Executive Assistant

Job Type

Full Time




New York
New York
United States


Established in 1915 with Helen Keller as a founding trustee, Helen Keller International (HKI) is dedicated to saving and improving the sight and lives of the world’s vulnerable by combatting the causes and consequences of blindness, poor health and malnutrition. Headquartered in New York City, HKI currently works in 20 countries in Africa and Asia, as well as in the United States. 

The New York office of HKI is seeking an EA to support the President and CEO in all aspects of her work, including leading and coordinating the Executive Management Team (EMT) and related senior management teams, liaising with and supporting the Board of the Trustees, directing special projects, external representation and other executive activities.  The Assistant serves as a primary point of contact both within HKI and externally for the President and Board, facilitating information flow among all the above parties and global staff in support of HKI’s commitment to transparent management processes.

The Executive Assistant streamlines the workload of the President by managing all administrative aspects of the Executive department including budgeting and expense monitoring, meeting logistics, travel, maintaining all official corporation records, and handling day-to-day operations.

Key Responsibilities:

Board of Trustees Support/Governance

·       In consultation with President, develop annual calendar for Board events (meeting schedule, field visits, etc.) and assist with establishing priorities for Board activities.  

·       Support the President and Board Chair in the preparation of coherent and relevant agendas for Board and Executive Committee meetings. Collect and/or prepare and distribute background materials for these meetings.

·       Schedule and manage the logistics (site selection, catering, hotel, transportation) for in-person full Board meetings, Executive Committee meetings, and other Committee meetings as requested, plus teleconferences, as well as occasional Board dinners, retreats, and other events.

·       Attend all Board and Executive, Nominating, and Governance Committee meetings. Prepare and distribute background materials as needed. Take minutes, finalize and distribute approved versions and report on proceedings to absent members, as requested.

·       Act as primary point of contact and liaison for all HKI Board members to ensure thorough and timely communication among Board and its interlocutors.

·       Maintain a secure Board website to facilitate information flow and maintain historical records.

·       Maintain tickler files to support President’s management of Board activities, and to support effective communication and transparent implementation of Board decisions.

·       Track and maintain records of Board and committee meeting frequency and members’ attendance, along with other metrics related to Strategic Plan and HKI’s Governance Standards.

·       In collaboration with the President and key Board members, develop and administer biannual Board self-assessment survey, and policies and orientation materials for the Board (e.g. Trustees handbook, expense policies).

·       Arrange travel and itineraries for semi-annual Board field visits, which may include major donors.

·       Serve as custodian of all HKI official and legal documents and records.

Management of President’s Office and Management Teams

·       Schedule and manage the logistics for EMT meetings and periodic retreats. Prepare agenda and compile meeting background materials. Take minutes and maintain records for EMT and US Region Management Team.

·       Maintain secure EMT knowledge sharing site to facilitate information flow and maintain historical records. Publish meeting schedules, agendas and minutes, in consultation with the President.

·       Assist President and the chairs of various senior management teams to manage the follow-up to decisions taken by the management teams.

·       Draft annual budget projections for the Executive office, Board, and Government Relations units in consultation with the President, and administer budget throughout the year, including monthly review and analysis of results.

·       Maintain President’s schedule, preparing and archiving relevant background materials for meetings, as necessary.

·       Draft and edit PowerPoint presentations.

·       Represent the Executive department and serve as a primary point of contact for President when s/he is unavailable; keep President duly informed of developments in the office or on the Board.


·       Receive and process all incoming and outgoing mail; answer and screen President's telephone calls.

·       Organize and maintain hard and virtual file system.

·       Compose routine correspondence.

·       Process office expenditures, including but not limited to the President’s corporate credit card accounts, memberships and business expense reports.

·       Arrange travel and itineraries for President.

·       Provide administrative support to members of the EMT on an ad hoc basis for special needs.


·       Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree plus at least five years administrative experience supporting a senior executive, preferably with experience in an international organization, and in a non-profit setting, or equivalent combination of education and experience.

·       Outstanding time management and organizational skills including keen attention to detail with ability to track multiple projects at one time.

·       Strong interpersonal skills including ability to interact with individuals from diverse backgrounds and to handle confidential matters with discretion and judgment.

·       Experience liaising with Board members, coordinating related meetings, and taking minutes.

·       Strong written and oral communication skills, including the ability to:

o  Effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, partner organizations, donors, and the general public; and

o  Synthesize complex and sensitive material and record information accurately and appropriately.

·       Excellent computer literacy including hands-on knowledge of database, spreadsheet, presentation and word processing software, and ability to navigate and use the Internet effectively.

·       Ability to maintain in-house data repositories to facilitate information sharing that incorporate searchable documents and calendars.

·       Experience with international travel planning a strong plus.

Level of Language Proficiency

·       French language skills a plus.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply


To Apply:

Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to HKI.Recruitment@hki.org noting the job title in the subject line. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Helen Keller International is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.