Employment at the Garden

Executive Assistant

Job Status:
Requisition Number:
Reports to:
Chief Development Officer and Chief Scientist and Negaunee Vice President of Science
Provide confidential, executive-level administrative support to the Chief Development Officer and the Chief Scientist and Negaunee Vice President of Science. Serve as integral member of administrative team supporting senior management. Be an exceptional ambassador representing the Garden and its Chief Development Officer, and Chief Scientist and Negaunee Vice President of Science to internal and external stakeholders. Passionate about the Garden’s mission-driven organization that is dedicated to cultivating the power of plants to sustain and enrich life.
Duties and Responsibilities:

In this role, you will be responsible for the following: 

  • Anticipate and respond to a broad spectrum of administrative needs; remain flexible and maintain a positive attitude and professional demeanor under pressure
  • Manage and maintain calendars to ensure the Chief Development Officer and Chief Scientist and Negaunee Vice President of Science are organized, prepared, and their time is well spent
  • With Director of Board Operations, coordinate, and attend, Science and Education and Development Committees of the Board of Directors in both digital and physical settings
  • Coordinate Garden meetings and/or tours with outside individuals or groups; prepare annotated itineraries as required
  • Ensure that meetings, whether face-to-face or digital, operate smoothly with all necessary support services, from technology to refreshments or catering
  • Coordinate travel arrangements
  • Track expenses and complete expense reports; code invoices for approval and route to Accounting; generate accounts payable vouchers, purchase orders as needed
  • Main Garden contact for the procurement of office supplies and stationery; provide Finance with journal entries for department charge backs for stationery and office supplies
  • Manage all copiers for the Garden including leases, supplies, and service calls
  • Manage mail lease and billing
  • Produce high-quality documents, including correspondence, mail merges, reports, memos, meeting agendas and minutes, budget plans, spreadsheets, charts, graphs, and PowerPoint presentations
  • Receive and screen telephone calls, responding directly when appropriate or identifying the correct manner of response
  • Enter and update prospect information in Raiser’s Edge
  • Maintain subscriptions and memberships, as well as institutional memberships
  • Order floral arrangements and other gifts as requested
  • Support other Vice Presidents and other Executive Assistants when required
  • Perform other tasks as assigned

 Board Resources:

  • Serve as the administrative liaison for the Science and Education Committee and Development Committee
  • Assure that timely planning sessions occur for these committee meetings, prepare and post material for upcoming meetings and presentations to board web pages; coordinate correspondence, meeting venues, and logistics, assure meetings run smoothly in all formats, and assure meeting minutes are taken and archived appropriately
  • Adhere to Garden standards, material presentation, and record-keeping
  • Communicate with the Board on behalf of the Chief Development Officer and Chief Scientist and Negaunee Vice President of Science


  • Communicate directly, and on behalf of the Chief Development Officer and Chief Scientist and Negaunee Vice President of Science in a professional, confidential manner
  • Effectively communicate with all levels of the organization through various channels such as Zoom, Teams, email, phone, correspondence, and in person
  • Provide a bridge for seamless communication between the Chief Development Officer and Chief Scientist and Negaunee Vice President of Science’s office and the Board and other internal/external departments

Key Garden competencies/behaviors desired:

  • Exhibits leadership to other administrative staff regarding professionalism, teamwork, work processes, etc.
  • Communicates in a manner that gains the trust and support of others at all levels.
  • Works effectively with others despite differences of opinion and style; builds alliances.
  • Has a tolerance for opposing points of view.
  • Strives for collaboration. Works cooperatively, as a positive contributor to the team.
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude and shows kindness in all workplace interactions.
  • Makes decisions appropriate for level of responsibility.
  • Can effectively adapt to change; can shift gears comfortably; is flexible, and embraces change with a “can-do” attitude.
  • Is self-aware; knows personal strengths and weaknesses; seeks feedback and is open to negative feedback as an opportunity for improvement.
  • Is cool under pressure; can be counted on to hold things together during tough times; can handle stress; is not knocked off balance by the unexpected; is a settling influence during a crisis.
  • Recognizes problems, constructively identifies and articulates solutions.
  • Picks up garbage when it is seen regardless of position.
  • Follows safety guidelines to ensure a safe working environment and consistently demonstrates safe work behaviors.
  • Is welcoming of new hires.

Our ideal candidate will have the following:

  • Extremely well-organized administrator who is comfortable and confident in executing high-level administrative support to the Chief Development Officer and Chief Scientist and Negaunee Vice President of Science using the utmost discretion and professionalism
  • Comfortable interacting with high net-worth individuals
  • Able to prioritize work across three departments
  • Valid driver’s license insurable by the Chicago Horticultural Society
  • Comfortable driving, or learning to drive, a golf cart
  • Ability to anticipate needs, providing exceptional service
  • Demonstrated ability to be adaptable, flexible, and handle multiple tasks simultaneously
  • A profound attention to quality, keen attention to detail, and spirit of service excellence
  • Expert proficiency with MS Office products (including Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Adobe Acrobat DC, and web communications required
  • Proficient in virtual meeting technology; specifically Microsoft Teams, Zoom, GoToMeeting (others as appropriate/available)
  • Demonstrated organizational skills, project coordination experience, proven problem solving, decision making and interpersonal skills
  • Experience providing complex confidential administrative support in a high-profile environment
  • Proven ability to work well in teams and with all levels of internal management and staff, as well as outside clients, donors, vendors, and the press
  • A minimum of at least five years of prior executive assistant experience; professional administrative training preferred; bachelor’s degree preferred

 *The Chicago Botanic Garden requires all existing employees to be fully COVID-19 vaccinated by October 15, 2021; hires after this date must be fully vaccinated upon hire or may request a medical/religious exemption after an offer is extended.*


Apply for Executive Assistant using the link below:

Click here to apply.


Physical Demands:
Office setting. Frequent sitting, standing, walking, bending, listening, speaking, and keyboarding. Use of office equipment including computers, telephones/polycoms, copiers, scanners, fax machines, projectors, smart keyboards, and video monitors (A/V equipment). Ability to walk and/or golf cart frequently around the Garden to run errands, deliver materials, and set up for events. Occasional event work requires long periods of standing. Some requirements for lifting, pushing, or pulling items less than 30 pounds.
Why Apply?:

Come work in a setting that is like no other as you support our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Take the first step toward being one of the employees who make the Garden one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Apply today. Please note that applicants who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.

Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of personnel so classified.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is a M/F, Disabled, and Vet EEO/AA Employer.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, and basis of disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the Chicago Botanic Garden does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs or activities, including in employment or admissions. Please call (847) 835-8264 to contact our Title IX coordinator should you have questions or concerns.