Executive Assistant to the CEO

Washington D.C.
Jul 13, 2017
Aug 17, 2017
Nonprofit, Research
Full Time


HarvestPlus seeks a motivated Executive Assistant to join our team. The successful candidate will be highly organized, efficient and dedicated to supporting the CEO, board members and other senior leaders with a flexible and team-oriented attitude. This non-exempt position is a one year, fixed term, renewable appointment and is located at HarvestPlus headquarters in Washington, DC.


HarvestPlus improves nutrition and public health by developing and promoting biofortified food crops that are rich in vitamins and minerals while providing global leadership on evidence and technology. HarvestPlus is part of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH). CGIAR is a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. Its science is carried out by its 15 research centers in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations. The HarvestPlus program is coordinated by two of these centers, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

HarvestPlus is managed in a complex international context.  It currently operates across the financial management, accounting and contracting systems of several independent CGIAR centers.  A joint venture agreement between IFPRI and CIAT provides an overall research-based framework, and memoranda of understanding allow for the operation of nine semi-independent offices in eight countries under various CGIAR centers. 


Specific duties include but are not limited to:

Daily Support for CEO

  • Manage CEO calendar and schedule internal and external meetings. This involves engaging with external stakeholders, consultants and partners to arrange meetings, make reservations and provide call-in details.
  • Work with CEO and relevant local and global teams to research and collate information into memos and briefing documents and to prepare speeches and remarks for external events.
  • Arrange domestic and international travel for conferences, meetings and events. This includes preparing itineraries and visa applications, purchasing air tickets, performing travel-related research, booking accommodations and compiling travel folders.
  • Troubleshoot and resolve issues arising with travel.
  • Process business expense reimbursements and reconcile monthly travel credit card statements.
  • Perform general office administration duties. This includes ordering business cards and stationary, shipping documents and packages, liaising with IT services to resolve technical problems, etc.  

Special Projects and Events Support

  • Provide support and act as CEO Office liaison for special events, retreats and trips to country offices.
  • Accompany CEO to external meetings and extended trips to provide logistical support as needed.
  • Coordinate activities and communications for CEO Office.  

Leadership Team and Country Manager Meetings

  • Coordinate schedules to arrange dates and issue calendar invitations for monthly Leadership Group meetings and quarterly Country Manager meetings.
  • Prepare for meetings by preparing and distributing agendas and pre-read documents, ordering catering and reserving meeting spaces, as needed.
  • Take notes of all meetings, and summarize and follow-up on actions.  

Program Advisory Committee (PAC) Meetings

  • Assist PAC members with international travel arrangements for annual meetings and other events, as needed. This includes preparing itineraries, purchasing air tickets, performing travel-related research, booking accommodations, coordinating visitor arrangements, and processing post-travel paperwork and payments.
  • Organize annual meeting site logistics. This includes securing meeting room reservations, arranging catering, liaising with Facilities services and IT services for room setup and IT needs, printing and compiling meeting handouts, preparing meeting agendas, taking meeting minutes, and communicating logistics information to participants. 
  • Organize offsite meetings and dinner events. This includes researching and selecting appropriate venues and negotiating terms.
  • Serve as primary liaison for PAC-related matters for HarvestPlus and CGIAR staff, and coordinate periodic teleconference/virtual meetings of the PAC as needed.  


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, plus a minimum of five years of relevant experience.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English.
  • Exceptional organizational skills, with a proven ability to manage multiple competing priorities and keep track of many details. 
  • Strong interpersonal and collaboration skills; proven ability to be flexible in a team-oriented approach with diverse groups of people.
  • Must exhibit polished customer service skills to be able to effectively communicate with all levels of the organization, including board members and external contacts.
  • Efficient, flexible and able to quickly adapt and adjust work to resolve pressing issues.
  • Highly proficient with computers and related software, including Microsoft Office.
  • Excellent typing skills required: 50-65 wpm preferred.
  • Ability/willingness to travel internationally if needed.  


  • Proficiency in Microsoft SharePoint
  • Working proficiency in Spanish and/or French

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