Vice President, Finance

Vice President, Finance

For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST)

Manchester, NH   |   May 22, 2020


For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST)® is the world’s leading youth-serving nonprofit advancing STEM education and the development of holistic skills to prepare young people for the future. For 31 years, FIRST has combined the rigor of STEM learning with the fun and excitement of traditional sports and the inspiration that comes from community through programs that have a proven impact on learning, interest and skill-building inside and outside of the classroom. This legacy and opportunity are as strong and dynamic as ever, as FIRST creates the people who will change the world – today and tomorrow.

FIRST is on a mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

FIRST® Core Values:

  • Discovery:We explore new skills and ideas.
  • Innovation: We use creativity and persistence to solve problems.
  • Impact: We apply what we learn to improve our world.
  • Inclusion: We respect each other and embrace our differences.
  • Teamwork: We are stronger when we work together.
  • Fun: We enjoy and celebrate what we do!

While FIRST is headquartered in Manchester, NH, we are open to a flexible remote option a few days per week. For more information on FIRST, please visit

The Opportunity

FIRST seeks a Vice President, Finance (VP) who is both a strategic visionary and strong financial leader who will take a highly respected organization to the next level of excellence.  The VP will ensure sound financial discipline as the organization continues to grow both domestically and world-wide.  Reporting directly to the President, and a member of the senior leadership team, the VP will also partner closely with the Board Treasurer, to provide strategic leadership for FIRST’s long-term financial strategy.  This role will have daily oversight and leadership of reporting & control, financial planning & analysis, risk management, operational finance, cash flow, and investments.  The VP will be a solutions-oriented, outcome-driven leader and thought partner collaborating across the organization to optimize all finance processes.  FIRST is made up of 185 employees at both the Manchester, NH headquarters and nationally and its programs involve over 660,000 participants, 300,000 volunteer roles, and 3600 events in over 110 countries.  The VP will have financial oversight of the $80M operating budget.

In addition to exhibiting proven financial leadership, the incoming VP must have a nuanced understanding of nonprofit management with demonstrated success stewarding the financial health of complex organizations with multiple programs and funding sources.  The next VP will be a collaborative leader with strong people management skills, and will lead a team of 15, including two direct reports, and will be responsible for fostering a respectful, inclusive environment for a high-performing team.

FIRST is a fast-paced, rewarding work environment that thrives on teamwork, celebrates the individual, and applauds our collective successes.  Our programs are life-changing, and you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that you are part of a talented team that is working hard to change the world.

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

  • Deep commitment to FIRST’s mission and core values.
  • Demonstrated experience in oversight and leadership of financial reporting, financial planning & analysis, internal controls, risk management, finance operations, and facilities management functions.
  • In collaboration with the leadership team, set the financial strategy and direction of the organization while providing skilled and sound financial direction.
  • Effectively engage with the leadership team to develop both short- and long-term financial plans and annual budget.
  • Ensure timeliness, accuracy, and usefulness of financial and management reporting for federal and state funding requirements, as well as internal and external stakeholders.
  • Implement effective internal financial controls and oversee their consistent execution to ensure that organization’s finances are compliant with GAAP, as well as with State, Local, and Federal regulatory and third-party contractual requirements.
  • Contribute to the achievement of the mission by being a proactive, insightful, and strategic finance executive who understands the organization’s mission and operations globally.
  • Quickly establish credibility with key constituents, both internally and externally, while contributing to and building upon the existing strategic and tactical financial strength of the organization.
  • Supervise a high-performing finance/accounting team, implement best in class planning/analysis functions, and oversee a facility management function by integrating and scaling best practices, processes, analytics, and tools in a high-growth environment.
  • Provide insight-driven analytics, forecasting, and advice to help the President make informed decisions by bringing a forward-thinking fiscal perspective to key strategic and operational decisions.
  • Support a culture defined by high-performance, accountability, collaboration, and trust.
  • Construct, interpret, and effectively communicate the financial status of the company to the executive team, Board of Directors, and other key stakeholders.
  • Provide mentorship, guidance, and transparency to members of the Finance, FP&A, and facility teams.

In addition, strong candidates will offer:

  • Nuanced understanding of finance and accounting principles, attention to detail, and consistent integrity of actions.
  • Advanced expertise in finance, accounting, budgeting, and cost control principles experience overseeing and managing budgets involving multiple public and private funding sources.
  • Experience and skill considering the broad organizational landscape and making decisions that are strategically sound.
  • Experience providing investment analysis, financial decision support, accounting and reporting, and ongoing tracking and monitoring for major programs and initiatives, ensuring fiscal accountability and sound financial management across all areas.
  • Persuasive, data-driven, communication skills based on facts and sound business judgment with the ability to effectively convey complex and nuanced information across a wide variety of audiences.
  • Well-developed and effective management and leadership skills with strong emotional intelligence and superior interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication.
  • Comprehensive understanding of nonprofit financial management and the ability to manage ambiguity and complex issues.
  • Demonstrated commitment to leveraging individuals’ strengths, celebrating differences, and a passion for fostering an inclusive work environment.
  • Working knowledge of government grants (The Uniform Guidance) and nonprofit accounting principles strongly preferred.
  • Minimum of an undergraduate degree in finance, accounting, related field; Master’s degree preferred.
  • Certified Public Accountant designation a plus.
  • Nonprofit experience strongly preferred
  • Minimum of 10 years in senior financial management roles, in either for-profit or nonprofit environments.

Koya Leadership Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Alicia Salerno is leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please visit this link here. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


Thriving on our core values, celebrating the uniqueness of our employees and committed to inclusion, FIRST is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners, a member of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit