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Administrative Assistant

Vacancy #:   893
Unit:   Biodiversity Conservation Group
Organization:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   Headquarters, Gland, Switzerland
Reporting to:   Global Director - Biodiversity Conservation Group
Work percentage:   60%
Grade:   A3
Expected start date:   07 August 2017
Type of contract:   Max-term
Closing date:   22 October 2014
BACKGROUND
This position is responsible for providing fundamental support to the Global Director, Biodiversity Conservation Group who is also the Director of the Global Species & Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) Programme. It involves working to guarantee a smooth, efficient and effectively run office, particularly in relation to management of the Director’s role, day to day work activities and diary. It also involves maintaining an overview of the functioning of the Biodiversity Conservation Group and the Global Species & KBA Programme.

The position involves interacting with the Global Species & KBA Programme staff both at HQ as well as in the UK and the US, as well as the Programme Directors in the Biodiversity Conservation Group. The position is also responsible for maintaining links with the Chair of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) and the SSC Chair Office. The IUCN Global Species Programme consists of around 40 staff who play a major role in providing support to the Species Survival Commission network of experts (the largest of IUCN’s six Commissions, comprising over 10,000 scientists in 140 Specialist Groups with expertise on the world’s species). The Global Protected Areas Programme consists of z staff in x locations and the World Heritage Programme consists of x staff in y different locations; both of these programmes work closely with the World Commission on Protected Areas. . The work of the Global Director involves interactions with the Director general’s Office, IUCN’s Regional Offices and a great many stakeholders both within and beyond the IUCN family around the globe.

The incumbent is constantly required to use initiative including in the absence of the Global Director. This involves routing urgent matters to appropriate staff for follow up for both internal and external enquiries. The incumbent will from time to time also be expected to handle sensitive and confidential information. The Administrative Assistant is expected to work seamlessly with the rest of the Global Species & KBA Programme and the staff of the Biodiversity Conservation Group.
JOB DESCRIPTION
1. Ensure the smooth running of the office of the Global Director, Biodiversity Conservation Group / Director Global Species & KBA Programme; including maintenance of a well-run tidy and clean office environment. Ensure others use and adhere to the office systems created.
2. Organise travel plans and bookings for the Global Director, noting that many trips are complicated necessitating considerable organisation and advance planning. Organise travel, visas and accommodation for the Global Director and assist with travel arrangements for staff and SSC members visiting Switzerland.
3. Ensure convenient and economical travel itineraries for the Global Director and assist in managing expense / reimbursement claims in timely fashion.
4. Proactively, assist the Global Director with diary management ensuring, critically, that the whole diary is not absorbed by meetings and that there is sufficient time to advance on other work. Help arrange appointments, manage daily schedules, organise electronic calendars and travel / holiday schedules.
5. Help ensure that the Global Director receives regular and timely progress reports from staff reporting directly to him / her, including regular meetings with these staff.
6. Organise meetings – including managing availability and organisation of practical arrangements, including teleconferences. It will be necessary to handle the organisation of meetings which involve the Global Director and, in addition other selected meetings and workshops. This includes taking the lead in logistical arrangements and assisting in the development of agendas, background materials and documentation for the meetings. Participate in meetings and conference calls and take minutes and /or notes as required. Organise meetings of the BCG / Species staff in Gland, internal meetings with IUCN Gland staff members and teleconferences. .
7. General office work including preparing correspondence and ensuring follow-up, photocopying, mailing, filing of the considerable amount of material received in the office, maintaining supplies and ensuring maintenance of office equipment.
8. Screen telephone calls, ensuring that the phone is answered at all times and answer queries with discretion, provide and search for information on request.
9. Assist in financial management of the budget for the Biodiversity Conservation Group cost centre, as well as preparation of the yearly budget for approval by the Global Director, noting that this entails the handling of confidential information.
10. Support the work of the Programme Finance Officer by assisting with contracts, payments, reporting and budgets, participate in finance meetings as needed and provide support for finance administration duties in the absence of the Programme Finance Officer.
11. Filing systems: ensure that incoming literature is distributed and that filing systems (hard copy and electronic) are developed to manage and maintain this information. .
12. Provide general support for the Global Species & KBA Programme maintaining an observer role as regards their general wellbeing and collaborate with all Units of the Programme, providing assistance as necessary. Support may include assistance with organisation of events or meetings logistics, travel, accommodation), expense claims and mailing.
13. Coordinate with the office of the SSC Chair and maintain liaison with his/her Assistant.
REQUIREMENTS
  • First University degree in business administration or commercial/secretarial diploma;

• Sound administrative/coordination skills, including contract administration, logistical coordination and event preparation, travel planning and management of agendas;

• Minimum five years’ experience with progressively increasing responsibilities;

• Thorough knowledge of modern office procedures and proven ability to work in the Windows environment (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Microsoft Outlook) and to use the internet;

• Fluency in both written and spoken English and good knowledge of French; knowledge of Spanish and other languages an advantage;

• Track record of working as a team member as well as independently, demonstrating application of initiative in problem solving and trouble-shooting, creativity and flexibility;

• Excellent interpersonal and communication skills;

• Ability to work in a multilingual and multicultural setting;

• Personal diplomacy and discretion;

• Interest in global environmental issues an advantage.

• Due to local legal requirements this position is only open to Swiss nationals and C/B/L and G work permit holders.
APPLICATIONS

Applicants are requested to apply online through the HR Management System, by opening the vacancy announcement and pressing the "Apply" button.

Applicants will be asked to create an account and submit their profile information. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date. The vacancy closes at midnight, Swiss time (GMT+1 / GMT+2 during Daylight Saving Time, DST). Please note that only selected applicants will be personally contacted for interviews.

Other job opportunities are published in the IUCN website: http://www.iucn.org/involved/jobs/


About IUCN

IUCN is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.

Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,300 Member organisations and some 10,000 experts. It is a leading provider of conservation data, assessments and analysis. Its broad membership enables IUCN to fill the role of incubator and trusted repository of best practices, tools and international standards.

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