Executive Assistant to the General Director

Washington, DC
Jul 14, 2019
Aug 06, 2019
Full Time
About the Organization:

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts ("The Kennedy Center") is a world premier performing arts organization and our nation's cultural center. Diversity is a critical component of our mission, vision, and values. Our staff exhibits a wide variety of perspectives and experiences which enable us to foster and strengthen an environment of diversity and inclusion.

Mission Statement: As the nation's performing arts center, and a living memorial to President John F. Kennedy, we are a leader for the arts across America and around the world, reaching and connecting with artists, inspiring and educating communities. We welcome all to create, experience, learn about, and engage with the arts.

The Kennedy Center, which opened on September 8, 1971, is located on 17 acres overlooking the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. The Center continues its efforts to fulfill President Kennedy's vision by producing and presenting an unmatched variety of theater and musicals, dance and ballet, orchestral, chamber, jazz, popular, world, and folk music, and multimedia performances for all ages.

Founded in 1956, the Washington National Opera ("WNO") has been an artistic affiliate of The Kennedy Center since 1956. WNO has a storied legacy of more than 100 new productions, plus world premieres, international tours, live recordings and radio broadcasts, as well as innovative education and community-engagement programs.

Job Description:

As the day-to-day delegate and partner to the General Director, the successful candidate will possess the ability to work independently and, in many cases, act as a representative of the General Director to key stakeholders, including trustees, major donors, staff leadership, political and community leaders, and key artists. The Executive Assistant to the General Director will perform a variety of administrative functions to facilitate the fulfillment of the General Director's responsibilities, and will exercise sound judgement, exceptional attention to detail, and outstanding communication skills, especially writing skills, to play an important role in maintaining and strengthening relationships and business processes that are central to the success of WNO. Skill in both project management and "upward management" are likewise crucial to success in this role.

Duties and Responsibilities:

30% Manages a complete business and personal schedule of daily and future appointments for the General Director, helping to facilitate the accomplishment of long- and short-term institutional priorities, and considering the competing needs of WNO departments and constituents. Stands ready at all times to respond to real-time changes in the General Director's plans or schedule. Anticipating the preference of the General Director, makes all travel arrangements (domestic and international), including flights, hotel, and car service and makes all travel changes as necessary.

20% Opens and reviews incoming mail and email. Prioritizes and directs General Director's attention to critical items; reads appropriate items to stay abreast of current information/events; independently responds to certain mail. At the direction of the General Director, acts as the General Director's delegate in providing certain approvals to ensure smooth business and HR functioning.

20% Assists in managing communications between General Director and all internal and external constituents, including WNO Trustees and Major Donors, by tracking incoming correspondence, emails, and phone calls and ensuring timely response. Independently drafts correspondence for the General Director's signature, adhering to the General Director's personal style. Proofreads and edits correspondence for style, diction, typographical errors, grammar, and punctuation. Also independently drafts spoken remarks for public appearances by the General Director, synthesizing content from a variety of sources and departments (e.g. Development, Artistic, Marketing, PR).

10% Acts as liaison between the General Director and the WNO Management Team (including attending all meetings), other Kennedy Center staff, arts leaders, donors, and business associates. Ensures WNO compliance with information requests and processes for the Kennedy Center (e.g. Kennedy Center HR department paperwork, "Key Dates" information for Kennedy Center President, etc.). Acts as a point of contact for visiting VIPs to WNO, ensuring personalized hospitality on behalf of the General Director. Supports WNO relationships with key artists and donors by arranging gifts and ensuring personalized correspondence from the General Director.

5% Receives and screens incoming calls and places calls for the General Director as requested; responds to calls independently when appropriate.

5% Creates and maintains files such as correspondence files, chronological files, and subject files. Archives files as appropriate.

5% Prepares and processes expense reports; reconciles credit card invoices with receipts and credits and charges the appropriate programs.

5% Performs special assignments and projects as requested by the General Director or as required by the functions of the General Director's position.

N/A Other duties as assigned, responds to the needs and requests of Kennedy Center management and staff in a professional and expedient manner, and adheres to all employer policies and procedures.

Key Qualifications:
  • You have a Bachelor's degree or equivalent knowledge and experience.
  • You have an interest in the performing arts, along with 3-5 years administrative experience at the executive level.
  • You have the ability to type quickly and accurately and perform responsibilities in a variety of software programs.
  • You have knowledge of the performing arts.
  • You have knowledge of board functions, non-profit environments, and District/ Federal constituents preferable.

Who You Are:
  • You have strong interpersonal skills and will interact professionally, graciously, and maturely with artists, trustees, Congressional members, donors, high level dignitaries, and a variety of other internal and external constituents.
  • You have a tenacious thoroughness and high-level administrative skills in organizing timely communication and in the planning, organization, accuracy, and expeditious identification and prioritization of issues and problems.
  • You have the ability to multi-task and respond to all needs within a rapidly changing environment of day-to-day schedules and priorities.
  • You have the ability to work independently with minimal direction, and to anticipate the General Director's priorities and to pre-empt problems.

Physical Demands:

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to communicate in person and on the telephone. The employee is frequently required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel in order to operate computer keyboard, office equipment, and other essential tasks. The employee is frequently required to sit, stand, walk, bend, stoop, crouch, and reach with hands and arms. This position infrequently lifts, carries, or otherwise moves and positions objects weighing up to 25 pounds.

Extended hours as needed to accommodate the General Director's schedule, particularly when in production.

Work Environment:

Normal office noise level.

No travel is anticipated.


We offer a comprehensive range of benefits to all full-time employees including: Medical, Dental, Vision, Paid Time Off, Paid Sick Leave, and a matching 403(b) Retirement Plan.

Additional benefits include: Commuter Programs, Education Assistance Programs, Social Activities, and other employee discounts and specials.

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