Administrative Specialist, Public Engagement with Science

The Kavli Foundation is dedicated to advancing science for the benefit of humanity. The foundation’s mission is implemented through an international program of Kavli research institutes, initiatives and symposia in the fields of astrophysics, theoretical physics, nanoscience and neuroscience, as well as the biennially awarded Kavli Prize and a program in public engagement with science.

Reporting to the Director of Public Engagement with Science, the administrative specialist will support the Public Engagement with Science and “Joint Program” (efforts at the intersection of public engagement strategies and science/research strategies, as well as science policy). These programs include building the field of engaging the public in science/science communication, supporting scientists to be more effective communicators, partnerships with federal agencies to engage people in basic science, supporting our partners (at our Kavli Institutes and beyond) to be effective communicators and engage the public in their science, and new significant initiatives and investments at the intersection of ethics, science and the public. Candidates will have demonstrated administrative skills; project management and information tracking skills; experience working directly with organization directors’ or equivalent; strong organizational skills that reflect an ability to perform and prioritize multiple tasks seamlessly with excellent attention to detail; strong and professional interpersonal skills and the ability to build relationships with stakeholders, including staff, and external partners; expert level written and verbal communication skills; a proven ability to handle confidential information with discretion; and adaptability to and management of various competing demands.

Location: The Kavli Foundation Headquarters | 5715 Mesmer Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90230

Position Type: Full-time
Travel Required: Minimal to none
​Direct Report: Director, Public Engagement with Science


1. Support the director, calendar meetings and relationship management:

  • Schedule and set-up meetings and phone/web conference calls.
  • In conjunction with the Public Engagement Specialist, prepare preparatory materials for calls, meetings, travel and similar activities. Following meetings, assists in determining appropriate course of action, referral or response.
  • Coordinate meetings with various constituents, including coordination of logistics or travel and preparation of detailed itineraries and agenda.
  • Input meetings and all relevant visit information into director’s calendars and logs in Salesforce.
  • Compile or create relevant preparatory and follow-up documents for all meetings.

2. Tracking and management of information:

  • Data entry, maintenance and reporting of data into and from Salesforce CRM system, including updates to contact information.
  • Design, monitor and improve workflows to make sure projects stay on track; coordinating with relevant foundation staff to ensure efficiency in workflows.
  • Manage project-related paperwork by ensuring all necessary materials are current, properly filed and stored.
  • Adhere to budget by monitoring expenses.

3. Support director’s preparation for board of directors and trustee meetings reports:

  • Identify calendar key dates for board meeting preparation and plan timeline for meeting deadlines.
  • Proofread and format board/trustee report drafts and presentations.
  • Help create PowerPoint and other materials.

4. Prepare travel and expense reports for director:

  • Prepare travel pre-approval requests and expense reports through the SAP Concur system.
  • Coordinate with the foundation’s travel agent the purchases of airline tickets, hotel. accommodations, rental cars and/or car service; or arrange complex and detailed travel.
  • Register director for meetings/conferences, organize and prepare agendas/sessions logistics for conference attendance.
  • Prepare itineraries, and relevant background material, for director prior to travel.

5. Assist the director in grants/contract and budget administration and coordination:

  • Enter data into the grants/contract management system, extract data, and track grant/contract actions needed by director.
  • Process, review and facilitate approval for vendor payments.
  • Support the director’s budget review by reviewing and comparing monthly financial reports with grants/contract management system.

7. Assist with symposia, meetings and special events:

  • With oversight from the director and guidance from the meetings and events manager, help coordinate on/off-site meetings (in-person or virtual), receptions and dinners as well as assistance during the event as needed.
  • Duties might include assisting the director and team in all aspects of planning and implementing meetings and events including working with external partners and the meetings and events manager on invitations, tracking RSVPs, budgeting and coordinating logistics and expense reimbursements.

8. Inter-team coordination:

  • Work closely with members of other foundation teams to create seamless transfer of information and tasks.
  • Example tasks include the following: (1) work with accounting to efficiently process meeting attendee travel reimbursements, (2) work with the digital content & engagement manager to prepare materials and content for the foundation’s web page, (3) work with assistants of other teams to share responsibility for requesting/ordering supplies, monitoring office equipment, and generally maintaining the foundation’s offices in a way that enables all team members to pursue their work most efficiently.


  • Bachelor’s degree preferred
  • Required: Five years’ demonstrated experience as project coordinator or executive assistant
  • Candidates having experience working at an academic institution, nonprofit organization or foundation is preferred


  1. Required: Proficient to intermediate technology skills on Adobe Acrobat, database systems (e.g., grant management, CRM, event management, travel management), and Microsoft software programs: Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  2. Required: Outlook Calendar management experience
  3. Preferred: Asana, Salesforce, Wordpress
  4. Preferred: prior project management experience
  5. Experience with Sharepoint, Slack and Salesforce desired
  6. Excellent analytical and problem-solving abilities
  7. Strong attention to detail
  8. Exhibit self-initiative and problem-solving skills
  9. Concur travel and expense experience preferred
  10. Excellent writing, communication and organizational skills
  11. Superb time management skills—able to anticipate workload, be proactive and meet deadlines
  12. Ease in working on multiple projects simultaneously
  13. Ability to handle confidential information with discretion
  14. Ability to work with a variety of people to support a team

2-step application process

  1. Submit resume and cover letter to
  2. Applicants must complete the Culture Index Survey.

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