Chief Financial Officer – National Association for College Admissions Counseling
The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) seeks an innovative leader ready to commit to improving college admission for the public good to serve as its inaugural Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Reporting to NACAC’s new Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Angel B. Pérez, and serving on the executive team, the CFO will develop and implement comprehensive, innovative budget strategies to strengthen and sustain the association’s effort to accomplish its bold reform initiatives. The CFO will bring an understanding of a variety of budget models and the ability to translate the implications of complex financial decisions to a diverse set of audiences. The CFO promotes a culture of excellence and accountability by leading open and honest dialogue throughout the organization (e.g., CEO, leadership colleagues, staff, Board of Directors) and with important external constituents (e.g., members) and partners. The CFO has responsibility for maintaining and enhancing an environment in which financial planning and fiscal challenges and trade-offs are discussed broadly and frequently. The CFO is entrepreneurial and creative in seeking out new sources of revenue and external partnerships that reflect an understanding of and commitment to NACAC’s overall strategic priorities, its mission, and its commitment to transforming the college admission process and profession.
The new CEO brings tremendous energy and encourages an organizational culture of creativity, innovation, and collaboration. Equipped with a recently released Ad-Hoc Report on the Future of Leadership in College Admission, forthcoming mission and vision statements, and an organizational restructure, NACAC is moving in new and exciting directions. In that spirit, the CFO will ensure that all areas of the association impacting the member experience are unified in providing a seamless approach that embodies excellence and operationalizes the organization’s values. NACAC seeks a CFO who will find joy and purpose in serving and uplifting others to ensure the individual success of employees, as well as the success of the greater association.
NACAC is the largest association in the world supporting professionals who serve students as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education. The association works to expand access to higher education through policy, advocacy, convening, education, and training. It has a membership of more than 23,000 member institutions and individuals, including postsecondary admission professionals, high school counselors, independent educational consultants, and others based throughout the United States and, increasingly, around the world. NACAC is fortunate to partner with 23 state and regionally-based affiliate organizations that share a common mission to serve and support the needs of admission and counseling professionals.
In addition, the organization cultivates special interest groups (SIGs). These “micro communities” nurture the growing diversity of interests across the association.
NACAC is in the process of reinventing itself during a time of disruption for both the college admission profession and associations. A new strategic vision, mission, and values ensure the organization will become a cutting-edge influencer, leading and supporting the transformation of the college admission profession.
NACAC commits to:
- Leading important initiatives resulting in a more diverse and inclusive student population
- Boldly influencing higher education policy
- Serving as a clearinghouse for readily accessible knowledge sharing, transformative professional development opportunities, and cutting-edge research
- Creating a membership that is reflective of the changing demographics among students
To ensure the organization’s success, NACAC is committed to being innovative, nimble, and meeting the moment—working at the speed of light to stay ahead of the curve and to lead meaningful and impactful change.
Recently, NACAC staff members participated in strategic visioning sessions to reaffirm, as well as reimagine, its organizational values and guiding principles. The newly developed vision statement and values direct the CEO, the senior leadership group, and staff in their work together as they seek organizational and cultural transformation to better serve NACAC’s membership and external stakeholders, in service of the college admission counseling profession.
Staff Vision Statement
We are the trusted source of information and resources for NACAC members and the students they serve, providing exceptional service and stewardship to meet the evolving needs of the college admission counseling profession.
Dr. Angel B. Pérez became chief executive officer of the National Association for College Admission Counseling in July 2020. Prior to joining NACAC, he served as the vice president for enrollment and student success at Trinity College in Connecticut, where he also taught in the educational studies department. A recognized thought-leader on issues of equity and access in American education, he is a tireless champion for underrepresented communities and a creative advocate for reform. Named by a Forbes article in 2019 as the most influential voice in college admission, he strives to build an educational ecosystem that better represents today’s America. Dr. Perez’s expertise has been sought by key policy influencers. In 2016, the Governor of Connecticut appointed him to the New England Board of Higher Education, and he was chosen by the Gates Foundation and the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators to serve on Forward50, a group of higher education leaders presenting solutions to Congress. In 2019, the New York Times Magazine profiled his story in a cover feature, and he is a frequent contributor and commentator in media outlets, including the Washington Post, NPR, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, Forbes, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. To learn more about Dr. Pérez, visit angelbperez.com. Highlights of Perez´s first seven months were featured in a recent article, “How an Association Rebounded, Turning Challenges into Progress,” in Associations Now Daily News, the daily newsletter from ASAE, the Center for Association Leadership.
POSITION OVERVIEW & DESCRIPTION
Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Chief Financial and Administrative Officer (CFO) serves as a true business partner to the CEO and the senior leadership team in imagining, developing, and implementing an ambitious and forward- thinking strategy/strategies that will guide NACAC through today’s challenging higher education environment into an even stronger future. The CFO ensures all aspects of budget and finance are aligned with our ambitious agenda to reinvent NACAC and US higher education. The CFO will also help lead innovations around business development and revenue generation. As a partner and advisor to the CEO, the CFO fosters honesty and trust, communicates directly and with an ability to have difficult conversations and deliver candid advice in support of open and honest dialogue in decision-making.
The CFO is responsible for the financial management of an annual budget of approximately $18 million (pre-pandemic) and provides leadership and direction to a team and organizational portfolio which currently includes finance, operations, and outsourced human resource services. In this inaugural leadership role, the CFO will be responsible for developing and building out the portfolio and design of an expanded functional area in support of ongoing organizational realignment. The CFO will provide leadership and direction for critical organizational infrastructure priorities related to people and culture, information technology and business development. The CFO has knowledge of best practices in the areas of finance, accounting, human resources, operations, and planning in technology services and support. The CFO will oversee long-term budgetary planning and cost management in alignment with NACAC’s forthcoming strategic plan.
As an inaugural CFO, this individual will have significant flexibility to design and shape the association of the future, as well as the opportunity to develop and design the structure, roles and responsibilities within a recently realigned functional area, build out a team, and contribute to the further evolution of the finance unit.
Leadership and Strategy
- Serve as adviser to the CEO and the leadership team; raise critical issues with the CEO and advise in decision-making
- Partner with the CEO on all operational and strategic issues as they arise; and provide strategic recommendations to the CEO based on financial analysis and projections, cost identification and allocation, and revenue/expense analysis
- Participate in ongoing strategic planning as an integral member of the leadership team
- Oversee long-term budgetary planning and cost management in alignment with NACAC’s goals and priorities
- Engage leadership team colleagues in short- and long-term operating and financial planning and projections
- Serve as the financial liaison to the Performance Committee of the Board of Directors, informing this committee and the full board around issues, trends, and changes regarding critical financial and administrative matters
- In conjunction with leadership team colleagues, identify organizational priorities for financial sustainability and develop appropriate strategies for business sustenance and development.
Financial and Operational Management
- Oversee development, implementation, and management of appropriate day-to-day finance and accounting activities, including reporting, budgeting, forecasting, treasury management, audit, tax and internal controls, and related monitoring
- Oversee development, implementation, and management of appropriate and effective human resources (people and culture) policies and practices which afford the organization the opportunity to attract, develop, retain, and engage the talent necessary to achieve the organization’s strategic and operational objectives
- Oversee development, implementation, and management of effective information technology policies and practices
- Create a mission-centered vision/strategy for revenue generation and business development
- Manage cash flow and forecasting; oversee all financial, project-based, and departmental accounting
- Develop, document and continually improve all operational and financial policies, procedures, and systems to ensure accountability, effectiveness, and adequate internal controls are in place in compliance with governmental, regulatory, legal, and GAAP regulations
- Build resource reserves and adopt creative financial solutions to support NACAC’s mission and operation and its future goals
- Advise the board and CEO on risk management
- Develop a framework for financial sustainability and growth.
- Develop and manage direct staff within the finance unit; develop and guide larger multidisciplinary teams
- Oversee the management and allocation of NACAC’s office facilities
- Foster a culture and practice that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Support the staff by providing professional development, coaching, and mentoring
- Instill a culture of service excellence and provide a supportive, collegial, team-based environment that promotes productivity and continuous improvement in the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization’s operations
- Perform all managerial functions for the finance and administration team, including budgeting, annual goal setting, performance reviews, etc.
- Design and implement an organizational business development strategy/infrastructure in conjunction with leadership and program staff.
A successful candidate will be a seasoned and effective leader, as well as an inspirational manager who enjoys processes and strategy, and is comfortable working across multiple areas of the association. The CFO will have the leadership, management, and vision necessary to ensure the organization has the proper model to support its mission and its growing membership, and to offer programs and services to members and their constituents in an increasingly complex educational landscape.
The CFO will have keen strategic and operational planning skills, strong financial acumen, superb staff and project management skills, a natural inclination toward action, and a highly communicative and collegial working style. They must demonstrate:
- An openness to change and the capacity to affect change to create an environment of continuous improvement
- Excellent collaboration skills with the ability to work effectively with individuals and groups at all association levels; ability to work independently and as part of a team
- Strong communication skills; the ability to listen actively and communicate effectively with the CEO, leadership team colleagues, and staff regarding strategic priorities and implications for action
- The ability to seek and integrate input and reactions of others; and question and seek to evolve matters of policy and practice
- The highest level of critical thinking toward successful resolutions to high impact, complex, and/or cross-departmental challenges
- Forward-thinking, inclusive, collaborative, and entrepreneurial leadership
- A passion for leading through transparency and inclusivity
- Innovation and adaptability
- Genuine curiosity and a passion for continued learning and self-development
- A commitment to the highest standards of excellence, integrity, and accountability, and recognition of the importance of our human resources
- The ability to produce and properly analyze and interpret the financial information of the organization, as well as ensure the efficient management of the association’s facilities
- Ability to understand potential revenue sources by identifying pain points and corresponding products or services.
NACAC welcomes potential candidates from various industries—higher education, association management, health care, or corporate—with an understanding of how a sound financial strategy and operational infrastructure can support advancing the mission of a values-driven membership organization. Candidates coming from outside education and association management must be curious, fast learners. A master’s degree in business or a related field is preferred. The CFO must possess:
- 8–10 years of broad operational and finance experience with depth and range in managing finance (strategy, accounting, budgeting, control, and reporting), human resources, technology operations, business development and administrative functions—ideally for a national nonprofit, membership organization, or educational institution
- Highly developed interpersonal skills and social-emotional intelligence, including the ability to effectively pinpoint key motivations of internal and external constituencies, effectively consult with others, and focus on building consensus
- Experience and comfort in creating mission-driven revenue strategies and building business development plans around them
- Experience managing and inspiring complex teams
- Talent for collaboration and effective teamwork with a demonstrated ability to work with people at all levels of an organization, both internally with staff and externally with members and partner organizations
- Attention to detail, high levels of organization, and endless self-motivation and initiative
- Excellent quantitative, analytical, and communication skills, including the ability to effectively present and translate financial information and respond to questions from leadership, groups of managers, membership, and the board
- Openness to learning and engaging with new ideas, concepts, and colleagues
- Interest and experience in contributing to organizational effectiveness and cultural change
- Flexibility to quickly shift and respond to new priorities
- Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and thrive in an extremely fast-paced environment
- Commitment to supporting diverse populations through diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives
- Excellent professional judgment and discretion.
Equal Opportunity Employer
NACAC is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by law. NACAC offers competitive compensation, an excellent benefits and retirement package, and a convenient location in the Washington, DC metro area.
To apply for this position, or inquire further, please upload your cover letter and résumé here. For other inquiries, please contact Adrienne O’Rourke.
Marcum’s Nonprofit & Social Sector Group is supporting NACAC in this search.