Executive Assistant at the Right Level Africa

TaRL Africa is looking for a dynamic, enthusiastic, and committed candidate for the Executive Assistant role. The Executive Assistant (EA) will be responsible for coordinating and managing the activities of the Managing Director. She or he will provide support including preparing written and verbal communication; coordinating meetings; managing diary, calendar and travel plans; and drafting correspondence, reports, and summaries. She/he will handle special projects as requested by the Managing Director and will represent him in selected meetings. The position will be based in Nairobi, Kenya.

About TaRL Africa

Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) Africa is a new high-profile initiative jointly led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) and the Indian Education NGO Pratham. TaRL Africa works to improve basic reading and arithmetic skills of children on the African continent and aims to reach 3 million children in the next five years. Key countries of operation including Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Zambia.

Duties and Responsibilities

Provide executive support to the Managing Director:

  • Provide executive support to the Managing Director including receiving and directing visitors, handling telephone calls and inquiries, scheduling and maintaining calendar and appointments, screening, analyzing and preparing responses to incoming correspondence, handling day-to-day public relations
  • Anticipate and prepares research and briefing papers in advance for appointments and presentations, draft subsequent correspondence, and make necessary follow-ups
  • Prepare the first draft of documents, letters and reports, edit and review documents drafted by others for dissemination
  • Manage and maintain the Managing Director’s diary and flag urgent correspondences
  • Plan and coordinate logistics for both internal and external events for the Managing Director
  • Assist the Managing Director in planning for field trips and ensures effective logistics (flights, visas, travel advance, travel request, itinerary table & contacts, invitation letter, hotel confirmation, related travel documents) are up to date
  • Prepares minutes in all meetings and track action items from the meetings
  • In consultation with the Managing Director, follow up on invitations from partners and ensure TaRL Africa’s representation.

Provide support to TaRL Central office and the Senior Management team:

  • Manage the process of calling for briefings, meetings and checking on staff and stakeholders’ availability
  • Schedule SMT meetings, catch up and performance review meetings for all the Managing Director’s direct reports
  • Follow up with the direct reports on work plans and commitments
  • Take minutes in SMT meetings and follow up on action points
  • Schedule and coordinate regular SMT meetings
  • Retrieve minutes and other documents for SMT, Board meetings and general meetings as needed.

Provide executive support to Country Offices:

  • Manage information flow between the Managing Director, donors, board members, country offices and other internal stakeholders
  • Serve as the primary point of direct executive contact and liaison with other offices, individuals and external organizations, and agencies on a range of specified issues
  • Organize and facilitate meetings and meeting preparation as required
  • Coordinate the issue of signature authorization to country managers for contracts that are above their signature limit
  • Ensure matters requiring attention in the absence of the Managing Director are referred or delegated to the right office/person to minimize the effect of the MD’s absence from office
  • Assist the Managing Director in responding to queries on TaRL’s projects/programmes in Africa.

Other duties:

  • Provide support to the central team members on travel-related tasks
  • Any other duties as assigned by the Managing Director including any special short-term projects.

Qualifications and experience

  • A University Degree in Business Administration, Project Management, Development Studies/International Development, Information Technology, education or related field from a recognized institution
  • A Masters in Business Administration or Development Studies is an advantage
  • Training in leadership or management course(s) in addition to the degree is desired
  • At least five years’ work experience in a reputable organization in a similar or equivalent position
  • Strong proven track record in working with Director level functions in public administration, development, and/or other related fields.

Required Skills and Competencies

  • Proven track record in managing meetings at the executive/board level
  • Experience in handling donor relations and event management will be an added advantage
  • Meticulous organizational and prioritization competence, with attention to detail
  • Proactive attitude and ability to take initiative and work independently
  • High energy levels and emotional intelligence
  • Ability to keep confidential information
  • A good team player/leader
  • Strong interpersonal skills, outgoing personality, and ability to work independently and effectively under pressure and on strict deadlines in a multi-cultural setting;
  • Excellent knowledge of all computer applications
  • Superior oral and written communication skills in English and other local languages
  • Knowledge of French and/or any other foreign language is an added advantage
  • Adherence to TaRL Africa’s values, which are: children’s learning comes first, flexible, always learning, innovating, improving, dedicated and proactive

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