Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer

Association of Public & Land-grant Universities
District of Columbia, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Mar 03, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time


The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) is seeking a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) & Treasurer with a high level of competence, energy, and integrity to lead the Offices of Finance and Information Technology (IT).   The incumbent will lead and undertake the full range of financial functions, including long-term strategic financial planning, board reporting, financial statement oversight, budget development and management, compliance, financial and tax audits, investment oversight, management of financial policies and procedures, and supervision and training of the finance team. The incumbent will also oversee the Office of Information Technology (IT), working with the Director of IT and Building Operations to ensure APLU has the necessary technological infrastructure to operate safely and securely in an effective and efficient manner. The ideal candidate will have at least 12-15 years of financial, accounting, and budgeting experience in the non-profit sector, including experience in both federal and foundation grant reporting.  The candidate will also have the knowledge, experience, and ability to provide leadership to drive improvements in operational efficiencies, productivity, and accountability across the organization, the creativity for ongoing problem-solving, and excellent interpersonal skills.  This full-time position is based in Washington, DC. For more information, please consult



APLU is a research, policy, and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. With a membership of 244 public research universities, land-grant universities, state university systems, and affiliated organizations, APLU's agenda is built on the three pillars of increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research, and expanding engagement. Annually, member campuses enroll 5.0 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.3 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff, and conduct $49.3 billion in university-based research. APLU is a non-profit membership organization and has an annual budget of $18M, with roughly half of its funding coming from external grants and contracts.


The CFO & Treasurer will oversee both the Office of Finance and the Office of IT comprised of a total of six employees. To learn more about the finance and IT staff, visit the staff page on APLU’s website.




Reporting directly to the President of APLU, the incumbent’s primary responsibilities include:


Finance and Administration

  • In close collaboration with APLU’s President and senior leadership, oversee the association’s financial and operational management to ensure the financial health and integrity of the organization. This includes the full range of financial functions, including long-term strategic financial planning, board reporting, financial statement oversight, budget development and management, compliance, financial and tax audits, investment oversight, management of financial policies and procedures, and supervision and training of the finance team.
  • Provide overall leadership to the Office of Finance, ensuring that it is structured to provide the financial management and support necessary to achieve the organization’s internal and external goals and objectives.
  • Establish and oversee the financial and accounting policies of the organization to ensure its short- and long-term financial sustainability.
  • In close collaboration with the Executive Director of the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities, (USU) a 501(c)6 that APLU manages, oversee the financial and operational issues facing USU, including all compliance work, financial reporting and IRS reporting. Report to the Board of Directors of USU on its financial position through the USU Executive Director.
  • With analysis, data, and financial insight, drive efficiencies and productivity across the association, including the best use of technologies to support improved financial workflows.
  • Serve as APLU’s Treasurer, reporting directly to the Board of Directors on the finances of the association, ensuring board members understand the full financial picture of APLU. Prepare board financial reports.
  • Work closely with the Vice President & Chief of Staff and the Associate Vice President for Human Resources to address the staff and general operational needs of the association.
  • Provide ongoing input into the development and implementation of APLU’s strategic plan to, among other purposes, ensure a diverse revenue stream that will provide adequate resources available for the association into future years.
  • Provide leadership, direction, and management of the finance staff, including fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment through supervising staff, providing feedback, coaching, support, and training and development opportunities as appropriate.
  • Oversee all APLU consultant agreements and contracts.
  • Serve as an active member of the forum, the President’s administrative advisory team.



  • Ensure all payments are made in accordance with standard practices, policies and regulations.
  • Manage all cash flow needs required for the organization and transfer funds to/from investment account as appropriate.
  • Perform the role of controller, in collaboration with the entire finance team, as it relates to all account reconciliation and review of work by the staff accountants.



Audit and Compliance

  • Oversee all financial audits for APLU according to GAAP on a timely basis. Strive to have clean audit opinions.
  • Oversee compliance of all donor requirements, including federal and private grants and contracts.
  • Oversee payroll processing and all payroll compliance relating to IRS and local government reporting.
  • Work with the HR department to ensure retirement plans are funded on a timely basis, annual audits are completed, and the returns are filed on a timely basis.
  • Oversee the compliance, reporting and training (in conjunction with HR) relating to lobbying requirements for both APLU and USU.
  • Oversee the completion and submission of all 990’s and other required tax reporting forms for both APLU and USU.
  • Liaise with the Audit and Investment Committee of the Board of Directors as appropriate.



  • Prepare APLU’s and USU’s annual budget for approval by APLU’s president and the full meeting of the Board of Directors, balancing different sources of revenue, including membership dues, assessments, and public and private grants.
  • Maintain and monitor all budgets and work with staff throughout the year to remain on budget.
  • Assist offices in the preparation and review of budgets and provide day to day support, including monthly expenditure reports, as they address the financial needs required to meet their office needs.
  • Support program offices in managing grant budgets and reporting to donors, including monthly expenditure reports, as they address the financial needs required to meet their program needs.
  • Review and approve all grant proposal budgets before submission to prospective funders to ensure they are financially sound and reasonable.


Investment Accounts

  • Work with the APLU Investment Committee and the association president to monitor investments for performance, risk, etc., and adjust as appropriate.
  • Maintain cash balance in operating account to meet immediate disbursement needs.


Information Technology (IT)

  • Oversee and support the IT Office, ensuring APLU has the necessary technological infrastructure to meet the growing and changing needs of the Offices to operate productively, safely, and securely in an effective and efficient manner, continually striving to improve workflow and productivity. Work directly with the Director of IT & Building Operations on issues relating to data and financial security.
  • Work with the Director of IT & Building Operations to ensure APLU has the necessary IT policies in place.
  • Provide leadership and support an inclusive and welcoming environment for the IT Office, including supervising the Director of IT and Building Operations, providing feedback, coaching, support, and training and development opportunities as appropriate.



Qualifications of Strong Candidates

  • CPA certification and degree in accounting, finance and/or business. Experience as a CFO highly preferred.
  • Minimum of 12-15+ years of increasing accounting management work experience.
  • High level of integrity and honesty in managing financial matters.
  • Knowledge of accounting practices and financial management in the non-profit sector.
  • Experience developing and managing multi-million-dollar budgets.
  • Experience overseeing complex budgets and grants (from federal and private sources).
  • Experience overseeing IT functions, preferably in a non-profit setting.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills; exceptional presentation skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills including the ability to foster diverse, inclusive, and welcoming work environments, and provide strategic direction and leadership to multiple constituencies.
  • Exceptional organizational skills; detail-oriented; able to juggle multiple responsibilities simultaneously.
  • Ability to comprehend and absorb issues quickly and make sound decisions based upon thoughtful analysis.
  • Ability to inspire confidence and create trust, including appropriately handling confidential information.
  • Strong commitment to advancing higher education initiatives.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, Paycom, Great Plains accounting software highly preferred.
  • Ability to travel as needed, approximately two to three times per year, as public health circumstances allow.


To Apply

For any questions or to apply by submitting a cover letter and resume, please contact Claire Cohen at Applications will be reviewed as received until the position is filled, with priority given to those received by March 24, 2021. Salary is commensurate with experience. APLU is committed to diversity and is actively working to support an inclusive and equitable workplace, as such APLU offers a generous benefits package including, but not limited to, paid time off, retirement contributions, commuter, cell phone, and wellness benefits.



APLU is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer and is committed to recruiting, employing, training, compensating and promoting staff regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

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