Executive Assistant

California Historical Society


Full Time

Administration, Museums & Historical Societies, Non-profit

Do you like dynamic, agile organizations and working at executive levels? Does the field of public history match your career values and aspirations?  The California Historical Society invites applicants for the position of Executive Assistant.  Reporting to the Executive Director/CEO, you will provide administrative support in a wide variety of areas, working across the organization and beyond to fulfill responsibilities.

About Us

The California Historical Society (CHS) is a non-profit organization with a mission to inspire and empower people to make the state’s richly diverse past a meaningful part of their contemporary lives in order to create a more just and informed future. Founded in 1871, CHS maintains a premier collection of original materials documenting the history of California from the Spanish conquest to the present day. The CHS Collection represents the environmental, economic, social, political, and cultural heritage of the entire state, including materials from outside California that contribute to a greater understanding of the state and its people. Beginning with its founding, and especially since establishing its Yerba Buena District headquarters on Mission Street in 1995, CHS has served residents of the Bay Area, the state, and beyond with its research library, exhibitions, publications, and public educational programs that draw on its important and wide-ranging collections of California history.

Today, CHS is embarking on a four-pronged effort to increase its public accessibility, relevance, and impact through innovative and thought-provoking exhibitions; impactful educational programs for youth and adults; expanded programming in Southern California (where CHS holds significant collections in partnerships with the Autry National Center and the University of Southern California); and a major digital preservation, management, and access initiative. Importantly, CHS has received a major grant from the State of California (through the State Library) to evaluate a relocation to the Old U.S. Mint via a partnership with the City and County of San Francisco.

Together, our small collaborative and dedicated staff is creating an ambitious and exciting future.

Primary responsibilities include:

  1. Providing varied and confidential administrative assistance to the Executive Director/CEO, leadership and staff, including assisting with fundraising and development work, travel arrangements, written correspondence, meeting logistics, and more.
  2. Engaging in varied communication internally and externally, including on behalf of the Executive Director/CEO, and at the behest of and supportive to leadership initiatives and other endeavors.
  3. Assisting with the planning and execution of Board of Trustee and Committee meetings, including preparing Board packets and materials and communication with trustees.
  4. Continually expanding knowledge of executive and institutional level stakeholders, contacts, issues, partnerships etc. in order to contribute thoughtfully to the strategic operation of the organization.
  5. Ensuring appropriate catering resources are provided for a variety of events, meetings, and programs.
  6. Performing a wide variety of administrative tasks in order to contribute to smooth office administration and facility maintenance.

Education/Experience Required

  • Bachelor’s degree (in any field); Bachelor’s or advanced degree in History, Public History, or other related field highly desirable
  • Relevant work experience in an office setting, particularly which demonstrates candidate’s ability for executive-level interactions and the handling of sensitive communications and information.

Knowledge, Abilities, and Skills


  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills including proficiency in English
  • Strong interpersonal and social skills necessary to develop and maintain positive relationships with colleagues, trustees, executive and non-executive staff members, and the general public
  • Ability to work independently, exercise discretion and sound judgment
  • Ability to handle multiple priorities, meet deadlines and work calmly and capably under pressure
  • Ability to perform well in fluid, changeable environments with fuzzy boundaries, and an eagerness to provide hands-on assistance to others as needed
  • Demonstrated ability to work successfully in a multi-cultural environment
  • Ability to perform accurate, high-quality, and detailed work
  • Digital literacy at high levels of proficiency including Microsoft Office suite, data bases and programs used in a networked environment, collaborative tools/programs (e.g. Dropbox, Basecamp), and social media platforms
  • Solid editing and proofreading skills
  • Demonstrated ability to handle sensitive and financial information responsibly, and to maintain confidentiality
  • Ability to lift and carry up to 20 lbs


  • Experience with Tessitura or another CRM system
  • Experience in non-profit organization
  • Keen interest in history and heritage, in particular California history, a significant plus

 Things you should know:

This is a full time position with benefits, including fully paid employee health, vision, dental, life, and AD&D, a generous holiday and time off policy, and a team full of interesting and warm people to work with.  Occasional overnight travel required.

Please submit your resume and cover letter to [email protected].

The California Historical Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to diversity among its staff.


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