Chief Financial and Operating Officer

Chief Financial and Operating Officer

Status: Full Time, Exempt, 12-Month Position
Reports To: Head of School

The CFOO will serve on the senior leadership team and have broad oversight of the School’s annual operating budget and Business Office while managing the strategic and equitable distribution and utilization of the School’s resources.  This individual will act as an insightful and creative financial steward in partnership with the Head of School and administrative department heads to accomplish departmental goals and support the overarching mission and advancement of the School, as well as oversee the logistical functioning of the School. As a member of the senior leadership team, the CFOO attends all Board of Trustees (BOT) meetings and staffs the following Board committees: Finance; Investment; Audit; Foundation; Building and Grounds; and Compensation and Benefits.

In addition to the Head of School and the Board, the CFOO will work closely with critical administrative leadership, including the Assistant Head of School, Head of the Middle School, Assistant Head for Advancement, Director of Facilities Operations, Director of Technology, Assistant Head for Admission and Enrollment Management, Assistant Head for Student Life, Dean of Faculty, and Director of Communications and Marketing.

As a direct report to the Head of School, the CFOO will align Walker’s financial and institutional priorities, work strategically to support continued growth of enrollment, and help execute plans related to the School’s advancement and financial success.

As a member of the leadership team, the CFOO leads, supervises, and manages the Controller, Human Resources, the Director of Facilities, the Director of IT, the School Store Manager, the Director of Summer Programs, and team members for each of these areas. In addition, the CFOO oversees the outsourced contracts including security and food service.

General Responsibilities

  • Support the Head of School as a financial partner, advisor, facilitator, and agent in the strategies and actions required to achieve the mission of the school. Execute the long-range strategic plan and advance the fiscal health and well-being of Walker’s.
  • Function as the Chief Operating Officer in overseeing, supervising, and directing construction management, facilities, transportation, maintenance, groundskeeping, emergency planning and preparedness, dining services, environmental (custodial) operations, energy management and conservation/sustainability activities, and other operational divisions.
  • Lead all accounting and financial operations of the School, including management of the Business Office staffed by three highly dedicated and experienced individuals. The Business Office encompasses accounting, business operations, HR, and financial administration staff.
  • Establish and periodically review policies and make recommendations to the Head of School.
  • Manage the approval of all agreements concerning financial obligations, such as contracts for projects or services and other actions requiring a commitment of financial resources. Maintain relationships with financial institutions and administer banking arrangements and loan/bond agreements.
  • Oversee daily logistical, non-student facing operations of the School as a whole.
  • Oversee all personnel compensation, benefits, and insurance.
  • Provide oversight for third-party vendor contracts including, but not limited to, security, dining, facilities, and employee benefits, such as health insurance/retirement plans.
  • Oversee the school-wide investment in IT systems including the consideration, design and achievement of IT upgrades, integrations, and controls.
  • Manage all Board reporting on a calendar and ad hoc basis.  Provide accurate, timely, and actionable financial data to the Board and various board committees.
  • Provide guidance, information, transparency, and assistance to department heads in the annual budgeting process, management of departmental spend and expenses, and maximization of the use of financial resources.
  • Ensure that appropriate audit, accounting, and internal controls are in place for all funds and assets. Understand and implement necessary risk management for the organization in all areas of operations. Resolve all findings resulting from financial audits and consulting studies.
  • Ensure compliance with legal, income tax, government, and regulatory matters. Work to maintain nonprofit status of 501(c)(3), including annual 990 filing status. Review, approve, and implement material regulations and notices from governmental and regulatory agencies.
  • Plan and forecast near-term and long-range cash requirements and obligations to enable the smooth execution of Walker’s commitments, operations, and investments.
  • Monitor the fundraising budget and Advancement team activity to manage revenue risk and upside to ensure that operating budget objectives and goals are met. Track multi-year revenue and fundraising trends to predict future opportunities for expansion and diversification and avoid downtrends in individual, corporate, or foundation gifts. Monitor and comprehend accurate and timely analyses that capture and communicate fundraising results, variances, and performance trends.
  • Exhibit confidence in self and others; inspire and motivate others to perform well; effectively influence actions and opinions of others; accept feedback; maintain confidentiality; and provide appropriate recognition to others. Promote a work environment that instills confidence, generates pride and morale, and respects individuals. 
  • Act as the high-profile financial face of the School in relationships with students, parents, donors, banks, auditors, regulatory bodies, legal counsel, town officials, vendors, and contractors.


To succeed in this broad and critical role, a candidate must be a strategic financial professional able to understand and embrace the accounting, financial, budgeting, strategic planning, and operational aspects of this complex and innovative institution.

  • Demonstrated history of success leveraging strong leadership, management, and interpersonal skills.
  • Must possess deep and experienced financial and accounting skill. Accounting and/or Finance Degree is required. MBA and a combination of education and experience equivalent to a master’s degree in accounting, business, finance, or related field preferred.
  • Employment experience in an academic setting is highly desirable. Specific experience in a secondary education setting is especially beneficial as is exposure to single-gender institutions.
  • A minimum of 10 years of professional experience developed in increasingly impactful leadership and strategic roles.
  • Ability to work efficiently with trustees, faculty, staff, and external constituents.
  • The ability to work collaboratively and broadly across diverse constituencies including demonstrated success in building, developing and managing financial, operational, and human resource teams.
  • Understanding of infrastructure maintenance, energy management, and oversight of third-party vendors across different segments of the School.
  • A priority-driven individual with an ability to manage competing and concurrent responsibilities and challenges with good humor, approachability, candor, and passion. 
  • Knowledge of the legal and ethical guidelines and obligations applicable to the position as outlined by professionals and/or federal, state, and local laws, rules, and regulations.
  • Knowledge of general management functions of planning and organization, and strategic and long-term goal-setting and planning.
  • Experience and knowledge of technology including information, data privacy, infrastructure, applications, software (especially financial and accounting), and mobile and communication platforms for meetings and remote access.
  • Knowledge of investment accounting and management in connection with endowments and foundations.
  • Knowledge of and experience with capital campaigns highly desirable.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills with an articulate, influential, and impactful style and demeanor.

Compensation is commensurate with level of experience, training, and education. A full-benefits package including medical and dental among other coverages along with retirement contributions is available. 

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply. The Ethel Walker School is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender expression, disability, religion, or veteran status.

To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter, and contact list of three (3) professional references in one (1) document to