Director for Finance and Operations

California, United States
Sunday, 22 March 2020
End of advertisement period
Friday, 22 May 2020
Contract Type
Full Time


Job Position: Academic Operations Manager 3

Job Family: Administration

Job Series: Academic Operations Manager

Job Code: 4133

Grade: M

Exemption: Exempt

Reporting to the Precourt Institute for Energy faculty co-directors, serve as Institute’s principal administrative Director responsible for the strategic operational development and broad management of all financial and administrative functions and staff management for the Institute and its energy initiatives and programs. The Director for Finance and Operations works closely with leadership teams for the Institute and its energy units: Strategic Energy Alliance, Stanford Energy Corporate Affiliates, Bits & Watts Initiative, StorageX initiative, Sustainable Finance Initiative, Mexico Clean Economy 2050, Hacking for Defense, Explore Energy, Clean Energy for Economic Development, and TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy.

The Institute’s operations are multifaceted cutting across its many interdisciplinary programs. The position requires significant management and leadership experience to advance the strategic mission of the institute and to successfully achieve the goals of the organization, team, and individual. As a senior member of the Institute’s leadership team collaborate with faculty, senior staff, and management teams to execute the comprehensive strategic objectives of the Institute and its energy units with oversight of all financial activities, operational functions, information technology and web services, and organizational development. This position will also serve as the Institute’s Chief of Staff. Responsibilities include:


  • Provide broad strategic leadership and steer direction for all operational functions
  • Lead, engage, support staff to effect and achieve the Institute’s goals and objectives
  • Lead all financial operations across the Institute and its energy initiatives and programs
  • Foster a positive work culture developing strong teams and strengthening morale
  • Cultivate strong collaborative relationships with faculty, university leadership, and staff
  • Represent the Institute’s interests and mission with internal and external stakeholders
  • Serve as Chief of Staff between the faculty directors and the team, steer staffing plan, champion organizational development, solve problems and deal with issues before they are brought to the directors


  • Serve as key contributor in strategic planning to advance mission of the Institute
  • Advise faculty leadership on Institute affairs and planned future developments
  • Facilitate faculty research objectives and development of new research initiatives
  • Plan and manage financial strategy, oversee consolidated budget and reporting
  • Lead hiring practices and promote methods for coaching, evaluating, and retaining staff
  • Lead Institute HR functions for faculty, staff, researchers, scholars, and students
  • Resolve complex management and operational issues and implement internal policies
  • Ensure the availability of adequate information technology and web services


  • Execute on strategic goals and objectives translating concepts into effective actions
  • Identify solutions and design best practices to increase workflow effectiveness
  • Build infrastructure services, tools, and processes to further growing organization
  • Administer financial practices and drive approaches to enhance financial models
  • Innovate procedures to improve efficiencies and manage internal controls
  • Direct facility and information technology resource planning and implementation
  • Ensure Institute adheres to all administrative policies to uphold university compliance
  • Ensure a safe environment for staff and visitors to the Institute

Candidates must have a proven record for managing and developing business operations, and leading teams and projects. Skills and attributes include:

  • Broad operations experience and solid business acumen
  • Effective leadership and organizational management
  • Strong ability to cultivate and manage trusting relationships
  • Experienced financial planning, forecasting and budget analysis
  • Proficient strategic planning and creative problem solving
  • Innovative and proactive approach to process management
  • Astute analytical, communication, and negotiation skills
  • Intuitive interpersonal skills connecting people and purpose
  • Insightful ability to influence people, hone vision, and inspire
  • Sensitive to issues and adept to tactfully resolve conflict
  • Empathetic, supportive, and responsive to needs and goals
  • Positive, engaging, diplomatic and collaborative interaction style

The Director for Finance and and Operations is key in overall strategic leadership and internal management having substantial impact within the organization. The Director will have oversight for managing the operations of the Institute, translating concepts into effective actions, continuing to build the Institute’s services, and leading staff to meet the ambitions of a growing organization.

There are many new plans for the future of the Precourt Institute and managing this operationally complex organization will require sophisticated and strategic management experience. The Director position touches every activity and interacts with the leadership for all its energy research programs and initiatives. This position will be responsible for the overall operational activity and planning of the Institute and its numerous connected energy units, and leading the administrative development of its staff and organizational culture.

To be successful in this position, a candidate for this role should have significant skill with managing diverse teams and relationships, be solution-oriented, and have exceptional people skills with a propensity to serve and lead. This is a service-driven role.

Note: Not all unique aspects of the job are covered by this job description


Provide strategic direction for the administrative and operations-related functions for a large department, multiple departments or programs within a school. Achieve research and teaching mission and goals through the management of staff and/or managerial staff. Partner with and/or influence faculty leadership on departmental affairs.


  • Direct staff and provide leadership to achieve goals and vision of the organization. Responsible for hiring and retaining staff, career coaching, personal development for direct reports and accountable for the performance of employees. 
  • May independently or in collaboration with human resources managers, direct faculty supervisors and managers in the interpretation and implementation of human resources policies, procedures and programs.
  • Independently initiate and create strategic plans for organization or program(s) managed. Make recommendations that may impact the unit's academic and research capabilities. Identify and resolve strategic issues of substantial significance that affect the overall functioning beyond the immediate unit, consult and advise senior leadership. Oversee allocation of all resources. 
  • Manage the direction of internal academic and administrative policy development for programs and administrative operations. 
  • Oversee and/or manage the finances across all sources for the annual budget cycle, including developing, monitoring, analyzing forecasting and reporting to ensure the financial success of the organization.
  • Manage and coordinate grants and contracts for the department. Ensure compliance with institutional and external requirements.
  • Advise senior management on programmatic and policy development. May provide input to university leadership on institutional academic and administrative policies and guidelines. 

* - Other duties may also be assigned


Education & Experience:

Bachelor’s degree and seven years of relevant experience in administrative and financial management, or combination of education and relevant experience.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Demonstrated leadership and supervisory, planning and change management skills.
  • Excellent planning and organizational skills.
  • Excellent communication skills. Able to influence people, solve problems, troubleshoot, think creatively and resolve conflicts.
  • Advanced financial expertise in accounting budget planning, and financial forecasting.
  • Advanced expertise in grants and contract administration.
  • Advanced analytical and problem-solving skills Strong knowledge of industry standards and/or regulatory requirements.
  • Strong negotiation and effective interpersonal skills.
  • Attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Advanced expertise in business and management computer applications and databases.
  • Subject matter expertise for area(s) of responsibility.
  • Ability to multi-task and manage deadlines.

Certifications and Licenses:



  • Constantly perform desk-based computer tasks. 
  • Frequently sitting. 
  • Occasionally stand/walk, writing by hand, use a telephone, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh 11-20 pounds.
  • Rarely sort/file paperwork or parts, rarely twist/bend/stoop/squat. 

* - Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.

The job duties listed are typical examples of work performed by positions in this job classification and are not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Specific duties and responsibilities may vary depending on department or program needs without changing the general nature and scope of the job or level of responsibility. Employees may also perform other duties as assigned.

Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.


  • Occasional evening and weekend hours.


  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University’s Administrative Guide,

Additional Information

  • Schedule: Full-time
  • Job Code: 4133
  • Employee Status: Regular
  • Grade: M
  • Requisition ID: 86402