Executive Office Manager (10 Months contract)

Geneva, Switzerland
[Closing date: 7 May 2018]   


Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is a collaborative, patients’ needs-driven, non-profit drug research and development (R&D) organization that is developing new treatments for Neglected Diseases (www.dndi.org)

In a context of sustained growth, DNDi has pursued its organizational development and strengthen the management of its Executive Office as a platform for overall coordination and decision-making. DNDi is managed by its Executive Director (ED) and an Executive Team that also includes the Operations Director, the R&D Director, the External Affairs Director, the HIV/HCV Director, the International Development Director, and the GARDP Director. They meet on a weekly basis. An Extended Executive Team includes the other directors in Geneva, as well as Directors of the four main regional offices. The DNDi Board is composed of up to 13 members, including representatives of its Founding partners. The Board usually meets twice a year for two-and a half days, prepared by various sub committees.


Specific job responsibilities

Personal administration to the Executive Director

  • Act as trusted personal assistant to the ED
  • Manage personal relationships of the ED with senior external stakeholder (calls, correspondence, meetings, visitors…). Maintain Stakeholder relationship database accordingly.
  • Organize travels and meetings
  • Be flexible to perform varying duties depending on the needs of DNDi/the ED
  • Coordinate sensitive issues upon request of the ED
  • Assess inquiries directed to the ED, determine the proper course of action, and either deal with the matter or delegate appropriately
  • Prepare, draft, and edit letters and emails from the ED. Prepare and review presentations and reports to be made by the ED. 

Administration of the Board of Directors

  • Support the ED to organise the Board of Directors meetings
  • Organize Board meetings: event preparation, document gathering
  • Oversee the Executive Office Assistant preparing the logistics for the Board meetings, including liaising with venues, board members travels (itineraries, hotel bookings…)
  • Interact with Board members as appropriate
  • Prepare Executive Committee Board meetings and support as appropriate sub committees of the Board
  • Attend Board meetings. Record, transcribe, and distribute minutes of Board meetings under the supervision of the ED and the Secretary of the Board (board member)
  • Liaise with relevant heads/directors in charge of agenda items to ensure timely delivery of content and preparation of decisions
  • Report to Operations Director and work with the Head of Legal to ensure compliance to internal rules

Coordinate Executive Teams & Leadership meetings preparation and follow up, under the supervision of the Operations Director

  • Organize planning of Executive Team meetings (weekly) and Extended Executive Team meetings (monthly) and ensure effective attendance and timely remote connections
  • Establish agenda upon operational planning and expected decisions, milestones, events…
  • Attend Executive Team meetings upon request, capture key decisions, and ensure dissemination of minutes
  • Support synthesis of annual action plan with internal stakeholders, in particular Finance & Planning Director, R&D, External Affairs Departments, and Regional Offices
  • Synthetize short term planning information from various departments and update DNDi global planning accordingly
  • Support the preparation of bi-annual Leadership meetings and annual staff meeting
  • Coordinate the gathering and release of the bi-monthly activity report

Coordinate Executive Office support

  • Ensure the effective and efficient day-to-day functioning of the Executive Office. Lead and motivate the Executive Office team for optimum performance.
  • Supervise Executive Office Assistant and delegate as appropriate. Liaise with the R&D and other department/ regional assistants to ensure co-ordination of DNDi Executive Team activities.
  • Ensure overall alignment of executive team members’ agendas. Occasionally provide admin support to Executive Team members (together with Executive Office Assistant).
  • Organize permanence of Executive Office support with R&D and Executive Office Assistants.
  • Feed internal communication with relevant information


Job requirements


  • Senior experience as a Personal Assistant of CEO or Senior Executive, Chief of staff, or Executive Office Manager. Minimum 10-year experience providing support at a high level.
  • Experience in large non-governmental organization or life sciences company – ideally both.
  • Proven ability to work effectively in a team environment

Skills and attributes

  • Detail oriented, while able to seize the big picture
  • Good judgment and inter-personnel skills
  • Good organizational and planning skills. Ability to meet short deadlines.
  • Flexibility, ability to adjust priorities in a fast moving environment
  • Integrity and ability to manage confidentiality
  • Demonstrated ability to capture key elements and decisions points, supported by good communication skills (verbal and written)
  • Self-starter, able to gather critical information
  • Effective team player, able to manage stress and positively shape his/her environment
  • Strong communication skills in multicultural, multi-lingual environments
  • Strong ability to work effectively as part of a multicultural team
  • Strong ability to provide high level support in project/programme delivery
  • Strong ability to manage medium/large projects with budget management
  • Strategic thinking and leadership abilities
  • Strong management, negotiation, and advocacy skills
  • Has autonomy for taking actions and decisions
  • Strong ability to interact with external stakeholders
  • Lead and motivate a small team for optimum performance, supervising staff

Other requirements

  • Fluent in spoken and written English and French.
  • PowerPoint, Word and Excel savvy. Agile with information system and databases (e.g. Sharepoint. Salesforce…)


Reporting line

  • Report to the ED and works closely with the Operations director and the Executive Team.
  • Act as team leader for the Assistants at Executive Team level
  • Directly supervise Executive Office Assistant.



Other information

  • Status: (Full time – Short Term Contract)


To apply

  • Deadline for application: Accepting applications until 7 May 2018
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.