To support its steadfast dedication to science, medicine, and education, and enable greater impact, Harvard Medical School (HMS) is seeking a seasoned academic financial leader to help shape its evolving footprint and drive cultural and operational change. Serving as a strategic thought partner to executive leadership, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will ensure HMS’ fiscal health by strengthening its financial performance and championing its sustainability plan.
As a key member of HMS’ senior leadership team, the CFO provides strategic counsel and executive financial decision support to the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Executive Dean for Administration, and greater HMS community in identifying new revenue streams, improving operational efficiencies, managing expenses, and navigating environmental challenges. The CFO manages an annual operating budget of $800+ million, evaluating and adjusting financial models, department structures, and operational processes to support the Medical School’s infrastructure and evolving needs, and to safeguard its financial assets.
A proven community builder and relationship manager, the CFO will foster cross-functional, enterprise-wide engagement and collaboration with colleagues across the University, affiliated hospitals, and research institutions. Importantly, the CFO partners with HMS colleagues, department heads, and faculty; the University’s Vice President for Finance and senior finance staff; and the CFOs of the affiliated hospitals and research institutions.
Provide executive leadership and direction to all financial operations and policies, including strategic financial planning, forecasting, budgeting, accounting and finance practices, financial reporting, financial modeling, cost analysis, strategic procurement, and financial risk assessment; ensure timely, accurate preparation of all institutional financial statements.
Lead a 23-member staff that includes the Director of Financial Planning and Analysis, Controller/Director of Accounting, Director Gifts and Endowments, Director of Strategic Procurement, developing a team-oriented, customer-focused culture committed to professional excellence and accountability; fostering an inclusive workplace culture where diverse backgrounds, styles, abilities, and motivations are welcomed; and appreciating and leveraging the capabilities, insights, and ideas of all individuals.
Continually assess and evaluate departmental structure and operational processes, implementing improvements that will ensure efficiency, drive revenue growth, and protect assets. Conduct strategic financial planning in concert with HMS’ business plan as well as plans established university-wide.
Oversee all periodic and year-end closings, year-end audit, and preparation of consolidated financial statements. Manage the external accounting firm relationship. Implement appropriate financial reporting and analytical tools and metrics. Provide financial analysis and advice regarding profitability, revenue goals, and cost savings, and communicate those results and recommendations to HMS and University stakeholders.
Partner with senior leadership on the development of annual and long-term operating and capital budgets, advising on strategic operating and investment decision making, and tools to measure and evaluate performance.
Ensure full utilization of HMS’ accounting systems and that all established accounting and financial policies, internal controls, regulations, processes, and agreements are in compliance and appropriately documented.
Manage, mentor, develop, and retain a high-performing staff; encourage professional development; and participate in professional organizations and associations to keep abreast of best practice and changes in government and regulatory policies.
15+ years of progressive financial leadership and change management experience, including at least five years’ strategic senior management within a complex, academically-based organization, such as a university, or research institution.
Expertise in financial principles and familiarity with technologies that impact financial functions as well as the overall operation; strong acumen in business analytics with a focus on deliverables.
Experience managing teams and supervising staff.
B.A., C.P.A., or expertise in fund accounting or other relevant technical areas, such as accounting for endowments, preferred.
Demonstrated experience serving as a “thought partner” to senior leaders, adding value beyond the strict definition of the position; able to advise “beyond the math” on financial and strategic issues and build a succinct business case in relevant terms for each audience, balancing rigor, structure, and effectiveness.
Proven success inspiring and leading a data-driven, mission-oriented, service-minded team.
Skills, Abilities, Attributes
High energy, team-oriented, customer-focused with a passion for excellence consistent with HMS’ culture and core values, and operating with the utmost integrity.
Politically savvy, able to successfully navigate a complex academic research organization with multiple internal and external stakeholders, leading through influence and with transparency to gain trust and credibility.
A superior relationship manager who is able to engage and coalesce numerous constituencies, sometimes with divergent interests, and build alliances and partnerships in implementing innovative solutions.
An active listener with high “EQ” who is open to new concepts and ideas, able to synthesize complex situations, provide clarity and illumination to others; and can facilitate and negotiate.
Exceptional communication and presentation skills with genuine comfort in a front-facing leadership role.
Highly organized and self-directed, able to develop comprehensive short- and long-term strategic and operational plans from broadly stated mission objectives.
Mission and Vision
Harvard Medical School’s mission is to nurture a diverse, inclusive community dedicated to alleviating suffering and improving health and well-being for all through excellence in teaching and learning, discovery and scholarship, and service and leadership. Its vision is to enable greater impact.
The HMS community is dedicated to excellence and leadership in medicine, education, research, and clinical care. To achieve its highest aspirations, and to ensure the success of all members of its community, HMS values and promotes common ideals that center on collaboration and service, diversity, respect, integrity and accountability, lifelong learning, and wellness and balance. To be a citizen of this community means embracing a collegial spirit that fosters inclusion and promotes achievement.
HMS is 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, or any other characteristic protected by law.
This is a retained search of Exceptional Executive Search. For more information, contact Nicole Gakidis, Search Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.