Administrative Assistant – Transformations of the Human Program (Los Angeles)

About the Berggruen Institute

The Berggruen Institute, a non-profit, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to developing foundational ideas about how to reshape political and social institutes in the face of these great transformations. The Transformations of the Human (ToftH) program at the Berggruen Institute is designed as a philosophical study and artistic exploration of the manifold ways in which artificial intelligence and biotechnology challenge our established conceptions of what it means to be human.

Our Values:

Pursue excellence.
Cultivate future-oriented solutions.
Inquire with an open mind.
Build a collaborative environment.
Invest in people and relationships.
Respect the human dignity of all.

The Transformations of the Human (ToftH) program is looking for a part-time Administrative Assistant based in Los Angeles. The Administrative Assistant (AA) of the ToftH Program at the Berggruen Institute is a key member to the ToftH team.  The job requires a solid understanding of administrative tasks, good communication skills, event coordination and supports the pursuit of the program’s core goals. The AA keeps the appointment calendars of the senior team members, is aware of the availability of the Directors’ in the Bay Area and schedules the program’s activities, organizes team meetings and one-on-ones.  They will schedule meetings with Project Managers/Scientists at field sites, researchers, internal and external partners and suppliers. They are responsible for the reimbursement of researchers and partners and expenditure reconciliation for senior members of the team. They may gather and analyze data, prepare presentations, take notes and provide follow up on action items or deadlines that are discussed in a meeting. They may also manage elements of projects, events and email correspondence.

This is a part-time position, working 24 hours per week and will report directly to the Associate Director. Hours can be flexible with the approval from the Associate Director of the program. This position will be working remotely to start; however, the successful candidate should be based in Los Angeles and be able to commute to our offices in downtown Los Angeles several times a week for the anticipation of in-person meetings as State and County COVID guidelines permit.


• Provide calendar management for the program, the AD and senior team members.
• Prioritize inquiries and requests; make judgements and recommendations to ensure smooth day-to-day engagements.
• Greets visitors, covers phones, prepares and tidies meeting rooms.
• Be resourceful and problem solve when possible (Google solutions!) have some agency to introduce efficiencies and find answers.
• Complete a broad variety of administrative tasks, including but not limited to: assisting with special projects/events/working groups; taking meeting minutes; producing complex documents, decks, and presentations; collecting and preparing information for meetings with staff and outside parties; composing and preparing correspondence; maintaining contact lists and executing mail outs; making travel arrangements; and completing expense and mileage reports.
• Manage the Salesforce database: data entry, generate reports and contact lists.
• Maintain filing systems: edits, disseminates, and archives hard and soft documents virtually and at the office in DTLA. Liaise with the Office Coordinator for office and research supplies.
• Track ToftH PR and media mentions, and all content related to, generated by or published by ToftH team members and affiliates.
• Source and secure necessary goods, items within budget from suppliers. From office supplies to deliveries for special occasions such as birthdays or condolences.
• Run errands off site, such as going to the post office.
• Anticipate needs of the AD and team managers in advance of meetings, workshops, conferences, etc.
• Book conferences and meeting venues, manage invitations and attendees, provide meeting materials, organize the physical spaces, and order food and drinks as necessary for meetings and events.
• Maintain open communications with the ToftH Leadership team.
• Provide smooth communication between staff, demonstrating credibility, trust, and support for the ToftH program.
• Other duties as assigned.

Baisc Qualifications

• High school diploma or equivalent.
• 3 – 7 years of administrative support experience.
• Proficient in Outlook and Microsoft Office. (email, calendar, word processing, presentations and spreadsheets).
• Work with accuracy, have attention to detail and be highly organized.
• Proficient with online tools and social media such as: Twitter, FB, IG, doodle pools, Google docs and Google sheets.
• The program is young and experimental so the candidate will need a tolerance for ambiguity and the ability to change direction according to shifting strategies.
• Good listener and actively look for ways to help.
• Ability to time manage; perform multiple tasks concurrently; and execute and adjust action plans to deadline.
• Social media, publishing and/or communications experience preferred.
• A knowledge/familiarity of technology (AI/Machine Learning and/or Biotech) would be beneficial.
• Basic graphic design competency (Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator) would be beneficial.
• May occasionally require long periods of walking, standing, and sitting; ability to bend, reach, stoop, and stretch, ability to lift up to 25 pounds. Will require travel to company job sites or other locations for meetings and projects.


Note: We are interested in every qualified candidate who is eligible to work in the United States. However, we are not able to sponsor visas at this time. Being authorized to work in the U.S. is a precondition of employment.

Please email cover letter and resume to No phone calls please.

Berggruen Institute is a proud equal opportunities workplace. We firmly believe employing a diverse workforce is important regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, transgender status, sexual stereotypes, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics. We also consider qualified applicants with criminal histories, consistent with applicable federal, state and local law. Berggruen Institute is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for candidates with disabilities in our recruiting process. If you have a disability or special need that requires accommodation, please let us know.

composed by Arswain
machine learning consultation by Anna Tskhovrebov
commissioned by the Berggruen Institute
premiered at the Bradbury Building
downtown Los Angeles
april 22, 2022

Human perception of what sounds “beautiful” is necessarily biased and exclusive. If we are to truly expand our hearing apparatus, and thus our notion of beauty, we must not only shed preconceived sonic associations but also invite creative participation from beings non-human and non-living. We must also begin to cede creative control away from ourselves and toward such beings by encouraging them to exercise their own standards of beauty and collaborate with each other.

Movement I: Alarm Call
‘Alarm Call’ is a long-form composition and sound collage that juxtaposes, combines, and manipulates alarm calls from various human, non-human, and non-living beings. Evolutionary biologists understand the alarm call to be an altruistic behavior between species, who, by warning others of danger, place themselves by instinct in a broader system of belonging. The piece poses the question: how might we hear better to broaden and enhance our sense of belonging in the universe? Might we behave more altruistically if we better heed the calls of – and call out to – non-human beings?

Using granular synthesis, biofeedback, and algorithmic modulation, I fold the human alarm call – the siren – into non-human alarm calls, generating novel “inter-being” sonic collaborations with increasing sophistication and complexity. 

Movement II: A.I.-Truism
A synthesizer piece co-written with an AI in the style of Vangelis’s Blade Runner score, to pay homage to the space of the Bradbury Building.

Movement III: Alarmism
A machine learning model “learns” A.I.Truism and recreates Alarm Call, generating an original fusion of the two.

Movement IV: A.I. Call
A machine learning model “learns” Alarm Call and recreates A.I.Truism, generating an original fusion of the two.