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Senior Administrative Assistant - Center for Bioenergy Innovation

Date: Jun 8, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 5983 


We are seeking a Senior Administrative Assistant who will support the Center for Bioenergy Innovation in the Biosciences Division, Biological & Environmental Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  


The Center for Bioenergy Innovation (CBI), led by ORNL, is engineering feedstock plants and microbes to create a sustainable bioeconomy. CBI builds on a robust legacy of scientific understanding to provide breakthroughs for a new generation of cost-effective, environmentally positive, and industrially relevant bioproducts and biofuels. CBI is a fast-paced organization with over 250 researchers from 15 partner organizations throughout the US with a budget of $25 million per year.


Successful performance requires more non-routine or sensitive solutions, a depth/breadth of knowledge of the administrative function and the ability to understand and integrate solutions with other departments and functions.  CBI is a unique program within ORNL’s organizational structure and requires a senior person to perform the duties and responsibilities listed below.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Supports professional CBI staff, the entire CBI Management Team, and our members from over 15 different organizations. Supports more complex functions, projects or management systems. This person is key in planning CBI’s Annual Science Meeting and Annual DOE Review.  This role will also be essential in CBI’s renewal efforts that are critical to BSD, BESSD, and ORNL. Must be Competent with standard and advanced equipment, computer systems, and software programs included project management software. This person will supports and guides junior administrative support staff.
  • Has both depth & breadth of knowledge of policies, procedures, work methods and systems & greater experience in a range of work situations. Seeks to develop new knowledge and to develop new methods for accomplishing tasks. Learns & applies new processes & methods that impact the department. Recommends & implements solutions to the division and directorate.
  • Maintain Microsoft Office Outlook electronic calendar by scheduling appointments, arranging meetings, resolving scheduling conflicts of personnel, conference rooms, vehicles, and other resources, organizing and prioritizing as needed; maintain background information for calendar items. Monitor e-mails for the COO (and others within the CBI as required), following up on action items as needed.
  • Provide consistent phone coverage, back up administrative support to the division office and other group offices as needed. Handle incoming telephone, fax, email, walk-ins, and correspondence in a responsive and courteous manner. Route phone calls to responsible personnel in an efficient manner; initiate calls to obtain, verify, and exchange information and disseminate information as appropriate or refer information/callers to other staff members.
  • Maintain a professional office atmosphere; greet and receive visitors (in person and over the phone) in a businesslike, courteous manner; establish and maintain effective working relationships with internal staff members and external contacts, and perform administrative duties as assigned.
  • Plan and coordinate on and off-site meetings, workshops, conferences, and related services. Assist in communication with attendees and coordinate with the ORNL Conference office utilizing ORNL guidelines. Verify all necessary elements are scheduled (AV, room reservation, catering, transportation, lodging, travel, agendas, presentation uploads, etc.).
  • Prepare site access requests for all CBI-related ORNL visitors, students, and interviewees as well as attendees for CBI on- site and off-site meetings. etc.
  • Prepare internal correspondence, reports, and presentation materials according to ORNL guidelines and via various computer software packages (primarily Microsoft Office), review all signature items (both hardcopy and electronic) for accuracy and completeness, and request revisions as necessary. Assure that all internal reports and presentations are grammatically correct and conform to appropriate standards and contain authorized signatures. Review documents from other personnel for accuracy and interact with personnel at all organizational levels to gather information to prepare internal correspondence, reports, and presentations.
  • Work with the division office to ensure all necessary paperwork is provided for signature items needed through the directorate office (approval slip and back up documentation as needed).
  • Prepare purchase requisitions for materials. Order, track, maintain, and organize office supplies, hardware, software, lab supplies and equipment, etc.
  • Maintain consistent, reliable work schedule during core hours to meet needs of staff and division.
  • Demonstrate concern for people and experience dealing and communicating with diverse personalities and backgrounds in a multi-level scientific environment.
  • Actively safeguard, protect, and maintain PII, such as credit card, passport, visa and other confidential personnel information by adhering to ORNL guidelines and protocol for access and storage of PII data.
  • Maintain DOE directives/standards and training requirements. Compliance with ORNL policies and procedures.
  • Assist with entry and processing of purchase requisitions.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A high school diploma and a minimum of 7 years of relevant experience.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • An Associate’s Degree in Secretarial Sciences, Business Administration, or related field, and/or applicable professional certification.
  • Previous ORNL or DOE administrative assistance experience.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory. 
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs.


This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email

ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville