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Chief Administrative Officer

Los Angeles, California (US)
Full Salary Range: $116,500.00/Yr. - $282,300.00/Yr.
Date posted
May 21, 2024


Chief Administrative Officer

Full Salary Range: $116,500.00/Yr. - $282,300.00/Yr.


Department Summary

The Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA is a world leader in human neuroscience research, education, and clinical services designed to advance wellbeing and mental health. The Institute provides a collaborative home for preeminent researchers and faculty across many disciplines to study complex human behavior. Their research includes the genetic, biological, behavioral, and sociocultural underpinnings of behavior and the causes and consequences of neuropsychiatric disorders. This transdisciplinary work leads to breakthroughs and developments of new and effective interventions that improve the lives of those around us and across the world.

Position Summary


Position Summary

The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) is responsible for ensuring the success and efficient operation of this research institute and the strength of its business functions. The CAO serves as a strategic partner to the Institute Director and Executive Vice Chair. Propose and direct the implementation of complex and significant programmatic changes that may affect the Institute's academic mission. In addition to strategic planning, they are responsible for managing the overall financial viability of the Institute. In partnership with the COO, the CAO develops, implements and maintains an administrative and financial infrastructure that effectively supports the Institute's operations and academic missions. This is an important leadership role for a seasoned administrative and business executive who is skilled at managing a large, complex academic enterprise and who appreciates the importance of collegial decision-making and matrixed leadership. Additionally, the CAO provides analyses and counsel to Institute, as well as division/center directors, faculty members, principal investigators (PIs), and administrative staff in seven divisions and more than twenty research centers. The incumbent is responsible for the oversight and leadership of the Semel operating budget in excess of $245 million(M) supporting the faculty and staff in the Institute (plus $139M of endowment market value). The CAO will be the designated Financial Steward for all Semel fund types in the Institute. Specific areas include: 19900 Funds - $24M, Faculty Compensation Plan Funds (including Neuropsychiatric Behavioral Health Services (NPBHS)) - $37M, Opportunity (ICR) Funds - $9M, Gifts and Endowments (available balance) $28M, Sales and Service Funds - $8M, Policy 913 and Other Funds - $2M, LAC-DMH contract $23M, and Contract & Grant $114M. The incumbent oversees all internal and external financial reporting and provides oversight to all administrative staff responsible for monitoring the Institute’s budget. In addition, the incumbent is responsible for providing administrative leadership of the faculty salary negotiations process, DGSOM and Campus budget processes, budget meetings, and is expected to liaise with BFS, APB, Audit & Advisory Services, DGSOM administration. Specific areas of responsibility include strategic planning, financial planning, and analysis (FP&A), decision making and support, research administration, compliance and controls, faculty training and education in research related areas, and health and safety. Reporting to the Director the Institute, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) functions as a senior administrative and business executive for the Semel Institute for Neuroscience. The CAO provides leadership and direction for a wide range of functions for a remarkable, research-intensive Institute.  *Please upload cover letter and resume combined.



• Solid knowledge and experience in managing various funding categories from State, ICR, clinical operations, compensation plans, gift & endowment, sales & service funds. (Required)

• Minimum 12 years Experience in financial management leadership role with demonstrated ability to run the day to day of a fiscal management office. (Required)

• Minimum 5 years Experience in UC financial management, preferably in UCLA health sciences departments. (Preferred)

• Leadership skills to develop and implement the effective organization and operation of a Center in a major research university. (Required)

• Demonstrated leadership ability to analyze complex issues and take actions to expedite decisions. (Required)

• Thinks independently, challenges issues appropriately, contributes with initiative, volunteers input, and takes reasonable risks when analysis and judgment warrant. (Required)

• Demonstrated skill in writing concise, logical memoranda, operation procedures, administrative reports and in-depth analytic report. (Required)

• Interpersonal skills to diplomatically establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with faculty, academics, researchers, students, administrators and staff employees to create an inclusive, equitable and productive work environment. (Required)

• Ability to supervise and evaluate performance of administrative staff. (Required)

• Skills to work collaboratively and act persuasively in sensitive situations; skills in conflict management techniques. (Required)

• Demonstrated knowledge of university budget planning, financial analysis, administration, and evaluation of a multi-million dollar budget with multiple, diverse funding sources. Demonstrated skills in performing advanced accounting and financial management functions, including budget preparation, account reconciliation, financial report preparation, fiscal projection, variance analysis, internal control, compliance audit, fiscal and strategic planning. (Required)

• Demonstrated proficiency in use of spreadsheet, database, reporting and word processing software. (Required)

• Demonstrated knowledge of university contract and grant management, accounting and purchasing policy and procedures. (Preferred)

• Demonstrate in-depth comprehension of various UCLA financial and payroll systems, database, processes and applications. (Preferred)

• Demonstrated skill in management of space, equipment and materials resources including development of utilization plans and justifying acquisitions. (Preferred)


Education, Licenses, Certifications & Personal Affiliations

• Bachelor's Degree Accounting, finance, economics, or business administration. (Required)

• Advanced degree in accounting or business administration. (Preferred)


Special Conditions for Employment

• Background Check: Continued employment is contingent upon the completion of a satisfactory background investigation.

• Live Scan Background Check: A Live Scan background check must be completed prior to the start of employment.


Special Instructions to Applicants

To be considered for this position, you must apply online to the UCLA Career Site. The recruitment for this position is being managed by UCSD - Executive Recruitment Services. All conversations and applications are held in the strictest confidence. Inquiries concerning this search may be directed to Jen Brooks at


Direct URL Link:


Equal Opportunity Statement

UCLA is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy. We are committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce along with honoring unique experiences, perspectives, and identities. Together, our community strives to create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.


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