Senior Program Assistant - Ocean Studies Board

Washington D.C.
Dec 05, 2018
Dec 18, 2018
Analyst, Research
Full Time
Job Description Summary:
The Division on Earth and Life Studies (DELS) consists of twelve units that facilitate communication among the research community, policy makers, industry, interest groups, and the public. DELS is responsible for a vast array of topics, ranging from the molecular level to the global level. The common thread linking the units is the broad topic of science and the environment, but the division also examines issues outside that area.

The Ocean Studies Board (OSB) was established by the National Research Council to advise the federal government on issues of ocean science, engineering, and policy. In addition to exercising leadership within the ocean community, the Board undertakes studies at the request of federal agencies, Congress, or other sponsors, or upon its own initiative. OSB explores the science, policies, and infrastructure needed to understand and protect coastal and marine environments and resources.

The Senior Program Assistant performs complex clerical and administrative duties for assigned program(s) or project(s) under minimal supervision. Coordinates logistical and administrative aspects of meetings. Writes, edits, and formats routine correspondence. Interfaces with committee members and performs duties involving committee activities. Plans administrative aspects of unit and committee, forum, and other types of meetings. May participate in research efforts including collection, assembly, and tabulation of data, as well as researching and summarizing literature. May guide work of program assistants and temporary staff.

Under minimal supervision, primary function is the performance of clerical and administrative tasks requiring the consideration of multiple variables to determine proper course of action. Secondary function may involve basic research activities. Uses pre-determined guidelines to assist in decision-making. Incumbent may lead and provide functional guidance to lower level support employees.
Job Description:


Performs routine and complex clerical and administrative tasks including word processing, copying, faxing, filing, answering and screening calls, writing and editing correspondence, and compiling and coordinating mailings.  Creates, maintains, and updates records, databases, and files.  May serve as timesheet coordinator.

Coordinates logistical arrangements for committee meetings, forums, workshops, etc.  Assembles and reproduces agenda books and briefing materials.  Provides administrative support for meetings.  Coordinates travel and lodging arrangements.  Selects menu and arranges for support services.  Registers attendees.  Provides assistance at meetings and resolves issues.    

Performs basic research activities, including literature searches for staff and committee members.  Gathers references.  May participate in other research efforts including collection, assembly, and tabulation of data and summarizing literature. 

Prepares vouchers and reviews and processes travel expense reports in compliance with applicable policies and procedures.   

Inputs edits and proofreads reports.  Formats text and publications.  Coordinates with printers/publishers to have materials printed. 

Responds to inquiries and follows-up on communications.  Communicates with members, sponsors, or other external customers, answering questions and providing information.

Performs administrative-related Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) compliance tasks.

Attends meetings, training classes, and workshops.

Mentors and trains new support staff.  Coordinates temporary help and may supervise work of temporary staff. 

Updates applicable databases and systems on a timely basis and ensures documents and files are accurately maintained and archived.  Maintains email and distribution lists.    

Where applicable, updates and maintains web pages.  


  • Related duties and special projects as assigned.


Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:  Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite.  Ability to plan and support extensive meeting activities.  Ability to solve problems with supervisory consultation or by following procedures. Ability to prioritize work and the flexibility to change directions as the job dictates.  Ability to work successfully in a team environment.  Ability to develop relationships with co-workers and employees in other National Academies' departments through effective communication.  Good communication and interpersonal skills with a proven ability to effectively interact with all levels of employees.

Minimum Education/Training Requirements:  High School Diploma, GED, or equivalent knowledge.

Minimum Experience:  Four years of related experience.

Physical Capabilities:  Ability to work at a computer for extended periods of time.  Ability to travel.

Required Licenses, Certification or Registration:  None.

Supervisory Responsibilities/Controls:  Reports to program coordinator/officer/director.  Supervisor is available to organize work, set objectives, and to assist in problem resolution.

Work Environment:  Office environment, with occasional travel between National Academies' facilities and to off-site meeting/sponsor locations.

Any qualification to be considered equivalent, in lieu of stated minimum, requires the prior approval of the Office of Human Resources.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by employees assigned to this job.  They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified.  Some functions in this description may be specific to a particular unit of the National Academies and not applicable to other units. 

Employee Type:EmployeeScheduled Weekly Hours:37.5City/State:Washington, District of Columbia

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