Finance and Operations Manager

California, United States
11 Jan 2021
End of advertisement period
11 Mar 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

Job Family: Administration
Job: Administrative Services Manager 1
Job Code: 4121
Grade: H
Exemption: Exempt

Are you interested in the intersection of ocean science and policy and want to be part of building solutions for current and future ocean issues? If so, the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions, an initiative of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, invites you to apply as a Finance and Operations Manager to enhance our visibility and reach within our portfolio of collaborative projects.

The Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions (COS) catalyzes research innovation and action to improve the health of the oceans for the people who depend on them the most. COS capitalizes on Stanford’s broad expertise in ocean science and in the many other disciplines crucial to developing ocean solutions including engineering, computer science, political science, design and business. Our core team of researchers partner with other research institutions, national and international non-governmental organizations, businesses and governments, as well as established and emerging leaders in the data revolution.


The Finance and Operations Manager will manage the Center’s financial and administrative operations to ensure effective financial and budget reporting, day-to-day operations and administration, coordination and planning across all programs to further the goals set by the Center and to ensure effective reporting, coordination and planning with the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. The Finance Manager will participate in strategic evaluation of operational challenges and opportunities, including long-term funding plan across our five key initiatives including: Oceans & Food Security, Sustainable Ocean Economies, Small-scale Fisheries & Technology, Managing Ocean Risk, and Curbing Illegal Fishing and Forced Labor in the Seafood Sector. 

The Finance and Operations Manager reports to COS’s Deputy Director, collaborates closely with the COS Managers and Co-Directors as a member of COS’ Senior Staff, and partners with the Woods Institute’s Associate Director for Finance and Administration and broader Woods finance team.


Administer, support, and manage programs or functions under general supervision.


  • Independently implement, administer and evaluate day-to-day activities of the unit, function or program by identifying and executing tasks and objectives, making recommendations that impact policies and programs, and assigning resources to achieve the goals of the program.
  • Collect and analyze data, create reports, review and explain trends; formulate and evaluate alternative solutions and/or recommendations to achieve the goals of the program or function.
  • Analyze and interpret policies; develop, revise and implement procedures for program or function.
  • Represent the program or function as the key contact and subject matter expert within the department, unit or school. Commit resources and provide information and/or training. May also represent the program or function to external/internal stakeholders and constituencies.
  • Organize and/or participate in outreach activities that may include developing communications and training, planning/promoting events and/or conferences.
  • May participate in development of budgets, monitor, and approve expenditures. May perform limited forecasting and provide recommendations that determine the budget.
  • May direct staff to perform various tasks and assignments. May also supervise staff.

* - Other duties may also be assigned

Specifically, the Finance and Operations Manager has responsibility for:

Research Administration

  • Preparing budgets and submitting proposals to private, non-federal and federal sponsors;
  • Preparing periodic financial reports to sponsors, monitoring budgets, allowable expenditures, and facilitating closeouts


  • Preparing annual budgets under the direction of the directors at the Center and the Woods Institute for the Environment;
  • Monitoring and reporting budget variances at least quarterly, and as needed for board and committee meetings;
  • Developing and monitoring long-term financial status for wasting endowment, proposing budget improvements to directors


  • Inputting payroll allocations for all staff in the various university systems;
  • Monitoring and confirming allocations monthly with unit managers;
  • Ensuring payroll compliance with sponsored projects

Financial Transactions

  • Approving expenditure transactions and reimbursement requests
  • Approving funding sources for new hires
  • Managing account payables and receivables


  • Managing day-to-day operations of COS, including facility related issues, in coordination with the operations of the Environment and Energy Building
  • Serving as liaison with the research / administrative staff located at Hopkins Marine Station
  • Supervising COS’ administrative staff
  • Coordinating with the Woods Institute on HR matters as it relates to COS recruitment efforts, academic appointments, fellowships, etc.


Education & Experience

Bachelor's degree and three years of relevant experience or combination of education and relevant experience.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize own work and multi-task.
  • Demonstrated excellent organizational skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative and ownership of projects.
  • Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Ability to routinely and independently exercise sound judgment in making decisions.
  • Demonstrated experience working independently and as part of a team.
  • Relevant subject matter knowledge.
  • Ability to direct the work of others, for jobs requiring supervision.

Certifications and Licenses



  • Constantly perform desk-based computer tasks.
  • Frequently stand/walk, sitting, grasp lightly/fine manipulation.
  • Occasionally use a telephone.
  • Rarely lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh 11-20 pounds.

* - 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.


  • Routine extended working hours during peak cycles; travel to school/unit sites across university


  • 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,


This is a full-time, continuing position. The Finance and Operations Manager will be based at our Palo Alto office at Stanford University. The salary and benefits are competitive within the field and are based on candidate experience.  

To Apply: To be considered, interested candidates will provide a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references.

Deadline: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning on November 30, 2020. The position will remain open until filled.

Please note a background check will be required for all final candidates. For more information, please visit our website at

COS strives to nurture diversity in our work to develop robust solutions to ocean challenges. We aim to make our projects inclusive, to engage diverse perspectives, and to equitably represent those whom our solutions affect.

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.

Additional Information

  • Schedule: Full-time
  • Job Code: 4121
  • Employee Status: Regular
  • Grade: H
  • Requisition ID: 87689

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