Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Jobs

Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Executive Assistant to the Lab Director in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 310152

Directorate: Lab Director Office

Job Description


The Laboratory Director seeks an Executive Assistant who can demonstrate expert administrative authority and apply knowledge and skills to initiate or complete a wide range of tasks and projects. The successful candidate must be able to initiate and complete complex tasks in creative and effective ways. The Executive Assistant to the Laboratory Director contributes to the development of new concepts and techniques; makes decisions and responds to a wide range of actions and/or inquiries based on in-depth knowledge of the laboratory or comparable complex organization.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory managed and operated by Battelle with 4,700 scientists, engineers, and support professionals conducting $1 billion of research annually.

I. Job Purpose:

To provide executive level administrative support to the Laboratory Director and the Laboratory Director’s Office in managing office operations. This position also works closely with the Laboratory Leadership Team, Director’s Special Assistant, Executive Assistants, and internal staff and external stakeholders, while ensuring the quality of customer service and efficiency and effectiveness of office operations.

II. Quantitative Dimensions:

The Executive Assistant supports the Lab Director, who has 15 direct reports, including two deputy directors, seven associate laboratory directors, four functional office directors, and a special assistant. Collectively, this group is known as the Laboratory Leadership Team (LLT). (Organizational Chart Attached.) The Laboratory Director’s Office (LDO) is composed of the Laboratory Director and his or her EA; both Deputy Directors and their EAs; and LDO administrator, who reports to the Deputy Director for Science and Technology; and the Director’s special assistant.

II. Nature and Scope:

The incumbent must respond with flexibility to shifting priorities and rapid change, maintain composure under stress and pressure, work effectively with others and put people at ease. The incumbent must know whom to involve and when, cultivate a network of contacts both internal and external to the organization, and use formal and informal channels to get things done. The incumbent is responsible for responding to, or directing to the appropriate person(s), questions from staff or internal/external clients and sponsors regarding the Laboratory, Battelle, and DOE policies and procedures. The incumbent is also responsible for communicating and providing guidance regarding administrative policy and procedural guidelines set forth by Battelle. The incumbent will work with the leadership team and the Director’s special assistant to prepare agenda items for LLT weekly meetings and LLT Workshops and will take meeting minutes.

III. Principal Accountabilities:

  • Provides executive level support to the Laboratory Director by anticipating, organizing, and expediting the flow of work through the office. Manages the Laboratory Directors’ calendar; coordinates complex travel itineraries and logistics; tracks deliverables and follows up as needed internally and externally to gather information; assembles background information needed for meetings, presentations, and other project deliverables.

  • Principal initial contact as a representative of the Laboratory Director’s Office (LDO) with high-level executives in corporations, government agencies, and academia. Maintains regular contact with all levels of staff throughout the Laboratory, and with individuals from outside organizations, including senior leaders from the community or region, other DOE national laboratories, and Battelle.

  • Reviews and triages the Lab Director’s incoming email and mail and monitors the status of critical items and deadlines to ensure timely completion. Ensures correspondence files are maintained.

  • Communicates the Laboratory Director’s requests, instructions, or assignments as needed to his or her staff, their assistants, the Laboratory’s Protocol Office, matrixed support staff, and other research or support professionals.

  • Responsible for efficiently and effectively managing office operations, including telecommunications capabilities and procedures, and continuous process improvement.

  • Composes correspondence for the Laboratory Director’s or his delegate’s signature.

  • Ensures accuracy, completeness (including approval signatures), and appropriateness of format of written material and proof reads material prior to acquiring the Laboratory Director’s signature.

  • Communicates and provides guidance regarding administrative policies and procedural guidelines set forth by PNNL or Battelle. Implements administrative training as required.

  • Provides general leadership to the LDO administrative team, including seamless support to the LDO managerial team.

  • Provides general leadership and mentorship to the Executive Assistants (EAs) through monthly meetings and other interactions, including identification of professional training opportunities and support to the LLT members for EA succession planning.

  • Provides leadership, vision and advocacy for the Lab’s administrative community, including opportunities to engage in professional and technical development that help drive productivity and culture throughout the organization. Includes development of administrative seminars and forums. Motivates teams to work on major ongoing initiatives. Takes the initiative to go beyond the scope of his or her role to champion ideas, drive change and produce results.

  • Routinely acts as an advisor to Executive staff/leadership and staff at all levels regarding leadership, communication, interpersonal skills and approaches. Mentors and provides direction and guidance to other administrators and executives as needed/requested.

MAJOR CONTACTS: Internal contacts include continual interaction with Associate Laboratory Directors, functional Directors, corporate and other Battelle component staff. Nature of the interactions requires exercise of considerable tact, diplomacy, and confidentiality.

External contacts may include Office of the Governor, Legislative members of the State of Washington, senior management of DOE (HQ, RL, PNSO), including offices of the Secretaries, numerous company presidents, senior members of the Armed Forces, chairmen of boards associated with the Laboratory, university presidents, Battelle Trustees, the Battelle President and CEO, and senior management of other Battelle components.

MAJOR CHALLENGES: Working independently with minimal direction while dealing with regular interruptions and time-constrained issues; maintaining a broad working knowledge of a wide variety of activities conducted by separate functions; exercising a high degree of initiative and judgement in advisement and monitoring of senior management activities.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Minimum qualifications include High school education and 15 years of relevant experience, with 10 or more years in an administrative environment or an equivalent combination of relevant training and experience.

  • Demonstrate proficient use of standard office equipment; demonstrate proficient use of MS Office Suite; prioritize work, and calendar management; be responsible for commitments and tracking action items.

  • Understand office support functions and possess the ability to effectively apply procedures, and direct and delegate workflow of others as appropriate. Be able to identify potential administrative problems/areas for continuous improvement, recommend solutions and direct implementation.

  • Use discretion and excellent judgment; positively interact with a wide-variety of PNNL staff and clients of all levels, including DOE and Battelle; resolve and/or advise management on a wide range of administrative issues; provide training and guidance to less senior or new staff when necessary. Must set and coordinate administrative priorities and effectively communicate information within and for the Laboratory.

  • One of the most important factors of the position is positive and professional interpersonal skills. Candidates must have clearly demonstrated proficiency in the area of interpersonal skills, diplomacy, tact, and professionalism as well as appropriate handling of confidential and sensitive information. The incumbent must be flexible in shifting priorities and rapid change, maintain composure under stress and pressure, work effectively with others and put people at ease. Must also know whom to involve and when, cultivate a network of contacts both internal and external to the organization, and use both formal and informal channels to get things done.

  • Ability to: independently make decisions/respond to a wide range of actions and/or inquiries based on business knowledge; thoroughly understand PNNL, Battelle, and the reporting requirements of the specific directorates.

  • Excellent oral and written communications skills required. Prior senior-level administrative experience within a research organization also desired.

  • Because of the confidential nature of this position, immediate family members of Battelle employees may only be considered under limited conditions.

Preferred Qualifications

Minimum of 7 years working at the executive level with experience in mentoring and team leadership. Expert in working in a very high-paced environment. Expert in planning Executive level meetings, coordinating complex travel and drafting documents and correspondence. Expert ability to make sound decisions.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and supports diversity in the workplace. All employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital or family status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. All BMI staff must be able to demonstrate the legal right to work in the United States. BMI is an E-Verify employer. Learn more at

Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from participation in certain foreign government talent recruitment programs. If you are offered a position at PNNL and are currently a participant in a foreign government talent recruitment program you will be required to disclose this information before your first day of employment.

Directorate: PNNL

Job Category: Administration/Specialist/Support

Group: PNNL

Opening Date: 2019-11-19

Closing Date: 2020-01-12