Chief Financial Officer

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is a key member of the foundation’s senior management team, and a thought partner to the president and the board of directors. S/he works closely with the president and other members of the senior management team — both operations and grantmaking — to instill a culture of transparency, collaboration, and dynamic leadership in the organization.

On a day-to-day basis, the CFO has strategic and managerial responsibility for the foundation’s  financial operations and ensures that all such activities are conducted in an environment that supports its mission and programs, fosters continuous improvement and innovation, safeguards its assets, and mitigates operational risk. S/he leads a staff of 10 people across all financial, accounting, and planning functions.

The CFO is based in Menlo Park, CA and s/he reports directly to the president.

Key responsibilities include:

Operational and Financial Management

  • Manage all accounting procedures, processes, filings, and financial reporting. Ensure the accurate and timely preparation of all financial statements and reporting, including regular financial statements to management, regulatory agencies, and the board.
  • Ensure a robust financial planning and analysis function to provide real-time insights regarding organization financials, and to ensure that improvements and efficiencies are achieved in a cross-functional, multi-program environment.
  • Oversee all aspects of operating cash management and manage the accounting systems, processes and procedures to record, monitor, and report on the foundation’s assets and liabilities in compliance with all regulatory requirements.
  • Manage and monitor foundation’s cash forecast, with particular attention to monitoring payout requirements; ensure regular reporting to the president and board for overall management of its grantmaking and operations.
  • Work closely with the Investment department, ensuring timely and accurate processing and recording of transactions and performance reporting.
  • Effectively manage external relationships with commercial and master custodial banks, external auditors, and consultants.
  • Ensure grant payments are made in accordance with appropriate authorizations and, as appropriate, help perform the financial review portion of the due diligence of prospective grantees.
  • Advise the president and board on how to invest in and leverage technology to enhance the foundation’s insights into its finances, operations, and programs; to identify synergies and realized efficiencies across the organization; to ensure continuous improvement and innovation; and to mitigate risk.

Strategy and Innovation

  • The CFO is an innovative thinker able to drive cross-functional strategies and initiatives to address operational issues and enhance the foundation’s effectiveness and impact.
  • Views the role of CFO as a problem-solver with the capacity of knowing the limits, securing the integrity of the processes, and then helping teams achieve goals.
  • In collaboration with the senior management team, identify and mitigate potential risks to the foundation’s operational, programmatic, and reputational integrity.
  • As a member of the broader philanthropic community, share learnings and incorporate best practices learned from others.

Leadership, Mission, and Values

  • Establish a client-oriented approach fully aligned with, and committed to, the foundation’s overall programmatic objectives.
  • Lead by example; be a role model and take the time to not only understand, but help contribute to the foundation’s aspirational culture as defined in the foundation’s Guiding Principles.
  • Empower staff to use their talents and capabilities to take thoughtful risks with the intent to drive impact and make change.
  • Nurture and develop a high-performing, energized team that encourages original thought and proactivity.

Candidate Profile

We are looking for a strategic thinker and a proven financial and administrative leader to build on the successes of the current finance organization and to ensure an agile operational structure able to further the foundation’s overarching goals and ambitions.

The successful candidate will be a seasoned and mature leader with at least 15 years of substantive experience in financial and administrative management in a company or other organization of similar size and complexity. S/he will have a track-record as a hands-on, proactive, and engaged partner to management, and will have contributed to the overall strategic dialogue of a significant organization or division. In addition, s/he will have experience presenting to a board of directors in a clear and concise style, comfortable answering probing questions, and making thoughtful suggestions. A CPA and/or MBA, as well as prior endowment experience, are highly desirable.

While the technical capabilities across controls and financial planning and analysis must be unquestionably strong, the ability to serve as a strategic business partner to all functions of the foundation will be of paramount importance. As such, the CFO must naturally build and maintain cross-functional relationships, lead by example and be dedicated to the mentorship and development of the team. Behaviorally and stylistically, the CFO needs to be an excellent leader of people, and act as a player-coach who can manage as well as inspire the finance organization and broader team. S/he will naturally “roll up his or her sleeves” in order to drive results, and will exhibit low ego and high emotional intelligence.

The CFO serves as the senior liaison to the Audit Committee, Tax Committee, and Budget Committee of the board. Key to the success of this role will be the ability to understand the organizational and financial priorities of management and of the board, and can anticipate needs for relevant and accessible financial communication and reporting required for informed and timely decision-making.

The CFO will be comfortable in an interdisciplinary and high-performing environment that reflects the foundation’s professionalism and standing in the philanthropic community. S/he must be able to forge collaborative relationships with the president and the board, as well as with the operational and programmatic leadership of the organization, and contribute to a positive and vibrant culture.

The Chief Financial Officer will maintain an uncompromising commitment to financial integrity through the continued development of rigorous accounting and controls systems and processes. We are looking for a confident, inclusive manager recognized for building and nurturing collegial and resourceful teams that, at their core, are in service of programs and impact. Above all, the CFO will have unquestioned integrity and a genuine commitment to the foundation’s mission and values.


Jamie A. Hechinger
Russell Reynolds Associates
1700 New York Avenue, NW
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20006-5208
Direct: +1-202-654-7826

John D. McNaught
Russell Reynolds Associates
1700 New York Avenue, NW
Suite 400
Washington, DC  20006-5208
Direct: +1-202-654-7817

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