Although the specific job duties can vary widely depending on the function of the organization for which they are employed, most special assistants act as surrogates and counselors for their superior, generally a person of some importance. Unlike administrative assistants, most special assistants have a significant amount of autonomy and managerial power.
Most special assistants are vested with the authority to represent their superior at events that they do not attend, such as organizational meetings or public forums. The special assistant often acts as a mouthpiece for their boss, speaking on their behalf and making decisions in their name.
Special assistants are usually responsible for keeping their superior apprised on any number of issues assigned to this. This can include information gathered at the events the special assistant has attended in their superior's stead or other significant information gathered in the course of performing their official duties.
Unlike administrative assistants, many special assistants are responsible for designing and implementing programs that help carry out their superior's assigned duties. This requires the special assistant to have significant experience in their supervisor's field.
Many special assistants will also be responsible for evaluating projects whose operation is within their superior's purview. This will include gathering data about the program, analyzing it, and making a determination as to its success and efficiency.
Special assistants will usually need to conduct significant amounts of research that they will then synthesize and present to their superior or other parties as directed. This research may be statistical, historical or administrative in nature and may require the consultation of both written documents and the interviewing of relevant people.
Often, special assistants, acting as their superior's surrogate, will make presentations, providing instruction or presenting the findings of research.
Act As Counselor
Special assistants often act as informal advisers to their superiors, offering counsel about decisions and providing feedback on mooted ideas. This requires that the special assistant be well versed in their superior's affairs, making them, in some ways, less an assistant than a junior colleague.
Special assistants will often supervise staff within their superior's department. This will include identifying vacant positions, advertising for the opening, interviewing potential candidates and training new employees.
One of the more amorphous duties of special assistants is to identify inefficiencies in their organization's operations and suggest corrections. This can take many forms, such as logistical inefficiencies or a misdirection of priorities.
Lastly, good special assistants act as all-purpose trouble-shooters, correcting errors and resolving conflicts whenever they arise to allow their superior to accomplish their tasks without interruption.
- Pan American Health and Education Foundation: Special Assistant Job Description
- UN Habitat: Special Assistant to the Deputy Executive Director
- City of Phoenix: Special Assistant to the City Council
- Emory University: Executive Special Assistant
- U.S Army: Special Assistant to the Commanding General Job Description
- Photo Credit Businessman and female assistant working on laptop image by Vladimir Melnik from Fotolia.com
Job Description of a Special Education Teacher Aide
A special education teacher's aide, often called a paraprofessional, has many duties similar to that of the classroom teacher but has a...
What Is an Educational Assistant?
The size and diversity of modern classrooms has led to the popularity of educational assistants. They generally serve to enhance the learning...
How Much Do Assistant Teachers Make?
Assistant teachers may perform a combination of both classroom instruction and administrative duties, with the goal of helping teachers. Like teachers, assistant...
The Duties & Responsibilities of an Assistant Teacher
Teacher’s assistants provide teachers with help in the management of the classroom and the education of children. The educational requirements for an...