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12 May 2022

Full-Time Executive Assistant

Climate Breakthrough Project – Posted by CEA San Francisco, California, United States

Climate Breakthrough Project logo

Job Description

Climate Breakthrough identifies extraordinary leaders and empowers them to launch bold new strategies to address the climate crisis. Each year, we select several exceptional strategists from around the world to receive the Climate Breakthrough Award: a US$3 million-dollar grant and tailored support over three years to bring visionary strategies from idea to fruition. We believe that many of the most capable leaders have not yet been given sufficient time, space, support, and funding to develop the kind of climate strategies our world desperately needs. Our program is designed to give these brilliant strategists exactly that opportunity. Our mission is reliant on reaching beyond established networks and approaches to empower a diverse range of voices, perspectives, and strategies.

Climate Breakthrough is funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Oak Foundation, IKEA Foundation, Good Energies Foundation, JPB Foundation, and Quadrature Climate Foundation. Launched in 2016, Climate Breakthrough has issued fourteen awards to date. For more information about Climate Breakthrough and our awardees, please visit

About the Role

The Executive Assistant (EA) plays a key administrative role on the Climate Breakthrough team, leading schedule coordination, arranging travel, meeting logistics, preparing meeting materials, board packets and agendas and generally coordinating with the Climate Breakthrough Board on behalf of the ED. The EA represents Climate Breakthrough’s leadership both internally and externally and must have good judgment and significant initiative across a broad spectrum of activities and situations. The EA must be an independent and experienced assistant with strong organizational and interpersonal skills. The ideal candidate is a quick learner and careful observer who can anticipate executive-level needs and take the initiative to address them or offer useful solutions to meet them. The EA reports to the Executive Director (ED) and coordinates with the rest of the staff, is detail oriented, a strong communicator, and is passionate about solving the climate crisis.

The Executive Assistant’s work will be divided into the following areas:

Scheduling: Manage the ED’s calendar, time, and tasks. Perform complex scheduling in collaboration with board members, partner organizations, foundations, staff, and consultants, ensuring that issues and schedules are shared as appropriate. Be responsible for tracking tasks requested by the ED or to be completed by the ED. Plan and coordinate the ED’s active calendar of appointments in alignment with established priorities, serving as both “gatekeeper” and “gateway” to create win-win situations for direct access to the ED’s time and office.

Travel & Meeting Coordination: Arrange ED travel, meeting space, agenda, written materials, and assemble documents as needed. Ensure that the ED is fully briefed and prepared for meetings, events, and trips by providing or obtaining background information for these commitments. Coordinate with staff on preparing materials for meetings and presentations; compile reference material as needed. Arrange all travel for board members, as needed, to in person board meetings and awardee retreats.

Governance and Board Support: Manage relationship with Climate Breakthrough Board in partnership with the Executive Director, in particular being the point of contact for any Board committees. Coordinate the agenda, logistics, deliverables, meeting space, and meeting minutes for the biannual Climate Breakthrough Board meetings. Prepare Board dockets, assist with agenda development, and prepare all documentation required for all Board meetings.

Managing Email Correspondence: Manage an active inbox in collaboration with the ED, synthesize content, draft, or answer correspondence when appropriate, and ensure timely follow up. Write letters and emails as needed and regularly contact colleagues within and outside of Climate Breakthrough as required. Review communications and documents for accuracy, completeness, format, and grammar.

Other Administration: Complete expense reports and other administrative responsibilities as needed. Complete monthly expense reports for the ED and self. Prioritize conflicting needs; handle matters expeditiously, proactively, discreetly with kindness and respect, and follow-through on projects to successful completion, often with deadline pressures. Support the planning and logistics for other staff and awardee meetings, when needed.


  • At least 5 years of relevant experience in an executive assistant role, past work in international environmental or philanthropic organizations, a plus
  • Experience maintaining complex, international calendars and coordinating meetings/events for senior leaders, including international travel arrangements
  • Experience working with boards and managing external relationships
  • Impeccable writing, administrative, and organizational skills such as – drafting correspondence, managing email, scheduling, and/or record keeping for a wide range of audiences
  • Strong computer skills: a high degree of proficiency in Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Google Suite), and an ability to navigate other workplace software such as Slack, Asana, and CRMs
  • Self-motivation, initiative, resourcefulness, dependability, and ability to work effectively and efficiently with minimal supervision
  • Ability to work under pressure, prioritize, collaborate, and be flexible in good humor
  • Commitment to and enthusiasm for the mission of Climate Breakthrough
  • Cross-cultural sensitivity and awareness required, international work experience or prior experience supporting leaders working internationally valuable
  • Commitment to equity, inclusion, and diversity
  • Written and verbal fluency in English required; second language a plus

Position Details

This role must be based on the West Coast of the United States, with a strong preference given to candidates in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, where we will be establishing an office in 2022. The desired start date for this position is June 2022.

For an 80% time (32 hours per week), San Francisco Bay Area-based employee, the expected salary range for this role is $65,000-$75,000. Salary ranges may be adjusted for different geographies. Climate Breakthrough offers a generous benefits package.

How to Apply

  • CEA Recruiting is assisting Climate Breakthrough in their recruitment efforts. To be considered for this position, interested candidates should click here and then select "Apply to this Job" to submit a resume and cover letter through CEA’s job portal.
  • Please direct any inquiries to search lead, Eileen Ashton. This position will remain open until filled.
  • The Climate Breakthrough Project is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or veteran status.
  • As a result of Climate Breakthrough’s development over the last five years, we are growing and making valuable structural changes as an organization. As part of this transition, Climate Breakthrough is codifying principles and establishing practices that reflect our strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. In the coming months, our current team and new hires will work together closely to set the standards to which we hold our work and ourselves.
  • CEA Recruiting works with leading environmental nonprofits, foundations, and businesses to recruit top talent and design effective organizational staffing strategies. For more information, visit

Job Categories: Environment / Climate Change. Job Types: Full-Time. Salaries: 60,000 - 80,000.

Job expires in 6 months.

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