Executive Assistant/Manager of Board Operations (BF)

About the Barr Foundation 

The Barr Foundation’s mission is to invest in human, natural, and creative potential, serving as thoughtful stewards and catalysts. As stewards, Barr nurtures and enhances vital community assets. As catalysts, the Foundation cultivates and advances the breakthrough ideas that will shape our collective future. Barr focuses on achieving impact as a constructive partner, willing to exercise leadership. 

Based in Boston, the Foundation focuses regionally, and selectively engages nationally, working in partnership with nonprofits, foundations, the public sector, and civic and business leaders to elevate the arts and creative expression, advance solutions for climate change, and expand educational opportunity. Barr is one of the largest private foundations in New England with assets of more than $1.9 billion and a 2019 grantmaking budget of $90 million. 

A set of core values defined by the Barr Foundation’s founding trustees expresses beliefs about what constitutes effective philanthropy and guides how the Foundation carries out its philanthropic mission. The Foundation is committed to strive for excellence, act with humility, adopt a long-term perspective, and embrace risk. Additionally, while each program is guided by distinct priorities and goals, Barr embraces a common set of approaches in all aspects of its work, namely flexibility and nimbleness, a broad range of tools, knowledge and learning, openness and transparency, and active collaboration. 

For more information on the Barr Foundation, please visit: www.barrfoundation.org 

Position Overview

Reporting to the President of the Barr Foundation, the Executive Assistant/Manager of Board Operations (“EA/MBO”) handles a range of responsibilities to support the President and Vice President, manages governance-related activities to support the work of the Foundation’s trustees.

Key working relationships include those with the President and Vice President; staff from the Foundation’s related family office, Pilot House Associates, to coordinate activities and tasks involving the President and founding trustees; and the Barr Foundation Board of Trustees, in support of their governance and oversight of Barr’s activities.  The EA/MBO also maintains strong working relationships with the various teams across the Foundation.

The EA/MBO must be adaptable and flexible in approach, as some duties and responsibilities will evolve based on both the skills of the incumbent and on the evolving circumstances at the Foundation. In addition to the ongoing responsibilities below, the EA/MBO will participate in and contribute to various all-staff programs and meetings and occasional work groups.

Principal Responsibilities

Support for President’s leadership and external engagement (20%)

  • Prepare selected briefing and advance materials to support the President’s broad range of activities and engagements, both internally and externally. Projects and assignments will vary, and the capacity to be proactive, diligent and thorough will be essential.
  • Conduct background research and analysis for the President, as needed related to writing and speaking engagements

Administrative Support for President (40%)

  • Maintain all calendaring, handle limited paper correspondence, and manage all incoming calls; greet visitors to the President and prepare meeting rooms
  • Maintain current contact file and support maintenance of electronic files for the President’s office
  • Handle invitation requests, conference and meeting registrations, and business-related travel for the President
  • Create and submit expense reports for the President using the Nexonia technology platform
  • Maintain an annual calendar of President’s key activities to inform the board’s annual performance review of the President
  • Monitor public email address for the President ([email protected]). Handle or forward those requests as applicable

Administrative Support for Vice President (20%)

  • Maintain calendaring and coordinate logistics for external and internal meetings and events, and manage or support related communications; greet visitors to the Vice President
  • Maintain current contact file and support maintenance of electronic files
  • Assist with meeting preparation, information requests, and occasional reports and presentations
  • Handle incoming calls, routine mail and email, conference and meeting registrations and related travel
  • Create and submit expense reports using the Nexonia technology platform
  • Generate VP-related contracts and process invoices and reimbursements
  • Monitor relevant deadlines and help support ongoing internal processes (e.g., tracking and organizing materials for annual program reviews). 

Board Operations (20%)

  • Support the President’s engagement with the Barr trustees, by assisting with preparation of materials and managing communications with the trustees and their offices
  • Prepare and distribute Board-related materials and/or respond to communications as requested
  • Administer electronic board portal and maintain board records, including reference files and trustee conflict of interest disclosures
  • Serve as principal point of contact with Barr trustees on all scheduling-related matters
  • Attend all trustee meetings and prepare meeting minutes for both regular and executive sessions
  • Create expense reports for Barr trustees related to travel and other out-of-pocket expenses (excluding Barr’s founding trustees)
  • Provide any needed support for board meetings, typically handled in partnership with Barr’s operations team, including assisting with logistics, assisting with meeting execution, and handling any related honoraria distributions for guests


Desired Skills and Experience

  • A minimum of 5 years of work experience, preferably in a nonprofit organization
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills to manage a range of relationships with care, to read situations well, and to treat all with respect and humility, especially given role as a representative for the Foundation and its senior leadership
  • Demonstrated capacity to take initiative, to be proactive by anticipating needs, and to be self-directed, with problem-solving orientation and follow through
  • Strong organizational skills and keen attention to detail, with the capacity to manage and prioritize multiple tasks and meet deadlines
  • Collegial, team-oriented, willing to pitch in as needed and to support colleagues at all times with a high degree of flexibility
  • Superb judgment, impeccable integrity and the maturity to handle confidential and sensitive information with care and discretion
  • Curiosity and eagerness to learn, and ability to gather and organize information from a variety of sources
  • Comfort working in a diverse team setting, with a commitment to issues of equity and inclusion
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office suite (Word, Outlook, Powerpoint and Excel), with ability to engage with Salesforce, Nexonia and other applications utilized by Barr


To Apply

Please visit https://bit.ly/35lnary to apply for this position. Only applications submitted via this link will be considered.

All inquiries may be directed in confidence to: Denise Gillespie, director of human resources, via email at [email protected]. This position offers a competitive salary with excellent benefits.

Barr Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, with a commitment to building and fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. We welcome candidates who would both contribute to and learn from working in such an environment.



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