Executive Assistant, Office of the CAO

With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches, we tackle urgent threats with practical solutions. We are one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of approximately 630 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. We operate in 22 geographies with unique projects running across four programs. You will be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and results are a way of life.

Overall Function

The Executive Assistant provides executive-level support to the office of the CAO (Chief Administrative Officer) in the New York office. The Executive Assistant will support in five key areas:  administrative support, project and contract management, research and eventually board management meetings. 


Key Responsibilities

  • Maintain busy calendar and arrange extensive travel for CAO. 
  • Develop schedule effectively relative to executive’s short-term needs, long-term plan and yearly goals
  • Act as coordinator and manage executive’s day and maximize efficient use of time
  • Prepare executive for meetings including printing documents, collecting supporting documentation and researching background information
  • Keep informed about major projects; learn and stay abreast of current priorities as they relate to the executives goals and strategy
  • Prepare written communications and correspondence on behalf of the CAO, including research as required
  • Answer and screen phone calls and emails. Take messages and field questions as appropriate
  • Proofread, edit, and facilitate program-wide documents and reports requiring multiple manager input
  • Organize meetings with internal programs as well as outside organizations
  • Create and maintain administrative and tickler systems
  • Facilitate expense reports, invoices, contracts, and other documents requiring executive’s approval
  • Professionally handle confidential information including administration and personnel information
  • Act as liaison with other internal departments/programs and outside organizations
  • Assist other Program colleagues with meetings and special projects
  • All other duties and responsibilities as assigned


  • At least 7 years’ experience supporting a senior-level manager with demonstrable knowledge of impactful schedule management
  • Undergraduate degree preferred
  • Extremely organized and detail-oriented with a commitment to excellence
  • Proficiency with MS Office applications and impeccable technical skills
  • High comfort level with numbers and the ability to interpret budgets
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.  Research-savvy; internet and resource proficient
  • Good interpersonal skills, as this job requires frequent interaction with diverse individuals including board trustees and funders
  • Ability to create strong relationships, both inside and outside the organization, and represent the program in the most effective and gracious manner
  • Poised, confident, self-directed and assertive with high energy, resourcefulness, adaptability and creativity
  • Intuitive, with a proactive focus on supporting the goals of the CAO and Program staff
  • Formidable coordination ability in true partnership with CAO
  • Ability and maturity to manage up as well as down
  • Excellent judgment and discretion
  • Ability to focus, multi-task, prioritize and meet deadlines in a rapidly moving environment 
  • Enjoys a team-oriented, fast-paced and entrepreneurial culture
  • Knowledge of environmental issues and/or policy is a plus

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.