2268 - Senior Director of Finance(SDF)

Washington, District of Columbia, United States | FINANCE | Full-time | COVID-19 remote


The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a federally funded, private, nonprofit grantmaking organization that works to support freedom around the world, seeks a Senior Director of Finance(SDF) for the Finance Department. This position is based in Washington, D.C.

Position Summary:

The National Endowment for Democracy is a 501(c)3 grantmaking foundation that receives annual Congressional appropriations in excess of $310 million and is also governed by a private bipartisan Board of Directors.  This unusual arrangement positions NED to play a unique role as America’s leading foundation for freedom, empowering the institution to be nimble, innovative, and risk-taking in support of democratic activists, civil society organizations, independent media, and the NED family core institutes (the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, the Center for International Private Enterprise, and the Solidarity Center).  We seek a motivated leader for our top finance role who brings a track record and solid judgment, but whose mindset is more venture capital for democracy rather than government bureaucracy.

At a time of great challenge to democracy and freedom around the world, the Endowment has seen dramatic growth over the past two years as its appropriation nearly doubled.  This has supported substantial growth in NED’s grantmaking, but also has required innovation and upgrading of the financial and operational underpinnings that keep the Endowment on the cutting edge of democracy support organizations in the world.  During this challenging but exciting period at NED, the Senior Director, Finance (SDF) will partner with NED’s COO, President, and CEO, and management team to play a leading role in modernizing NED’s financial management to ensure we meet this moment by adapting for the future.  The SDF will be a leader who fosters a high-performance culture of excellence and integrity and builds a service-oriented team with an entrepreneurial, problem-solving, and digital-first mindset.  The SDF will help lead NED’s pursuit of operational excellence through more effective use of technology, updated workflows, and mainstreaming innovations.  The SDF will mobilize the finance team to offer high-quality financial support to our staff and partners.

The SDF will provide direct support to the COO, the President, and CEO, and the management team to ensure NED leadership is able to manage the institution responsibly, including leading on all financial analyses, providing financial projections, and ensuring NED remain on track to meet to key financial benchmarks (e.g., percentage of funds obligated as grants, operating within indirect rates, etc.).  The SDF will lead NED’s budgeting process, help align resources with strategy, and regularly report to the leadership and board on NED financials as well as contribute to our analysis of NED’s resource allocation.

The SDF is responsible for the protection of the NED’s financial assets and reputation as a responsible steward of public and private resources.  The SDF works cooperatively with all departments to effectively budget, monitor, and track finances to achieve NED’s operational and administrative financial goals in a manner consistent with NED’s mission, vision, and values.  The SDF partners with leaders across the organization to ensure that NED’s financial resources are being delivered effectively to our staff and grantees.  Further, the SDF ensures that the financial operations at NED are leveraging available digital tools, taking a “digital-first” approach to drive efficient workflows and high-quality outcomes for staff supporting NED’s mission. The SDF will work to make sure that all financial data flows between Finance and  Grant Operations advance the needed integrity of our financial reporting, including by partnering on the development of NED’s new grants management system.

The SDF maintains a strategic approach to financial management and leads financial planning, development, and maintenance of an effective and service-oriented financial management infrastructure for the administrative and operational costs needed to support NED’s grantmaking and Democracy Support Activities including budgeting, financial monitoring, and reporting.  In addition, this position is responsible for leading the development and maintenance of efficient and cost-effective financial services, and for leading and managing the finance department in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and best practices.

This is not just another non-profit finance position in Washington, DC.  This is an opportunity to join an ambitious institution and leadership team committed to the cause of our time and to help transform our financial management for the future so we can deliver on our urgent mission today.  The ideal candidate will be attracted by both the scale, importance, and complexity of this undertaking as well as the nuance, discipline, and judgment demanded by the work.


  • Leads and manages the Finance Department to ensure efficient, cost-effective, accurate, and customer service-oriented operations to achieve NED’s mission of effectively strengthening democratic institutions around the world.
  • Creates an appropriate and sustainable Finance Department infrastructure and develops, supervises, and mentors Finance Department staff.
  • Drives high-quality and timely financial reporting and analysis for NED leadership and its board.
  • Maintains oversight of general accounting, treasury, and accounts payable areas. Reviews workflow of financial operations areas for efficiencies and improvements to administrative and accounting functions. 
  • Ensures that NED has effective internal controls and that it complies with all relevant government, state, GAAP, and other regulatory requirements. Acts as the principal liaison between NED and its auditors.
  • Works to balance the protection of NED’s financial assets with the ability to effectively deliver financial support to partners around the world, particularly those partners in challenging environments. Identifies and implements innovations (e.g. in payments) to ensure NED is able to provide support in such environments.
  • Budgets, monitors, analyzes, and reports on financial performance to the COO, the President, and the Board of Directors. Ensures that the President, the COO, and the Board of Directors are informed about NED’s overall financial situation and have the necessary information to make informed decisions.
  • Partners across the organization to help align NED and programmatic strategies with budgets.
  • Ensures effective stewardship of public funds and appropriate management, including investment, of private funds.
  • Partners with Human Resources to provide leadership with financial data and analysis to assist with planning for employee compensation and benefits.
  • Leads internal communication effort to ensure staff managers are aware and knowledgeable about the administrative budgeting process, fiscal responsibilities, and overall context behind NED’s financial management efforts.
  • Ensures that NED staff are regularly trained on NED’s financial policies and internal protocols.
  • Participates in strategic business planning for administrative or operations projects and provides risk assessments.


  • Knowledge/Experience:
    • CPA, MBA, or equivalent advanced degree in accounting, finance, or business; relevant experience may be considered an acceptable qualification.
    • 15+ years of experience, minimum of 6 years as a senior financial manager and team leader. Nonprofit financial and/or grant management experience is required as well as accounting, strategic financial analysis, and planning skills.
    • Experience supporting and briefing executives and boards.
  • Other Qualifications:
    • Must possess a commitment to a digital-first approach to finance workflows and processes.
    • Strategic planning, management, and mentoring skills are necessary for success. Must be able to set long-range goals and implement short-range actions to achieve them.
    • Commitment to continuous self and organizational improvement and learning.
    • Appreciation of the NED’s mission.
    • Familiarity with Congressional appropriations or use of public funds.
    • Authorized to work in the United States.
  • Competencies:
    • Strong communications and collaborative, consensus-building skills capable of reaching across organizational hierarchies and departmental structures with a commitment to customer service.
    • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills.
    • Possesses the ability to drive customer-focused solutions for NED staff and grantees.
    • Ability to develop and administer budgets.
    • Proficient personal computer skills.
    • High ethical standards and ability to maintain confidentiality.


To Apply:

Applications must include a cover letter, resume, desired salary, and contact information for three professional references, of which one should be a supervisor.  Please, no phone call inquiries. 

The NED is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, national origin, veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristics covered by applicable law. The NED is committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodation for all qualified individuals and bases all employment decisions on qualifications, merit, and business need. The NED believes that diversity and inclusion amongst our team members are critical to our success as an organization operating globally and seek to recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool.

For more information, please visit our website at www.ned.org or careers@ned.org.