The R Street Institute—a free-market think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C.—seeks a resourceful, multifaceted and committed Research and Administrative Assistant to provide high-level administrative support; to plan and project coordinator for the president; to perform a variety of library and internet research tasks, and to collaborate with the business development team to support the President. This role reports to the Associate Vice President, Operations and works very closely with the President.
A typical day at R Street may include scheduling a meeting with a foundation program officer, taking notes at a coalition meeting, coordinating travel arrangements for a business trip to San Francisco and gathering a list of resources about the funding mechanisms of the transcontinental railroad in the 19th century.
Key roles and responsibilities
While this position does not necessarily require extensive experience, it does require a combination of diligence and intellectual curiosity to work on scheduling and assist with research.
The right candidate will have the foresight to anticipate the president’s needs; identify and address issues before they become problems; master new intellectual fields quickly, and demonstrate an ability to actively find solutions to tricky problems without direct oversight or instructions.
The candidate will be able to anticipate the president’s needs and be able to retain an interest in lots of public policy issues that are—on the surface at least—boring. To be successful in this position, the right candidate will need to thrive within a fast-paced environment and be capable of prioritizing complex, overlapping tasks and projects.
In this job, you’ll be expected to:
- Manage calendars and handle the logistics of meetings and video calls.
- Research various topics both on the Internet and using library databases and collections.
- Conduct literature reviews.
- Ensure the President eats more than only potato chips for lunch.
- Arrange travel including cost analysis, creation of itineraries, and tracking modifications made to travel plans.
- Take and disseminate meeting notes.
- Draft, edit and distribute communications and packages from the President in a timely manner.
- Partner with the business development team to prioritize meetings and events for the President.
- Coordinate with the business development team/policy directors to develop pre-meeting briefs and materials for donor meetings and calls.
- Tell the President when he is full of it or has an idiotic idea.
Experience and skills
Desirable skills and qualifications include:
- If you are a person who combines excellent research skills with attention to detail (which the President is sometimes bad at himself) this may be the job for you.
- A demonstrated ability to effectively use (as well as access to one if you live outside of the Washington, D.C., Boston or New York areas) research library resources is critical, although experience with scheduling and travel planning is also highly desirable.
- We’re against credentialism, so we’re very serious in saying that we don’t care what degrees you do or don’t have. It’s just not a factor. Proven skills that are relevant to the job are more meaningful to us.
- Willingness to learn new tools and skills.
- Creative problem-solving.
- Alignment or sympathy for R Street’s public-policy approach.
- A sense of humour and, ideally, some affection for pirates.