Business Office Administrator

The Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science is a world-class astronomical research institute. The Carnegie Institution owns and operates the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, which includes the twin 6.5-meter Magellan telescopes as well as the 2.5-meter du Pont and 1.0-meter Swope telescopes. Carnegie is also a full institutional member of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey IV and V. Based in Pasadena, between the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology, the Observatories provides an exceptional intellectual environment and access to resources for theorists, observers, and instrumentalists alike.

Position Summary:

Responsible for office management and purchasing activities in our Pasadena, CA and Las Campanas, Chile locations. Works with others in the business office, as well as scientists and engineers, visitors, vendors and our partners at headquarters. This individual will be responsible for day-to-day office operations along with event and meeting coordination. In addition, this person will be a key player in the testing, training, and rollout of the purchasing module of the newly implemented NetSuite Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System.

Essential Functions:

The qualified candidate must be able to perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.

  • Serve as the point person for office administrator duties including main desk reception, mail, and telephone duties
  • Responsible for purchasing activities for Pasadena, CA and Las Campanas, Chile locations
  • Function as the NetSuite ERP system Subject Matter Expert (SME)
  • Provide ancillary services to support events, meetings, and travel
  • Manages and maintains vendor relationships and ensure policy and Uniform Guidance compliance
  • Maintain inventory of office supplies and furnishings
  • Provide back-up support for Executive Assistant
  • Manage meeting calendars and office space needs
  • Create and edit department communications
  • Assists with contract and price negotiations with office vendors and service providers

Minimum Qualifications:

  • 8+ years of proven office management and administrative experience
  • Prior experience with event and meeting planning and coordination
  • Working knowledge of the purchasing and related purchasing software
  • Proven ability to manage projects on time and within budget

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in business or other related field, or similar experience

Job Competencies:

  • Teamwork & Collaboration

  • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving

  • Verbal & Written Communication

  • Initiative

  • Decision Making

  • Project Management

  • Time management and ability to prioritize deliverables

  • Attention to detail and ability to problem solve

  • Knowledge of purchasing best practices

  • Verbal & written communication skills


Physical Demands/Working Conditions:

This position is in a professional office environment. The incumbent will routinely use standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, filing cabinets and fax machines. While performing this job the incumbent will regularly talk, hear, stand, walk, use hand-to-finger movements to handle, touch, reach above the shoulders and arms to lift items as needed.

Application Process

At Carnegie, we are committed to building a diverse and inclusive community. We believe academic environments should be places where diverse groups of people with a variety of viewpoints and ideas can thrive and work together. As such, we encourage applicants from under-represented groups and backgrounds to apply. The Carnegie Institution is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of gender, race/ethnicity, protected veteran status, disability, or other protected group status. Only electronic applications submitted through our website will be considered. Click the "Apply Now" button below to begin the application.

Application acceptance will continue until the position is filled. No phone calls please. Only select candidates who meet our requirements will be contacted, and only online applications submitted through our website will be considered.

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