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Executive Assistant vs Senior Advisor vs Program Manager

Primary Role:

Executive Assistant: Administrative and organizational support for executives

Senior Advisor: Provides high-level advice and expertise in specific areas

Program Manager: Oversees specific programs, ensuring they align with organizational goals

Reporting Relationship:

Executive Assistant: Reports directly to the executive they support

Senior Advisor: Reports to senior leadership, often the CEO or board members

Program Manager: Reports to a senior manager or director

Scope of Responsibilities:

Executive Assistant: Focused on day-to-day tasks and administrative duties

Senior Advisor: Focused on providing expertise and guidance on specific strategic matters

Program Manager: Manages program objectives, resources, and timelines

Decision-Making Authority:

Executive Assistant: Limited to administrative decisions

Senior Advisor: Influential in shaping decisions based on expertise and insights

Program Manager: Decision-making within the scope of program management

Strategic Planning:

Executive Assistant: Limited involvement, support capacity

Senior Advisor: Advises on long-term strategy and planning

Program Manager: Participates in strategic planning of program objectives

Team Management:

Executive Assistant: Manages administrative staff

Senior Advisor: Works independently or with a small advisory team

Program Manager: Manages program teams and coordinates with other departments

Meeting Involvement:

Executive Assistant: Scheduling, preparing materials, taking minutes

Senior Advisor: Attends strategic meetings to provide advice and insights

Program Manager: Leads program-related meetings and updates

Project Management:

Executive Assistant: Manages small projects within their role

Senior Advisor: May lead or advise on specific strategic projects

Program Manager: Responsible for end-to-end program management

Communication:

Executive Assistant: Facilitates internal communication

Senior Advisor: Provides expert communication on specialized topics

Program Manager: Communicates program goals and updates to stakeholders

Professional Development:

Executive Assistant: Focused on improving administrative and organizational skills

Senior Advisor: Deepens expertise in specific fields and strategic advising

Program Manager: Develops in program management and strategic coordination

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