotels and other similar service providers
- Advanced agenda planning and scheduling, tracking of categories of work and time management;
- Organizing and processing expense claims
- Handling other requests in proprietary software platforms OSF uses in its daily administration
- Printing, scanning, copying, formatting and editing various documents as needed
- Supporting the director in representing OSF towards Berlin’s local and Germany’s civil society, private foundations and other relevant policy actors in the domains of OSF’s interest.
- Supporting internal communications by producing period news updates about recent developments in Berlin, Europe for internal OSF consumption and liaising with OSF’s communications program
- Organizing and servicing high-level events and meetings for the Director or the leadership of OSIFE with external partners
- Supporting programmatic efforts by conducting a wide range of activities that may be related to OSIFE’s grant making and/or analytical work in support of field development, advocacy, regional consultations and collaborations;
- There is some travel in Europe (app. 10 to 20 days a year)
- Min 7 years of work experience in similar tasks
- Excellent written, verbal and organizational skills in English and German (native or C2 levels) ; other languages widely used in Europe would be desirable;
- Diplomatic, discreet, able to handle confidential matters with a high level of integrity and exercise sound judgment on issues of sensitivity;
- Ability to work effectively using social media and other online communication tools.
- Ability to work remotely and closely coordinate activities with the OSIFE team based in Berlin, Barcelona and London.
- Sound professional judgment on issues requiring sensitivity, confidentiality and discretion.
- Ability to manage competing priorities and deadlines.
- Demonstrated ability to think strategically about program needs, administrative process and operations;
- Up-to-date knowledge and experience of project management, including budgets, and organizational tools for complex multi-location processes;
- Ability to work independently on work initiatives, and ability to manage competing priorities
- Ability to work constructively with colleagues at all levels in the organisation as well as with external partners. Commitment to inclusion and respect for all colleagues regardless of identity or seniority.
- Demonstrable interest in and understanding of a range of open society policy issues and personal commitment to values of rights, justice, accountable governance, human dignity and democratic practice;
Competitive rates of pay apply.
To apply for this position, please submit a CV in English and a motivation letter in English and German. In your cover letter, please demonstrate your capacity and prior experience for this key supporting role in Berlin.
The successful candidate will work under a German employment contract and will report to the Director of the OSF hub-office in Berlin. OSF offers a competitive remuneration package. The position requires occasional travel in Europe.
We are strengthened by the diversity of our colleagues across the Open Society Foundations. We welcome applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences, and are committed to providing reasonable adjustments so that colleagues with disabilities are able to fulfill the essential functions of the job.
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