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Executive Assistant

Date: July, 2016
Reports to (Job Title): Vice-President, University Relations
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): None
Department: Office of the Vice-President, University Relations


Waterloo, Main Campus


35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

Reporting to the Vice-President, University Relations (VPUR), the Executive Assistant (EA) is responsible to support the VPUR to achieve their priorities which includes oversight of the operations of University Relations.  This position provides continuity within University Relations as leadership changes.

University Relations includes Marketing & Strategic Initiatives, Community Relations & Events, University Communications and Government Relations.



Primary Purpose

The EA is expected to have an excellent understanding of priorities and issues affecting the internal and external communications, relationships and advocacy efforts of the university.  The incumbent will be responsible for the day-to-day and long term operation of the Office of the VPUR.

This position works across all areas of the institution and including, where appropriate, the Office of the President and other Vice-Presidents/Deans and provides direction, at the Vice-President’s request, to the Vice-President’s direct reports, UR team and across the University and to external stakeholders.


Nature and Scope

The VPUR is a key member of UWaterloo’s senior executive leadership team working to achieve the goals and directions set-out in the University’s Strategic Plan.  The VPUR’s areas of responsibility include collaboration with the Office of the President and all key constituents associated with university relations, the VPUR formulates, recommends and executes strategic and annual operating plans to advance the positive profile of the University of Waterloo. The VPUR ensures University Relations priorities, strategies, plans and programs are aligned with the priorities of all faculties and departments across campus.  The VPUR oversees local, provincial and national government relations programs and works with other key leadership team members to identify key policy and funding issues of strategic importance to UWaterloo.

It is the responsibility of the Executive Assistant to assist the VPUR by carrying out a wide variety of activities at a high level of performance and to ensure the office operates in an efficient and professional manner. On behalf of the VPUR, the Executive Assistant may also give direction to and provide support to senior leaders in University Relations which includes Government Relations, Marketing and Strategic Initiatives, Community Relations and Events, and University Communications.  This role is crucial in the provision of excellent client service and acts as an ambassador to the campus community as well as to members of the external community.

The Vice-President, University Relations’ portfolio encompasses a wide variety of professional activities including high-level involvement on a number of internal and external committees and organizations.

This position requires a high degree of acumen, integrity, tact, diplomacy and time-management skills; the flexibility to adapt to changing executives and priorities; the ability to work as part of a team; an in-depth knowledge of the university environment, including university structure, policies and procedures. The incumbent must be able to work independently in terms of daily management of the Office, and yet recognize the emergence of problems and issues which require the attention of the VPUR.

Other positions reporting to the Vice-President, University Relations include the Associate Vice-President Marketing and Strategic Initiatives, the Associate Vice-President Government Relations, the Associate Vice-President University Communications and the Senior Director Community Relations and Events.

Key Accountabilities:

Executive Administrative Support



Communications and Information Management



Financial Oversight



Website Management

Position Requirements


University degree or equivalent experience and education.


At least 10 years of professional experience, at least part in an executive office, providing administrative, business process and financial assistance to a senior role of a similar institution or corporation.


Proven ability to build strong relationships and influence individuals at all levels of an organization, as well as external constituents.  


Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and independently and thrive in a fast-paced entrepreneurial environment.


Strong organizational and analytical skills in the gathering and manipulation of data.


High level of maturity and empathy; highly developed interpersonal and influencing capabilities.


Excellent communication (oral and written) with the ability to write communication on behalf of an executive.


Strong technological skills along with excellent organizational skills and ability to manage complex detailed work.


Familiar with University governance systems, policies and procedures and knowledge of Waterloo web design standards/guidelines.


Experience managing global travel and meeting schedules is an asset.


Ability to adapt to varying management styles.


MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Advanced Intermediate Advanced
  • Outlook – Advanced
  • Raiser’s Edge (the University’s electronic database used as a fundraising and alumni relations management tool to help cultivate relationships, communicate with constituents, and to make informed decisions through better data analysis and reporting capabilities. It contains highly confidential individual (all alumni, students, staff, faculty & many other ‘friends’ of the University), corporate and foundation records.
  • experience using web-based user interfaces to manage and maintain web content

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

This position works independently and collaboratively and requires outstanding customer service, sound judgment, a strong work ethic and an ability to work under challenging time constraints with competing priorities. 


Highly complex issues are involved which may bring in different levels of government, media, corporate leaders, opinion leaders, faculty, staff and students – often high risk of impact on institutional reputation if not handled well.


Collaborative team player comfortable leading as well as executing and taking constructive input from multiple sources.  Ability to provide unobtrusive support to the VPUR and their team by earning the trust and confidence of them.  Communicates effectively, precisely and professionally with internal and external sources.  Proactive in anticipating the needs of the VPUR and team members and the ability to manage tight deadlines and stressful situations.

Level of Responsibility:

Often manages highly confidential issues for the VPUR.


The Executive Assistant works very closely with the VPUR and the offices of other Vice-Presidents/Deans on matters to advance the priorities of the President and institution.


Highly complex issues are involved which may bring different levels of government, media, corporate leaders, opinion leaders, faculty, staff and students – often high risk of impact on institutional reputation if not handled well.

Decision-Making Authority:

Makes decisions that can have significant impact on the reputation on the Office of the VPUR and/or of the University. 


Ensures that key issues are brought to the attention of the VPUR with the goal of ensuring minimal escalation of matters.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

Minimal demands typical of a position operating within an office environment; periods of extensive sitting and concentrated use of visual senses; physical effort that may result in moderate fatigue, strain or injury, as a result of repetitive keyboard/mouse movement.   

Working Environment:

Physical Risks – no significant risk. 


Psychological Risks – Minimal exposure to disagreeable conditions typical of a C-level office.