Columbia University Director of Financial Operations and Planning at the Zuckerman Institute in New York, New York

Position Information

Job Title

Director of Financial Operations and Planning at the Zuckerman Institute

Job Code Title

Job Requisition Number



6803- ZUC Finance General



Job Type

Officer Full-Time Regular

Bargaining Unit

If temporary, indicate duration

Hours Per Week


Job Family

Finance / Accounting

Salary Grade


Salary Range

Commensurate with experience

Advertised Summary Job Description

Columbia's Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute supports interdisciplinary neuroscience research and discovery by scholars across the university and promises to be the most comprehensive institute for brain science.

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Finance oversees and proactively manages the team's strategy and operations serving as the Institute's Chief Financial Officer.

Leading all accounting and finance initiatives and providing leadership in the implementation of all University financial initiatives, the Director oversees all aspects of the department's accounting and finance activities while working to ensure accurate collection and dissemination of financial data, proper construction of financial models for business planning and new initiatives. The incumbent is also responsible for the development and implementation of appropriate policies and procedures to create and maintain robust financial controls ensuring all departmental accounting and finance policies are consistent with University policies and taxation requirements, when applicable.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Responsible for overseeing all financial operations for the Institute including budgeting, fiscal controls, financial analysis/reporting as well as assuring that all regular financial operations are managed effectively.

  • Directs and implements ongoing budget planning processes and the development of long-term budget plans and analyses. In conjunction with the Executive Director, develops long-term financial strategic goals and planning.

  • Coordinates new business activities under the direction of the Executive Director including developing reporting relationships and internal systems to address the diverse financial services required by other departments and units.

  • Establishes appropriate policies and procedures and internal controls to administer the Institute's finances and staffing.

  • Establishes close working relationships with Department Chairs, Center/Institute Directors and their Administrators to support the financial, academic and research goals of the Institute. Additionally, the incumbent will collaborate with the University's Controller and the Office of Management & Budget to develop and implement the overall financial strategy for Institute.

  • Supervises, leads and develops staff within the finance team to ensure high performing and collaborative team members; provides regular performance feedback and forward faculty-centered action for each lab within the Institute. Establishes and manages performance goals for the finance team to ensure effectively coordinated and administered grants and budgets.

  • Ensures overall high quality of grants administration, oversees grants reporting.

  • Prepares information for presentations as required, and performs other related duties and special projects as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications for Grade

Applicant MUST meet these minimum qualifications to be considered an applicant

Bachelor's degree, including at least ten years of related experience required.

Must possess strong budgetary management skills with demonstrated prior experience managing multiple grants & grant-related activities.

Must possess at least three years of prior managerial experience leading teams, including proven accomplishments as a business partner to a leadership team.

Additional Position-Specific Minimum Qualifications

Applicant MUST meet these minimum qualifications to be considered an applicant

Demonstrated leadership and management skills in a complex organization is needed.

The successful candidate is an outstanding finance professional with exemplary experience in financial analysis and modeling skills, who can lead a team by example by effective coaching and mentoring. Personal experience with a commitment to strategic and operational planning is a requirement.

Demonstrated experience working with senior institutional leaders and the ability to clearly communicate the mission of the Zuckerman Institute. Proven experience with enterprise financial systems required. Excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication skills, including active listening skills, attention to detail, plus the ability to work closely and effectively with a diverse group of University administrators, is essential. The successful candidate must be a strategic thinker, with an open and collaborative style that encourages teamwork and cooperation. Must have a passion for excellent customer service and commitment to exceptional quality.

Special Instructions

Preferred Qualifications

A related advanced degree is highly preferred. Prior experience in higher education environment is desired.

Essential Functions

Additional Essential Functions (Limit to 3950 characters.)

Special Indications

This position works with:

HIPAA Compliance training required

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Participation in Medical Surveillance required

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Standard Posting

Requisition Open Date


Requisition Close Date

Open Until Filled

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