Executive Assistant to the Commissioner and Council Liaison

Job description

The Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner seeks to hire an executive assistant to the commissioner and council liaison. This individual is tasked to carry out objectives established by the commissioner; understand goals, objectives, and strategies related to assignments and assist the commissioner in successful implementation; provide executive-level administrative support to the commissioner and the Council on Postsecondary Education by performing organizational and office management responsibilities requiring a strong working knowledge of the functions of the office, a high degree of technical and office management skills, professionalism, confidentiality, and efficiency while maintaining the policy-level focus of the office.

Specific duties

  • Effectively manage the commissioner’s schedule and communications to stakeholders to provide the most strategic and efficient use of the commissioner’s time at meetings and events and to ensure that the commissioner is appropriately briefed for all occasions on a timely basis. In addition to general calendar management, is responsible for the commissioner’s travel arrangements and itinerary. Prepare travel reports and requests for reimbursement, ensuring that all figures are accurate.
  • Provide open, timely, and effective communication, keeping the commissioner abreast of salient matters and providing sound information to support decision-making as it relates to council policy.
  • Effectively manage the commissioner’s correspondence. Research and draft written responses and, when appropriate, review communications prepared by others for the commissioner and/or chair’s signature. Review outgoing office correspondence, speeches, etc., for procedural, grammatical, and factual accuracy and revise as directed by the commissioner. Draft original or adapted letters for signature.
  • Attend all senior staff meetings and assist with appropriate follow-up actions after meetings. Work with senior leadership to develop a list of key topics for possible inclusion on the council agenda. Research and provide background information on various issues as requested. Assist in responding to issues presented to the commissioner by individuals and organizations from within and outside of higher education.
  • Maintain and administer the commissioner’s  administrative calendar, which identifies all recurring deadlines requiring action.
  • Staff the members of the Council on Postsecondary Education and its subcommitteees to ensure that OPC staff and institutional liaisons are responding to member requests. Monitor and track all communications and material distribution for meetings, including linked agendas, minutes, and supporting documentation, to ensure that deliverables are within the identified timeframe determined by the council. Provide continuous improvement and efficiency strategies to the commissioner for effective council management.
  • Provide administrative support for the Council on Postsecondary Education, including all communications, scheduling, the preparation and posting of agendas, meeting materials, and minutes.  Manage all supporting documents and binders for council members. Create all orientation materials and binders for new council members.
  • Manage the relationship with national higher education organizations such as the National Association of System Heads, the State Higher Education Executive Officer Association, and the Association of Governing Boards, to ensure the commissioner has access to information and programs related to higher education.
  • Effective management of the office workflow, including hiring, training, and supervising a part-time administrative support staff member as well as student employees.
  • Serve as liaison to the staff at institutions of higher education and members of the council, as well as various government offices in terms of troubleshooting various issues and providing referrals to the appropriate individual or department and subsequent follow-up when necessary.
  • Responsible for maintaining confidentiality and security of confidential material.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as answering phones, opening mail, filing, etc.
  • Analyze and resolve routine, daily matters
  • Receive and (in consultation with the general counsel and commissioner) respond to requests for public documents filed with the office under the R.I. Access to Public Records Act.
  • Perform other duties as required.

Licenses, tools and equipment: Personal computers, printers, scanners; word processing, spreadsheet, database management, and scheduling software; and copying machines. 

Required qualifications: Bachelor’s degree; minimum three years of progressively responsible experience in a complex, professional environment; demonstrated mathematical and analytical skills; demonstrated problem-solving skills; demonstrated time management and organizational skills in a multiple-priority environment; demonstrated computer skills (i.e., word processing, spreadsheet, database, PowerPoint and scheduling software); demonstrated strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills; demonstrated proficiency in written communication skills; demonstrated supervisory experience; demonstrated ability to maintain confidentiality; demonstrated experience and ability to interpret policies, plans, objectives, rules, and regulations, and to communicate the interpretation to others. 

This is a full-time, non-union, non-classified position that reports to the Commissioner of Postsecondary Education. The assistant supervised administrative support staff and the pay grade is 13. This position is not substantially exposed to adverse environmental conditions. Submit cover letter and resume by 5 p.m. on June 7, 2023.


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Cover letter
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All requirements are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities. 

It is the belief and the policy of the State of Rhode Island that the race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, handicap/disability, age (subject to certain limitations established by law) or veteran status of an individual should neither serve as a barrier to his or her equal opportunity for employment nor be the basis of harassment in the workplace. The Rhode Island Council on Postsecondary Education fully endorses this basic policy of nondiscrimination.