Special Assistant to the President and Communications / Public Affairs Associate (Washington, D.C.)

Reports to: President & CEO

Based in: Washington, DC

Position Description:

The Special Assistant to the President and Communications/Public Affairs Associate position is a dual-hatted role based in Washington, DC. The successful candidate will serve as the primary substantive assistant to the President & CEO of the Council ensuring that the strategic and policy initiatives and responsibilities of the President & CEO are executed in a timely and efficient manner.   The role of Special Assistant to the President will support the President & CEO’s schedule and attend most of his meetings as well as help execute major projects and programs for the Council.   S/he will be privy to the inner workings of the Council and assist in the development of strategy in all aspects of the Council’s work flow.  S/he will help develop and support the President & CEO’s schedule and work closely with the Senior Leadership team of the Council.  Where necessary, s/he will represent the President & CEO at internal and external meetings. In addition, the role will serve as  the gatekeeper for internal and external communications for the US-ASEAN Business Council.

 

The successful candidate will develop and implement effective communications plans and deliverables in support of external and internal communication goals for the organization to ensure that its programs and priorities are accurately and effectively promoted, explained and represented.  S/he will monitor media/press in Southeast Asia and internationally for mentions of the Council or areas which may affect Council positions, and act as the primary point of contact for requests from the media, and will bear the responsibility for collaborating with Council staff in Washington and throughout Southeast Asia on the development of press release drafts and other materials of both a proactive and reactive nature, including digital and social media communications.  S/he will be responsible for a monthly newsletter from the President to the Council’s members.  

 

In addition, s/he is expected to develop contacts with key media representatives covering the trade, international affairs and Southeast Asia beats, academics and think tank leaders in Washington, DC and beyond.  S/he will also assist and support the planning, preparation and execution of major events at the Council, and will devote a portion of time to providing support to the membership team’s goals of expanding the Council and assisting in the retention of current Council members, potential upgrades and recruitment of new members.  The Associate must be highly organized, possess extreme attention to detail and be able to handle multiple tasks at the same time.  S/he must also be able to handle confidential material in a professional and responsible manner.

Responsibilities:

  • Work closely with the President & CEO and Senior Leadership to develop and implement the Council’s overall strategy
  • On a day-to-day basis, help manage the work flow in the office of the President & CEO
  • Read, edit and proof letters and papers for the President & CEO prior to their reaching the President & CEO
  • Help coordinate major Council initiatives with senior staff and ensure execution of the same
  • Track and monitor countries/committees/issues of particular interest to the President & CEO
  • Schedule regular internal staff meetings and manage the generation of agendas to support those meetings
  • Take meeting minutes and manage follow-up from meetings both internal and external
  • Manage projects and initiatives driven by the President & CEO
  • Help to manage President’s schedule
  • Manage the Council’s internal staff planning calendar and the public events calendar
  • Represent the President & CEO at internal and external meetings where he cannot attend in person
  • Coorinate and implement media, communications and public relations strategies for the Council
  • Act as the chief media liaison for the Council
  • Remain abreast of current issues that affect the Council’s programs and efforts
  • Evaluate current events and media reports in the United States and Asia Pacific that may impact the work of the Council  and work with President & CEO on strategic response
  • Provide ideas and advice on media opportunities
  • Oversee and manage the creation and development of the Council’s public organs, including the President’s Newsletter
  • Oversee the crafting of messages that the Council should convey in its public communication as well as internal communications to staff, members and the Board of Directors
  • Ensure that the website contains accurate data and is kept up to date, and coordinate with the website team to develop ways to enhance attraction to the website
  • Be an interal member of the Council’s web and social media team
  • Arrange and manage logisitics for press availabilities for the President & CEO as well as other Council senior executives
  • Work with team to provide marketing strategies for promoting the Council’s work and building its brand, social media attention and website traffic
  • In coordination with the Membership Team, support efforts to strengthen membership retention and new member development
  • At all times, maintain a level of professionalism that protects the Council and its interests, especially in the handling of confidential information
  • Other areas as may be assigned, including support for press and logistics for Council events in the United States such as the annual Gala, the annual UN General Assembly week in New York, the Ambassadors’ Tours and Trade Ministers’ Roadshow as appropriate, as well as other events.

Qualifications and Requirements:

  • 1-3 years of work experience in communications, public affairs and/or media relations role
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college in business administration, international relations, political science, and/or  journalism, public relations, English or a closely related field preferred, including strong academic credentials.  Graduate level education in these areas is a plus.
  • Exposure to and experience with American companies is preferred
  • A minimum requirement for this U.S.-based position is the ability to work legally in the United States on a permanent basis (U.S. citizen, U.S. Permanent Resident, or Qualifying Asylee/Refugee)
  • Must be extremely organized and detail-oriented
  • Must have excellent verbal and written skills, including editing and proofreading
  • Must have solid understanding of print, broadcast and online/social media
  • Must be able to professionally interact with executives and government officials from support staff to CEOs, Presidents and Prime Ministers
  • Must be willing to work outside of normal business hours as Council has offices in Southeast Asia and often does conference calls, including staff calls in evenings and early mornings
  • Must be able to work independently on multiple projects and meet deadlines
  • Must be proficient in Windows Office software including Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint
  • Must be adept at Internet use and search
  • Must have experience in strategizing and composing public communications such as press releases and statements
  • Must be able to handle multiple demands at the same time and work ahead of deadlines and anticipate problems and challenges
  • Must be able to function in a fast-paced environment and balance priorities
  • Must be a team player and a good motivator, interested in helping to keep team spirits high while under deadline pressure
  • Must be able to handle confidential information professionally
  • A knowledge of the U.S. government, ASEAN and/or the countries of Southeast Asia a plus.

Application Procedures

To apply, please submit a resume and a cover letter to jobs@usasean.org, addressing your qualifications vis-à-vis the job description. Clearly state in the subject line of your correspondence which position you are applying for.