Job Opportunity

Title:                                                 Executive Administrator (Executive Assistant)

Organization, Location:                 McDowell Sonoran Conservancy; Scottsdale, Arizona

Position Type:                                 Full-Time; Exempt

Reports To:                                     Chief Operating Officer

Salary Range:                                 $56,000 – $63,000 DOE, plus competitive benefits package

Reports To:                                     Chief Executive Officer


Position Summary

The Executive Administrator (EA) to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is responsible for ensuring the success of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy’s mission by protecting the CEO’s time and capacity from the essential administrative requirements of leadership that can prevent them from leading.  Building professional relationships that value and honor the humanity of the Board, McDowell Sonoran Conservancy staff, and Community leaders while effectively communicating the needs and mission of the organization and the CEO are an integral part of the work required to that success.

As the Executive Administrator, you will play a vital role in focusing and coordinating the CEO’s efforts throughout the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy’s multiple lines of service and coordinate special projects as necessary.  The Conservancy is the official nonprofit partner of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Through a unique partnership with the City of Scottsdale we help ensure all visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. This partnership is successful because our team works with over 650 volunteers to take care of, safeguard, and educate about this amazing resource. In addition to our work in the Preserve, our staff and volunteers support our education and scientific research programs, with activities ranging from K-6 education in underserved communities to scientific research across the Sonoran Desert.

Responsibilities Include

  • Managing the schedule of the Chief Executive Officer 
    • Plan and schedule meetings in a manner that balances organizational needs and CEO wellbeing
    • Daily priorities update and reminders
  • Provide routine administrative support for the Chief Executive Officer
    • Manage general correspondence
    • Organize and prioritize files and communications in a manner that allows the CEO to quickly transition from one priority to another thereby maximizing their ‘desk-time’
    • Record and prepare Board Meeting minutes
    • Record and prepare Board Committee reports
    • Manage credit card reconciliations and assist with accounts payable
    • Other projects and duties as assigned
  • Manage Board of Directors communication and logistics
    • Under the direction of the CEO and Board Chair, guide ongoing and effective communication with the Board of Directors
    • Create and maintain the overall schedule of Board and Committee meetings
    • Monitor Board communications and meeting schedule and coordinate with assigned staff to prepare and deliver their assignments
    • Create meeting timelines, prepare and distribute meeting notifications, and agenda materials, managing all correspondence around meeting execution
    • Coordinate logistical arrangements for Board of Directors and assigned Committee meetings, including facilities and food and beverage requirements
    • Attend Board and assigned Board Committee meetings, coordinating attendance of presenters, acting as the gatekeeper for all sessions
  • File and data management
    • Create and maintain records that are safe, secure and readily accessible to staff, Board and other stakeholders, adhering to best practices and audit guidelines – including document retention
  • Special Project management
    • Communicate project timelines and tasks to appropriate McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Staff
    • Remain informed of project status and provide updates to the CEO as needed or requested
    • Resolve team and project needs with minimal oversight from the CEO
  • Relationship management
    • Build professional relationships with the Board, staff, and other stakeholders that engender trust and responsiveness
    • Advise or update the CEO on personal details of the Board, staff, and other stakeholders that will allow them to offer the ‘personal touch’ thereby improving and strengthening the professional relationships that will allow McDowell Sonoran Conservancy to thrive
  • Other duties, as assigned.

Candidate Qualifications

Essential Skills

  • Ability to recognize the needs of the CEO and the organization and offer solutions in alignment with those needs
  • Ability to anticipate future needs and offer proactive solutions and strategies
  • Ability to multitask, be flexible, and re-prioritize workload to ensure completion of commitments
  • Ability to take initiative and work independently using good judgment to know when to seek direction and clarification
  • Ability to create and sustain strong working relationships
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with a Board of Directors, Staff, and Volunteers working as a contributing member with an understanding of the entire organization and contexts
  • Attention to detail and ability to proofread for grammar, accuracy, errors, and omissions
  • Comfort and ability to work with diverse groups of stakeholders, including volunteers and donors
  • Executive-level communications (verbal, written, phone, email)
  • Time and priority management
  • Calendar management and scheduling
  • Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, Calendar, OneDrive, Forms, Sway)
  • Credit card reconciliation and a basic understanding of accounts payable
  • Maintain focus in an open, busy office environment where interruptions are frequent
  • Organization and systems/process thinking
  • Strategic thinking and problem solving
  • Confidential information management
  • Strong group facilitation skills

Required Qualifications

  • Associate of Arts or Sciences degree in business, nonprofit administration, public administration, or related discipline
  • Three or more years of demonstrated success in high-level administrative support
  • OR equivalent combination of education and experience in related/applicable areas
  • A valid driver’s license
  • Access to reliable transportation
  • Ability to lift up to 30lbs on a regular basis

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelors of Arts or Sciences degree in business, nonprofit administration, public administration, or related discipline
  • Five or more years of demonstrated success in high-level administrative support
  • Experience working with a Board of Directors

Like all of our team members, the Executive Administrator will contribute to a culture based upon respect, teamwork and collaboration. Adaptability, creativity, and a passion for the environment and the Conservancy are a must.


Vacation: 10 days

Sick Leave: 10 days

Health, Vision, and Dental Insurance

At the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy we believe in growth and development.   At times, opportunities to engage in programs or events that elevate our team’s capabilities may arise.  We are open to discussing the support we can offer towards participation when those opportunities arise.

Instructions – How to Apply

A comprehensive resume or curriculum vitae with single page cover letter and at least 3 references should be attached to an email message and sent to

Items should be saved together in one PDF (.pdf) or Word document (.doc or .docx), and saved with a file name in the following format:  LastnameEAApplication.pdf or LastnameEAApplication.doc or LastnameEAApplication.docx

The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws. The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfers, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

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