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Chief Financial Officer

Full Time | Arts & Culture 5 Months Ago

About the California Academy of Sciences
The California Academy of Sciences is committed to regenerating the natural world through science, learning, and collaboration. The Academy’s new strategic plan recognizes that solutions to the ecological crisis must begin with a radical reimagining of our relationship to nature. The Plan's three initiatives - Hope for Reefs, Thriving California, and Islands 2030 – leverage biodiversity science, environmental learning, and collaborative engagement to regenerate fragile ecosystems around the world. Learn more at https://www.calacademy.org/about-us/major-initiatives.

We hope you are inspired by what we do and are excited to contribute to our mission. The Academy is looking for candidates who do great work, and we know they may come from a number of different backgrounds and experiences. We encourage you to apply even if you do not believe you meet every one of the qualifications for the position.

Our museum is located in San Francisco, California. 

About the Opportunity
Reporting to the Executive Director, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will provide strategic financial leadership for the Academy. The CFO will lead and guide the Legal, Finance and Accounting teams driving the successful outcomes of the legal, financial, accounting, revenue-producing and investment functions to meet the goals of the Academy. The CFO will serve as a member of the Senior Leadership Team and provide guidance to senior management and their teams on all financial matters.

Key Responsibilities
The CFO responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Provide financial and strategic thought leadership for the organization, ensuring that the Academy’s operating revenue, expenses, capital expenditures, and endowment funds are correctly budgeted, managed, and reported.
  • Drive development and planning for Academy’s key long-term initiatives to maximize two things at the same time -- funding of the Academy core costs and expansion of new initiatives. Make sure that the financial plans for both are clear and updated as actual funding is received.
  • Act as an executive lead for the Finance, Investment and Audit/Risk board of trustees committees and leads the Executive Strategic Planning process.
  • Serve as internal consultant to the Executive Director, Board and key donors, Chief Philanthropy Officer and other stakeholders on all financial matters, making recommendations and suggesting proactive strategies.
  • Design, manage, and continuously improve the processes and systems that enable financial management of the Academy in order to provide value added support to all business partners. 
  • Establish strong working relationships with colleagues; strengthen and sustain a culture of transparency, collaboration, communication, teamwork and integrity.
  • Work with the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees, oversee the investment related activities of the organization that are managed by our third party investment managers.
  • Manage all matters relating to the Academy’s endowment including accounting and reporting as specified by US GAAP and UPMIFA.
  • Manage the relationships with government fiscal leads and other key government parties to ensure the Academy receives the maximum allocation of funds and is in compliance with government regulations governing the award of funds. 
  • Ensure that the Academy is in compliance with relevant federal, state and local regulations and laws.

Successful Candidate

  • The California Academy of Sciences seeks a strategic business partner to our visionary Executive Director. The ideal candidate is excited to join a transformational organization and leadership team in realizing our new strategic plan and three initiatives.
  • The ideal person enjoys making tough decisions, based on data, and in the interest of the short-term and long-term financial health of the Academy and can prioritize, streamline, and bring focus to various parts of the organization as needed. 

Skills and Behavioral Competencies

  • Aptitude for building relationships based on trust, strong communications, transparency, and respect.
  • Leadership skills and the ability to demonstrate and lead on values, initiatives, and culture of the organization
  • Comfort with decision-making that involves the appropriate individuals and the development of appropriate plans of action from multi-disciplinary perspectives.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and ability to interact and influence at the most senior levels of the organization and Board members. 
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity and equity in the workplace and ability to operationalize through CFO role. Passion for engaging effectively with various stakeholders throughout the Academy. Ability to work well with people from different races, ethnicities, geography, genders, socio-economic classes, and sexual orientations.
  • Proficiency in complex financial analysis and in the development of long-range financial models.


  • Ten or more years of significant management and administrative experience in the private and non-profit sectors successfully managing organizations of comparable complexity and size.
  • Minimum of 10 years of people management experience required; the ability to mentor, grow and motivate a team with diverse skill set, experiences, and backgrounds.
  • Experience working with public officials (especially at the city level) and accompanying funding processes for operating and capital expenses.
  • MBA, CPA or equivalent business-related education or a closely related field and ten years of progressively responsible financial or investment experience.

Compensation and Benefits
The California Academy of Sciences is committed to providing compensation that is competitive within the nonprofit sector. The Academy offers a generous total compensation package that emphasizes both base salary and comprehensive benefits. The salary range for this role starts at $300,000. Offers are based on the candidate’s years of experience and the practice of maintaining salary equity within the California Academy of Sciences.

This position is based in San Francisco, California. Please do not apply if you are not willing to relocate. Staff are currently expected to work from the Academy offices at least 2-3 times per week, which may fluctuate based on business needs. Candidates are required to have up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination, including receiving a booster shot, as a condition of employment, absent qualifying exemptions in accordance with applicable laws. Individuals receiving a conditional offer of employment from the California Academy of Sciences will be provided the full text of the vaccination policy.

Application Instructions
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Review of applications will begin October 10, 2022 and will continue until the position is filled.

APPLICATION PROCESS: A complete application should consist of: (1) Cover letter describing your interest in the Academy and how your professional goals align with the Academy mission and/or strategic initiatives and; (2) Resume


The California Academy of Sciences will give full consideration for employment to all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance (SF Police Code, Article 49).

The California Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to ensure that all employees and applicants receive equal consideration and treatment, regardless of race, color, creed, gender (including gender identity or gender expression), religion, marital or domestic partner status, age, place of birth, national origin or ancestry, physical, mental or medical disability, height or weight, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship, military service status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law or local ordinance.






500 - 1,000








$50M - $200M


Arts & Culture

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About California Academy Sciences

California Academy of Sciences is a nonprofit organization that offers research and public science education programs.

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