Chief Financial and Administrative Officer

Chief Financial and Administrative Officer

Learning Policy Institute

Palo Alto, CA   |   August 23, 2019

The Opportunity

At this exciting point in the organization’s growth, The Learning Policy Institute seeks an experienced, strategic, and solutions-oriented Chief Financial and Administrative Officer (CFAO) to join its executive team to lead the organization’s financial and administrative functions. This is an ideal opportunity for a seasoned, hands-on finance and administrative professional with the drive and enthusiasm to develop and implement infrastructure systems needed to support the organization’s impact and achievement of strategic priorities.

Reporting to the Executive Director and the President and Chief Executive Officer, the CFAO will oversee the Institute’s finance and operations, with an operating budget of $12M. This executive will actively serve on the executive team and will be a part of shaping the organization’s overall strategy relating to finance and budgeting, as well as human resources (HR), information technology (IT), and business operations if experienced in these functional areas. The CFAO will manage a team of 4 reports including the Director of Operations, Senior Accountant, Office Manager and an administrative and operations staff member. As a member of the senior leadership team, the CFAO will work closely with an engaged finance and audit committee of the board of directors.

About Learning Policy Institute

The Learning Policy Institute (LPI) is a national organization that conducts and communicates independent, high-quality research to shape education policies and improve learning for each and every child. Nonprofit and nonpartisan, LPI connects policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels with the evidence, ideas, and actions needed to strengthen the pre-k to grade 12 education system and address the complex realities facing public schools and their communities. Working with policymakers, researchers, educators, community groups, and others who care about improving public schools, the Institute advances evidence-based policies that support empowering and equitable learning for all children.

Learning Policy: A New Perspective

This is a new moment for public education in the United States and around the globe. Our world is being transformed by new technologies, shifting demographics, and the demands of a global economy. This requires new learning that prepares all children with the problem-solving, critical-thinking, communication, and collaboration skills to solve the complicated problems and meet the complex challenges of our fast-paced, quickly changing world.

Today’s learning must be supported by a transformed public education system that:

  • Provides empowering learning opportunities for all children that develop their abilities to find and apply knowledge; think critically and creatively; solve problems, communicate, and collaborate; and contribute to the improvement of their community and society.
  • Is designed, managed, and funded to support this kind of deeper learning for each and every child.
  • Assesses learning authentically, with tools that are used to inform teaching and support progress rather than to punish students, staff, or schools.
  • Continually improves through research, evaluation, sharing of data and best practices, and ongoing inquiry within and across every level of the system.
  • Develops a diverse and highly competent educator workforce with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to help all children succeed.

In this new moment, there’s very substantial ground on which Americans agree in terms of investing in the kind of education that moves our nation forward—one that guarantees that all children learn and graduate, find good jobs, and contribute to improving their communities. The Institute collaborates with leaders in education, communities, government, business, and other fields who share a commitment to high-quality education and are committed to using evidence to guide their search for smart policy and systemic change.

Key Responsibilities

Systems Design and Strategy

  • Partner with the President and Executive Director on all operational and strategic issues as they arise; provide strategic recommendations based on financial analysis and projections, cost identification and allocation, and revenue/expense analysis
  • Participate in the ongoing strategic planning process as an integral member of the senior management team
  • Oversee long-term budgetary planning and cost management
  • Engage the Director of Development to align financial management with short- and long-term financial planning and projections
  • Engage the President and Executive Director around issues, trends, and changes in the operating model and operational delivery

Financial and Administrative Management

  • Oversee budgeting, and the management of budget and grant accounts, so as to monitor progress and present operational metrics both internally and externally
  • Ensure that finance staff maintains financial record systems in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, and monitor the use of all funds
  • Oversee the preparation and approval of all financial reporting materials and metrics for funding organizations and LPI’s board of directors; prepare and communicate monthly and annual financial statements
  • Manage cash flow and forecasting; direct all financial, project-based, and departmental accounting
  • Coordinate all audit activities
  • Maintain oversight of legal concerns, risk management, and contracting
  • Oversee the implementation of HR policies
  • Evaluate and oversee all benefits negotiations, thus providing the most competitive packages for LPI’s team
  • Oversee the implementation (including regular upgrades) of LPI’s IT infrastructure
  • Oversee the finance and operation team’s management of the Bay Area and DC offices
  • Develop, manage, and regularly review all formal finance-, HR-, and IT-related procedures, processes, and administration. 

Team Management

  • Manage direct staff in the Palo Alto and DC office in the areas of finance, grants management, bookkeeping and office administration, and if experienced in operations, will also have oversight of staff in human resource and information technology.
  • Engage other members of the senior management team to facilitate cross-department and cross-office collaboration that ensures that all financial, IT, and HR solutions positively support LPI’s evolving strategy, operational delivery, and data collection needs
Core Competencies

The CFAO will be a seasoned and mature leader with at least 10-15 years of finance and administration experience, ideally including audit, as well as experience gathering and evaluating financial information and making actionable recommendations to senior leadership. This executive will have experience managing finance (accounting, budgeting, control, and reporting), and ideally in HR, IT, and administration for a nonprofit. If coming from the for-profit world, nonprofit board experience is required.

A Bachelor’s degree and CPA/CMA is required; an MBA is preferred. The successful candidate will also have the following professional competencies and personal characteristics:

Strategic Leadership & Management: In partnership with the CEO and ED, the CFAO will develop and implement clear, action-oriented, innovative strategies aimed towards elevating the overall finance and administrative functions of the Learning Policy Institute. This leader will be mature and proactive, with a history as a true business partner to the chief executive. This person will be responsible for building, nurturing, and retaining a strong team of professionals that is focused on excellence, accountability, responsiveness, and efficiency. The CFAO will be flexible as priorities emerge and change ,and will be able to balance multiple tasks efficiently and effectively. The CFAO will have a high level of business acumen and judgment, with the ability to make practical, realistic, data driven, and timely decisions. This leader will be an exceptional problem solver with an approach focused on achieving sustainable solutions. This individual will be a hands-on manager with a strong commitment to developing team members.

Expertise in Finance and Administration: The Chief Finance and Administrative Officer will have the ability to translate a strategic vision into a financial and operational structure that is fiscally responsible and supportive of staff. This leader will have a demonstrated history of success managing finance, accounting, budgeting, internal controls, reporting,and ideally human resources and IT. This leader will have strong analytical and financial modeling skills as well as knowledge of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) for nonprofits. A grounding in human resources and total rewards to maximize employee satisfaction and retention and invest in understanding and addressing the needs of the different markets is greatly desired. This leader will proactively identify and implement solutions to improve operational and financial results, and leverage technology to increase efficiencies. This executive will have demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities and guiding investment in people and systems.

Relationship Building, Collaboration, & Communication: The Chief Financial and Administrative Officer will have excellent people skills, a collaborative and flexible style, and a strong service mentality. This individual will lead by developing strong working and interpersonal relationships across all levels of the organization and with staff across multiple sites. The CFAO will possess the ability to communicate effectively across diverse constituencies, including the Board of Directors, the executive team, staff, and external partners. This leader will be proactive and responsive in addressing staff needs and concerns. The CFAO will effectively share information with any appropriate individuals, keeping the executive team and others up-to-date on matters related to overall finance and administrative priorities or needs. The CFAO will be able to synthesize divergent views and coalesce all constituents around a shared plan, and will work to establish regular, structured communication across the organization. The CFAO will be a team player who is committed to lifelong learning.

Passion for the Mission: The Chief Finance Administrative Officer will have demonstrated commitment to the social sector and a passion and commitment for the mission, history, and vision for The Learning Policy Institute, as well as a desire to work in an organization committed to creating and fostering an inclusive working environment. This leader will understand how the role of CFAO contributes to the overall mission. Driven by the mission, this executive will influence the culture and impact of The Learning Policy Institute through the modeling and adoption of best practices. The CFAO will be an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics, and values, treating others with respect.


Learning Policy Institute has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. This search is being led by Michelle Bonoan and Medelene Beasley. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume here, or email Michelle and Medelene at the following:

Michelle R.S. Bonoan
Managing Director

Medelene Beasley
Vice President

Learning Policy Institute is an equal opportunity employer. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital-consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit