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Senior Director of Finance & Administration


At the Buck Institute for Education (BIE), our highest priority is to help teachers prepare students for successful lives. We do this by showing teachers how to use Project Based Learning (PBL) in all grade levels and subject areas. As a mission-driven nonprofit organization, BIE creates, gathers, and shares high-quality PBL instructional practices and products and provides highly effective services to teachers, schools, and districts.  The exponential increase in demand for our services and products speak to our ability to help educators provide a better education for all students.

Project Based Learning’s time has come. The experience of thousands of teachers across all grade levels and subject areas, backed by research, confirms that PBL is an effective and enjoyable way to learn - and develop deeper learning competencies required for success in college, career, and civic life.

At BIE, we believe that all students—no matter where they live or what their background—should have access to quality PBL instruction to deepen their learning and achieve success in college, career, and life.  We seek to build a multi-talented staff who deeply understand and embrace the diversity of the students of today, and have awareness of the challenges in the world those students will inherit.  BIE is more than an industry-leader in Project Based Learning; we are a passionate community that serves teachers and leaders.

The Opportunity/Attractions:

  • Opportunity to make a significant contribution to the Organization’s current and future success by bringing your best practices in financial management, budgeting, analysis and accounting operations. The work that you do will support the organization’s commitment and ability to help extend the positive effect that PBL has on kids’ capacity to learn.
  • You have scaled a fast-growing organization before and you want to do it again. You will never be bored.
  • Opportunity to work with an Organization that is growing, multiple years of 20%+ year over year growth.  Your contributions will help us scale efficiently and effectively. 
  • Opportunity to make a significant impact by taking a robust ERP system and optimizing for better data driven decision making and best practices in the financial management process.
  • Balance of team leadership and hands-on contribution.


The Senior Director of Finance and Administration is responsible for the smooth and effective functioning of accounting and finance, human resources, compliance, legal and governance. As a member of the leadership team, the SDFA will support the development of an organization-wide culture of mutual accountability to results, data-driven decision-making, collaboration, experimentation, and learning.

Leadership and Management

  • Attract, develop, coach, and retain high-performance team members, empowering them to elevate their level of responsibility, span of control, and performance.  Mentor and develop staff using a supportive and collaborative approach aligned with BIE mission and culture
  • Support strategic planning and scenario planning with financial analysis and resource allocation planning.
  • Discuss and provide input on top-level management decisions with attention to financial and operational concerns
  • Continuously improve efficiency in business processes across the organization
  • Regularly update and monitor organizational quality and performance metrics

Financial Management

  • In addition to directly supervising all activities of the finance team:  Lead budgeting, financial modeling and cash flow forecasting
  • Engage with Board Finance and Executive Committees
  • Manage multiple complex grant budgets, each with specific reporting requirements.

Human Resources
With support from contracted HR support:

  • Collaborate with colleagues to develop and implement strategies for attracting and retaining top-level staff who have a lens for equity.
  • Help to build and sustain BIE’s organizational culture and encourage staff to reach their full potential
  • Develop and oversee the HR function to ensure that it is both compliant and supportive to employees, including payroll, benefits management, and contractor and consultant management
  • Facilitate organization-wide goal setting and work planning to ensure alignment of individual responsibilities with organizational goals

Contribution to BIE’s mission & culture

  • Participate in BIE’s leadership team to implement our organizational vision (as established in the BIE Strategic Plan), promote high-energy creative dialogue, and demonstrate sharing of knowledge and information
  • Provide leadership in development of inter-team communication and cohesiveness, sustaining culture and supporting staff during organizational growth
  • Share and model our deep passion for equitable access for all students to high quality education 

Qualifications and Abilities

The successful candidate will bring this experience to the role:

  • 7+ years of financial and operational management experience, preferably in entrepreneurial, high growth equity-focused organizations
  • Experience serving as a business partner to the Executive Director and Board
  • Experience managing budgets for multiple grants
  • Strategic growth/planning experience and proven ability to guide execution
  • Demonstrated experience using metrics to inform decision-making
  • Bachelor’s degree in Business, Finance, Accounting or equivalent
  • Non-profit experience preferred: familiarity with schools and educational systems a plus
  • Experience with cloud-based accounting systems required; experience with Intaact a plus.

The successful candidate will possess these skills:

  • Strong leadership skills with a focus on listening, collaboration and respect and an enthusiasm for coaching others
  • Exceptional financial and analytical abilities.  Deep knowledge of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) for nonprofits, and of financial management and accounting, including cost-benefit analysis and financial modeling, employment law, legal, audit, compliance, budgeting and human resource practices.
  • Excellent judgment and creative problem-solving skills
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills as a persuasive, credible, and polished communicator
  • The ability to handle a variety of constituencies, manage multiple tasks simultaneously and thrive in a complex environment with multiple priorities
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people

The successful candidate will reflect these attributes:

  • Integrity, a positive attitude, excellent judgment and self-direction
  • Commitment to a collaborative, inclusive and transparent culture with a learning orientation
  • A team player who can interrelate and operate effectively with peers and other associates within a collegial, yet demanding, work environment
  • Belief in the mission of BIE to bring PBL to all kids. 
  • Ability to excel in a fast-paced entrepreneurial and innovative organization.
  • Ability to manage the details of multiple complex projects while also keeping in mind the big picture.
  • A business head with a non-profit heart

The job will be located at BIE headquarters in Novato, CA (accessible by Sonoma -Marin Smart Rail, Golden Gate Transit, Marin Transit and with lots of free parking).  There will be occasional travel to key BIE conferences and meetings, retreats and board meetings.

This is a full-time position with full health benefits, (including medical, vision and dental), generous retirement contribution, life and disability insurance and cell phone stipend.  BIE offers a competitive salary (commensurate with experience) and a generous benefits package. BIE is a certified Marin County Green Business with a dog-friendly working environment.



BIE values diversity; people of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.  The executive search team at Armanino LLP is leading the search. Inquiries and applications, comprising a resume and letter of interest, should be sent to:   Andrea Mannering at [email protected]


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