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Senior Executive Assistant

Harvard University, Faculty of Arts & Sciences
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Salary Not Specified
Date posted
Apr 12, 2024

Job Details

Job Summary

Harvard University’s Opportunity Insights (OI) seeks a bright, multi-tasking, self-motivated, and experienced professional to be the Senior Executive Assistant to Opportunity Insight’s founding Faculty Director, Raj Chetty. The role will serve as a seamless extension for Professor Chetty, acting as a spokesperson and first-line communicator with high-level internal and external contacts, orchestrating complex administrative duties, and providing proactive research administration support. The position will play a key role within OI’s administrative team and will report to OI’s Assistant Director of Administration. The position requires continuous attention to minute details while simultaneously maintaining high-level oversight and the ability to continually adjust priorities to manage competing demands on Professor Chetty’s time and resources.

Auto req ID


Job Code

403039 Faculty Assistant III

Department Office Location

USA - MA - Cambridge

Business Title

Senior Executive Assistant


Social Sciences

Salary Grade


Time Status



55 - Hvd Union Cler & Tech Workers

Basic Qualifications
  • Undergraduate degree in a relevant field required.
  • Minimum 5-7 years administrative experience to senior/executive-level staff with increasing levels of responsibility and independence.
  • Demonstrated experience with a range of programs within Microsoft Office.
Additional Qualifications and Skills

Specific Job Skills
  • Advanced understanding and experience with administrative functions, processes, and systems.
  • Excellent organizational skills, impeccable attention to detail, and proven experience thriving in a fast-paced worked environment where demands may need to be reprioritized frequently.
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work well with a team while also making decisions independently, to exercise discretion and judgment in areas of responsibility.
  • Enthusiasm for creative problem solving and for juggling multiple tasks under tight deadlines.
  • Familiarity and experience working within academic and/or corporate administrative systems.
  • Demonstrated experience with project management and handling dynamic projects with multiple collaborators.
Additional Competencies and Skills

Must be a professional, proactive, creative, collaborative, and conscientious individual. Additional competencies include:
  • Proven ability to handle sensitive material and information with discretion.
  • Ability to prioritize conflicting needs, handle matters expeditiously, and follow through on projects to successful completion, often with deadline pressures and while juggling multiple requests.
  • Familiarity with mobility and economic research.
Additional Information

To be considered for this position, a cover letter and resume must be submitted.

This is a two-year term position with strong possibility of renewal.

A skills assessment will be required as part of the interview process.

Extended work hours are required in this role.

We regret that we will not be able to provide visa sponsorship for this position.

All formal offers are made by FAS Human Resources.


Opportunity Insights

Pre-Employment Screening

Education, Identity


Monday - Friday 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM (40 hour work week that includes 1 hour unpaid lunch).

Job Function

General Administration

Position Description

Serve as Primary Liaison to Faculty Director’s (FD) Engagements and Communications
  • Serve as the principal administrative contact for FD’s correspondence with research collaborators, funders, administrators, and others from academia, government, and private sectors. This includes inbox management, and proactively triaging, tracking, and following-up on requests.
  • Compose, prepare, and edit FD’s correspondence and communication (e.g., email, letters, reports, memoranda, etc.) in a timely fashion, with accuracy, and appropriate tone.
  • On behalf of the FD, greet visitors and manage other arrival and visit details.
  • Participate in pre-event meetings for upcoming presentations, conferences, and other engagements in order to identify key themes, logistics, and other pertinent advance information for the FD.
Oversee Complex Calendar Management and Travel Arrangements
  • Manage extremely complex calendars, including scheduling appointments with students and others; coordinating room reservations, audio-visual set-up, and catering arrangements. Maintain and schedule office hours for 50+ students and recurring research meetings.
  • Review, assess, and route meeting requests, answer and monitor follow-on correspondence.
  • Determine FD’s preferences for meetings and plan accordingly. Maintain flexible and proactive scheduling systems to accommodate shifting calendars and priorities.
  • Coordinate complex travel arrangements including preparing itineraries and documents to facilitate FD’s travel; coordinating with external constituents on sponsored travel arrangements; and arranging for travel visas. Ensure that all travel arrangements are made in accordance with University guidelines.
Teaching and Research Administration Assistance
  • Assist in the preparation of documents for articles, teaching, and research materials, which may include proofreading, formatting exhibits, and citation support.
  • Support the FD when they are teaching including preparing materials and presentations for class, and as needed, providing virtual and on-site support during lectures.
  • Assist with preparing copy and exhibits for publication or submission of grant proposals and/or reports.
  • Coordinate Institutional Review Board (IRB) and data security protocol compliance with internal research partners and external University offices.
General Faculty Support
  • Coordinate FD’s research activities by serving as the principal administrative contact for members of the research group.
  • Maintain FD’s CV and individual and course websites.
  • Prepare and coordinate job market evaluation reports and letters of recommendation.
  • Arrange both small and large internal- and external-facing meetings, special events, and activities including student and faculty dinners, admitted student gatherings, seminars, and support for OI-sponsored convenings.
  • Facilitate publication permissions, copyright registrations, and facilitate signature requests.
  • Perform basic online research (biographical and other background information on upcoming meeting attendees, etc.); retrieve books, articles, and other information.
  • Compile comprehensive, advance briefing materials and ensure materials are available in well-managed online environments.
  • Prepare and process expense reimbursements and honoraria in a timely and accurate manner and in accordance with University guidelines. Track outstanding faculty expenses. Prepare purchase orders and expense reports and ensure appropriate use of funds for reimbursements, travel expenditures, and payables.
  • Gather and analyze information required for administrative reporting including faculty time and effort reporting and other reports specified by University guidelines.
Organizational Support
  • Work effectively with OI’s collaborative, cross-functional administrative and research teams.
  • Provide back-up for administrative staff on matters pertaining to event and meeting management, building support, and other organizational supports and duties as assigned.

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Working Conditions

Cambridge, MA (Hybrid arrangements may be possible for this position.)

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.


We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website ( ) to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:
  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.
Work Format


LinkedIn Recruiter Tag (for internal use only)

Work Format Details

This position is based primarily on-campus, in Massachusetts. This may include in-person during emergency situations (if applicable). Additional details will be discussed during the interview process. Certain visa types may limit work location. Individuals must meet work location sponsorship requirements prior to employment.


 Harvard FAS

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences is the home of Harvard’s undergraduate program (Harvard College, founded in 1636) as well as all of Harvard’s PhD. programs (the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, founded in 1872). The 40 academic departments and more than 30 centers of the FAS support a community unparalleled in its academic excellence across the broadest range of liberal arts and sciences disciplines. Together, the FAS seeks to foster an environment of ambition, curiosity and shared commitment to knowledge and truth that elicits excellence from all members of our community and prepares the next generation of leaders through a transformative educational experience.

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