Senior Operations Specialist (Ecosystems)

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)
San Francisco, CA, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Junior (3-4 Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


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The Senior Operations Specialist, Ecosystems is a key member of the Ecosystems Program operations team reporting to the Senior Director of Operations. As the Senior Operations Specialist, Ecosystems your role is defined first by providing advanced, diversified, administrative support of a substantial and confidential nature to the Senior Vice President (SVP), Ecosystems. You will anticipate the SVP’s needs and proactively solve problems and/or independently handle issues.

As Senior Operations Specialist, you will also coordinate and facilitate program-wide operational projects and initiatives, including administrative support to other senior leaders on the Ecosystems team. Supporting the SVP is roughly 70% with the remaining 30% of time working on other projects and administrative duties.

This position is an operational and administrative role and is suited for a professional who has made or wants to make a career in this line of work.

Administrative Support

  • Manage the SVP’s extensive meeting schedule and maintain calendar on Outlook, keeping track of deadlines and important events and reconciling conflicts at least two weeks ahead. Book all conference rooms and video conferencing services.
  • Settle daily priorities and time-sensitive issues for the SVP.
  • Coordinate the SVP’s activities, negotiating and handling the needs of individuals or groups requesting time or information from the SVP; independently commit the SVP’s time to those requesting access based on an in-depth understanding of the executive’s priorities, needs and role in the organization’s framework.
  • Screen correspondence and telephone calls; keep the executive informed of all matters requiring their attention.
  • Assist the SVP in preparing for meetings and appointments with Board Members, donors, staff and external constituents, securing information and supplemental materials from other departments, as necessary, providing hard copies one day prior to meetings.
  • Handle all travel booking (air, hotel, and ground transportation) impeccably and provide detailed travel itinerary before travel, anticipating and resolving all logistical travel issues prior to trip.
  • Draft communications and correspondence on behalf of the executive.
  • Take notes at meetings and prepare timely, clear and accurate minutes to stakeholders, including agendas and supporting materials.
  • Coordinate regular meetings with all direct reports and other key EDF staff members; schedule all conference calls.
  • Oversee information flow and documents requiring signature in and out of SVP’s office.
  • Continually maintain and update the SVP’s contact list.
  • Maintain the filing systems of the office.
  • Track all expenses for SVP; prepare monthly expense reports on time.
  • Provide limited administrative support to other senior members of the Ecosystems program (scheduling, expense reports, travel booking, meeting logistics).

Project Management

  • Lead program-wide projects in conjunction with Senior Director of Operations.
  • Perform work autonomously with delegated authority to exercise discretion and discernment regarding matters of significance on behalf of the SVP.
  • Maintain current list of Board members and files of relevant Board committees, and coordinate quarterly EDF board and Ecosystems committee reports and dashboards.
  • Ensure the SVP is in full communication with the Development department about the actions to take with each donor.
  • Ensure that weekly internal communication updates from program leads flow to the SVP for reporting purposes.
  • Work closely in cloud-based project management tool (Podio) and serve as a resource to the Ecosystems program.
  • Help plan and lead program events and retreats.


  • Bachelor’s degree is preferred, plus at least four years supporting a senior-level executive.
  • Excellent judgment and discretion, proven ability to handle sensitive issues and maintain confidentiality.
  • Proficiency in the use of common software applications (e.g., MS Office, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, web and cloud based platforms).
  • Deeply organized, timely and thorough in planning and execution.
  • Adept at handling a busy senior-level executive’s schedule to improve their effectiveness.
  • Significant work experience in coordinating events and managing and executing projects that meet timely deadlines.
  • Excellent communication skills via written, spoken and graphical means.
  • Solid research skills required with ability to produce executive briefings.
  • Ability to work independently, lead and prioritize highly detailed tasks, use good judgment and initiative, and handle multiple contending priorities successfully.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Reliable, hardworking, trustworthy, discreet, poised, with a sense of humor. You are able to respect and keep confidences of others and work as part of a team.
  • Seasoned, professional demeanor; adept at working with senior-level management, administrative staff, board members, internal and external constituencies, donors and politicians.
  • Hardworking, resourceful administrator. Able to anticipate needs of the executive and organization, and trouble-shoot issues before they intensify.
  • Ability to juggle multiple projects, activities and meet critical deadlines.
  • Strong skills in constructive problem solving and in staying calm under pressure.
  • Ability to build and sustain momentum, while keeping an eye on the big picture and important details.
  • Ensures consistency and quality in all work products.
  • This position is an operational and administrative role and is suited for a professional who has made or wants to make a career in this line of work.