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Executive Director, Tax-Hybrid Schedule


Executive Director, Tax-Hybrid Schedule

  • 533378
  • Manhattanville
  • Controller
  • Full Time
  • Opening on: Jan 20 2023
  • Grade 16
  • Job Type: Officer of Administration
  • Bargaining Unit:
  • Regular/Temporary: Regular
  • End Date if Temporary:
  • Hours Per Week: Full Time
  • Salary Range: $170,000.00-$245,000.00
The salary of the finalist selected for this role will be set based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to departmental budgets, qualifications, experience, education, licenses, specialty, and training. The above hiring range represents the University's good faith and reasonable estimate of the range of possible compensation at the time of posting.

Position Summary

Reporting to the Vice President, Finance & Controller, the Executive Director, Tax is responsible for the leadership and management of the university’s Tax Department.  Overseeing a team of four and working with internal and external constituents, the Executive Director has the following responsibilities.  Please also see “Scope Expansion” section for additional responsibilities that would be considered based on the candidate’s experience.


  • Overseeing a team of four and working with internal and external constituents, the Executive Director:

    • Advises university management on tax regulations, changes, or proposals including the impact on operations and recommends modifications to procedures or operations in response to such changes and participates in any implementation
    • Serves as a business advisor on various university operations including payment functions; various tax or compliance filings; and other potential business arrangements,
    • Participates in designing tax strategies and planning with various university stakeholders including the Office of the General Counsel (OGC),
    • Manages the annual 990 and 990T preparation and filing process for Columbia University and certain affiliated entities, ensuring accurate data gathering and analysis is performed,
    • Reviews the adequacy of accounting provisions, tax reserves, and deferred income taxes,
    • Conducts compliance reviews risk assessments, and make recommendations around existing filing requirements such as 1099’s, W-2’s, 1042, 1098 and escheatment processes,
    • Oversees the development and implementation of efficient and effective compliance reporting and processes for tax and other regulatory matters,
    • Develops training, communications, or educational/advisory materials to educate or assist the university community in meeting their responsibilities on tax related matters,
    • Supports Columbia Investment Management fund managers and OGC on taxable transaction related issues by identifying tax planning opportunities, mitigating exposure when possible and recommending tax effective methods or processes to be implemented,
    • Ensures international tax compliance by partnering with schools and business units, OGC, and across Finance to identify and monitor compliance with country specific requirements,
    • Oversees international payroll processes and compliance for expatriate employees and partners with internal constituents to address international employment / hiring needs,
    • Directs the tax department staff ensuring personnel resources are appropriately engaged and trained; establishes department goals and measures and reports progress,
    • Performs other related duties and special projects as assigned.  

      In addition to the tax responsibilities described above, the scope of the role could be expanded, at the start or at a later date, to include oversight of the Payroll team. Working in close partnership with the Human Resources Process Center, the team ensures accurate, timely, and controlled payroll is disbursed to over 30,000 employees. The team also ensures proper withholding and remittance of a variety of withholdings including federal, state and local taxes, and garnishments; supports any related audits; develops and maintains all University payroll operations policies and procedures; identifies opportunities for process improvement and is able to lead the design and implementation of enhancements; develops payroll training materials and provides on-going guidance to school and department administrators; interprets and administers state and federal regulations on pay and taxation, with related reporting to various government agencies and vendors; ensures a high level of employee service is provided; manages vendors who provide key payroll operational services; and other related duties and special projects as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree required;
  • A minimum of eight years related experience required including supervisory experience required.   three years of non-profit/exempt organization experience, complex academic or research institution.

Preferred Qualifications

  • CPA, MBA, JD, or Masters in Taxation highly desirable. 
  • At least three years of non-profit/exempt organization, complex academic or research institution experience preferred.

Other Requirements

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) required.

  • Excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication skills, including active listening skills, plus the ability to work closely and effectively with a diverse group of senior University administrators, characterized by strong consensus building and relationship building skills, essential. 

  • Must be able to negotiate issues, resolve problems and have strong influencing skills.

  • Experience in developing and directing compliance practices and procedures and familiarity with computer-based accounting systems required. 

  • Strong technical skills in financial analysis, reporting and accounting, along with demonstrated analytical skills to examine processing problems and develop reasonable and practical solutions, required.  

  • The successful candidate must have sound judgment, with an open and collaborative style of leadership that encourages teamwork and cooperation, and a strong role model, manager and coach. 

  • Must have a passion for excellent customer service and commitment to exceptional quality.

  • In addition, if the scope is expanded to include payroll, experience working with large payrolls (5,000+ employees) and with PeopleSoft (or similar ERP) required.

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

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

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