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Job Req ID:  34736

Assistant Director Finance – SNF Agora Institute


General Summary/Purpose:

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University seeks an Assistant Director of Finance.  SNF Agora was established in 2017 as a multi-disciplinary academic and public forum dedicated to strengthening global democracy by improving and expanding civic engagement and inclusive dialogue, and by supporting inquiry that leads to real-world change. By building integrated partnerships with scholars, practitioners, students, and the public, the institute uses research to identify and sharpen strategic choices that members of the public and civic and political stakeholders around the world can make to realize the promise of democracy.

The Institute draws inspiration from the ancient Athenian agora, a gathering place for shared conversation, debate, and action that became the heart of democratic governance in Athens. Drawing on the spirit of the agora, the Institute works to strengthen citizens’ capacities for engagement in democracy with an approach that focuses on translating the best insights from academic scholarship into actionable knowledge in the real-world.

The Assistant Director of Finance will report to the Director of the SNF Agora Institute and work in close collaboration with the finance and administrative teams in Krieger School of Arts & Sciences (KSAS) Dean’s Office and University Administration (UA).  The Assistant Director of Finance will play an important role on the leadership team of the Institute with responsibility for financial and administrative strategic planning, and management and oversight of all financial, budgetary, and administrative activities of the Institute. Additionally, this person will engage in business plan development for new activities of the Institute.  The responsibilities for the Assistant Director include but are not limited to: accounting, general and strategic budgeting, coordination with and reporting on endowment projections and spending, coordination with Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) on reporting, funding from philanthropy, oversight of research grants and flow through, development of business plans for new programs such as executive education, masters programs and/or others, coordination and compliance with HR, oversight of administrative, IT and other team members, other compliance and reporting obligations related to gift agreements, coordination with other finance teams at KSAS and UA as required.  Additionally, this position will pro-actively establish processes, metrics, and procedures to ensure compliance with University policies.

This position will provide advice and counsel to the Institute Director, Faculty and Staff in order to make the most effective use of the department’s physical, human and financial resources.


Specific Duties & Responsibilities:

60% -- Financial Strategy and Oversight

  • Provides overall financial leadership to the Institute. This includes strategic budgeting, financial reporting, management of spending,  grant/project preparation, award setup, ongoing award reporting/updates (both internal and external), award closeout, approval of routine transactions, account reconciliation, effort reconciliation and certification, coordination with KSAS and central UA budget teams, coordination and reporting with DAR, and oversight of any other routine and non-routine financial matters.
  • Oversees strategic financial planning including 5 and 10-year projections, funding of Institute activities, programs, labs, and faculty, student, post-doc, visiting scholar support, development of yearly institute spending and revenue source (including projections of endowment payout) projections and trend analysis for financial planning
  • Develops business plans for new programs within Institute in collaboration with SNF Agora Deputy Director and Director including financial and other resource planning
  • Develops strategies for establishing and utilizing discretionary funds for the preservation of the Institute’s mission
  • Develops and manages Institute budgets to achieve efficient financial operations
  • Monitors Institute budget and actual performance during the fiscal year and makes corrections as necessary
  • Provides regular updates to the institute Director regarding overall financial status and any other relevant matters
  • Provides related financial status reports and other special projects reports required to support the operation and stewardship of the Institute and ensure that the Institute Director have adequate and timely information
  • Oversees pre and post award administration, administration of the institute grant program, and endowment expenditure tracking and reporting – coordinates with KSAS grants team for these activities
  • Reviews all department grant applications prior to submission
  • Ensures that all activities are performed in a timely manner in compliance with KSAS, University, and external guidelines and regulations
  • Reviews, approves and monitors purchase requisitions, invoices, check requests, wire transfers, contracts, and other and oversees and ensures accurate information is in SAP and that bills are paid and funds are applied correctly
  • Assists and develops strategic planning and special projects
  • Works with divisional business office in all capacities needed to support the Institute


15% -- Performance Management

  • Works with Deputy Director to manage all staffing (FT, PT, Visiting Scholars, Student Employees, Lab staff) needs and personnel issues including payroll and HR transactions and activities
  • Ensures employees understand goals and objectives of the Institute both internally and externally in working with various constituent groups
  • Oversees hiring, training, orienting, supervising and terminating all direct subordinate staff and assists leadership with similar duties for other team members
  • Conducts annual performance appraisals for direct reports and facilitates career and professional development
  • Coordinates these efforts on the part of others with supervisory responsibilities
  • Plans for and supports staff professional development
  • Provides ongoing feedback and constructive criticism
  • Prioritizes and directs work efforts, providing guidance and direction
  • Handles conflict resolution with direct supervisees
  • Motivates for higher collaboration and performance
  • Performs all necessary HR processes for faculty and staff of the Institute


15% -- Communications and Outreach

  • Facilitates and maintains smooth and effective communication with all levels of School and Institute personnel
  • Coordinates closely with DAR and develops relationship with SNF for purposes of financial reporting and other related activities as required by gift agreement or deemed important for maintenance of strong relationship
  • Maintains supportive and cordial relationships with faculty, visitors, staff and students
  • Works in close collaboration with the finance and administrative team in KSAS and central UA, as well as other departments within KSAS, and other divisional program personnel
  • Informs faculty and staff of University communications regarding policies and procedures and ensures timely compliance
  • Acts as a liaison to University facilities management for routine facilities related matters


10% -- Administrative Management

  • Responsible for the overall formulation and implementation of policies and procedures necessary for the efficient and effective operation of the (department/center)
  • Assists faculty, staff and visitors with on-boarding; providing monthly status reports for their projects, grants and accounts; and meeting with them on a regular basis to discuss finances and any other relevant administrative or personnel matters
  • Works with faculty to ensure that funding levels are adequate to maintain project personnel and function
  • Oversees the support of 10 visitors to the Institute each year including arranging housing, visas, travel, and other needs
  • Advises faculty and staff on personnel policies and procedures
  • Coordinates IT and AV support
  • Oversees event spaces and ensures that they are maintained to high standards and are available as needed to support the goals of the Institute
  • Ensures that all facilities receive required housekeeping and facilities services
  • Oversees space and equipment inventories and databases
  • Coordinates all renovation and construction project with the Executive Director and facilities personnel from relevant teams
  • Collaborates with new faculty in the design of labs, offices and the purchase of furniture and equipment
  • Performs other duties as assigned


Minimum Qualifications (mandatory):

  • Bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or other related field
  • Minimum of seven years related progressively more responsible financial/accounting and financial management experience, experience working with complex budgets
  • Additional education may be considered in lieu of some experience, to the extent permitted by the JHU equivalency formula.
    JHU Equivalency Formula:  30 undergraduate degree credits (semester hours) or 18 graduate degree credits may substitute for one year of experience.  Additional related experience may substitute for required education on the same basis.  For jobs where equivalency is permitted, up to two years of non-related college course work may be applied towards the total minimum education/experience required for the respective job.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Ten years of progressively responsible professional-level administrative and financial experience in a large and complex environment including supervisory experience  and two years of financial management experience strongly preferred
  • CPA preferred
  • Advanced degree preferred – MBA, Finance, or other related discipline
  • Experience with a complex software system such as SAP


Special Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Hands-on experience with basic accounting functions such as account reconciliation and the production of financial summaries and reports
  • Leadership experience and qualities that demonstrate commitment to collaborative, consensus-building work style as well as interest in nurturing the professional development aspirations of team members
  • Demonstrated record of related accomplishments such as financial administration and reporting, strategic planning and budgeting, accounting, management experience
  • Firm understanding of funding administration including guideline interpretation and budget development
  • Analytical ability to project revenues and expenditures, develop sound policies and procedures for area of responsibility and to maintain proper documentation
  • Highly organized and detail oriented with ability to prioritize multiple and changing responsibilities
  • Comprehensive knowledge of SAP and all of its functions
  • Able to identify short and long-term problems, strengths and weaknesses of current practices, alternatives, and implement creative solutions to address complicated issues
  • Understanding of GAAP accounting Advanced proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite applications (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint)
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and a deep appreciation of research and educational issues within SNF Agora Institute, KSAS, and the entire University
  • Ability to manage budgetary matters at strategic, oversight, and detailed analytical levels
  • Ability to work independently and find solutions to problems that arise
  • Familiarity with HR management issues and processes, ability to manage confidential and sensitive issues
  • Knowledge of JHU policies and procedures
  • Passion for democracy, dialogue and civic engagement


Supervisory responsibility (indicate the number and type of persons supervised by incumbent): 

  • 2 or more administrative staff


Classified Title: Assistant Director Finance 
Working Title: Assistant Director Finance – SNF Agora Institute 
Role/Level/Range: ATP/04/PF 
Starting Salary Range: up to $110,880 annually
Employee group: Full Time 
Schedule: M-F, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
Exempt Status: Exempt  
Location: 01-MD:Homewood Campus 
Department name: 60007752-KSAS - Agora Institute 
Personnel area: School of Arts & Sciences


The successful candidate(s) for this position will be subject to a pre-employment background check.


If you are interested in applying for employment with The Johns Hopkins University and require special assistance or accommodation during any part of the pre-employment process, please contact the HR Business Services Office at jhurecruitment@jhu.edu. For TTY users, call via Maryland Relay or dial 711.


The following additional provisions may apply depending on which campus you will work.  Your recruiter will advise accordingly.


During the Influenza ("the flu") season, as a condition of employment, The Johns Hopkins Institutions require all employees who provide ongoing services to patients or work in patient care or clinical care areas to have an annual influenza vaccination or possess an approved medical or religious exception. Failure to meet this requirement may result in termination of employment.


The pre-employment physical for positions in clinical areas, laboratories, working with research subjects, or involving community contact requires documentation of immune status against Rubella (German measles), Rubeola (Measles), Mumps, Varicella (chickenpox), Hepatitis B and documentation of having received the Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccination. This may include documentation of having two (2) MMR vaccines; two (2) Varicella vaccines; or antibody status to these diseases from laboratory testing. Blood tests for immunities to these diseases are ordinarily included in the pre-employment physical exam except for those employees who provide results of blood tests or immunization documentation from their own health care providers. Any vaccinations required for these diseases will be given at no cost in our Occupational Health office.


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