EACEO0319 - Executive Assistant to Secretary & Chief Executive

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Posted: 22/03/2019 17:48
Start Date: Not Available
Salary: dependant on experience
Location: Piccadilly, London
Level: N/A
Deadline: 28/03/2019 23:59
Hours: 40.00
Benefits: plus generous company pension and other attractive benefits
Job Type: Permanent

About the Royal Academy of Arts

The Royal Academy of Arts is one of the UK’s foremost arts institutions, famous for its programme of temporary exhibitions. From ancient sculpture to modern-day masterpieces, we are the original home of the blockbuster exhibition. Dedicated to promoting the creation, study and enjoyment of art to all audiences, we are led by eminent artists and architects, and are unique in having practitioners at our very core.

We are an innovative and forward-looking organisation, yet we’re also immensely proud and respectful of our two and a half centuries of heritage. Our mission is to be a clear, strong voice for art and artists and we are leaders in the exhibition, creation and debate of the visual arts. Our staff, volunteers, students and Royal Academicians all share and support this vision, and our values are at the heart of all that we do.

About this position

The new Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts will commence his new role in May 2019.

We are looking for an exceptional Executive Assistant, to provide comprehensive, discreet and high-level support to him in his duties. 

The incumbent will be a trusted aide to the CEO representing him across the Academy whilst managing his complex diary.

About you

We’re looking for candidates with extensive diary management who are supremely well organised, with very strong attention to detail. As this role will be reporting to a non-English CEO, candidates will need to have exceptional use of the English language. 

Candidates should be able to work at speed and manage a full, varied and high-volume workload with first class interpersonal skills, being diplomatic, friendly and approachable.

We will expect high quality work produced on a proactive rather than reactive basis, therefore candidates should have the ability to plan ahead, pre-empt problems, identify solutions and troubleshoot with minimal supervision.

The benefits we offer

  • A generous pension, contributing up to 10% of your salary into a defined contribution scheme
  • Along with 25 days’ holiday and 8 bank holidays each year (pro rata), we close between Christmas Eve and New Year, allowing staff additional paid leave
  • Staff are encouraged to attend free History of Art and life drawing classes on site
  • We also have a staff choir, running and craft clubs
  • Best of all, we have reciprocal agreements with many leading museums and art galleries in London and New York that enable you to enter for free with your staff pass.

Closing date for applications: Sunday, 31 March 2019

Interviews to be held on Wednesday, 03 April 2019




Manage the office of the Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts, providing comprehensive, discreet and high-level support to the Chief Executive in their duties.  

To build and maintain trusted aide support to the Chief Executive.

To develop and assist with the ongoing relationship between the President, Royal Academicians and the Chief Executive.

To represent the Chief Executive across the Academy, maintaining relationships with external stakeholders and the other departments, proactively responding to issues as they arise.

To work collaboratively with the EA to the President when appropriate streamlining duties and building efficiencies in work processes.


High-level administrative support

  • Provide high level, effective and efficient EA support to the Chief Executive acting as a trusted aide.
  • Convene regular meetings to ensure they are well briefed on their daily engagements and with matters arising.
  • Collate meeting paperwork for meetings attended by the Chief Executive including the Executive Committee meeting, Council, GA, Trust and various Committees.
  • Ensure effective communication and a joined-up approach to issues as they arise, disseminating information as appropriate and ensuring messages are passed on promptly.
  • Draft and prepare correspondence on behalf of the Chief Executive.
  • Monitor the email account of the Chief Executive, file emails and flag up those that require attention.
  • Act as the first point of contact to the Chief Executive, answering calls and meeting requests.
  • Manage Chief Executive’s complex diary.  Suggest dates and liaise with internal and external stakeholders to confirm all meetings and ensure they are correctly added to the Outlook calendar.
  • Proactively pre-empt issues and attempt to provide solutions to problems where possible.
  • Liaise with the EA to the President regarding their joint meetings and to ensure effective communication between the two offices.
  • Meet and welcome visitors for the Chief Executive, showing them around the Royal Academy as required and organising refreshments if necessary.
  • Overseeing the maintenance of a well-ordered and secure filing and archiving system for the efficient retrieval of information relating to the work of the President.
  • Ensure a joined-up approach at all times with colleagues. Share knowledge and others informed of all updates to avoid duplication of effort in a fast-paced environment.
  • Prepare the CEO’s monthly Council report.
  • Manage the Heads of Department meeting and compile the minutes to be sent to the internal communications department.
  • Organise the weekly Executive Committee meeting and support the Director of Strategy to produce upcoming agendas and minutes.
  • Co-ordinate travel arrangements: hotel reservations, travel tickets, itineraries, resolve problems, record details all as necessary.

Continuously build efficiencies in EA support, working across the EA group as appropriate.

Cultivation of relationship between the CEO and Royal Academicians

  • Liaise with the Head of Membership Affairs over matters relating to the Royal Academicians, Council business and communications with them.


  • Maintain and monitor the office budget and expenditure. Collate financial information/summaries as requested.
  • Comply with all relevant Health & Safety policies, procedures and regulations and take appropriate and reasonable care for the safety of colleagues and visitors to the Academy.
  • Undertake any other duty which may reasonably be allocated by the President.
  • Approve credit card payments and expenses requested by the President, and other members of Executive.


Essential qualities and skills

  • Graduate calibre or equivalent
  • Experience working as an Executive/Personal Assistant is preferred, with extensive diary management, ideally gained within a complex organisation
  • Supremely well organised, with very strong attention to detail
  • Able to work at speed and manage a full, varied and high-volume workload
  • First class interpersonal skills, diplomatic, friendly and approachable
  • Able to communicate clearly
  • Have exceptional use of the English Language
  • First class drafting skills with a high level of accuracy
  • Able to work without supervision and demonstrate initiative
  • Able to treat all matters with absolute confidentiality, integrity and discretion
  • Highly proficient with Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Well-presented, polished with an excellent telephone manner

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