Chief Financial Officer

World Resources Institute

World Resources Institute

Accounting & Finance
Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2024

This is a hybrid position which requires a minimum of 8 days per month in the office. You can be based in any of our country offices where you have existing work authorization. WRI is unable to sponsor any visa work sponsorship for this position.

Job Highlights:

As our Chief Financial Officer (CFO), you will be a member of the leadership team responsible for WRI’s global operations and act as the financial conscience of the organization. Your role is integral to the efficiency, and effectiveness and excellence of our operations around the world. You will be responsible for WRI’s financial management strategy and oversee the development and implementation of global financial systems, policies, and procedures to enable impact throughout our global network. Your main areas of responsibility include Accounting, Finance, Grants and Contracts, compliance, project management, institutional strategy, business planning, and metrics to manage organizational performance. We have begun the transition from disparate systems (including Costpoint and TM1) to Workday as our Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform. You will partner with colleagues to help lead this transition.
In this role, you will support WRI’s Global Board of Directors in fulfilling their fiduciary responsibilities and serve as Treasurer. You will report to the Managing Director for Global Delivery and sit in the Global Executive Team led by the President/CEO.
You will play a pivotal role in identifying strategic and urgent resource needs across the global network and ways to support them financially and operationally. As the CFO, you will provide decision support and be an advisor to the Global Executive Team, assisting them to evaluate financial plans and models, donor engagement and meeting their fiscal/fiduciary and operational responsibilities for the organization. As well as acting as Treasurer to the Global Board of Directors, you will lead engagement with the Finance & Investment, and Audit & Risk Committees of the Board. You will be responsible for managing WRI’s endowment and financial reserves. You will work closely with the Managing Director, the Chief People Officer, Global Director for Operations and the Executive Vice President for Governance and Development to strengthen organizational infrastructure, streamline systems, and achieve tighter operational integration and efficiencies across our global network.
Creativity and leadership will be crucial to effectively refine our cost structure, make wise investments, and build a stronger WRI that can deliver impact at the scale needed for this crucial decade.

What will you do:

Strategic and Operational Leadership
  • As a true business partner to the CEO and Global Executive Team, assess organizational performance against both the annual budget and WRI’s long-term strategy. Develop tools and systems to provide critical financial and operational information to WRI’s leadership and make actionable recommendations on strategy, operations, and policy matters.
  • Serve as the management liaison to the Finance & Investment and Audit & Risk Committees; effectively communicate and present critical financial and operational risks/matters at Board of Directors and committee meetings.
  • Provide leadership on the alignment of WRI’s endowment with a 1.5 degree C pathway and ESG investment principles, including managing an Outsourced Chief Investment Officer that oversees the endowment’s investment portfolio.
  • Contribute to the development of WRI’s strategic goals and objectives as well as the overall management of the organization.
  • Maintain continuous lines of communication, keeping the Managing Director and CEO informed of all critical issues.
  • Represent the organization externally, as necessary, particularly in banking, lease arrangements, and donor requirement negotiations.
Team Development
  • Oversee, direct, and organize the work of the finance, accounting, project management, grants and contracts, teams.
  • Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values learning and a commitment to quality.
  • Ensure staff members receive timely and appropriate training and development.
  • Mentor and develop staff using a supportive and collaborative approach: assign accountabilities; set objectives; establish priorities, and monitor and evaluate results.
Operational Excellence - Financial Planning, Analysis, and Modelling
  • Lead annual budgeting and planning process including all financial plans and budgets; monitor progress and changes and keep the Global Executive Team abreast of the organization’s financial trends and status.
  • Lead quarterly financial and performance reviews with Programs/Centers and Country Offices.
  • Upgrade and implement appropriate systems, policies, internal controls, accounting standards, and procedures such that all offices are seen as low risk by donors.
  • Serve as a strong voice in risk assessment on project funding, allocations, and ability to meet goals/outcomes given financial health throughout the project life cycle.
  • Conduct periodic internal reviews of policies, procedures, and systems, comparing with best practices across peer organisations.
  • Plan, coordinate, and execute the annual budget process and NICRA (negotiated indirect cost rate agreement) negotiation.
  • Oversee management of programs and overhead costs/indirect rates to ensure full financial recovery and achieve efficiencies.
  • Provide analytical and decision support to WRI’s leadership including development of internal management reporting capabilities in partnership with WRI’s Managing for Results team.
  • Improve administrative/operational and financial services such as treasury management, benefits (403-B plan, medical, other insurances, etc.), grants and contracts and payment processing, payroll, accounts payable, purchasing, systems.

What will you need:

We are looking for someone who is results-oriented with the necessary business astuteness, demonstrated analytical and forecasting skills, and the ability to make difficult decisions. Success is defined by the ability to establish strong working relationships with colleagues, peers, subordinates, and staff outside a hierarchical structure. Key competencies will include the ability to identify information, be forward-thinking, always aware of the Institute’s needs and a commitment to its mission and values, and ability to be flexible. Collaborative management and working style; ability to achieve goals using influence and negotiation skills also important.

  • Education: Master’s degree in business or accounting. CPA and/or CMA are strongly preferred
  • Experience: Minimum of 15 years of experience working in international matrixed organization with a minimum of 8 years in a senior management role. Some nonprofit experience is preferred
  • Experience running financial systems for internationally matrixed organisations with a varied configuration of country offices highly desirable
  • Experience working with a diverse mix of donors, including multilateral donors, governments, foundations an advantage
  • Experience working with a diverse mix of financial stakeholders and demonstrated ability to distinguish and meet their differing requirements highly desirable
  • Knowledge of US and other donor contracts and grants management and regulations and reporting requirements governing non-profits
  • Experience of US GAAP and IFRS
  • Experience with WRI’s legacy financial systems (TM1 Costpoint), future ERP (Workday) and IT system transition is highly desirable
  • Proven track record of success facilitating progressive organizational change and development within a growing international organization
  • Entrepreneurial team player with an ability to influence and engage multiple stakeholders
  • Energetic, collaborative, and proactive; a team leader who can positively and productively impact both strategic and tactical finance and operational/administrative initiatives.
  • Exceptional written, verbal, interpersonal, and presentation skills and the ability to effectively interface with outsiders such as bankers and donors as well as senior management, WRI’s board of directors, and staff
  • Ability to operate as an effective tactical as well as a strategic thinker
  • Passion for WRI’s mission

Potential Salary: US salary range is between 192,000 and 230,000 USD. UK: 113 - 147k GBP. NL: 113K – 147K EUR. If located in another country office, salary will be determined by local market conditions.

Salary is commensurate with experience and other compensable factors.

How to Apply: Please submit a resume with a required cover letter by the date of 15 July 2024. We are unable to consider your application without a cover letter.

You must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.

What we offer:

  • Access to the WRI global network with the opportunity to exchange with and learn from passionate colleagues working at the cutting edge of their fields across Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the US
  • The chance to have an impact and to develop your career within a mission driven organization with access to varied learning and training opportunities.
  • A workplace that strives to put diversity and inclusion at the heart of our work
  • The opportunity to join and get involved in different working groups and affinity groups to shape the future of WRI
  • Commitment to hybrid working model with flexible working hours
  • Generous leave days that increase with tenure
  • Medical Coverage, Dental Coverage, Vision Coverage, retirement plan access and employer contribution, Paid Time Off

About Us:

Founded in 1982, World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity, and human well-being. We are working to address seven critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean. WRI has a global staff of over 1,800 people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices in Africa, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Colombia and the United States, as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.

The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps, and analysis to solve the world’s greatest environment and international development challenges and improve people’s lives. We work with leaders in government, business, and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact.

Our mission and values:

WRI’s mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth’s environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations.

Our values are shared ideals that bind us together: Integrity, Innovation, Urgency, Independence and Respect.

Our culture:

WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices. We are committed to providing equal opportunities in employment; we embrace all diversity and encourage women, the LGBTQ+ community, persons with disabilities, Afro-descendants, and Indigenous people to apply. Recognizing our strong commitment to gender equality, WRI has also been awarded EDGE certification.

Our team in Human Resources carefully reviews all applications.