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Toolkit for the Effective Executive Assistant to the CAO



EA Toolkit Having appreciation for the role of the Executive Assistant in local government, the CAMA Board developed a “Toolkit for the Effective Executive Assistant to the Chief Administrative Officer”. 

This Toolkit was compiled, produced and authored by Jennifer Goodine, CAMA Executive Director (and former Office Administrator to the CAO and Mayor of the City of Fredericton), with the assistance of a National Committee of  local government Executive Assistants that work, or have worked, with CAOs and senior managers from across Canada, from all size municipalities. 

The primary audience of this Toolkit is the Executive Assistant to the CAO in local government (and all administrative staff), which includes existing Executive Assistants with experience in the role, as well as new Executive Assistants with minimal local government experience. 

While this Toolkit is meant to be a resource to Executive Assistants in local government, it is also focused on how a CAO or senior manager can effectively use their Executive Assistant to improve their own productivity and build a successful partnership.
The Toolkit will help Executive Assistants, gain a new perspective on their role and highlight the many benefits that they bring to the CAO, the organization, and the community.  It provides an introduction to local government and the various roles and responsibilities of those positions; insight into the role as the Executive Assistant; offers tips on the many office and leadership skills that are practiced every day; political acumen tools, as well as best practices on building relationships and networking, exercising self-care, and how to adapt to new leadership – just to name a few.  There are also “words of wisdom” from Executive Assistants across the country, along with some case studies of real-life scenarios, downloadable resources, and links to additional materials that will support this profession.

As well, it provides the CAO with some guidance on ways to build a partnership with your Executive Assistant.  The topics in the CAO Chapter include the hiring process (with a sample job description, posting, and interview questions), a business case to Council if you don’t currently have a staff member in this position, finding the right personality and fit, and some tips on communication, performance evaluations, and delegation.  The CAO Chapter has been provided in a separate document for easy reference or on Page 143 of the Toolkit.

Below are postcards for the CAO and Executive Assistant to help you both be successful in your partnership:

•    Top 10 Ways a CAO Can Effectively Use Their Executive Assistant to Improve Their Productivity
•    Top 10 Skills of an Effective Executive Assistant to the CAO


Below are some documents that are included in the Toolkit as best practices.



Tips for Completing Your Performance Evaluation

Travel Management for the CAO

Conducting Research/Writing Reports

Administrative Office Procedures

Professional Development



Tips for the CAO in Hiring an Executive Assistant


Building better municipalities together.

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