Department Administrative Specialist, Office of the General Counsel

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    London, United Kingdom
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jul 23

Position description

Department Administrative Specialist, Office of the General Counsel. London. Posting Date: 07/22/2019. Deadline: 08/12/2019

Job Profile

Based in London or Berlin and reporting to the Global Board liaison, the department administrative specialist is a full performance administrative/operational role requiring skills specific to the Office of General Counsel and processes that advance the department work of the organization. Work on assigned projects, processes, and/or areas of responsibility is carried out with considerable independence.

In addition to knowledge of OSF-specific matters, the role calls for specialized knowledge of the required subject matter and/or technical skills. This role is responsible not only for completing work in assigned areas with limited supervision, but also for identifying problems and resolving them in consultation with others and, as necessary, with guidance from a supervisor. The incumbent has a high level of responsibility for establishing and maintaining effective and constructive working relationships both internally and externally and may also be responsible for managing projects of some complexity.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Providing advanced administrative support for activities and/or other department and unit functions by performing operational work that helps achieve the goals/plans of the Office of General Counsel. Includes managing most issues independently, identifying new administrative/operational needs and developing/implementing solutions.
  • Assists in complex events planning and managing related travel, logistics, and budgets. Liaises with vendors (e.g. event planners, translators, graphic designers, etc.) and negotiates contract terms and conditions. May manage administrative issues related to the work of retained consultants (and their logistical support).
  • Manages unit's budgets, including planning, tracking, and variance monitoring and reporting. Takes the lead on preparing Management Commitment (rollover) submissions and drafting input for the Operating Status Questionnaire and other similar processes. May be responsible for independently managing the unit's operations budgets
  • Assist with processing contracts as well as identifying and implementing contract related best practices. Guides consultant processes from signature to payment.
  • Stays abreast of relevant policies and compliance requirements and assists staff with understanding, operationalizing, and adhering to relevant policies and guidelines. May train staff on processes/workflows.
  • Reviews reports and other documents for compliance, accuracy, and readability; this may include review of data to assure that it is accurate and complete in accordance with appropriate protocols.
  • Ad-hoc responsibilities: May be asked to take on other significant operational responsibilities such as overseeing translation and communications-related projects. May occasionally be involved in conducting basic research; and other similar tasks.

Candidate Profile

Skills and Abilities:

The following list is not inclusive, but highlights a number of the most critical skills and abilities for performing the role.


  • The Department Administrative Specialist will ideally have administrative experience at a large and complex organization.
  • The role requires in-depth knowledge of meeting planning and related policies, guidelines, and processes, including but not limited to: coordinating travel arrangements, obtaining visas, scheduling flights and transfers, and preparing travel documents. In consultation with the Board Liaison implementing logistics for 3 annual board meetings with duties such as booking hotels, arranging catering and setting room designs, and maintaining attendance lists. Taking notes during board meetings with confirmed dates (published 1 year in advance), conferences, site visits and other events and drafts reports, summaries and minutes as requested
  • The role requires in-depth knowledge of contracting and related policies, guidelines, and processes including reviewing consultant proposals for content in keeping with project description, payment reviews, invoicing, and maintaining a list of contracts both pending and approved.
  • The incumbent sets up processes, systems, and workflows and ensure adherence to procedures and follow-up. Provides historical reference by developing and utilizing filing and retrieval systems; recording meeting discussions. Advises board members of financial and legal procedures and implementation serving as the primary financial contact.
  • Proficiency in managing data in a complex environment is critical. Maintains contact lists, files (on Box or other) and electronic mail distribution lists in accordance with office procedures
  • Experience with record keeping, budgeting management, and finance administration is important. Regular duties include: reconciling complex monthly expenses and expense reports; preparing and amending the annual budget for the costs of the unit and administrative support; monitoring standard expenditures to ensure the activities of the office are conducted within established budgets; and arranging for approval of payments for staff, board members, consultants and grantees.
  • Experience with multi-tasking and working independently on complex administrative tasks for the global board and the unit is necessary in this role. Manages calendars, coordinates meetings, and ensures that schedules are handled in an efficient manner
  • The role requires the ability to build and maintain relationships with a wide range of people, including those at an executive level, from diverse backgrounds within a complex organization.
  • Experience making administrative and procedural decisions and judgments on sensitive and confidential issues is useful.
  • Incumbents must demonstrate high proficiency with office technology and IT solutions used by OSF, including the Microsoft Office suite. Must be comfortable learning new proprietary software systems.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrable expertise in handling personnel-related issues and information in a confidential manner are necessary. Facilitates smooth communications among the board members, coworkers and external parties.
  • This role requires proficiency in using data management and visualization platforms and databases (e.g. Salesforce, NetSuite, Foundation Maps, etc.).

Q ualifications:



  • Bachelor's degree in a relevant field of study or equivalent experience/education.
  • 3-7 years of progressively responsible experience in a situation relevant to the duties of this role is typically required to develop the skills required for this role.

Please apply by submitting your Resume and Cover letter

Competitive rates of pay apply.

We are strengthened by the diversity of our colleagues across the Open Society Foundations. We welcome applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences, and are committed to providing reasonable adjustments so that colleagues with disabilities are able to fulfill the essential functions of the job.


follow us on Twitter