Executive Assistant & Project Manager, Nonprofit and Social Impact Practice

  • Diversified Search Group
  • Chicago, IL (Hybrid)

About Koya Partners 

Koya Partners is the nation’s premier search firm dedicated to mission-driven leadership. Since its founding in 2004, Koya has had an exclusive focus on mission-driven clients and was founded on the philosophy that ‘The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World.’ With over 100 team members nationally and a global reach, Koya has earned its reputation as the leading firm in mission- driven search and works with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.  

A key differentiator of Koya is that each member of our firm has a genuine passion for, and commitment to, mission-driven work. This firm-wide commitment impacts our approach to our work and results in trusted and lasting partnerships with our clients and candidates.  

Clients come to us, and return, for our high-quality client service and exceptional placements. Our networks span the nonprofit, private and public sectors. We are motivated by the opportunity to advance mission-driven work, a firm-wide commitment that impacts our approach and results in trusted and lasting partnerships.  

This commitment to mission-driven work is also core to how we treat our employees. We believe wholeheartedly that best-in-class service to candidates and clients can, and should, go hand in hand with being a best-in-class organization for our team. Internally, we believe in and strive to foster a workplace in which all perspectives are valued and welcomed.  

Diversity, equity and inclusion are deeply held values at Koya. We believe diversity spans gender, race, faith, ability and sexual orientation and strive to build diverse pools of talent in our work with clients and track metrics on diversity as a performance outcome for our recruiters.  

We are proud of the results of our commitment: in 2021, close to 60% of the leaders Koya placed were leaders of color. 70% were women.  

For more information on Koya Partners, please visit our website

About Diversified Search Group 

Diversified Search was founded almost five decades ago for the express purpose of placing candidates from underrepresented backgrounds with our client organizations. The firm established Diversified Search Group, comprised of our founding firm as well as the firms of Alta Associates, BioQuest, Koya Partners, Storbeck Search, and Grant Cooper, to harness the collective resources and industry expertise of our firms and create a new model in executive search. Diversified Search Group is dedicated to recruiting inspiring, transformational leaders of every background who build culture, foster innovation and deliver both social impact and financial performance.  

Our Commitment to Chicago 

We embrace the chance to represent our clients across the country and around the world. We are particularly vested in the Chicago region and in the success of clients doing transformational work here. Our Chicago Office is located downtown in the historic Civic Opera Building. We have expanded over the years, allowing us to provide the highest level of service and convening spaces.  

We partner with a broad range of clients including those in philanthropy, social services, arts & culture, membership organizations, other nonprofits, colleges and universities. We also work with corporate clients with mission-driven roles.  

Locally, we have recruited CEO, President, Executive Director and other senior executives to the following clients, among many others:  

In arts and culture, representative clients include the Adler Planetarium, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Lyric Opera and the Museum of Science & Industry.  

Selected clients in philanthropy include the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Obama Foundation, the Polk Bros. Foundation, the Field Foundation, Builders Vision and The Chicago Community Trust.  

In social services and related fields, we have partnered with leading civic institutions in Chicago including the United Way of Metro Chicago, YMCA of Metro Chicago, Boys & Girls Clubs, Greater Chicago Food Depository, Feeding America, the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities and the Civic Consulting Alliance.  

In higher education, our clients include DePaul University, the Illinois Institute of Technology, Loyola University, Northwestern University, the University of Chicago and many others. We also work with educationally oriented youth programs, college readiness programs and clients focused on K-12 education and related.  

Many of our senior recruiters have chosen to move their practices to Koya from global executive recruiting firms including Russell Reynolds Associates, Spencer Stuart, Korn Ferry and Heidrick & Struggles, among others.  

Koya’s work has been featured in numerous publications over the years. In a 2017 cover page article, Crain’s profiled Koya’s efforts to strengthen and diversify the senior-most leadership at mission-driven clients noting that Alison Ranney, Partner in Charge, Chicago “is remaking what leadership looks like across the country.”  

About the Executive Assistant & Project Manager Role 

As we continue on our strong trajectory of growth, we are looking to hire an Executive Assistant & Project Manager to join our team in Chicago.  

The Executive Assistant & Project Manager (“EA/PM”) provides support to the Managing Partner and Partner in Charge, Chicago (“Partner in Charge”) and leads a variety of projects, including those related to Chicago colleagues and the office.   

Our work is fast-paced and ever-changing. We do whatever it takes to provide superior service to our clients, candidates and colleagues while upholding our values and cultural norms.  

This colleague is a detail-oriented, proactive and collaborative member of our team who will strive to continuously improve, enjoy receiving and providing feedback and ensure the cultural and operational success of our Chicago Office.   

Reporting to the Partner in Charge, and operating within a collaborative team environment, this colleague will serve as a connector, problem solver and facilitator, working independently at times, and at other times closely with the Partner in Charge and other colleagues.   

They will be entrepreneurial and proactive in supporting a variety of projects and searches in a fast-paced environment with keen attention to detail and a commitment to continuous improvement.  

The ideal candidate will bring a deep passion for the mission driven sector. A track record of successful project coordination is highly desirable.  

Responsibilities include: 

Lead Administrative Support   

  • Serve as a key partner to the Partner in Charge to accomplish goals and critical functions, prioritize projects and optimize business impact. 
  • Help the Partner in Charge implement tools and processes to ensure effectiveness.  
  • Produce accurate, polished, professional-quality documents, both print and electronic, often under tight time constraints.  
  • Serve as a liaison between internal colleagues and external executives.  
  • Ensure the Partner in Charge is fully prepared for meetings, has access to all meeting materials, background information, etc.  
  • Manage the Partner in Charge’s calendar including prioritizing, optimizing and coordinating meetings, calls and related executive events. Coordinate air travel, ground transportation and hotel accommodations and submit expense reports.  
  • Inform participants of meeting details, reserve meeting space, provide audio/visual and other equipment/materials, as required, and hospitality services when appropriate.  
  • Draft correspondence and follow-up information for a variety of constituents.  
  • Ascertain the nature of incoming telephone calls, screen and direct them as appropriate.  
  • Exercise discretion with confidential information at all levels.  

Business Development, Client Engagement and Support 

  • Working closely with the Partner in Charge, serve as a partner and project manager for a robust and diverse pipeline of new business to the firm.   
  • Serve as the first point of contact for potential clients.    
  • Respond to new business inquiries.  
  • Conduct pre-qualification calls with prospective clients.  
  • Craft and refine business development materials and proposals, working closely with colleagues.  
  • Maintain the integrity of business development data in our database; demonstrate excellence in processes to capture information.  
  • Plan and execute client facing events in the Chicago Office and the Chicago region.   

Team and Office Project Management 

  • Support the Partner in Charge as she leads the largest team firm-wide relating to all team-related functions, including HR, team meeting and event planning and other important aspects. 
  • Serve as a ‘culture carrier’ for the Chicago Office and firmwide as well as a ‘reciprocal mentor’ to colleagues.    
  • Act as an internal and external liaison for team members. 
  • Provide professional interface with clients and candidates with superior customer service orientation.  
  • Maintain a welcoming and organized office environment.  
  • Build and maintain relationships with the management of the Civic Opera Building and external vendors.  
  • Ensure office repairs and maintenance are completed in an efficient manner.  
  • Order and inventory office supplies, technology and equipment.  

Strong candidates for this role will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills and characteristics: 

  • An interest in working in a fast-paced, client-driven environment with a strong client-service orientation.  
  • Ability to simultaneously manage and execute on a number of diverse projects and priorities.   
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills.  
  • Skill at managing up and anticipating needs, able to adapt to different work and communication styles.  
  • Comfort with ambiguity and change; an ability to make progress amidst competing priorities.  
  • Meticulous attention to detail, including the ability to edit, format, produce cohesive, error-free documents. 
  • A desire to continuously improve and an openness to receiving and providing feedback.  
  • Creative troubleshooting skills; ability to proactively identify needs and provide solutions.  
  • A natural inclination for developing strong relationships and networks and the ability to represent the firm well when communicating with executive candidates and clients. 
  • Strong verbal and written interpersonal and communication skills.  
  • Entrepreneurial mindset, with proven ability to self-direct, be proactive and take initiative.  
  • Ability to handle sensitive information with appropriate discretion and strict confidentiality.  
  • Advanced proficiency in Microsoft Office, including Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; and video conferencing software, specifically Zoom.  
  • An ambition to be a key member of a hardworking, collaborative, fun and values-driven team.  
  • A commitment to, and identification with, the core values of Koya Partners, Diversified Search Group and our clients.  

This is a hybrid position located in our office in Chicago, Illinois.  

Compensation & Benefits 

The compensation range for this role is between $75,000 and $80,000 and is commensurate with experience. 

Express Interest 

To express interest in this role, please visit this link or email   

At Diversified Search Group, we celebrate our diversity and believe that it is our differences that allow us to excel as a team and to best serve our clients and job candidates. We are an equal opportunity employer that is fully committed to creating an environment free of harassment and discrimination, and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, military status, veteran status, genetic information, gender identity or any other legally protected characteristic. 

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