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Chief Financial Officer, Finance

Vera Institute of Justice

Vera Institute of Justice

Accounting & Finance
Brooklyn, NY, USA
Posted on Friday, February 23, 2024

Who we are:

The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, is a nonprofit criminal justice organization that strives to build just government institutions and safe communities free from the scourge of racism, white supremacy, profit, and inequity that is pervasive in this country’s legal systems. We are an “inside” lane organization that drives change at scale with ambitious public sector leaders who share our commitment to building anti-racist, reparative systems that deliver justice. We leverage our access to government to transform these systems and work collaboratively with stakeholders across many movements—including advocacy, grassroots, and grasstop organizations. Our role is to pilot solutions that are transformative and achievable, harness the power of evidence to drive effective policy and practice, and use advocacy and communications to change narratives and norms.

Vera has a staff of 300 people and offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. We are an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace. We expect our staff to embody respect, independence, collaboration, commitment, anti-racism, and equity—both in our outward-facing work and the internal culture of our workplace. We value a range of experiences in people’s educational backgrounds and encourage people who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system to apply.

Who you are:

Vera seeks a strategic, mission-oriented, and experienced leader to serve as its next Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Reporting to the President, the CFO is a member of the 11-person leadership team and, as Assistant Treasurer, will serve as an officer of the corporation.

Committed to advancing social justice, the new CFO joins Vera at a moment of ambitious organizational transformation. In recent years, the organization has accelerated a transformation of its work and the business model to support it. It has spun-off multiple business units, established a sister 501(c)4, Vera Action, and has moved away from a hybrid funding model (that included large scale government contracts) to a model predominantly focused on philanthropy. The ideal CFO candidate will have the confidence, experience, management acumen, and people-skills to guide Vera through this transition.

The CFO serves as a strategic partner to the President and board committees, and will be responsible for leading two functions: Finance and Information Technology. An excellent communicator, the CFO must possess the ability to make finance and technology accessible to lay audiences. The CFO must be resourceful, experienced with change management, and have the ability to deliver results in a deadline-driven, fast-paced, dynamic environment. The successful candidate will have outstanding analytical, organizational, and project management skills with an overall execution orientation and high attention to detail.

The CFO, supervising a Director of Finance, will be responsible for ensuring necessary financial insights, processes, procedures, and analyses to help make better decisions about formulating and executing strategy. The CFO is responsible for all financial operations: long-term forecasting and planning; accounting; management of reserves and cash; budgeting and fiscal functions; monthly revenue reconciliation and budget monitoring; and annual audit. Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) in the United States, and the track record to lead a team to ensure adherence to accounting standards are important factors of success in this role. The CFO will be the lead staff for two Board of Trustees Committees: Finance & Investment and Audit & Risk.

The CFO’s responsibility regarding information technology is to supervise the Director of Vera Tech, and in doing so, support strong management of IT operations (e.g., reliable and prompt help desk; security of systems, networks and enterprise information; project management; and software, equipment and network maintenance); the existence of appropriate business continuity protocols; and the existence of processes and standards for evaluating performance. The CFO should have a strong understanding of the technology landscape, technology transformation, cybersecurity threats, risk assessment and management, and driving change management efforts.

What you'll do:

The CFO oversees a current team of 22 and has three direct reportsDirector of Finance, Director of Vera Tech, and Operations Manager. The CFO will maintain the highest level of confidentiality of all information to which they have access.

Organizational Leadership

  • Serve on Vera's leadership team, developing and executing organization-wide strategies
  • In close working partnership with the President, shape the Institute’s financial strategy
  • Manage financial capital and communicate capital requirements / implications of business decisions to President and the board
  • Communicate effectively with Vera's Board of Trustees, especially the Finance & Investment and Audit & Risk Committees, to ensure all Board members clearly understand the organization's financial health and sustainability
  • Conduct meaningful proactive analysis to improve key business decisions focusing on management of working capital, use of financial vehicles, and others
  • Provide useful financial insights to help make better decisions about formulating and executing business strategy
  • With the support of the Director of Finance, and in partnership with the Chief of Staff, drive the annual budget process

Financial Management

  • Serve as the organizational leader in all areas of finance and budget management; manage Director of Finance
  • Support leadership team, Board, program, and development teams through financial modeling and data-driven analysis
  • Ensure effective cash flow management and support the Finance & Investment Committee in managing organization’s board designated fund and endowment
  • Build and maintain business models and forecasting tools that allow for robust scenario planning and real-time decision making
  • Establish and strengthen internal processes required to manage the fiscal health of the organization, such as monthly revenue reconciliation and monthly monitoring and reporting
  • Ensure the integrity, accuracy, and usefulness of all financial reports

Information Technology

  • Guide and supervise the Director of Vera Tech in meeting the Institute’s technology needs efficiently and effectively
  • Support Director of Vera Tech in creating and maintaining a technology strategy and infrastructure that drives organizational results and enables staff to have ongoing access to data, tools, and necessary security
  • Ensure Vera is working within budget constraints, with up-to-date tools and resources, and is readily able to appropriately leverage technological systems and solutions to advance work

What qualifications are we looking for?

  • Minimum of 15 years serving as an organizational leader, with a demonstrable track record of leading the finance and technology functions
  • Track record operating in a large non-profit with a philanthropic (contributed revenue) business model
  • A demonstrable capacity for analytical and strategic thinking and ability to integrate a high-level vision with a tactical execution
  • Advanced degree, preferably in accounting, finance, or other business / operations focus area. In lieu of degree requirement, applicable work or life experience may be considered.
  • Effectiveness in managing and coaching teams; building positive, results-oriented culture; and creating structure to support high-level performance of a diverse team guided by principles of fairness and equity.
  • Technology fluency, including systems management and financial reporting systems
  • Demonstrated skill at navigating complex organizations and strong collaborative and people skills

Mission Critical Objectives | Year 1

  • Evaluate, refine and perfect revenue reconciliation, budget management and other processes to improve foresight and decision-making
  • Evaluate Institute cost structures and processes and produce recommendations for greater performance and efficiencies
  • Assess staffing and capacity of finance team to ensure high functioning in new business model
  • Establish routine forecasting capability and processes

Leadership Style + Characteristics

  • Vision and Purpose: Embracing and communicating Vera’s vision and goals, reflecting a dedication to social justice, equity and inclusion.
  • Leading by Example: Demonstrating and fostering, by example, a sense of urgency, strong commitment/accountability, and sound decision-making to achieve goals.
  • Inspirational: Encouraging and inspiring colleagues and subordinates to stretch beyond what they thought they could accomplish.
  • Ethics and Values: Adhering to a code of conduct with a moral compass focused on the highest level of integrity and ethics.

Location:

Please note this role will report to our Brooklyn, NY office. Vera employees adhere to a hybrid schedule and are in-office on an alternating schedule that generally amounts to 10 days per month.


Compensation and Benefits:

The compensation range for this position is $250,000 - $260,000. Actual salaries will vary depending on factors including but not limited to experience and performance. The salary range listed is just one component of Vera Institute’s total compensation package for employees. As an employer of choice in our field, supporting Vera staff—both personally and professionally—is a priority. To do this, we invest in the well-being of our staff through other rewards including merit pay, generous paid time off, a comprehensive health insurance plan, student loan repayment benefits, professional development training opportunities and up to $2,000 annual for education costs and fees relevant to Vera work, employer-funded retirement plan, and flexible time. To learn more about Vera’s benefits offerings, click here.

Applications may also be faxed to:

ATTN: People Resources / Chief Financial Officer, Finance
Vera Institute of Justice
34 35th St, Suite 4-2A, Brooklyn, NY 11232
Fax: (212) 941-9407
Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.
No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

In order to ensure a healthy and safe work environment, Vera Institute of Justice is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccine before their start date. Employees who cannot receive the vaccine because of a disability / medical contraindication or sincerely-held religious belief may request an accommodation (e.g., an exemption) to this requirement.

Vera is an equal opportunity / affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status.

Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.

For more information about Vera, please visit www.vera.org