Special Assistant

Job Type

Full Time




180 North Stetson Avenue
Suite 1400
United States


POSITION: Special Assistant

TEAM: Studies and Global Food & Agriculture Program

REPORTS TO: Vice President, Studies and Managing Director, Global Food & Agriculture Program           


Serving as the principal support to the Vice President, Studies and the Managing Director, Global Food & Agriculture Program, the Special Assistant provides high-level administrative and project support, ensuring the executives are organized and prepared for all Council activities.


Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Serve as the gatekeeper and principal support to the Vice President and the Managing Director, handling the information flow in/out of the office and proactively researching, prioritizing, and following up on inquires and determine appropriate course of action, referral, or response; preemptively prepare the executives by advising on any pertinent information
  • Complete a broad variety of administrative tasks including: managing active calendars of meetings, conference calls, speaking engagements, and travel; composing/preparing and proofing/editing correspondence for executive signatures; arranging detailed travel plans, itineraries, and agendas for domestic and international travel; completing expense reports and other accounting/budgeting reconciliation
  • Support and execute varying projects and tasks, including creating PowerPoint presentations with complex graphs, Excel spreadsheets, and other documents, and conducting research
  • Handle meeting logistics and prepare required materials; research and acquire relevant information about people and organizations with whom the executives are scheduled to meet; reserve/set up/break down conference rooms for meetings and arrange for technology needs and refreshments
  • Attend/prepare for weekly team meetings, take notes, and track action items
  • Provide support at Council events approximately 3 – 4 times monthly (registration, ushering, etc.), requiring some evening and early morning hours
  • Occasionally assist at the front desk to relieve Reception and Database Services Assistant in meeting/greeting Council constituents and handling incoming calls
  • Perform other projects as assigned


  • A bachelor’s degree and 3+ years of experience as an assistant to a senior corporate, nonprofit, or think tank executive, demonstrated interest and/or background in international affairs, public policy, agriculture/international development, and research a plus
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including superb attention to details; superb interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate with people at all levels using courtesy and discretion
  • Ability to multitask and work effectively and efficiently under pressure in a fast-paced, demanding environment with conflicting and changing priorities
  • Superior computer skills, including extensive knowledge of and experience using MS Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook (MS Office 2010/2013 version preferred), and various databases (Salesforce preferred)
  • Great initiative and a proactive spirit (e.g. the ability to anticipate executives’ needs)
  • Collaborative team player

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. We convene leading global voices, conduct independent research, and engage the public to explore ideas that will shape our global future. The Council is committed to bringing clarity and offering solutions to issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.


Please email a cover letter and résumé as Word or PDF documents to hr@thechicagocouncil.org. Other career opportunities can be found on the Council’s website at www.thechicagocouncil.org. EOE



Level of Language Proficiency


Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree