Who We Are The Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning (VPAL) shapes the future of education by pursuing new ways to build the competence, curiosity, and confidence of learners around the world. We create engaging and scalable learning experiences, cultivate inspiring ideas, and connect a global community of learners—while developing tools, technologies, platforms, and policies to reduce friction throughout the learning lifecycle. We are seeking a Senior Director of Finance to join our team.
Please note: This is a two year term position with possibility of renewal based on business need and continued funding.
How You Will Contribute As a member of the senior leadership team, the Senior Director of Finance will be responsible for the overall financial health, planning and management of the organization by providing financial projections, managing all accounting-related services, budgets, and financial reports, and directing staff. Reporting to the Managing Director, the Senior Director of Finance will work with leadership cross-functionally on creating annual financial plans, aligning financial plans with strategic objectives, establishing reliable projections, defining, measuring, and communicating key benchmarks, supporting financial review meetings, and being involved in discussions of other ad hoc projects. This role is responsible for the accounting and financial systems and processes of a new university-wide learning experience platform (LXP).
At VPAL, your role will be to:
Oversee VPAL budget and accounting functions as a responsible financial steward of VPAL's and Harvard's resources.
Manage, develop, and improve key financial processes, including forecasting, budget planning, accounting, performance reporting, and long-range planning, both for VPAL as an organization and in support of Harvard's new learning platform (LXP) for online courses and other digital assets.
Aligning with and informing the strategic priorities of VPAL and working closely with the Managing Director and Vice Provost to inform resource allocation decisions.
Working closely with Managing Director, and heads of VPALs marketing and content teams, to drive financial success of digital content by informing pricing and other product decisions.
Analyze trends and translate financial impact to strategy and execution plan as needed.
Develop financial models and relevant metrics, prepare ad hoc financial and statistical analysis, and lead multi- year financial planning.
Lead, develop, and coach small finance team, overseeing the GL, A/R and A/P, budget, and procurement functions.
Manage and drive key financial and business operations metrics as part of VPALs strategic planning process.
Provide high level analysis of organizational financial drivers and with fluency in presenting data in digestible formats for schools and other stakeholders.
Create models to contemplate scenarios around related business and financial drivers and to evaluate new product potential.
Support ad hoc projects and help define systems improvements to support growth.
Develop and lead continuous improvement initiatives for key financial systems and processes.
MBA, Master's degree or equivalent work experience required
Minimum of 10 years' relevant work experience
Additional Qualifications and Skills
Knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite, advanced Excel and PowerPoint skill
Advanced knowledge of budget management, financial analysis and financial modeling; working knowledge of accounting principles
Demonstrated experience with financial systems and data query tools
Minimum of 7 years of experience in financial management position with analytical responsibilities.
Minimum of 5 years people management experience with an ability to mentor.
Proficiency in building and analyzing financial statements.
Experience leading complex workstreams and cross functional efforts such as managing a yearly planning process
Ability to contribute to organizational values, including respect and open-mindedness.
Strong writing, presentation, and overall communication skills. Able to convey complex ideas to wide range of stakeholders
Experience with not for profit organizational management concepts or practical experience in non-profit setting.
Experience with complex operations in a fast-paced environment.
Proven experience with finance transformation and or process re-engineering and improvement.
In-person work is performed in an open office setting
VPAL is a hybrid office, as our team places a high value on the in-person experience, cross-team collaboration, and strong community building. Individual flexible work options for this role, including hybrid, will be discussed during the interview process. Specific in-office and schedule will be determined between you and your manager. All work must be performed in a state where Harvard is registered to do business (CA, CT, GA, IL, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VA, VT, WA).
IMPORTANT NOTE: Cover letters are requested for this role. Your cover letter and resume should be submitted as a combined SINGLE DOCUMENT under the resume tab.
Selected candidates may be asked to provide additional materials. VPAL is not able to provide visa sponsorship for this position.
PLEASE NOTE: The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up-to-date on CDC-recommended vaccines.
Why Harvard? We offer a wide range of exciting and challenging job opportunities that support our world-class academic environment. We invite you to explore the many reasons to work for Harvard at https://hr.harvard.edu/why-harvard. Harvard University is committed to offering a competitive total compensation package including:
A creative, high-energy, collaborative environment
Generous Vacation, Sick, Personal, and Holiday pay
Medical, Dental, and Vision benefits starting on your first day
University-funded retirement plans
Tuition Assistance Program
Transportation benefits to help with your daily commute
Health and wellness discounts, memberships, and programs
About the Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning (VPAL) The Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning seeks to shape the future of education by discovering new ways to build the competence, curiosity, and confidence of learners on our campuses and around the world. We create engaging and scalable learning experiences, cultivate inspiring ideas, and connect a global community of learners—while developing tools, technologies, platforms, and policies to reduce friction throughout the learning lifecycle. To learn more, visit http://vpal.harvard.edu.
VPAL is committed to convening and nurturing a diverse community dedicated to promoting inclusive excellence and leadership in teaching and learning. We celebrate, welcome, and honor all backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values. We strive to ensure that all feel included in our mission, our work, and our learning inside and outside our organization. We affirm that inclusivity and belonging are the foundations of excellence.
Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.
Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)
Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.
EEO Statement We are 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, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.
Harvard University is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally. The University, which is based in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, has an enrollment of over 20,000 degree candidates, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Harvard has more than 360,000 alumni around the world. The University has twelve degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, offering a truly global education. Established in 1636, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States.