Executive Assistant/Administrative Support

The Position

Location: San Francisco Bay Area (offices in Oakland, CA)
Reporting to: Executive Director, US
Starting salary range: Salary will be commensurate with skills and experience
Benefits include: 25 days’ annual leave, health insurance and company contributions to 401k

Established in 1987, SustainAbility is a think tank and strategic advisory firm working with corporate decision makers to achieve transformative leadership on the sustainability agenda. Our small, diverse team works globally from offices in London, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area.

We are looking for an exceptional candidate to join our Bay Area team based in Oakland. This is an outstanding opportunity to work for a dynamic and passionate organization. This role requires excellent organization, prioritization, multi-tasking and interpersonal skills and experience.

The person appointed will have the following key duties:

Executive Assistant to ED

  • To provide Executive Assistant support to SustainAbility’s Executive Director (ED), based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Office Management and Team Support

  • To facilitate the day-to-day running of SustainAbility’s Bay Area office in Oakland, including local vendor relationships, acting as point person for IT and knowledge management services, and leading liaison with external IT support;
  • To provide the Bay Area team support including as relates to: clients, research, business development, fundraising, travel and special events.

Primary Responsibilities

Executive Assistant to ED (50%)
Provide high-level executive support to the ED in the Bay Area, including:

  1. Proactive calendar management
  2. Oversee and arrange all logistical aspects of meetings and travel
  3. Assist with preparation for, and follow-up action from, meetings; and note-taking during meetings if required
  4. Manage information flow to and from the ED, including email, ensuring information is filtered, flagged or directed appropriately
  5. Work closely with the Executive Assistant to the ED in London
  6. Assist the ED with preparation for, and follow-up action from Leadership Team and Board meetings including scheduling and planning time for meeting preparation, drafting or coordination of papers, scheduling, and monitoring or undertaking follow-up actions
  7. Negotiate the ED’s fee and support contracts for speaking engagements and other projects; liaising with Finance to ensure prompt invoicing and payment
  8. Ensure provision of high quality, timely and professional service in response to both internal and external communications (staff, callers, emails and correspondence and visitors)
  9. Format, amend or edit PowerPoint presentations and/or other materials required for various meetings, both internal and external
  10. Manage all administrative needs linked to the ED’s work and office including time recording, expenses, acquiring or maintenance of equipment, proactive monitoring and updating of the ED’s contacts database
  11. As a member of the Operations Team, contribute to the Operations Team’s high standards of providing support and assistance to all employees, and where appropriate assist with key tasks when colleagues are absent
  12. Provide any ad hoc support as requested

Office Management and Team Support (50%)
Provide comprehensive office and facilities support including:

  1. Provide a professional front-of-house ensuring all telephone, email and personal enquiries/callers are handled promptly and courteously
  2. Pro-actively lead team maintenance of the day-to-day appearance of the office, ensuring it is kept clean, tidy and professional
  3. Order lunches/refreshments for meetings and special events where appropriate; set up meeting rooms and equipment if required
  4. Monitor and renew subscriptions and manage any subscriptions budget
  5. Purchase and maintenance of furniture and equipment, as well as the recycling (where possible) of any equipment no longer required
  6. Undertake a weekly supply inventory, ordering and managing stock of stationery and other supplies, ensuring there are no critical stock-outs
  7. Liaise with the building manager with regard to any repair, maintenance and Health & Safety / Fire compliance for the office and any common parts
  8. Proofread deliverables, proposals and communications for team members as needed, plus PowerPoint assistance if required
  9. Co-ordinate with Operations colleagues in London and New York, including co-ordination of annual leave in the San Francisco office
  10. Organize and manage special events, including but not limited to, webinars, Board meetings held in the US, team off-sites and any Away Days, client meetings, networking events and team lunches/dinners as appropriate
  11. Support team members with ad hoc tasks, including travel and accommodation
  12. Provide administrative and other ad hoc support to SustainAbility’s Research Program
  13. Act as IT point person in the Oakland office including: tracking IT staff issues and logging problems, liaising with IT support vendor for technical support, and maintaining an asset register of IT equipment
  14. Assist with maintenance and operation of critical knowledge management systems, including customer relationship management (CRM) platform, project management system, time and resource management, and related applications
  15. Provide GoToMeeting support for videoconference meetings
  16. Provide additional ad hoc support as appropriate and as agreed by the ED

Key Skills & Competencies

Preference will be given to applicants who have the following key skills and competencies:

  • At least three years’ experience of 1:1 support at director level or above
  • A history in team support within a small organisation, and ideally some office management experience
  • A Bachelor’s Degree
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Self-starter with drive, able to follow through without supervision with proven ability to prioritize multiple tasks and deliver to deadlines
  • Clear and succinct written communication skills including the ability to draft minutes, reports, emails and correspondence
  • Excellent organization and planning skills including calendar and travel management
  • Excellent proofreading skills
  • Enthusiastic team player, with a positive, proactive, supportive, attitude
  • Excellent English – verbal and written
  • Proficiency in Excel, PowerPoint and Word
  • Ability to undertake and to manage several tasks simultaneously with attention to detail
  • Ability to work under pressure, often to short deadlines, without compromising the quality and standard of service delivery
  • Ability to be discrete and discern when confidentiality is required
  • Ability to work effectively both as a member of a team and on own initiative


This is a full time position based in our Oakland office.

Interested and qualified candidates should submit a covering letter addressing each of the selection criteria and a CV to humanresourcesATsustainabilityDOTcom by March 7, 2014.

SustainAbility believes that diversity adds value to our business. We hire team members who reflect the rich array of diverse cultures, ideologies, and values that are part of the broad global workforce. SustainAbility does not discriminate on the basis of race, religious beliefs, gender, age, national origin, sexual orientation, citizenship status, marital status, political beliefs/affiliation, disability, or social or cultural background.


You must have an account with us to gain unlimited access to our ever-growing library of research reports, issue briefings and members-only presentations on the latest sustainability challenges and opportunities for business.

Join now