Executive Assistant - CGIAR Executive Management Team

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CGIAR is undertaking a major organizational transformation into a unified and integrated “One CGIAR” with the aim of maximizing its impact, relevance, and effectiveness in the face of the complex and interconnected challenges of the 21st century. To provide coordinated leadership of the One CGIAR transformation, the CGIAR System Board has appointed an inaugural CGIAR Executive Management Team (EMT), effective from 1 September 2020, comprising three Managing Directors responsible for research delivery and impact, institutional strategy and systems, and global engagement and innovation, respectively.

The Organization

On behalf of CGIAR, the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), which hosts the CGIAR Executive Management Team in its Rome, Italy, office, is seeking a qualified Executive Assistant to support the CGIAR Executive Management Team.

About the position

Based in Rome, Italy, under the supervision of the Senior Advisor, CGIAR Executive Management Team, the Executive Assistant will be responsible for providing highly skilled, proactive, diversified, and confidential administrative support of an executive nature to the Office of the Executive Management Team (EMT), including its three Managing Directors, and the System Board Chair, requiring considerable discretion and independent judgment.

The Executive Assistant will be part of a team of two Executive Assistants who jointly support four top executives as well as other members of the Office of the EMT. As such, the position requires a well-organized team-player with the ability to effectively work across multiple stakeholders and with the capacity to multi-task in a fast-paced environment. Attention to detail and a high level of professionalism are essential elements of this role.


Broad areas of responsibility include, but are not limited to:

1. Calendar management

1.1. Proactively manage the Managing Directors’ calendars and use of their time, requiring interaction with internal and external executives and assistants to plan and coordinate a variety of complex executive meetings and strategic international visits; and help provide meeting and calendar coordination support to the System Board Chair
1.2. Proactively manage shared mailboxes for the Office of the EMT and the Managing Directors’ mailboxes, filing and replying on their behalf when required

2. Travel and event support
2.1. Organize and coordinate local and international business travel arrangements to meet organizational priorities, including visa applications, complex flight arrangements, accommodation reservations, transfers, the preparation of itineraries and briefing notes, purchase requests and travel expenses claims
2.2. Coordinate the Managing Directors’ and Board Chairs’ participation in meetings and events with the relevant internal departments and event organizers

3. Document, PowerPoint presentation and information management and editing

3.1. Draft read, compile, format, edit and proofread documents, PowerPoint presentations, research information, and route correspondence, including that of a confidential and/or sensitive nature; and ensuring appropriate and timely follow-up as required
3.2. File and retrieve documents and reference materials, ensuring efficient and effective document management and version control
3.3. Support regular calls among the Executive Management Team, including logistical support, agenda development, and follow up

3.4. Ensure that the Managing Directors’ and Board Chair’s bio-data is kept up to date and work with Communications colleagues to ensure that external profiles, media, and representation are well-managed, and respond to requests for material

4. Communications and liaison support
4.1. Communicate directly, and on behalf of the Executive Management Team and Board Chair, with Board Members, funders, staff and others
4.2. Support meetings led by the Executive Management Team, including preparation of agendas and tracking of follow-up on actions as required, and communicate priorities and actions as agreed in a timely and effective way to internal stakeholders
4.3. Manage and update contact lists with relevant stakeholders as required

5. Others
5.1. Review processes and operating practices for the Office of the Executive Management Team and implement improvements where necessary
5.2. Foster/contribute to highly collaborative teamwork and communication within the Office of the Executive Management Team and across CGIAR as a whole, proactively participating in knowledge and capacity building initiatives to support delivery of business plans and multi-year workplans and initiatives
5.3 Carry out other relevant administrative functions as required by the Office of the EMT, including providing support to other units on an ad hoc basis as required to support organizational priorities or to cover for another assistant’s absence to ensure the smooth flow of operations


Essential requirements 

  • Diploma in Office Administration, Logistics, or other related fields or professional certification by / membership to an accredited professional body
  • At least eight years of relevant work experience, preferably in an international organization
  • Proficiency in relevant software packages (Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Excellent command of the English language, both written and spoken
  • Flexibility and adaptability to work under tight deadlines
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills, including the ability to work effectively with other national and cultural backgrounds
  • Well-developed skills in personal organization, priority setting and problem solving
  • Strong client orientation and service approach
  • Ability to work with a high degree of independence within assigned areas 
  • Formal secretarial accreditation (desirable)
  • Project Management qualification (desirable)

Desirable requirements:

  • University Degree
  • Working knowledge of Italian
  • Project Management qualification


Terms of employment

This is a locally recruited position. All benefits are denominated and paid in EURO. The salary is level 7. The salary range starts from Euro 41,088 per annum. The remuneration package includes a competitive salary, leave provisions, medical and life insurance, and non-contributory retirement plan. The contract will be for a period of 3 years, subject to a probationary period of 12 months, and is renewable based on performance and availability of funds. Please note this position is only open to citizens and residents of the European Union.​


Please apply online through the website (https://alliancebioversityciat.org/careers) no later than 10 September 2021, attaching a letter of application with names and email addresses of at least three referees, and a curriculum vitae, both in English. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Closing date for applications: 10 September 2021

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