Global Finance Director

Finance & Accounting Washington, District of Columbia

Job Summary

Reporting to the VP & Chief Financial and Operating Officer, you are the senior leader for global financial strategy and policy/system improvements. You lead the effort to ensure the financial integrity and sustainability of WRI. You will develop and execute a strategic vision for the global financial function, monitor and forecast global financial data to identify critical issues and provide decision support for senior management, ensure sound risk management and internal control environment, maintain collaborative partnerships with offices and department directors, creating a strong network among finance staff globally.

Job Responsibilities

Financial Planning, Analysis and Modelling – Decision Support (30%)

  • Prepare our annual and long-range strategic financial plans and the corresponding budgets in support of Board and key stakeholder meetings, monthly/quarterly senior leadership meetings, and various committees of the organization
  • Analyze and present financial reports in an accurate and timely manner; clearly communicate monthly and annual financial statements; collate financial reporting materials for all donor segments, and oversee all financial, project/program and grants
  • Oversee and lead annual budgeting and planning process in conjunction with the CFOO; administer and review all financial plans and budgets; monitor progress and changes and keep senior leadership team abreast of the organization’s financial trends and status
  • Lead quarterly financial and performance reviews with Programs/Centers and International Offices, reporting key trends and takeaways to the Executive Team
  • Effectively communicate and present critical financial matters to the Board of Directors
  • Define and report on key organizational performance metrics; determine data clean-up or process enhancements necessary to improve the quality of the metrics for decision making and accomplishment of our organizational goals and strategic plan
  • Facilitate quantitative decisions with clear, visual, easy to interpret analysis for resource allocation across the network

Financial Operations Communication and Training (30%)

  • Ensure all Programs/Centers and International Office project directors and mangers understand how to access and interpret financial reports, WRI’s financial model, and have what they need to be successful
  • Participate as part of the Global Operations Team to address financial issues/concerns and build capacity/deliver trainings to address these capacity needs to reduce and manage risk
  • Provide a high level and quality of customer service from Finance staff without compromising internal controls through surveys or other means
  • Assist with the preparation and monitoring of the annual and five-year Operations Plans.
  • Drive continuous improvement in the quality and timeliness of Program decisions on a range of issues (e.g. benchmarking performance, space required by location, optimal sub-grant ratios, project funding constraints, growth trajectories and short and long-term impact on our financial model, International office and WRI-wide overhead rates, capital spending, uses of unrestricted/resources, etc.). 
  • Ensure clear communication to staff on issues that affect them with clear instructions on expectations and rationale for changes
  • Develop and lead finance related career development learning sessions for both Program and Operations Staff.  These must be designed to facilitate our decentralized organizational structure while mitigating risks across the organization

Systems & Special Projects (20%)

  • Expert on our systems and data repositories, understanding the limitations and opportunities for the systems to get the required information such as Revenue forecasts, project deficits, cash flow, AR Aging, or other information necessary to drive financial and project management improvements
  • Support development of needed reports across the network to drive adoption of systems and dashboards for decision making with the support of the Finance Team creating monthly and quarterly review packages for all levels of the Global and International Office
  • Identify opportunities for process improvement, simplification, and system optimization to facilitate the foundation for a rapidly growing global organization
  • Provide support as necessary during the annual audits and other projects assigned by the Executive Team or Board 
Investments, Treasury, and Contracts, Grants & Revenue (20%)
  • Develop a robust revenue pipeline tracking approach to allow validation of budgets, hiring forecasts and space needs, identify level of effort for fundraising, cash flow, etc.
  • Continue to build on our process to mitigate Foreign Exchange risk
  • Oversee the Grants and Contracts Director to ensure WRI’s award management is operating effectively and efficiently, with the highest level of customer service, while meeting compliance and service benchmarks
  • Ensure the contract billing and collection schedule is adhered to and that financial data and cash flow are steady and support operational requirements
  • Coordinate and liaise with the Finance and Investment Committee of the board of directors; assist with mission-based investing of our endowment

Job Qualifications

  • Minimum 12 years of related experience in a multinational organization with a minimum of 7 years leading a finance team
  • MBA or master’s degree in Accounting, Finance or related field (or 2 additional years of experience)
  • Strong knowledge of international accounting norms
  • Project management and process improvement experience, specifically including successful implementation and oversight of organization-wide process improvement and other initiatives
  • Strong leader, demonstrated ability to develop and keep staff motivated
  • Strong professional communication skills including writing, public speaking and presentation
  • Demonstrated experience working with senior executives; presenting to a board
  • Experience with multiple financial systems; suggested systems include Deltek Costpoint, IBM Cognos TM1 and Salesforce
  • Strong knowledge of US GAAP, IFRS, 2 CFR 200 and AIDAR
  • Superb cross-cultural interpersonal skills with an impressive history of forging strong relationships with multiple stakeholders, strong listening skills, and an ability to relate well to people at all levels

Program Overview

Our Operations Department strives to assist our global offices in being low-risk and fully capable, enhancing their operational capabilities, through a bond of mutual and sustainable growth, a high level of collaboration with each other and ability to share knowledge across the sisterhood of offices. You will establish mutually agreed upon standards of performance, measuring the efficiency and effectiveness for the sisterhood of offices All offices will have a clear focus on achieving a high capacity rating and be able to pass an organizational assessment to ensure the ability that donors could provide funding directly. The department strives for clear processes across our network to manage and mitigate the institutional risks – operational, personnel, financial, political.

WRI Overview

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 in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean.

We are passionate. We value our diversity of interests, skills and backgrounds. We have a flexible work environment. And we share a common goal to catalyze change that will improve the lives of people. Our shared ideals are at the core of our approach. They include: integrity, innovation, urgency, independence and respect.

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.

We have been growing rapidly: our staff has doubled in size over the past 5 years and our operating budget is now $100 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of 800+ people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices in AfricaBrazilChinaEuropeIndiaIndonesiaMexico and the United States as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.  

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.  

The World Resources Institute ( is an environmental and development research and policy organization that creates solutions to protect the Earth and improve people’s lives. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, it is WRI’s policy to recruit, hire, and provide opportunities for advancement in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, parental status, protected veteran status, or disability. WRI’s global agenda requires a staff that is diverse – with respect to race, gender, cultural, and international background. Diverse perspectives and experience enhance the way WRI selects and approaches issues, as well as the creativity and applicability of WRI's policy research and analysis. WRI, therefore, encourages applications from U.S. minorities, persons from other countries (especially developing nations), and from women of all backgrounds.