Employment Opportunity: Director of Finance | Oceana
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Director of Finance

About Us

Nearly one billion people currently do not have enough to eat. The demand for food is projected to increase 70 percent by 2050 as the population grows to an expected nine billion. An often-overlooked solution to this problem is our oceans. A fully productive ocean could provide one nutritious meal a day for 700 million people, or 13 to 15 percent of the animal protein produced on the entire planet. Moreover, wild-caught ocean fish uses no land, needs negligible amounts of water, is the lowest cost per pound to obtain, and provides human health benefits.

Unfortunately, ocean productivity is drastically declining due to overfishing, destructive fishing practices, marine habitat loss and pollution. If action is not taken to reverse this trend now, wild seafood may soon disappear as a major food source for a hungry planet. There is good news, however: restoring wild seafood is achievable and there are many examples of fish rebounding under science-based management, which is also surprisingly feasible. Science gives us clear direction about how to manage fish recovery. Fish will recover if we –

  • Set reasonable fishing quotas and reduce industrial overfishing.
  • Reduce bycatch (the incidental catch of non-targeted animals).
  • Protect marine habitat, both in preserving biodiversity and ecosystem health, as well as from the harmful effects of marine pollution.


Founded in 2001, Oceana is a successful, vibrant organization with more than 250 staff in more than 12 countries.  Oceana is headquartered in Washington, DC and has offices Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the European Union, Mexico, Peru, Philippines and the UK.

General Summary

We are seeking a Director of Finance who has experience helping such an organization transition into a mature organization with sound fiscal policies and practices and a focus on future success.  The position requires not only technical know-how, but also the interpersonal savvy and tenacity to lead through times of transition and change.  We are looking for someone who will build on and improve the existing foundation of policies, procedures and systems. This position is pivotal in Oceana’s evolution.

The Director of Finance acts as a 'right hand person’ to the Chief Financial Officer providing ongoing support and guidance to help ensure the financial management of Oceana is sound and financial commitments are met. The primary function of the Director of Finance is to look ahead – to use the organization’s financial information to ensure the financial health of the organization.  The Director will maximize our system capabilities to provide the information needed and work with Oceana’s leaders to make informed decisions without taking unnecessary risks. A key area for attention is to understand past financial performance to accurately predict the organization’s financial future. He or she will develop and deploy all necessary systems, policies and procedures needed for sound financial management and ensure proper training and monitoring of such.

The Director will also oversee Oceana’s risk management program, which includes property, casualty and marine insurance; risks related to events, travel and marine; and setting up an internal audit function.

The Director will supervise and mentor the controller, grants officer, finance systems analyst, and risk management specialist and will report to the Chief Financial Officer. The position is based in Washington, DC.


Principal Duties and Responsibilities

Essential Functions:


  • Financial leadership:  Provide leadership and manage staff across all finance, accounting and risk management functions. Develop and lead a team of professionals and direct their efforts toward Oceana’s sustainability, efficiency and effectiveness. Ensure goals are set and monitored; help staff develop their skills; and ensure information is being processed in the most effective and efficient way possible. 
  • Finance & Accounting Policies, Practices & Systems:  Serve as the business owner for all finance-related systems.  Identify system requirements and options that best meet Oceana’s needs.  With IT, evaluate, select and oversee implementation of systems to meet requirements.  With the Controller, create and operationalize plans for improving core accounting functions.
  • Metrics and reporting: Drive identification of appropriate metrics and production of reports to give management both the broad overview and in-depth details to make sound financial decisions.  Analyze and interpret the data to help simplify decision making for management. Oversee the production and analysis of Board/donor reports.
  • Budgeting and forecasting:  Lead the annual and long-term budgeting processes. Ensure budgets are created, managed and monitored.  Forecast major sources of revenue and expense to inform short and long-term decisions.  Recommend correction action to the CFO when conditions warrant.
  • Advice and training: Provide financial advice and guidance to organizational leaders, country vice presidents and office administrators to help them become good financial managers who can use and understand financial reports and make revenue and expense forecasts. Ensure appropriate training is in place to inform all employees about Oceana’s fiscal policies and procedures. 
  • Investment and Cash Management:  Implement the investment policy as approved by the Board and senior leadership.  Manage and monitor cash on hand by country, division and campaign in real time. 
  • Risk Management:  Oversee Oceana’s risk management program including the establishment of an internal audit function. 


Job Requirements

Education and work experience:

  • Graduate degree in finance, accounting or economics required. 
  • CPA desirable.
  • Ten plus (10+) years of progressive financial management experience
  • Five plus (5+) years of supervisory experience
  • Experience leading in an international organization through transition and change strongly preferred
  • Fluency in speaking and writing in Spanish is desired


Skills and knowledge:

  • Someone who can be both strategic and hands-on; a leader and a team player; and who likes rolling up their sleeves and getting things done. 
  • Demonstrated experience thinking and acting systemically to identify and solve problems. 
  • Excellent track record in financial and risk management and able to rely on extensive experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. 
  • Experience creating a culture of fiscal and risk management and responsibility at all levels of an organization.
  • Experience implementing technology that has improved financial management, efficiency and/or accuracy.  Experience extracting data resulting in information, that leads to good decision making. 
  • Strong analytical skills that allows for understanding, interpretation and insights.
  • Well-developed written and oral communication skills including the ability to explain technical issues in layman’s terms and to clearly document and communicate policies and procedures. 
  • A leader who ensures a productive working environment and confidently leads, coaches and motivates employees to meet organizational goals.
  • Demonstrates an open and comfortable approach to working with people across levels, function, culture and geography.  Quickly picks up on interpersonal and group dynamics.
  • Ability to effectively prioritize multiple responsibilities.
  • Maintain the highest level of confidentiality regarding discussions and decisions made by Senior Management and take all required actions to ensure that staff adheres to these requirements.
  • High integrity and openness combined with commitment to good governance.



  • Ensures Accountability: Follows through on commitments and makes sure others do the same.  Has a reputation of taking ownership and responsibility for decisions, actions and failures. 
  • Effective Communication: Understands the value of effective communication. Can deliver messages in a clear, compelling and concise manner. Actively listens, checks for understanding and adjusts content and style to meet the needs of different stakeholders. 
  • Manages complexity: Is able to gather data, analyze situations and uncover root causes to problems.  Can distinguish between what’s relevant and what’s not and to evaluate the pros and cons of potential solutions. 
  • Nimble Learning: Takes on the challenge of unfamiliar tasks.  Can quickly adapt to new situations and to draw on past successes and failures to solve current problems. 
  • Builds Effective Teams: Is skilled at creating a feeling of belonging, strong team morale, fostering open dialogue and collaboration.  Establishes common objectives and a shared team mindset.
  • Optimizes Work Processes: Can figure out the processes necessary to get things done.  Sees and implements ways to improve processes, from small tweaks to complete reengineering. 

To Apply: Please attach a copy of your cover letter to your resume.

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