Senior Administrative Assistant

Job ID
Location : Location
US-MA-Woods Hole

Job Summary

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is searching for a Senior Administrative Assistant to join our Administration Department.  This is a regular, full-time, non-exempt position, and is eligible for full benefits. 


The Senior Administrative Assistant has direct responsibility for providing day-to-day office and general administrative support to the Deputy Director and Vice President for Science and Engineering (DDVPSE) and their staff. This is a behind-the-scenes position responsible for a wide range of administrative and sometimes confidential tasks, often necessitating handling of sensitive information. The position requires substantial discretion and a broad range of communication and technical skills. This work regularly involves considerable judgement, initiative, and independence while interacting daily with the Executive Offices, Institution administrative and scientific offices and operations, and with senior-level staff and visitors from external governmental, scientific, research and education institutions, universities, and other organizations.


The internal title for this position is Senior Administrative Assistant II.

Essential Functions

  • Manage the activities and calendar of the DDVPSE and coordinate same with that of the President and Director, the Associate Director for Research Strategy (ADRS), and other members of the internal and external community
  • Arrange meetings, appointments, travel and coordinate logistical details, reimbursements, office supplies. This includes arranging workshops, receptions, and events for the DDVPSE, as needed.
  • Work collaboratively with the Executive Assistant and Senior Advisor to the President & Director on specific projects and initiatives and decisions to be made or problems to be solved in internal and/or external meetings. 
  • Use polished and professional communication skills effectively and frequently with a variety of constituencies, including WHOI Vice Presidents, science Department Chairs, science Department Administrators and senior managers.
  • Provide general administrative support for production of documents, workflow, filing, ordering of supplies and equipment, and records maintenance, including but not limited to obtaining signatures for Human Resources on appointments and promotions and other documents.
  • Maintain files and databases with historical data on a variety of topics (e.g., Memorandum of Understanding - MOUs).
  • Work with Principal Investigators (PIs) and Grant and Contract Services (GCS) to pull together proposals, budgets, and reports for collaborative research proposals, as assigned, both for routine proposals as well as those involving larger relationships (e.g., USGS).
  • Serve as backup for various internal award program tasks and assist with sending internal award memos.
  • Review, answer, and route, as appropriate, all incoming mail correspondence addressed to the DDVPSE as well as forwarding any incoming correspondence addressed to the President & Director to the Executive Assistant to the President and Director.  
  • Other administrative functions as needed, such as working with standing and informal committees, operations of colloquia (e.g., Morss, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics - GFD, etc.), maintaining and updating the DDVPSE webpage, etc.


Education & Experience

  • Bachelor's degree preferred
  • At least 3-5 years of increasingly responsible related experience, preferably in a scientific environment, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to organize and plan, with a proven ability to work independently and under pressure.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills are essential.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, to lead on specific assignments and make decisions independently when needed.
  • Very adept with multitasking and applying technological solutions.
  • Ability to multitask, work under pressure on competing responsibilities with resilience, discretion, and diplomacy.
  • Ability to develop new ideas and creative solutions; demonstrated proficiency with computer programs (Microsoft Office/365 – Outlook, Word, Excel, Power Point, and OneDrive, databases), video conferencing (Zoom), calendaring and travel coordination required.
  • Attention to detail is critical.


Physical Requirements

No pre-determined physical requirements; all candidates should be encouraged to apply.


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