Requisition #:  OPS-17-03

Job Title:       Finance & Contracts Director

Posted: December 4, 2017

Reports to:  Executive Director

About SFEI

San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is one of California’s premier aquatic and ecosystem science institutes. Our mission is to provide scientific information and tools for decision-making and communication through collaborative efforts. We provide independent science to assess and improve the health of the waters, wetlands, wildlife and landscapes of San Francisco Bay, the California Delta and beyond. SFEI’s 60 scientists and experts provide data, information and recommendations, technology and tools that empower government, civic and business leaders to create cost-effective solutions for complex environmental issues - from cleaner water and resilient watersheds to climate change and adaptation programs. We advise federal, state, regional and local agencies as well as business and NGO leaders. Our partners include the Environmental Protection Agency, state and regional water boards and many land use and resource agencies. SFEI has three primary programs:  Clean Water, Resilient Landscapes, and Environmental Informatics. 


The Finance & Contracts Director is a member of the Operations (Ops) Department. This is a mid-management, fulltime exempt position for a candidate with relevant experience in finance and contract administration.


The Finance & Contracts Director will strategize, develop, plan, and implement viable financial structures, financial reporting, and contracts/grant management for the Institute.  The Finance & Contracts Director maintains and enhances financial systems and internal controls.

The Finance & Contracts Director has primary responsibility for the following functional areas: Budget, Financial, Contracts/Grants, and Audit Management.  The Finance & Contracts Director reports to the Executive Director and works collaboratively with department directors, program managers, the Business Director, the Administrative Services Manager, the Contracts Associate, and the Bookkeeper/Accountant.

The Finance & Contracts Director will provide financial analysis, budgeting and other financial plans and strategies, and will communicate financials to management and to the Board. The Finance & Contracts Director will manage the development of annual budgets and annual and external audits.  The Finance & Contracts Director will coordinate with the Accountant on fiscal month/year closeout. Close consultation with the Business Director, preparation and review of clear and timely financial reports, and close collaboration with operations staff are required to ensure sound and smart business operations.  The Finance & Contracts Director is responsible for tracking the resolution of action items detailed in audit response work plans.

The Finance & Contracts Director will work with clients to clarify or negotiate financial and administrative requirements on grants and contracts. The Finance & Contracts Director is directly responsible for financial accounting and administrative management of all aspects of proposals, grants, and contracts including review of proposals and preparation of budgets, setup in central finance systems, preparation and submission of all invoices and financial reports to agencies, payment tracing and application, maintenance of master agreement files, documentation on ensuring terms and conditions are met, and coordination of audits required by local authorities.

The Finance & Contracts Director will work closely with project managers to ensure that the terms and conditions of agreements are met and properly documented, to clarify or negotiate financial and administrative requirements, and to ensure that award monitoring meets the Institute’s standards.  Duties may also include assisting and training project managers in the preparation of budgets for individual grants and contracts, and training other administrative staff in grants administration and accounting. The Finance & Contracts Director will be an expert in the organization’s accounting system (i.e., Deltek Vision) and will provide training to project managers.

The Finance & Contracts Director will also have supervisory responsibilities for one or more staff persons within the Ops department.


  • MBA degree or CPA, plus at least 2 years of relevant experience; equivalent work experience may be substituted for formal degree
  • Experience, coursework, or other training related to the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, state and local regulations, financial statements, generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), fund accounting, and of the meaning of standard contract clauses
  • Knowledge of all facets of contracts management, proposal development, processing, and negotiations
  • Knowledge of Federal and State contracting and accounting procedures (i.e., State Contracting Manual, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, etc.)
  • Experience using accounting and financial reporting systems (experience with Deltek Vision helpful but not required)
  • Excellent analytical skills and financial acumen including a demonstrated understanding of the concepts of internal controls and the methods of evaluating internal control systems
  • Excellent judgment and superb interpersonal skills (both verbal and written)
  • Independent and critical thinking paired with strong skills in team work and use of judgment in determining priorities
  • Demonstrated, exceptional planning, problem solving and decision making skills; demonstrated ability to effectively persuade and negotiate results in complex situations
  • Excellent computer skills, and in particular, advanced skills in MS Office, particularly Excel and/or Google documents including the ability to analyze, pivot, and manipulate spreadsheets; capacity to quickly learn and master new programs
  • Ability to multitask and serve the needs of various stakeholders at any given moment (e.g., clients, subcontractors, staff, the Board, management, auditors, etc.)

Ops Department Description

The Ops Department is the backbone of the organization. The main purpose of the department is to provide a rewarding professional experience for all staff members, to help technical and scientific staff maximize their effectiveness, and to enable our collaborators and partners to join us in achieving common goals.

The Ops Department supports an internal system of performance measurement and management, while helping to maintain a collegiate culture of accountability. We also ensure that appropriate resources are in place and applied for the most efficient and effective delivery of the Institute’s scientific and technical products and services.

Advancement Opportunity

The Finance & Contracts Director will have the opportunity to lead various aspects of finance and contracts management and will be encouraged to advance professionally by acquiring and enhancing their technical skills and education. Opportunities for increasingly advanced work will be available, and successful execution of these tasks will contribute to advancement into the management team.

The Institute offers a generous benefit package (

To apply, send your cover letter and resume to  Please note the Requisition Number: (OPS-17-03), in the email subject line.  No phone calls please.

SFEI is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex including sexual orientation and gender identity, national origin, disability, protected Veteran Status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.

For more information on our mission, values, programs, and staff, visit the San Francisco Estuary Institute web site

Position open until filled