Data Lab Financial Operations Specialist

Finance & Accounting Washington, DC, United States


This position will be hybrid requiring 8 days per month in the Washington DC office. Existing work authorization is required at the time of application submission. WRI is unable to sponsor any visa work sponsorship for this position.    

About the Program:    

The Data Lab exists to inspire and fuel data innovation, product development, and technical infrastructure for World Resources Institute (WRI) and our community. We are a team of over 35 engineers, product managers, and data scientists with deep experience setting data strategy, doing quantitative research, and building data tools and products.  We work across WRIs programs, centers, and international offices to use advances in data and technology to help our communityimprove lives, protect nature, and ensure just transitions.      

Data of all kinds sits at the heart of how WRI achieves impact in the world, and our world-class research is used by governments, policymakers, NGOs and local communities around the world to improve lives, protect nature, and ensure just transitions.   The Data Lab is part of the Research, Data and Impact (RDI) core function at WRI. RDI is responsible for maintaining WRIs rigorous standards for research and data related knowledge products across its programsand international offices.    

Job Highlight:    

Reporting to the RDI Senior Operations Manager, you will support the efforts of the Data Lab by assisting in the management of project budgets for the Data Lab’s many internal and external partnerships. You will draft new grant proposal budgets and expense forecasts, track and update project budgets and expenditures, monitor labor expenditures and prepare financial reports and invoices for the Data Lab’s external donors, among other financial management tasks. You will coordinate quarterly labor and non-labor expense forecasting with leaders of the Engineering, Product Management and Data Science teams. You will be a part of a dynamic and growing team within the Research, Data & Impact (RDI) core function at WRI and will be supported by a matrixed team of project coordinators and senior operations staff.    

What you will do:    

Financial Planning and Forecasting (30%):    

  • Manage quarterly labor and non-labor expense forecast updates from Data Lab team leaders and maintain forecasting tracking systems accordingly
  • Escalate issues to senior leadership where required
  • Assist project and product managers in the planning and design stages by providing expense scenario forecasts using WRI’s financial forecasting system (TM1)
  • Update WRI’s institutional grant tracking system (Salesforce) with the Data Lab’s fundraising activity and forecast potential new revenue

Financial Management (40%):    

  • Monitor monthly spending, checking for variances in project budgets between actual expenditures and proposal budgets, ensuring all charges to awards comply with grant requirements
  • Liaise with Operations staff across WRI’s programs, centers and country offices to ensure labor and non-labor data is accurately documented in WRI’s financial systems (TM1 and Cognos)
  • Ensure labor expenditures are aligned with the matrixed timesheet guidance provided to Data Lab team members bi-weekly
  • Assist the RDI Senior Operations Manager with monthly transaction reviews and project finance reconciliations

Revenue Reporting (30%):    

  • Update WRI’s institutional grant tracking system (Salesforce) with the Data Lab’s grant reporting deadlines and completed deliverables
  • Help prepare annual project budget and quarterly financial review reports in consultation with project managers and the RDI Senior Operations Manager
  • Help prepare financial and narrative grant reports to funders, ensuring reports are submitted promptly
  • Support monitoring of partners to ensure the timely and accurate submission of subcontractor and sub grantee progress and financial reports
  • Help prepare quarterly internal project budget reports to inform financial planning and analysis decisions

What you will need:    

  • Education: You have a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field (e.g., business administration, accounting, economics, public or nonprofit administration, international development, etc.)
  • Experience: You have minimum of 3 years’ of relevant full time work experience in financial management and business administration
  • A detail-oriented, organized individual with experience and interest in program operations, grants compliance, financial management and budgeting
  • Process oriented with sensitivity to quality, writing, data management and proofreading skills
  • Ability to manage an influx of information and a strong capacity to track details
  • Ability to work collaborativelysynchronously or asynchronously whether it is in MIRO, Asana, virtual meetings or in-person workshops
  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to work well in, with a diverse and dispersed team, and across teams within matrixed projects
  • Fluency in Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel and PowerPointis required
  • Familiarity with MIRO, PowerBI, Asana and SharePointpreferably but not required
  • Languages: Fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of Portuguese, French, Spanish, Bahasa Indonesian, Chinese or Turkish is a plus.
  • Requirements: Existing work authorization is required at the time of application. WRI is unable to authorize visa work authorization

Potential Salary: Salary range is between 69,000 and 73,000 USD. Salary is commensurate with experience and other compensable factors.    

How to Apply: You must submit a resume and cover letter by March 4, 2024. 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
  • Long-term commitment to hybrid working model with flexible working hours.
  • Generous leave days that increase with tenure

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.