Assistant to the Chief Curator

  • Portland Japanese Garden
  • 611 Southwest Kingston Avenue, Portland, OR, USA
Full Time Admin-Clerical Nonprofit

Job Description

The Assistant to the Chief Curator at the Portland Japanese Garden is responsible for managing the schedules and communications of the Chief Curator. Their duties include prioritizing emails and phone calls, gathering documents to prepare for meetings, and coordinating travel arrangements.

The Assistant to the Chief Curator reports directly to the Chief Curator and will work from the primary Garden campus, located at 611 SW Kingston Avenue.

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy: For the safety of our staff, volunteers, and guests, Portland Japanese Garden is requiring all staff and volunteers to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. Candidates must be fully vaccinated by their hire date. ‘Fully vaccinated’ means 2 shots of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or 1 shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine – plus 2 weeks after the final shot.


Primary Duties 

  • Manage and maintain the Chief Curator’s schedule, including meetings, on his behalf
  • Create materials for meetings, take minutes, and research information
  • Support the Chief Curator with national and international outreach in garden communities
  • Maintain communication with national and international partners
  • Assist the Chief Curator with his travel arrangements and meeting appointments
  • Help the Chief Curator prepare project proposals, timeframes, schedule, and budget
  • Manage the Chief Curator’s library, archive, and project documents
  • Other duties as assigned

Other Responsibilities  

  • Familiarize oneself with the organization and the Employee Handbook
  • Get to know fellow staff members, developing trust, establishing credibility, encouraging teamwork, and creating an atmosphere of open, honest, two-way communication 
  • Serve as a role model for Garden volunteers, providing support and encouragement to volunteers in their roles across the Garden
  • Maintain a high level of professionalism in manner and appearance
  • Adhere to Garden Dress Code (business casual)


Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they meet every one of the qualifications as described in a job description. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the position, and that candidate may be one who comes from a less traditional background. If you are interested in applying, we encourage you to think broadly about your background and qualifications for this role.

  • At least 3 years of proven administration and assistant experience
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Precise, proper writing and speaking skills
  • Fluency in speaking, reading, and writing Japanese language for business settings
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Current driver’s license and clean DMV record

Special Requirements

  • Ability to work under pressure, meeting multiple demands and priorities
  • Job may involve some medium to light lifting
  • Job requires occasional work on weekends and evenings

Compensation & Schedule

  • Wage: $20.00/hour
  • This is a full-time, hourly position with 40 hours per week. Shifts are typically 8 hours (plus ½ hour lunch), between 8:00am and 5:00pm, Monday – Friday.
  • Benefits:
    • health, dental, and vision insurance (premium 100% covered for employees)
    • 401k plan (after 90 days, with 4% employer match after 1 year)
    • flexible spending accounts for medical and dependent care expenses
    • paid vacation, sick, and holiday time
    • free access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)


To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter, and three work-related references through our online Career Center. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please no phone calls or hand delivered applications. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.


Administrative Support