Senior Administrative Assistant

Job ID
Location : Location
US-MA-Woods Hole

Job Summary

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering (AOPE) Department plans to hire a fulltime Senior Administrative Assistant to work within the Oceanographic Systems Lab (OSL).  The successful candidate will be part of a group largely focused on advancement of autonomous underwater vehicles and will provide support to proposal preparation and award management, including financial monitoring and reporting, as well as day-to-day administrative support for engineering staff.  OSL is a fast-paced, dynamic lab with science and military funding sponsors.  The work is varied and rewarding as the results of our team effort are used to collect data for understanding the ocean and protecting the world. This position is a important job that requires the applicant to represent the OSL “front office” as a professional entity to other high profile organizations that expect prompt and organized execution of business on high visibility, multimillion dollar projects.


The primary responsibility of the Senior Administrative Assistant is to provide a broad range of complex administrative support to the growing OSL REMUS team.  The ideal candidate has experience working professionally, exhibits exceptional attention to detail, can manage/coordinate multiple tasks/projects, and maintains superior organizational skills.  Successful applicants will have the ability to function as a team member while taking initiative and ownership of assigned duties and projects. Candidate must be a person that seeks responsibility and helps to further define their position in a dynamic environment of opportunity.


The internal working title for this position could be Senior Administrative Assistant I or Senior Administrative Assistant II, and the final title will be determined commensurate to the successful candidate's experience.

Essential Functions


  • Function as the Executive Assistant to the Director of OSL for duties to include strategic engagement with high profile offices to include Admiral staff personnel. Negotiate timing of major events. Represent OSL as an entity for administrative matters.
  • Assist the Director of OSL in the department assessment and promotion process for OSL.
  • Manage security credential updates per government contracts.
  • Work with project management team to help build and execute labor burn downs on numerous project accounts for maximum project earned value.
  • Identify expired accounts in the Financials Status Reports (FSRs).
  • Assist the OSL program management team in proposal writing.
  • Help coordinate calendars and schedules and assist with travel/cruise arrangements, which are sometimes complex in nature.
  • Maintains knowledge of Institution practices and procedures for administrative tasks to include updating OSL budget forecasting spreadsheet annually with current institution rates and performing routine end of year tasks.
  • Provide corporate Visa reconciliation assistance to the team as necessary.
  • Assist in preparing expense reports.
  • May arrange meetings/conferences, scheduling rooms and services.
  • Advanced or Expert level user of MS Office applications on PC platform.   Will be required to develop expertise with the various WHOI systems: FSRs, WHOI grants, etc.
  • Help coordinate infrequent social events for lab hiring luncheons and morale boosting events.
  • May help the team build better financial awareness tools to help guide projects to success.


  • Provide assistance with other assigned tasks during periods of high workload.

Education & Experience

  • Job title based on experience --- Senior Administrative Asst I or II.  Minimum of 3-7 years’ experience required.  Related degree preferred.
  • Prior WHOI administrative work experience highly desirable and will be a discriminator.
  • Experience with timecard management, financial reports, scheduling tools, and accounting software.
  • Advanced in Microsoft Word, Excel and Adobe Acrobat
  • Demonstrated interpersonal, written and organizational skills
  • Must have proven ability to exercise discretion, good judgment, and take initiative.  Attention to detail is critical.
  • Knowledge of budget preparation, grants management and proposal preparation preferred.
  • Some accounting work experience is desirable.
  • Prior military service considered desirable – as this job involves communication with military offices
  • Active or prior security clearance desirable, but not essential

Special Requirements

  • Must be a U.S Citizen

Physical Requirements

Physical duties for this position include but are not limited to, repetitive motion, use of hands for basic grasping / manipulation, mostly sedentary.  Visual abilities to include near vision, ability to distinguish basic colors. Hearing requirements include the ability to hear and respond to instructions, communicate effectively. Ability to work with others as well as around and alone.  Physical duties are subject to change.


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