Director of Finance

Energy Foundation ChinaSan Francisco, CA/Flexible

The Organization

Energy Foundation China’s vision is to achieve prosperity and a safe climate through sustainable energy. Its mission is to achieve greenhouse gas emissions neutrality, world-class air quality, energy access, and green growth through transforming energy and optimizing economic structure. They deliver their mission by serving as a regrantor, facilitator, and strategic advisor.

With a view to assisting China in coping with development, energy, environment, and climate challenges, EF China supports policy and standard research, capacity building, and international cooperation across seven fields: power, industry, transportation, cities, environmental management, low carbon economic growth, and strategic communications. In addition to the sector-by-sector work, the Foundation also contributes to crosscutting and integrated issues that have big impacts on China’s decarbonized development through six task forces: Long-Term Strategy for Decarbonization, Belt and Road Initiative, Track II Cooperation, Electrification, Air Quality, and Urbanization.

Previously known as the China Sustainable Energy Program, EF China was initiated in 1999 with funding from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation as part of the Energy Foundation US (EFUS). EF China has achieved steady growth due to increasing commitments from a number of funders, reaching cumulative grantmaking through 2019 of more than US $330 million for 2,893 projects operated by over 760 grantees, including leading policy research institutes, academies, industry associations, local energy efficiency institutions, and NGOs in China and abroad. As part of this growth trajectory, EF China now operates as an independent organization while maintaining strong ties to its sister organization, EFUS. A majority of EF China’s nearly 50 staff sit in Beijing, with a small team sharing the EFUS office in San Francisco, CA.

To learn more about EF China, visit their website.

The Opportunity

Energy Foundation China seeks a finance professional with the aptitude to successfully handle a variety of strategic finance and accounting resposibilities with rigor, attention to detail, and an ever-present focus on compliance, scalability, and efficiency. This new position reports directly to the Chief Operating Officer in Beijing.

The Director will join the organization as it builds out the US-based finance team, designed to support Foundation-wide finance capacity in partnership with the Beijing Finance team. The Director will leverage a moment of organizational transition to reflect on financial systems and processes used to date, then iterate, refine, and optimize the finance work to authentically reflect the specific needs of EF China. The Director will play a critical role in ensuring proper processes, reporting, compliance, quality control, and data management across finance. The Director will also provide required finance and accounting expertise to meet the highest standards of compliance with US donor and tax regulations.

Key Responsibilities

Financial Planning and Management

  • Drive forecasting, budgeting, variance reports, and data analysis with a particular eye towards IRS and GAAP compliance
  • Develop financial management policies for EF China US Office, including but not limited to: payment procedure, fixed assets management, etc.
  • Lead and own monthly and year-end close process; prepare and publish month-end and year-end financial statements
  • Proactively conduct analyses to provide financial insights and recommendations to staff, leadership, and the Board
  • Oversee cash management across brokerage and checking accounts, develop and implement investment policy, potentially partnering with the external advisors
  • Oversee accounting and record keeping functions, including but not limited to: revenue recognition, bill pay, weekly wire transfers, and journal entries

Business Operations and Systems

  • Manage and administer the existing US-based accounting and budgeting systems
  • Collaborate with internal stakeholders to define the ideal future structure of EF China’s systems; identify, design, and implement potential new systems to better meet the needs of EF China
  • Plan and implement quality assurance and quality control procedures over financial transactions and reporting
  • Develop and document business processes and accounting policies to maintain and strengthen internal controls, with an eye towards continuous improvement and best-in-class business practices, while considering the organization’s tailored business needs and culture in China

Audit and Reporting

  • Prepare financial management reports for the EF China Board, Audit Committee, Management Team, and other stakeholders to support the development and execution of organizational strategy
  • Partner with the Strategic Partnerships team to develop both standard and customized donor budgets and reports, and communicate to donors as needed
  • Manage schedules and control narratives for audits; act as primary contact for auditors; review, track, and implement audit recommendations
  • Prepare annual 990 and other regulatory reporting, alongside Director of Grants Management, in-house Legal Counsel, and external audit, tax, and legal advisors

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate is detail oriented and a strategic thinker who has the ability to map daily responsibilities to EF China’s overall mission, goals, and donor needs. Comfort pivoting from day-to-day accounting to high level financial strategy work is essential, as is a willingness to adapt one’s skills to the most relevant needs of the organization as it moves through this transition. It will benefit candidates to have experience driving organization-wide accounting and finance process and systems changes.

The Director of Finance will possess strong business and financial acumen that has been refined by working in dynamic, growing, global non-profit or philanthropic organizations. With experience scoping and implementing policies, procedures, and financial systems, the successful candidate will bring a depth and breadth of experience that will allow them to successfully navigate complexity and nuance.

The Director is an approachable expert—a person who speaks with confidence, and is able to effectively share their opinions along with the information required to bring others along. The successful candidate must have excellent verbal and written communication skills and routinely demonstrate sound judgment along with the highest levels of confidentiality, discretion, and tact. It is imperative that the Director possess the personal maturity, intellectual dynamism, and business acumen to be effective in an independent culture that demands significant personal responsibility.

While Mandarin language skills and an understanding of Chinese culture are preferred, they are not required. Experience working internationally and in cross-cultural contexts is essential due to the close collaboration between the Director and colleagues in Beijing. Given the remote nature of the role, this individual will need to be comfortable working across time zones and managing work streams accordingly.

Minimum Qualifications

Candidates must have a minimum of ten years of finance and accounting experience. Experience working in nonprofit or foundation accounting is required. Candidates must also bring exceptional analytical and Excel skills, and knowledge of working with general ledger functions, accruals, fund classification, month-end and year-end close, and assessing, implementing, and managing financial systems. Systems used by EF China include Adaptive, Fluxx, and NetSuite. A bachelor’s degree in accounting and experience conducting business across cultures is required.

The Director of Finance will ideally be located in San Francisco, or potentially at one of the EFUS offices in Washington DC, Raleigh, Chicago, or Las Vegas. This position requires the ability to flex hours to work across time zones.

To Be Considered

Energy Foundation China is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. To be considered, please submit your resume and a cover letter expressing your passion for the mission and fit for the role.

The search for a Director of Finance is being assisted by a team from GoodCitizen: 

Alison Kaneko
Search Director
Direct: 415.678.5001
alison@goodcitizen.com

Celene Haque
Senior Associate
Direct: 206.462.6189
celene@goodcitizen.com