Vice President for Finance and Administration

New York, NY

Overview of AJWS

American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is an international human rights organization fighting poverty and pursuing justice in the developing world. Through philanthropy and advocacy, we respond to the most pressing issues of our time- from disaster, genocide and hunger, to the persecution of women and minorities worldwide.

AJWS invests more than $30 million a year to promote global human rights. In 2018, AJWS supported 453 grassroots organizations in 19 countries, enabling them to continue and expand their work to build a more just and dignified world for the most vulnerable people on earth. Our grantees work tirelessly to advance sexual health and rights for women, girls and LGBTQI people. They promote civil and political rights to amplify the voices of poor and persecuted minorities. They defend the land and water rights of indigenous communities most affected by climate change. And they aid vulnerable communities in the aftermath of devastating natural disasters and humanitarian crises.

Highlights of our work include campaigning to stop the Darfur and Rohingya genocides, fighting global hunger, responding to the Ebola epidemic in Liberia and the earthquake in Nepal, and working to end violence against women, girls and LGBTQI people worldwide.

With Jewish values and a global reach, AJWS is making a difference in millions of lives and building a more just and equitable world.

The Opportunity

AJWS is seeking a Vice President for Finance and Administration to join us during a pivotal time of strategic growth. Reporting to the Executive Vice President and overseeing a division of 17 professionals, the Vice President plays a key role in helping AJWS realize its mission by providing strategic leadership in Finance and Administration.

The Vice President is an active member of the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) and is responsible for leading Finance, Risk Management & Administrative Services, and Information Technology in collaboration with strong Directors in each of these areas.

The Vice President for Finance and Administration must be a skilled professional and inspiring people leader who can work closely with peers, direct reports, board members, auditors, external vendors and internal stakeholders to manage the financial and administrative needs of the organization. The position requires a strategic thinker with a big-picture mentality, intellectual curiosity and comfort navigating a complex and evolving not-for-profit organization.

Strong candidates will offer all of the requisite strategy, finance, and operational skills as well as a collegial and engaging management and communications style and the ability to lead and manage change with tact and diplomacy.

Other responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following: 

Executive Leadership

  • Supervises and provides strategic leadership to the Directors of Finance, Information Technology (IT) and Risk Management & Administrative Services (RMAS) to ensure each department is achieving operational excellence and the division is advancing organizational goals
  • Works in close collaboration with the Executive Vice President, providing updates, forecasting, reporting and solutions across Finance and Administration
  • Sets a high bar for fiscal responsibility and controls, stays on top of trends and models best practices in financial management, risk management, compliance and digital transformation.
  • Ensures that all components of the Finance and Administration division are aligned in support of strategic and programmatic changes
  • Leads others through transition and communicates change in a clear and effective manner
  • Partners with members of the Board of Trustees to provide comprehensive presentations and reports to the Finance and Administration, Audit and Risk Management, and Investment Committees of the board
  • Monitors and approves policies and procedures relative to financial, administrative, and IT processes and systems to ensure stability, compliance, and sound risk management, while improving operational effectiveness
  • Partners with leadership on major fundraising initiatives and ensures all compliance processes are maintained and reviewed


  • Advises on the impact of long-range financial implications and organizational planning and regularly reports on financial results and analysis
  • Ensures timely and accurate budget modeling, analysis and financial reporting for the ELT and board of trustees
  • Creates clear and concise financial dashboards and reporting structures that allow for immediate and long-range analysis and planning
  • Directs long-term revenue and cost management to advance organizational strategy
  • Certifies audits, ensures tax returns are filed and required financial reports are submitted to regulators on a timely basis
  • Ensures that all relevant information is compiled in financial statements, with accompanying disclosures, and presents this information to various internal and external stakeholders
  • Ensures that the finance staff maintains financial record systems and processes in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, and monitors the use of all funds

Information Technology (IT)

  • Identifies opportunities and champions the development of new strategies for effective digital transformation
  • Ensures the IT strategic plan harnesses potential and maximizes productivity
  • Certifies IT staff maintains appropriate records and compliance in accordance with best practices and audit recommendations
  • Provides strategic guidance on the evaluation of internal systems and business processes to ensure efficiency and responsiveness to a growing organization
  • Ensures that AJWS maintains competitive data security practices

Risk Management and Administrative Services (RMAS)

  • Leads an enterprise-wide approach to risk management at AJWS, and the continued evolution of risk management capabilities
  • Mitigates operational risks including maintaining internal controls, reviewing insurance coverage and providing updates to the ELT and the Board as needed
  • Inspires risk-aware thinking to enable AJWS to run effectively, operate efficiently and manage risk thoughtfully
  • Provides strategic guidance on the mitigation and assessment of domestic and international security risks including regular participation in the Crisis Management Team
  • Provides leadership and guidance regarding the development and implementation of capital planning and facilities projects as well as the maintenance of each of AJWS’s physical offices
  • Ensures compliance with relevant internal policies and procedures as well as federal, state and local regulations applicable to all organizational activities
  • Provides ultimate oversight over all contracts and contracting processes, including consulting with external counsel as needed

Desired Skills and Characteristics:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in accounting, finance or a related discipline; MBA and/or CPA strongly preferred
  • Minimum of 15 years of senior leadership experience working across multiple functional areas such as financial planning, investment, IT and risk management
  • Proven experience overseeing finances for a complex nonprofit organization and knowledge of GAAP
  • Prior experience overseeing finance and administration in an international organization, including navigating issues of safety and security
  • Experience identifying and implementing new systems, platforms, and processes that result in greater efficiency and innovation, particularly around organization digital transformation
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the best practices employed in financial, administrative and operational functions
  • Excellent business acumen with the ability to comprehend programmatic activities and convey complex financial technical information to people with varying levels of financial expertise.
  • Strong written and oral communicator with excellent presentation and organizational skills
  • Proven high standards of performance, eager to pursue aggressive goals, and works hard and smart to achieve them
  • Must be persistent, decisive, resourceful, proactive, and results-oriented
  • Must be flexible and adaptable in a rapid response environment
  • Strong leadership, with the ability to drive organizational change, collaborate, and build consensus internally and externally
  • Passion for the AJWS mission

Additional Considerations:

People of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex, trans and gender non-conforming people; women; and differently abled people are encouraged to apply. We also encourage applications from people of diverse religious, spiritual, intellectual and cultural backgrounds.

Authorization to work in the US is required.

How to Apply:

American Jewish World Service has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. To express interest in this unique opportunity, please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Molly Brennan and Shelby Woods below.

We thank you for your interest in career opportunities with AJWS. Due to high volume, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls please.