Executive Assistant (Part-time)

We offer a referral bonus of up to $1,000 for this position; see here for more details.

  • Project/division: Operations
  • Start date: as soon as possible
  • Status: three-month probationary contract position (3-6 hours/day, 5 days/week), then SecureBio employee
  • Starting compensation: paid hourly, at least $35/hour, based on experience
  • Visa sponsorship available: No
  • Work location: Remote or in-person in Cambridge, MA
  • Reports to: Prof. Kevin Esvelt & Tiffany Tzeng (Operations Manager)
  • Application deadline: June 30th, 2023, 23:59 Eastern Standard Time

The role

SecureBio is a pioneering biosecurity nonprofit dedicated to protecting society from catastrophic biological risks. We collaborate with leading experts across academia, industry, and government to develop novel technologies and forward-thinking policy proposals to delay, detect, and defend against the most dangerous biological agents, both natural and engineered. Our key initiatives include the Nucleic Acid Observatory for early warning of catastrophic biothreats and the SecureDNA project to build automated, secure, and comprehensive DNA synthesis screening software. 

SecureBio is led by Professor Kevin Esvelt, who is also an Associate Professor at MIT where he directs the Sculpting Evolution Group.  We are seeking a highly-organized, tech-savvy, and passionate Executive Assistant to provide high-level administrative support to Kevin in both his roles at SecureBio and MIT.  As Kevin’s Executive Assistant, you would work to optimize Kevin’s productivity by triaging and drafting emails; scheduling and confirming his appointments; ensuring high priority tasks are completed by their deadlines; and delivering on mini-projects.  Your support ensures that Kevin’s attention remains on the highest priority objectives.  

We expect an excellent candidate to become a highly valuable long-term member of the SecureBio team.  They will significantly contribute to Kevin and SecureBio’s overall effectiveness in preventing catastrophic biorisk.  Over time, high performing hires may take on increasing responsibility as they independently develop and implement optimizations. Depending on performance and ongoing workload, we will consider transitioning this to a full-time role. 


  • Develop a strong working relationship and communication model with Kevin (i.e. regular check-ins and briefings);
  • Independently manage Kevin’s emails and other communications, including:

    • Triaging all inbound communications by priority and expertise required
    • Organizing inboxes such that you and Kevin understand how emails have been triaged
    • Responding to email and messages that do not require Kevin’s attention
    • Drafting higher stakes emails for Kevin to review and send
    • Ensure Kevin views and responds to highest priority emails and messages first;
  • Schedule meetings and appointments, and confirm Kevin’s calendar accurately reflects his intended schedule;
  • Maintain a prioritized to-do list of Kevin’s action items that arise from email communications;
  • Follow up on incomplete action items as needed to ensure execution;
  • Identify inefficiencies and implement solutions to address them;
  • Contribute to a variety of tasks as needed (e.g. arranging travel, completing expense reports).

Competencies and qualifications


  • Excellent written and oral communication abilities;

  • Extremely organized (i.e. able to juggle many tasks with different deadlines and priorities);

  • A fast and motivated learner who can quickly orient themselves in new contexts;

  • Independent, reliable, and efficient at detail-oriented work;

  • A proactive problem solver who notices and addresses areas for improvement;

  • A tech enthusiast who is well-versed with email functionality and excited about digital solutions; 

  • Comfortable with giving and receiving frank and honest feedback, including asking for help when needed and quickly raising and resolving interpersonal issues


  • Bachelor's Degree or equivalent;

  • Prior experience as an executive assistant, operations specialist, or similar administrative role;

  • Familiar with and excited about the project of reducing catastrophic risks from biology.

Salary and benefits

Successful applicants to this position would initially complete a three-month probationary period as a contractor, with an hourly rate of at least $35 (based on experience). Following a successful probationary period, US-based hires would join SecureBio as a part-time or full-time employee (depending on performance and ongoing workload), with access to our comprehensive benefits package:

  • Comprehensive healthcare

    Comprehensive healthcare coverage, including health, dental & vision insurance, as well as a yearly mental health allowance for every employee.

  • Flexible work schedule

    Flexible work hours; unlimited paid time off (PTO) for all employees; and minimum 12 weeks fully-paid parental leave.

  • World-class office

    An exceptional working environment in our Kendall Square office, including high-quality ergonomic office equipment, snacks, and daily catered lunches.

  • Development opportunities

    Generous professional development opportunities, including fully-paid conference sponsorships and a yearly development allowance for every employee.

  • 401(k)

    Employer 401(k) match up to 4% of total salary.

  • Relocation & commuter support

    Free parking & commuter benefits, plus a generous relocation allowance for employees who move to the Boston area

About SecureBio

In joining SecureBio, you’ll be joining a motivated, mission-driven, and international team of professionals dedicated to protecting the world from biological threats. Through in-house research & development, as well as collaborations with experts in academia, industry & government, we are working to build the tools, technologies, and institutions the world needs to be secure against future biotechnology,

Major longstanding projects by the SecureBio team include the Nucleic Acid Observatory project for reliable pandemic detection, and the SecureDNA initiative for fast, secure, and sensitive screening of DNA synthesis, both developed in partnership with MIT’s Sculpting Evolution group. More recently, we have expanded our activities to a broader array of biodefense interventions, including far-UVC for passive pathogen suppression, as well as an increasingly active policy agenda.