WITNESS helps people use video and technology to protect and defend human rights. With a cellphone camera, anyone can become a human rights defender and expose injustice, making it harder for perpetrators to hide or for systems of oppression to remain invisible. But using video for community organizing or justice and accountability can be dangerous – videos can put defenders (or those they film) at risk, can be used against communities in court or deceitfully discredited by tired old power narratives. Filming is almost never enough – for videos to make a difference they need to work alongside strong advocacy or legal strategies; they also need to be created, preserved and shared in ways that avoid creating more harm or trauma. And the actions of courageous individuals and communities at a grassroots level are conditioned by the structures and decisions of global technology platforms and emerging technologies that are distant and unaccountable to their needs. New threats to human rights are emerging at the intersection of artificial intelligence, misinformation and disinformation and a global wave of rising authoritarianism.
WITNESS pairs grassroots community support, and broad learning and sharing of tips and guidance to activists, with advocacy at a systems level on challenges. Our team works holistically on a global scale to understand how communities are using and want to use video and technology for human rights. When it comes to systemic challenges we are on the watch for both existing problems – like how large amounts of critical human rights footage are lost because of the arbitrary decisions of platforms – but also emerging threats and opportunities, such as those posed by ‘deepfakes’, new ways to manipulate media to make it look like someone said or did something they never did, or an event happened that never occurred.
Committed to the organization’s mission and vision, you will be part of a dynamic, global team of activists who work across the world and in different time zones. You’ll be closely partnered with the Executive Director and in that role, you will function as a key connector in this global team, ensuring that information flows smoothly between staff and consultants, as well as with our external allies and supporters. You will frequently interact with and partner with WITNESS Board members, donors and supporters, and consultants.
Your role, particularly, will help be the ‘glue’ to ensure the organization runs smoothly, anticipate any roadblocks, and partner effectively internally and externally to achieve its mission and vision. Your role is pivotal in helping to realize and support WITNESS’s vision of a globally-distributed, diverse and empowered team focused on advancing human rights through video and technology. This position reports to the Executive Director.
WITNESS organizationally prides itself on placing great emphasis on high levels of professionalism and effectiveness. As Executive Assistant, you will provide comprehensive support for the Executive function at WITNESS by bolstering an effective and highly efficient function, through preparing, organizing, and driving meetings and organizational priorities. Your support ensures the seamless, fast-paced execution of the Executive Director’s priorities and daily schedule with a high degree of professionalism, attention to detail, follow through, speed, and attentiveness to issues requiring the organization’s attention. You will also provide select administrative support to the Program Director. You will maintain key Executive relationships and liaise directly with WITNESS’ Board members and our external allies and partners.
You will ensure that internal systems are cultivated and maintained to enable the highest possible functioning of the Executive function. You will provide support on day-to-day administration, such as scheduling and managing schedules, as well as supporting on various organizational projects.
This role is perfect for a self-starter who is highly organized, likes to project manage and is good at it, pays focused attention to detail, and is an excellent writer and communicator, shows sound initiative and anticipation qualities, excels in fast-paced team-based environments, and enjoys interacting with staff and partners at all levels.
You are the kind of person who gets a kick out of supporting the organization’s efficiency and smooth functioning through overall systems initiatives, not only as it relates to the Executive function, but also cross-organizationally, and enjoys improving upon those.
The ideal candidate will need to be a masterful problem-solver and organizational expert given the complex calendar management and planning involved. You are an exceptional communicator and have the ability to act as a cultural ambassador, supporting cooperation between cross-functional teams and building relationships across the broader WITNESS ecosystem.
You are self-motivated, highly organized team player to assist the Executive Director and provide comprehensive support for the Executive function through preparing, organizing, and driving meetings and organizational priorities, as well as liaising with the Board of Directors, Advisory Board, and allies of WITNESS.
- Support the Executive Director in cross-organizational planning, including tracking and monitoring cross-organizational initiatives, gatherings, and coordinating meets with set agendas and following up on action items, and assisting with managing organizational consultants
- Support the development and fundraising efforts, including optimizing moves management and other fundraising and relationship systems, conducting new donor research, managing relationships, scheduling meetings, payments, paperwork, etc.
- Provide support to the Sr. Leadership team, including preparing meetings, conducting preparatory research, overviews or other documents, tracking action items and monitoring agendas, taking notes in team meetings, and following-up as needed with relevant material and/or additional calls
- Help secure the smooth and effective functioning of the Boards’ function, as a primary board liaison, engage and inform all stakeholders, designing effective systems and workflows, maintaining schedules, preparing meetings and tracking follow-ups, and taking and filing notes accordingly
- Partner with the Executive Director and relevant committees in managing Board governance, recruitment, onboarding, engagement and inspiration, as well as maintenance of relevant policies, and compliance with the organization’s bylaws
- Maintain a “resource hub” for board members including onboarding documents, WITNESS information on programs, board structure and committee mandates, etc
- Conduct new board member research and maintain a comprehensive document to outline current prospects, track data including DEI policy and data, ensure timely conversations and status updates
- Update Salesforce according to cross-departmental needs, with input from colleagues in other departments, to streamline the organization’s systems and processes, including identifying integrations and best practices that will increase efficiency and communication across the organization
- Identify and manage the use of, and train relevant staff on how to use, various outreach and CRM and donor systems and platforms (e.g. Salesforce, YesWare, Classy)
- Maintain a Salesforce systems guide, which includes case-use, how-tos, supporter key management definitions, etc.
- Manage monthly credit card reconciliations, reimbursement requests, timesheet allocations, and related admin functions for the Executive Director and Program Director
- Support the Program Director administratively with logistics, research, and follow-up for projects and convenings
- Add and maintain information as well as contacts within Salesforce, Gmail Contacts and other applicable data or organizational records related to Executive function, the Executive Director and the Program Director
- Plan and schedule internal and external meetings as appropriate
THE IDEAL CANDIDATE:
Experience: You have 2-3 years work experience, and a track record of hard work. Your work experience speaks to your organizational, communication, and project management achievements, interests and skills. You can demonstrate a knack for solving problems and creating effective workflows.
Human Rights: Background in or passion for human rights; committed to social justice and WITNESS’ values/mission and to a global, human rights perspective.
Project Management: Proven track record of effective project management, ability to take initiative and superb levels of organizational administration.
Communications: You are a natural communicator. Exceptional interpersonal communication and writing skills. Ability to communicate effectively and compellingly with internal and external stakeholders. With colleagues across the world, you will be equally adept at working and providing support virtually or in an office environment.
Languages: Fluent spoken and written English required to work with internal and external teams and stakeholders who use this as a shared language. Additional languages a plus. Native speaker of English is not required.
Organization: Excellent organizational, attention to detail and quality control, attentiveness, advanced time management skills, ability to multi-task and prioritize in a fast-paced environment.
Systems: Ability to make systems work for you and the organization, incl. Salesforce, G Suite, Yesware, Concur, Zoom, Dropbox, Microsoft Office applications.
Education: You can tell us about your degrees, but we’re more interested in what your passions are and what you can do. If your degrees are part of that story, great! (But no formal education required).
Strong interpersonal skills and aptitude for cross-cultural communication. Team-minded. A doer. Espouses good humor under pressure; inspires others. ·Strong desire and ability to keep a range of communications confidential.
You have and use your emotional intelligence, and have a strong aptitude for systems-thinking.
Location: The position is open globally. Openness to flexibility on time zones – as this job requires working with people in different time zones (this is offset in your weekly workload as work-life balance is a core value for WITNESS).
The position description is a guide to the critical duties and essential functions of the job, not an all-inclusive list of responsibilities, qualifications, physical demands and work environment conditions.
How to apply:
HOW TO APPLY:
To apply, send your cover letter, resume, and contact information for 3 references to email@example.com with the subject line “Executive Assistant ” [Your name]”.
Please include a cover letter. We are interested in hearing about what you’ve done, what you can do, and what you want to do at WITNESS.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Applications accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled; early applications encouraged. Please note that due to the volume anticipated, we will not be able to respond individually to each applicant. We kindly ask that you do not send duplicate applications via mail or email, and no phone calls.
WITNESS is an equal opportunity employer. People of all ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, religions, genders, gender identities and expressions, sexual orientations, and individuals protected by any other statuses under federal, state or local laws, including but not limited to, disability, marital, domestic partnership, familial, caregiver, transgender, military or veteran statuses, are encouraged to apply. Authorization to work in the U.S. is not required.