Receptionist/Administrative Assistant

American Council – Washington, DC

American Councils for International Education is a premier, international nonprofit creating educational opportunities that prepare individuals and institutions to succeed in an increasingly interconnected and rapidly changing world. Through academic exchanges, overseas language immersion, data-driven research, and educational development programs, American Councils designs and administers innovative programs that broaden individual perspectives, increase knowledge, and deepen understanding. American Councils employs a full-time professional staff of over 500, located in the U.S. and in 24 countries of Eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

The Receptionist/Administrative Assistant in our Washington, DC Headquarters office is the first point of contact for our international array of visitors, callers and guests. Greeting each phone call and person in the friendliest manner and quickly connecting them with the appropriate party is always the priority. The Receptionist also assists callers and guests with a variety of administrative and logistical needs, responds to routine questions and inquiries, and performing other administrative tasks as assigned. This position reports to the Office Manager.

Primary Responsibilities Include:


  • Answers incoming telephone calls and routes to appropriate party or voicemail
  • Assists callers in identifying the appropriate party to whom the call should be directed
  • Forwards after-hours voicemail messages to relevant parties
  • Assists callers with general questions about the organization and programs
  • Operates reception telephone console, monitors its performance and reports problems to IT staff
  • Provides reception phone operation training to backup staff

  • Reception:

  • Greets visitors and alerts relevant American Councils staff
  • Assists with and monitors Reception area activity on behalf of organization

  • General Administration:

  • Maintains, updates and distributes general office information and lists on such as DC & foreign office phone/extensions, mailing addresses, email addresses, managers group list, etc.
  • Checks American Councils general e-mail box and routes to the appropriate staff
  • Placing business card orders
  • Maintains duty roster for backup staff for lunch breaks
  • Codes administration invoices and prepares check requests for payment
  • Oversees the booking of the conference rooms and ensures proper set up
  • Monthly replaces Team rooms schedule/calendar
  • Mailing Services:
  • Receives (signs), sorts and distributes incoming and overnight deliveries( USPS registered and express mail, DHL, FEDEX, UPS) and notifies appropriate staff
  • Processes outgoing DHL, FEDEX & UPS shipments when needed
  • Alerts overseas offices of outgoing express delivery packages/letters sent by staff
  • Monitors courier and other deliveries to and from American Councils, notifies recipients about status
  • Prepares mailbox labels and assists administration staff with mail services

  • Other Support:

  • Assists in the oversight and smooth operation of administrative services during the absences and vacations of other administration staff
  • Provides backup for administration staff related to office supplies, mail, services and service calls for equipment repairs when administrative services staff are unavailable.
  • Assists with building maintenance issues during absences of administration staff
  • Picks up and distributes regular incoming USPS mail during absences of dedicated administrative services staff
  • May be required to come in early or stay after business hours to support organizational events on occasion
  • Qualifications
  • Outstanding dependability, reliability and punctuality to ensure complete coverage of the front desk
  • Demonstrated expertise in customer service and an understanding of protocol for greeting visitors and callers, especially those from foreign countries
  • Experience in a receptionist role in a busy office with a high volume of incoming calls
  • Outstanding verbal communication skills and the ability to quickly decipher needs and connect calls and visitors with the appropriate department or person
  • Basic word processing and spreadsheet software skills
  • Foreign language skills and multi-cultural experience preferred
  • Familiarity with student exchange programs or American higher education helpful

  • EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY American Councils is committed to taking affirmative steps to enhance employment opportunities for minorities, women, veterans, and people with disabilities, and strives to ensure that meaningful employment and promotional opportunities are maintained for everyone. American Councils commitment to equal employment opportunity is based not only on federal requirements, but also on a longstanding commitment to maintaining a diverse workforce reflective of the communities in which we operate.


    The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractors legal duty to furnish information

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