Executive Assistant – Transformations of the Human Program (Bay Area)

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 ToftH program is looking for an Executive Assistant that will support both Program Directors (Program Director, Director of Operations). The EA will be a key member to ToftH team. The job requires a solid understanding of the Director’s job, as well as a clear view of the company’s core goals. An EA not only keeps the appointment calendars, but also plays a role in any scheduled meetings with PIs at field sites. 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 projects and email correspondence.

This is full-time and will report directly to the Director of Operations. This position will be working remotely to start; however, the successful candidate should be based close enough to commute to Oakland several times a week for the anticipation of in-person meetings as State and County COVID guidelines permit.

This dynamic position requires the ability to anticipate needs, think critically, and offer solutions to problems with a high level of professionalism and confidentiality.

Key Responsibilities

  • Provide sophisticated calendar management for the Directors.
  • Prioritize inquiries and requests while troubleshooting conflicts; make judgements and recommendations to ensure smooth day-to-day engagements.
  • Act as a liaison and provide support to the Program Director.
  • Complete a broad variety of administrative tasks that facilitate the Program Directors’ ability to effectively lead the organization, including: assisting with special projects; designing and producing complex documents, reports, and presentations; collecting and preparing information for meetings with staff and outside parties; composing and preparing correspondence; maintaining contact lists; making travel arrangements; and completing expense and mileage reports.
  • Serve as the primary point of contact for internal and external constituencies on all matters pertaining to the Program Director, including those of a highly confidential or critical nature. Prioritize and determine an appropriate course of action, referral, or response, exercising judgment to reflect the Program Director’s style and organization
  • Act as a “barometer,” having a sense for the issues taking place in the environment and keeping the Directors updated.
  • Anticipate Director’s needs in advance of meetings, workshops, conferences, etc.
  • Maintain open communications with the ToftH Leadership team.
  • Coordinate all Leadership Team meetings and retreats and assist with staff meetings and events as needed.
  • Provide “gatekeeper” and “gateway” role, providing a bridge for smooth communication between the Directors staff, demonstrating leadership to maintain credibility, trust, and support with the Leadership Team.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree. Direct industry experience not required.
  • 5-7 years professional working experience with increasing levels of responsibility
  • Experience with executive level calendar management
  • Experience with domestic and/or international travel coordination and reimbursement processing
  • Advanced knowledge of the Microsoft Office Suite, Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) as well as Mac applications such as Notes and Keynote
  • Experience in note taking, summary and action item development
  • Exceptional written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills
  • Positive attitude and growth mindset
  • Detailed planning, time management, and organizational skills
  • Ability to work cross functionally, and manage multiple inputs from different teams into a single deliverable

Perks and Benefits:

  • Sick leave, holiday, vacation and other paid time off
  • Medical, dental, vision, and outstanding 401k
  • Employee phone reimbursement
  • Professional Development opportunities
  • Free EAP program (Employee Assistance Program) that can help with wellness and daily living, parenting, financial and legal advice from a specialized professional

Please email cover letter and resume to careers@berggruen.org. 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.

RAVE (IRCAM 2021) https://github.com/acids-ircam/RAVE