Chief Financial Officer

Chief Financial Officer

JA Worldwide, Inc.

Boston, MA   |   September 30, 2019

About JA Worldwide

As one of the world’s largest youth-serving NGOs, JA Worldwide prepares young people for employment and entrepreneurship. For 100 years, JA has delivered hands on, experiential learning in financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship. We create pathways for employability, job creation, and financial success. Each year, our network of over 465,000 volunteers serves more than 10 million students in over 100 countries with an annual budget of $330 million globally.  The head office of JA Worldwide in Boston and the regional subsidiaries/affiliates in locations around the world that oversee the JA network have an annual budget of approximately $20 million annually. The mission of JA Worldwide is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.  Please visit to learn more.


Reporting to the chief executive officer (CEO), the chief financial officer (CFO) will play a critical role in supporting the financial and administrative functions of the head office and the regional subsidiaries/affiliates. As a member of the Senior Leadership Team, the CFO will be an advisor to the regional operating center (ROC) presidents, evaluating and assisting them with their financial and operating plans. S/he will be responsible for overseeing all fiscal and fiduciary responsibilities for the organization, in conjunction with the Board of Governors and relevant committees of the Board.
Specific responsibilities include:


  • As a business partner to the CEO, COO, and Global Chief Development Officer, assess organizational performance against both the annual budget and JA Worldwide’s long-term strategy. Develop tools and systems to provide critical financial and operational information to the CEO and make actionable recommendations on both strategy and operations.
  • Engage the board finance and audit committees around issues, trends, and changes in the operating model(s) and operational delivery. Assist in establishing yearly objectives and meeting agendas, and selecting and engaging outside consultants (auditors, outsourced accounting services, investment management, legal counsel, human capital, technology).
  • Oversee budgetary planning and costs management in alignment with JA Worldwide’s strategic plan, especially as the organization considers sponsorships, partnerships, potential acquisitions, and collaborations with external organizations.

Financial and Operational Management

  • Oversee all accounts, ledgers, and reporting systems, ensuring compliance with appropriate Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, regulatory requirements, and Office of Management and Budget audit requirements. Maintain internal control safeguards.
  • Oversee the annual independent audit of the organization’s financial statements, the preparation and submission of the organization’s tax return (Form 990), and foreign bank account reporting to the US government.
  • Working closely with the development team, manage grant accounting for multiple funder relationships, including USAID and other bi-lateral or multi-lateral agencies.
  • Manage business and financial systems, including procurement, design, implementation and maintenance to support the development, operations and marketing teams.
  • Manage cash flow and forecasting. Optimize the handling of banking relationships and initiate appropriate strategies to enhance cash positions, including investment in short-term CDs.
  • Oversee budgeting and the implementation of budgets to monitor progress and present financial metrics both internally and externally.
  • Manage assets and track the performance of JA Worldwide’s endowment in keeping with the policies and investment guidelines established by the Finance Committee.
  • Responsible for risk management/enterprise risk matrix of the organization, including strategic, operational, brand, financial, and trademarks/intellectual property
  • Responsible for organization’s policies and procedures including employee handbook, data protection and privacy (including GDPR), code of conduct, conflict of interest, whistleblower and other human resources processes
  • Oversee the organization’s hiring process and employee benefits, including offer letters, background checks and approval for payroll additions
  • Manages relationships with external legal counsel (retainer and pro bono) in support of governance, contracting and trademark/IP needs of the organization.
  • Owner and steward of the standard member agreement signed by all affiliates who join the JA Worldwide network.
  • Staff advisor to the Finance Committee and Audit Committee, responsible for agenda, minutes, scheduling and actions requiring board approval
  • Member of the Senior Leadership Team and Member Council

Regional Operating Centers (ROC)

  • Provide accounting/financial guidance and operating advice to ROCs, particularly for the four regions that consolidate with JA Worldwide (Africa, Americas, Asia Pacific and Middle East and North Africa).
  • Support ROC fundraising activities through attestation, POA, and other services.
  • In collaboration with ROC Presidents, establish new member countries and maintain member in good standing status for all countries.
  • Attend ROC board meetings with scheduling in coordination with the CEO.

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Oversight of annual member fee determination and fee collection process with 118 member countries, with allowance for member country netting of fees against grant funds due them
  • Oversight of annual organization data (Hewitt) collection and reporting for 118 member countries, building on the organization’s fixed, flexible and freestyle approach to performance assessment
  • Assess affiliates’ quarterly compliance with member agreement obligations.  Involve Member council as needed during the informal and formal review process for members not in good standing
  • Manage services agreements with JA USA and JA Europe
  • Contract development, review and signing of vendor, consultants, and funder agreements for HQ, Americas & MENA ROCS and other ROCs as needed
  • Review and approval of USAID quarterly reporting and monthly funding drawdowns for multiple USAID grants working closely with respective ROC; submission of annual NICRA submission to USAID; compliance with USAID requirements.
  • Review and approval of bi-weekly payroll and expenses
  • Review and approval of bi-weekly and monthly vendor/member country payments
  • Review and approval of funding requests from Africa ROC and other ROC requests
  • Administer the 401-k plan and manage vendor relationships and annual safe harbor requirements
  • Oversee annual employee performance review process including administration of approved merit increases and bonuses
  • Manage key service provider relationships
    • Executive compensation consultant in conjunction with CEO and Executive Compensation Committee
    • Payroll provider
    • Banking
    • Endowment investment manager
    • Investment company for acceptance of organization’s in-kind donations
    • Independent auditor
    • Outsourced accounting/finance function
    • Trademark counsel (retainer & pro bono)
  • Responsible for the IT and procurement/contracting functions and vendor relationships
  • Oversight of LMS agreement with JA USA and member countries, including collection of fees
  • Administer JA Labs, scholarships and other financial awards to member countries
  • Oversight of board meeting materials, including minutes, resolutions, financial, audit, governance and board nominations

Team Management

  • Manage two individuals in finance and administration; collaborate with financial and operations professions across JA’s six regional offices; build a team dynamic with outsourced finance/accounting professionals and internal staff
  • Establish alignment and trust across teams located in multiple time zones and in many cases where English is not the first language.

The CFO will be a seasoned and mature leader with at least 10 years of broad finance experience, ideally beginning in accounting, followed by experience gathering and evaluating financial information and making actionable recommendations to senior leadership. S/he will have experience managing the finance function (accounting, budgeting, control, and reporting) within a diverse, division-based entity.

The CFO will have the following experience and attributes:

  • A minimum of a BS; graduate degree preferred; a CPA would be a plus.
  • Demonstrable passion for JA Worldwide’s mission; a hands-on manager with integrity and a desire to work in a dynamic, fast-paced environment.
  • Mature and proactive, with evidence of having worked as a true business partner to the CEO of a multi-divisional organization, ideally in a global, multi-cultural organization.
  • Strong analytical skills and experience interpreting a strategic vision into an operational model.
  • Quick learner and ability to lead and provide direction in ambiguous situations
  • Deep understanding of and experience with Office of Management and Budget audits.
  • Experience successfully partnering with IT staff to manage critical financial management, CRM and other operating systems.
  • An effective communicator at all levels in the organization, with strong oral and written skills.
  • A collaborative and flexible style, with a strong service mentality.
  • Creativity, with experience funding activities in ways that both cover costs and generate operating margins
  • Travel globally, approximately 40% away from the office.  Second language a plus.
Read the job description.