Vice President of Finance & Operations

Position Purpose

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has an immediate opening for a Vice President of Finance and Operations. This exciting, newly created leadership opportunity reports directly to the President of the Foundation.

The Vice President will have the unique opportunity to play a direct role helping to shape the strategic and operational direction with the new president, working closely with the Foundation’s Leadership Team.  Tim Knowles joined the Foundation as president in January 2021 and is leading the Foundation into a new phase of work, building on the remarkable impact of his predecessor’s work and a 117-year history pursuing equitable, rigorous K12 and higher education. 

The Vice President will be responsible for ensuring the long term fiscal health and viability of the institution. This includes ensuring that finance, accounting, and strategic and annual planning are properly coordinated; serving as leader and collaborator on organizational matters; and leading efforts for process improvements and performance enhancements across the organization. The Vice President will oversee five operational units, including Human Resources, Facilities, Finance and Budgeting, Information Technology, and Events Management, the organization’s Core Operations functions. The role will also serve as a senior executive of the Foundation, and the primary liaison between the several Core Operations departments and the Leadership Team, representing the views, needs, and interests of the departments. 

This full-time, executive leadership opportunity is located at the Foundation’s headquarters in Stanford, California.  

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the Vice President of Finance and Operations include, but are not limited to, the following:

Financial Strategy, Planning, & Management

  • Lead and manage the financial functions:
    • As part of the Leadership team, provide sound decision-making in support of the Foundation’s strategies and mission, and ensure that financial systems, analysis and reporting effectively support the organization’s financial information needs.
    • Ensure that effective internal controls are in place to ensure safeguarding and protection of the Foundation’s assets and ensuring compliance with GAAP and applicable legislation and regulations.
    • Ensure that finance processes are efficient and cost-effective, staying up-to-date on best practices and new technologies to maximize efficiency.
    • With support from the Director of Budgets and Contracts and the Treasurer/Controller, oversee the Finance department’s day-to-day activities, such as: purchasing and accounts payable/receivable, cash management including cash flow forecasting, payroll functions and preparation of function and program cost reports and analysis.
    • Ensure that all budget managers have accurate, useful and timely financial information to enable them to manage their budgets and make informed decisions.
    • Oversee cash flow including the preparation of annual and monthly cash flow projections and monthly bank reconciliations.
    • With support from the Director of Budgets and Contracts, oversee the budgeting and reporting for all restricted grants.
    • Ensure that all state and other statutory reporting is completed on a timely basis.
    • Manage all insurance policies, including ensuring that the Foundation’s risks are appropriately and cost-effectively covered by insurance where possible.
  • Lead in the development and planning of the annual budget:
    • Lead the Foundation’s annual budgeting process, ensuring timely budget development in collaboration with Leadership Team members.
    • Provide leadership in the development and continuous evaluation of short and long-term financial objectives, including cost efficiencies and operating effectiveness.
    • Provide actionable analysis for monitoring financial performance, trends, and forecasts.
    • Develop and oversee long-term budgetary planning and cost management for the organization.
  • Report regularly to the President and the Leadership Team, and at least quarterly to the Finance Committee of the Board on the operating performance of the Foundation, including meaningful analysis of variances and trends:
    • Prepare high-level monthly and quarterly financial statements including the monitoring of revenues and expenditures against the budget.
    • Perform analysis and investigations as required to monitor on-going operations and analyze performance problems and opportunities.
    • Work with management in analyzing and addressing positive and negative variances.
    • Serve as a financial liaison to the Board of Directors, working closely with the Chairs of the Finance Committee and Audit Committee, the Treasurer and Controller, and the Board Secretary to prepare presentations and ensure the Board is up to date and informed.
  • Provide leadership to the organization in enterprise risk management with a focus on financial and reporting risks including ensuring effective internal controls:
    • Identify areas of financial risks and ensure that these risks are effectively managed.
    • Partner with departmental, functional, and unit owners in the risk-management process.
  • Work with the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees, investment consultants, and Treasurer/Controller to manage investments in accordance with board-approved policies and report on the Foundation’s investment performance.

Management of Core Operations

  • Provide supportive leadership to the Foundation’s high functioning Core Operations group: Human Resources, Facilities, Finance and Budgeting, Information Technology, and Events Management.
  • Provide leadership and guidance to Core Operations departments to improve processes and policies in support of Foundation goals. Formulate and implement Foundation-wide policies and procedures to maximize efficiency.   
  • Act as a servant leader and advocate, helping to empower, track, and advance the successful execution of departmental, joint departmental and Foundation-wide objectives.
  • Lead and coordinate regular Core Operations team meetings, ensuring that important issues are raised and addressed, and that the necessary remedies occur.
  • Lead and coach Core Operations Directors with an emphasis on developing capacity in strategic analysis, planning, and program budgeting.
  • Communicate and represent the Core Operations teams to senior leadership if organizational-wide strategy decisions impact team workload, structures, deadlines, and or efficiency.
  • Evaluate the Core Operations structure and team plan for continual improvement of the efficiency and effectiveness of the group.
  • Provide Core Operations staff professional and personal growth opportunities.

Legal Point of Contact

  • Serve as the primary liaison for any legal issues for the Foundation.
  • Review new contractual agreements (procurement/partnerships) to ensure strategy and terms are aligned with the mission and best interests of the Foundation.
  • Manage legal issues that affect the Foundation (with support of Foundation Counsel) and work collaboratively with the President and Leadership Team to update and execute operations and strategies as needed.

Foundation-wide Facilitation & Internal Process Improvement

  • Enhance, develop, recommend, and implement policies, procedures, and systems that improve the overall culture, operation and effectiveness of the Foundation.
  • Make recommendations to the President and Leadership Team for Foundation-wide internal process improvements that may empower further administrative, operational, and staff management effectiveness.
  • Work collaboratively with Foundation managers to create and lead a system of robust, data-driven continuous quality improvement that informs and connects practice, training, and outcomes in support of the Foundation’s strategic goals.
  • With the Director of Human Resources, lead the annual performance evaluation, learning and development, and promotion processes for the Foundation staff. 

Continual Cultivation of a Safe, Healthy, & High-performing Foundation Culture 

  • Continually work to maintain an equitable culture of trust, respect, and psychological safety in the Core Operations team and in the Foundation as a whole. 
  • Create, refine, and ensure effective programs are in place to best train and empower Foundation managers to mentor and grow supporting staff.
  • Provide executive management for Foundation staff with a community-oriented approach and encourage Foundation-wide team building.
Education & Experience
  • Ten or more years of progressively responsible experience successfully leading complex operations, including finance, human resources, information technology, and facilities.
  • In-depth understanding of the culture and structure(s) of the nonprofit sector, as well as K-12 systems and higher education institutions.
  • Experience in or passion for quality improvement and improvement processes.
  • MBA, CPA, or other advanced degree preferred.
Required Skills & Attributes
  • A passion for the Foundation’s mission to achieve equity in education. 
  • Ability to be both strategic and tactical; willingness to work alongside teams to dig into the details.
  • Experience with rapidly scaling programs and/or organizations.
  • Demonstrated cultural literacy in working with diverse staff and stakeholders.
  • Exceptional at organizing, attending to detail, meeting deadlines, and delegating appropriately.
  • Able to motivate and coach others to perform at high levels in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.
  • Excellent judgment, organizational, and multi-tasking skills are necessary, as are strong communications skills – both oral and written.
  • Able to work harmoniously as a member of close-knit program and administrative teams, creating effective collaboration while being sensitive to diverse opinions, backgrounds and personal styles.
  • Able to communicate effectively, both one-on-one and in groups, with diverse audiences, including internal staff and external partners.
  • Strong presentation and public speaking skills; able to effectively represent the Foundation and its programs.
  • Facility with technologies for remote working.


The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is an equal opportunity employer that is committed to inclusion and diversity. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, age, national origin, disability status, genetic information, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Candidates from diverse, underrepresented backgrounds are encouraged to apply to our positions.

Benefits & Perks
  • The Foundation offers a competitive compensation and benefits package that includes full medical, dental, vision, life, and long-term care insurance, and subsidized health care and day care flexible spending arrangements
  • A retirement savings plan, including employer contributions and the opportunity for your own tax-advantaged savings
  • Generous time-off benefits including paid holidays and paid parental leave
  • Matching Gift program to benefit charitable organizations and Educational Assistance to further your professional development
  • The facility is located in Stanford, California in a quiet pastoral setting near a hiking trail.
  • Amenities include a communal kitchen (coffee, tea, and drinks provided), outdoor eating/gathering areas, free parking, and electric car charging stations.