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  • Requisition no: 507381
  • Work type: Full Time
  • Location: Morningside
  • School/Department: School of International and Public Affairs
  • Grade: Grade 14
  • Categories: Finance/Accounting, General Administration, Human Resources, Stdnt Affairs/Educational Admn

Position Summary

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Finance & Administration (DFA) is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Center on Global Energy Policy, including budgeting, financial operations, human resources, and general operations.

The DFA assumes responsibly for the development, entry and supervision of the $9M+ budget and oversight of all projects in the department. The DFA is responsible for a variety of HR related functions, including recruitment, hiring, onboarding, leave management, the performance management process, and payroll. The DFA directly supervises and hires all finance, human resources, and administrative staff in the Center. This position is a hands-on finance and operations management position that plays a substantial role in partnering with departmental leadership while simultaneously requiring attention to day-to-day transactions and regularly performed analyses.


Financial Operations and Budget

  • Provide strategic financial planning and forecasting to the Executive Director and Founding Director by capturing and analyzing data to inform financial decisions of the department. Advise on and perform budgetary analysis and modeling to forecast future financial needs/resources.
  • Responsible for budget submission, quarterly updates and other regular and ad hoc reporting. Oversee and monitor the budget and fiscal operations, including long- and short- term planning.  Conduct variance analyses and report on the same to the SIPA Finance Office and the University’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
  • Provide oversight and direct the department's accounting practices, maintain financial management reporting and control systems, monitor department expenses, and ensure compliance with University/affiliate policies, procedures and regulations.
  • Oversee procurement and accounts payable operations in the department. Supervise staff involved in the procurement process and work closely with other departmental supervisors to ensure that all staff engaged in procurement and accounts payable activities are properly trained and that purchasing takes place smoothly and in a compliant manner.
  • Act as the department’s primary approver of most financial transactions, including purchase requisitions, invoice payments, employee reimbursements, pcard purchases, journal transfers, cost transfers and salary distributions. Serve as the departmental resource on financial transaction process as well as policy compliance and good accounting practices.
  • Arrange coverage for financial functions during staff absences as needed.

Human Resources

  • Oversee all human resources activities of the Center, including supervision of the Assistant Director of Human Resources and Finance. Working closely with the SIPA Human Resources Office, supervise creation of job postings, recruitment efforts, hiring proposals, background checks, onboarding, requests for SIPA IT network access, UNI creation, benefits access, timesheet distribution/collection, and time and attendance reporting.
  • Review all Center hiring transactions for full- and part-time Officers of Research, and Administration, for Support Staff, and for hourly employees for preliminary approval.
  • Approve biweekly payroll for student employees, up to 20 per semester.
  • Oversee all compensation related financial matters, including budget variances, budget adjustments, and effort reporting on grants. In coordination with Assistant Director of Human Resources and Finance, initiate corrective actions as required.
  • Lead the performance management process for the department, ensuring compliance from all managers. Advise on personnel recognition and troubleshoot performance issues.
  • Organize trainings for learning and development, the annual staff retreat, and culture building activities.
  • Coordinate with the SIPA Office of Academic Affairs on appointing full time and adjunct research faculty. 
  • Liaise with SIPA HR, Columbia HR, and HRPC as necessary.


  • Supervise the administration team and ensure the smooth operation of the department, including general office management, IT and other technical needs, facility requests, maintenance, repairs, and minor construction.
  • Responsible for development, updates, and ongoing maintenance and administration of the Center’s Salesforce database, including coordinating stakeholders to improve processes and implement changes.
  • Demonstrate day-to-day leadership and guidance to staff by proactively managing and providing clear, timely and SIPA- and University-compliant guidelines on a wide range of administrative and financial matters.


Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor's degree. Minimum of 5 years of relevant experience. Prior supervisory and leadership experience required. Excellent customer service skills. Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite (e.g., Excel, Word, Outlook).   

Preferred Qualifications

Experience with financial and human resources administration and related processing/coordination functions essential; strong analytical and organizational skills; strong interpersonal skills in order to deal effectively with varied clients, management groups and vendors; ability to analyze and coalesce data from multiple systems and present it in a straightforward format; ability to identify solutions to complex problems; skilled with financial systems including spreadsheet preparation and presentation; self-starter with ability to manage multiple priorities in a fast-paced environment and work independently. Prior experience in higher education, or a similar complex environment highly preferred. Prior experience working with collective bargaining agreements and unionized staff, and familiarity with personal and medical leaves, FMLA, NYSL and PFL provisions and salary continuation policies highly preferred.  


Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.

Applications open: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:

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