Senior Associate Dean for Finance and Operations, Divisional Business Officer

Washington, United States
21 Sep 2018
End of advertisement period
21 Nov 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Institution Johns Hopkins University

Location Washington, DC

Reporting Relationship Primary Reporting Relationship: Vali Nasr, Dean

Secondary Reporting Relationship: Daniel Ennis, University Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration


Johns Hopkins University

The Johns Hopkins University is America’s first research university founded with the goal to encourage research and advance not only the knowledge of its students but human knowledge in general. The University was established in 1876 by Johns Hopkins, Baltimore’s greatest philanthropist who willed his $7 million estate to fund the University and the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Johns Hopkins University enrolls more than 24,000 full-time and part-time students throughout nine academic divisions.  While Baltimore is the university’s hometown, there are campuses throughout the Baltimore-Washington D.C. area and international locations, including Bologna, Italy and Nanjing, China.  Johns Hopkins is also home to the nation’s largest university affiliated research center, the Applied Physics Laboratory. Faculty and students conduct research on six continents; and more than 20 percent of the university’s students come from countries outside of the United States. Divisions of the University include: The Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, G.W.C. Whiting School of Engineering and the School of Education located on the Homewood Campus in Baltimore, MD; the School of Medicine, the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the School of Nursing located in East Baltimore; the Peabody Institute located in downtown Baltimore and the Carey Business School is located in the Inner Harbor area; the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C.; and the Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland.

The 6,500 faculty and 24,000 students study, teach, and learn in and across more than 260 programs regularly recognized as being among the nation’s best. JHU's undergraduate education is ranked 11th among U.S. "national universities" by U.S. News & World Report for 2018.

The impact of Johns Hopkins reaches into nearly every corner of the globe, conducting research, training, and education at more than 1,300 sites in more than 134 countries. More than 400 undergraduate students study abroad in dozens of countries each year, and more than 193,000 JHU alumni live in 175 countries. Examples of global reach include: the School of Advanced International Studies has campuses on three continents; Jhpiego, a nonprofit health organization affiliated with the University, focuses on improving the health of women and families in more than 155 developing countries; and the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health works to address pressing global health challenges, such as HIV/AIDs and tuberculosis.

Under President Ronald J. Daniels’ leadership, the university is focusing on four major priorities through the remainder of the decade, collectively called the Ten by Twenty. The four priorities are: One University, Individual Excellence, Commitment to our Communities and Institution Building

The School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)

A division of The Johns Hopkins University, the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) is a global institution, with an annual revenue of over $62 million, that offers students a truly international perspective on today’s critical issues. Our strategic campus locations in Washington, DC, Bologna, Italy, and Nanjing, China, provide opportunities to ensure students gain a truly global perspective.

For seven decades, students have distinguished themselves by pursuing academic excellence in international relations. The school was established in Washington, DC, in 1943 and is comprised of three buildings on Massachusetts Avenue. These are the Rome Building, the Bernstein-Offit Building, and the Nitze Building. Classes are held in all three buildings, while the library, student lounge, cafeteria, and most administrative offices are housed in the Nitze Building.

In 1955, SAIS opened its campus in Bologna, Italy, otherwise known as SAIS Europe. For over 60 years, the campus has used its strategic position in the heart of Europe to train leaders in international affairs worldwide. One of Bologna’s nicknames is la dotta – the learned – describing its deep academic tradition as the birthplace of university education in Europe. SAIS Europe is characterized by its international faculty and close-knit community of approximately 200 students, representing over 40 countries.

The Hopkins-Najing Center for Chinese and American Studies (HNC) opened in 1986 and is one of the first Western university programs in the People’s Republic of China in Nanjing. It is described as a one-of-a-kind graduate center for international studies in China that has provided bilingual education and training graduates who contribute to Sino-global relations across a variety of fields. The center is located on the downtown campus of Nanjing University as part of an educational collaboration between the Johns Hopkins University and Nanjing University. Chinese and international students live and learn international relations together in a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to free and open academic exploration and intellectual dialogue. At the heart of the HNC is its superior research library featuring more than 120,000 volumes in English and Chinese and the electronic assets of both the Johns Hopkins University and Nanjing University. International students take most of their courses in Chinese taught by Chinese faculty, while Chinese students are taught by international faculty with courses primarily in English. This target language curriculum is a unique feature of the HNC program that gives our graduates a strong competitive edge in the increasingly dynamic world of Sino-global relations.

SAIS currently enrolls approximately 1,000 full- and part-time students, with annual tuition revenue over $40 million, in a diverse set of master’s, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs.  Presently, there are 95 full-time (tenure and non-tenure) faculty.

The school's mission is to provide an interdisciplinary professional education that prepares a diverse graduate student body for internationally related positions of responsibility; to foster research, scholarship and cross-cultural exchange; and to contribute knowledge, expertise and leadership to the global community.

A Johns Hopkins SAIS education combines the academic depth of a graduate school with the practical policy focus of a professional school. Graduates are known for their interdisciplinary breadth and solid foundation in economics—prerequisites for a successful career in international relations. The result: innovative thinkers and problem-solvers with the economic and cultural expertise to confront complex global challenges.

Dean Vali Nasr

Dean Vali Nasr joined the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies on July 1, 2012. Vali Nasr is a Middle East scholar, foreign policy adviser and commentator on international relations. His most recent book, "The Dispensable Nation" deals with the implications of the Obama administration’s foreign policy on American strategic interests. His previous books, "Forces of Fortune" and "The Shia Revival" examined the postwar sectarian violence in Iraq and the Arab Spring uprising, and contributed to US policy formulated in response to those events. Prior to being named Dean of Johns Hopkins SAIS, Nasr was a professor of international politics at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. From 2009 to 2011, he was the special adviser to the President's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan; he served on the faculties of the Naval Postgraduate School, Stanford University, the University of California, San Diego and the University of San Diego; he was a Carnegie scholar and a senior fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. He also served as an adjunct senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution. Nasr is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He received a PhD in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration, Daniel G. Ennis

Daniel G. Ennis became the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration at Johns Hopkins University in August 2010, reporting to President Ronald J. Daniels.

In this role, Mr. Ennis serves as the university’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer. As CFO, he oversees the offices of the controller; internal audits; investment management; planning and budget; and treasury. As COO, he is responsible for the functions related to corporate security, facilities and real estate, human resources, information technology, purchasing and risk management.

Working with the provost, Mr. Ennis has led a number of initiatives across the institution including the completion of a comprehensive financial risk/liquidity assessment, the creation of an institutional risk management program, the completion of a comprehensive review of benefits, the launch of a university-wide administrative excellence initiative and a significant expansion of the university’s economic inclusion program.

Prior to joining Johns Hopkins University, Mr. Ennis had served since 2007 as Harvard Medical School’s Executive Dean for Administration. Before joining Harvard Medical School, he worked in various key leadership roles at Harvard University, including the Associate Vice President for Finance and Financial Planning, Interim Director of Treasury Management and Director of Budgets, Financial Planning and Institutional Research.

Position Summary

Johns Hopkins University invites nominations and applications for the Senior Associate Dean for Finance and Operations which is the Divisional Business Officer for the School, and as such, serves at the CFO and COO of the School. Reporting directly to the Dean with a secondary reporting relationship to the University’s Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, the Senior Associate Dean will be responsible for strategically leading, planning and organizing the administrative functions of the School.

In collaboration with the Dean and other school leaders, the Senior Associate Dean for Finance and Operations will define key strategic goals by leading management efforts that are responsive to the overall academic priorities and initiatives of the School.  These efforts will play a key role in developing the School’s analytics capacity, making the School’s finance operations more strategic and ensuring data-driven decision-making. 

In the role of Senior Associate Dean for Finance and Operations, the successful candidate will develop critical operational and financial policies, systems, and initiatives essential to creating a sustainable business model for the School. The Senior Associate Dean leads the development and annual updating of the School’s five-year strategic plan and participates in the presentation of this to University leadership.

The Senior Associate Dean will have operational oversight for the administrative areas of Finance, Human Resources, Payroll, Student Accounts, Campus Operations, Security, Institutional Research, and may include some oversight of Information Technology functions. The selected candidate is responsible for promoting the ongoing learning and development of their staff and will serve as a key advisor to the Dean and members of the Dean’s senior management team.

The Senior Associate Dean for Finance and Operations is expected to occupy a prominent leadership role in the School and at the University level, to represent the School’s interests effectively, and collaborate with peers in the other schools and business units on enterprise-level administrative planning.

The Senior Associate Dean works collaboratively with key members of leadership across the institution, including deans, directors, affiliated divisions, institutions, legal advisors, and University Administrative Staff, as well as SAIS faculty and staff. 

Key Responsibilities

  • Works closely with the Dean and school leaders in setting plans and budgets to ensure that strategic objectives and initiatives across SAIS are successfully implemented, managed, and maintained in order to promote a competitive advantage.
  • Develops and coordinates the School’s annual academic and operating budget planning process, forecasts and predicts resource requirements for new and existing programs, and develops funding strategies.
  • Develops analytical tools to measure and improve the efficiency of key operational functions.
  • Works on faculty proposals, special initiatives, and faculty target and operating budget submissions in collaboration with the Dean.
  • Evaluates and advises on the impact of short and long-range planning, and the implementation of new programs and strategies.
  • Creates and maintains a sound financial environment, which includes good business practices. Works closely with unit administrators who process and record financial transactions to ensure timely and accurate financial information, to monitor accounts and resolve problems, to ensure compliance, and to safeguard resources and reduce risks.
  • Ensures that SAIS is a proactive, campus leader in its implementation of new and innovative financial analyses and administrative strategies to maximize all resources.
  • Evaluates and makes recommendations for operational efficiencies across areas and leverages solutions around system management and technology. 
  • Advises the Dean on allocation of funding, hiring plans, annual planning activities, revenue generation and cost reduction strategies.
  • Serves as direct supervisor of Finance, Human Resources, Campus Operations, Student Accounts, Security, Institutional Research, and some aspects of Information Technology by setting performance direction, conducting annual reviews and providing general day-to-day guidance as needed.
  • Sponsors and supports initiatives and efforts to attract and retain excellent staff, and develop and maintain effective and responsive administrative operations throughout the School.
  • Ensures ethical administrative, financial, and business practices in keeping with National Association College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) standards and General Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
  • Serves on special committees and support strategic projects within SAIS and for broader university-wide initiatives, at the request of the Dean or senior leadership.

Experience and Qualifications

  • At least five years (10 years preferred) of progressively responsible financial and business operations experience, preferably in a large, complex and decentralized organization.
  • Understanding of and commitment to the mission of research and teaching in a premier university.
  • Ability to inspire trust and work collegially with staff, faculty members, school and campus officers, university administrators, alumni, students, benefactors, and business partners.
  • Demonstrated strategic leadership, planning, change management and process improvement skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to achieve consensus and influence a wide range of people at various levels to achieve results in a collaborative decision-making environment.
  • Strong supervisory abilities and proven experience in managing and developing high performance teams.
  • Advanced financial expertise in accounting, budget planning and financial forecasting.
  • Advanced expertise in grants and contract administration.
  • Ability to analyze data for budgeting, operations, auditing, accounts receivable and reserve analysis.
  • Extraordinary attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Outstanding writing skills required to create compelling and widely read budget requests, funding agreements and policy documents.
  • Unquestionable integrity, strong work ethic and resiliency required
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion, and ability to attract and lead a diverse workforce.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Finance, Accounting, Business Management, Administration or a related field
  • Master’s degree strongly preferred
  • CPA or CMA preferred

This position specification is a general statement of required major duties and responsibilities performed on a regular and continuous basis.  It does not exclude other duties as assigned.

Johns Hopkins University is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, marital status, pregnancy, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, other legally protected characteristics or any other occupationally irrelevant criteria. The University promotes Affirmative Action for minorities, women, individuals who are disabled, and veterans. Johns Hopkins University is a drug-free, smoke-free workplace.

JH at SAIS - Washington DC