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Chief Financial Officer

About the Position

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will be responsible for managing, monitoring, and maintaining the day-to-day and long-term finance and budgetary aspects of the ABF. The CFO will be a strategic thought-partner and report to the Executive Director of the ABF. The position is a hands-on and participative one that will lead and develop an internal team to support all areas of the ABF including: finance, business planning and budgeting, faculty activity, pension and other retirement plans, capacity building, human resources, administration, and IT.

The CFO will play a critical role in partnering with the senior leadership team in strategic decision making and operations as the ABF continues to enhance its quality programming and build capacity.  The role has a significant level of responsibility and requires confidentiality and discretion in all areas of ABF business.

Responsibilities:

Financial Management & Reporting

  • Analyze financial data and present financial reports in an accurate and timely manner for the Executive Director, Board, budget managers and faculty; clearly communicate monthly and annual financial statements with the appropriate level of budget variance analysis and recommendations for corrective action.
  • Manage organizational cash flow and forecasting.
  • Oversee all financial, project/program and grants accounting (federal and private foundation grant management).
  • Prepare analyses on various topics as requested by the Executive Director or Board members.

Annual Budget /Strategic Planning

  • Lead the annual budgeting and planning process in conjunction with the Executive Director and Board committees, with presentation of preliminary and final approval versions to the Board.
  • Meet with all budget managers and faculty to determine appropriate level of budgeted expense.
  • Administer and review all financial plans and approved budgets.
  • Participate in long-term strategic planning for the ABF’s financial future.

Audit/Form 990 Process

  • Oversee the annual audit process including the preparation of IRS Form 990 and state tax returns; manage the Accounting Manager’s activities in these areas.
  • Liaise with Audit Manager and Audit Partner of the external audit firm. 
  • Review audit report and tax forms with senior leadership.
  • Ensure Board has proper access to the Form 990 prior to filing.

Indebtedness

  • Ensure indebtedness has been properly approved prior to contacting banks for indicative terms.
  • Solicit bids and negotiate best terms from relationship banks.
  • With Executive Director and Legal, review documentation prior to execution.
  • Ensure funds from indebtedness are used for the approved purpose.
  • Ensure interest payments and principal repayments are remitted in a timely fashion.
  • Ensure all covenant compliance and other required reporting are delivered within established deadlines.

Investments

  • Work with external investment advisory firm and senior leadership to ensure the ABF investment portfolio is invested within Board-approved allocations by asset sector.
  • Monitor value of endowment regularly, keep Executive Director and to the extent necessary, relevant Board members, apprised of significant changes, and work with these individuals and the investment advisor to ensure corrective action is taken, as warranted.

Policies and Procedures

  • Update, improve and implement all necessary business policies and accounting practices.
  • Enforce all finance-related policies and accounting practices.     

Other

  • Implement a robust contracts management and financial management/reporting system; ensure that the contract billing and collection schedule is adhered to and that financial data and cash flow are steady and support operational requirements.
  • Act as the ABF Fiscal Manager for federal and private foundation grants.
  • Work closely and transparently with all external partners including third-party vendors and other institutional relationships.
  • Monitor and administer employee retirement benefits, including pensions plans.
  • Other duties as required.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance and/or business management required; MBA or CPA highly preferred.
  • Ten years minimum financial management experience is required, nonprofit management highly preferred.
  • Experience with investment portfolio management preferred.
  • Ability to interact well with academic professionals, Board members, and other ABF personnel.
  • Exceptional organizational ability, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
  • Direct supervisory experience highly preferred.

Work Environment

This job operates in a professional office environment.  This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, filing cabinets, and fax machines.

Physical Demands

This is largely a sedentary role; however, some filing is required.  This would require the ability to lift files, open cabinets, and bend or stand as necessary.  This position requires the ability to move/lift up to 10 pounds.

Position Type and Expected Hours of Work

This is a full-time exempt position.  Generally, days and hours of work are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with a 1-hour lunch period.  Occasional work outside of these hours is expected in connection with Foundation events, such as participation in Board meetings.

Other Duties

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. 

EEO Statement

The ABF is firmly committed to providing equal employment opportunities. All decisions regarding the terms, privileges, and/or conditions of employment, including but not limited to hiring, classification, grading, recruitment, discharge, discipline, compensation, selection for training or apprenticeship, promotion, renewal of employment, tenure or terms, and benefits, will be made without unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, order of protection status, marital status, disability, military status, unfavorable discharge from the military, sexual orientation, pregnancy, gender, gender identity, housing status, parental status, source of income, certain arrest or criminal history records, genetic information, protected activity (such as opposition to or reporting of prohibited discrimination or harassment), or any other status or classification protected by applicable federal, state, and/or local laws. The ABF prohibits discrimination, retaliation, and harassment of individuals on any of the bases listed above and any other basis protected by applicable federal, state and/or local law.

To receive consideration, please send a cover letter and résumé to as follows:

Email subject line: Chief Financial Officer   

American Bar Foundation

750 North Lake Shore Drive 4th floor

Chicago, IL 60611

No phone calls, please.


ABF/JPB Fellowship Program Coordinator

The American Bar Foundation seeks a Program Coordinator to provide support for the day-to-day activities of our new ABF/JPB Foundation Access to Justice Scholars Program (“Program”), which is expected to run through October 2022. This position is contingent upon grant funding.

Duties of the Position:

Program support (50%)

  • Prepare and disseminate ads for the scholarship posting
  • Act as the primary point of contact for applicants and respond to inquiries about the program
  • Process applications for scholarship program using an online recruiting tool (Interfolio)
  • Support the scholarship advisory committee in the screening and final selection of scholars
  • Serve as administrative point of contact for scholarship advisory committee, which includes printing, compiling meeting materials, and assisting with any requests
  • Serve as administrative point of contact for incoming scholars; work with Manager of HR Operations on onboarding and support
  • Process expense reimbursements for scholars, mentors, and advisory committee
  • Update website with current scholars’ bios
  • Assist the ABF Communications team with dissemination of the Scholars’ work to news media, funders, the academy, and other stakeholders

Event support (30%)

  • Assist with conference and meeting planning, including scheduling, travel arrangements, ordering catering, convening virtual meetings, working with IT team for any AV support requests, and occasionally staffing evening or weekend events

Grant administration (15%)

  • Assist the ABF’s Grants Officer with:
  • Monitoring the scholarship program’s compliance with contractual award terms and budget
  • Tracking data on key metrics to evaluate the scholarship program
  • Performing prospect research on foundations, federal agencies, and corporations that might offer funding opportunities to further support the scholars’ research

Other duties as assigned (5%)

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree
  • High proficiency in MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Proficiency in web-based applications
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • The ability to think critically
  • Ability to manage competing priorities
  • Attention to detail
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative; self-starter
  • Ability to interact with scholars and academic professionals at the international level

 Preferred Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated interest in access to civil justice, law, and/or inequality issues.
  • Familiarity with grants administration and/or academic scholarship programs.
  • Familiarity with Interfolio.

Work Environment

This job operates in a professional office environment.  This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, filing cabinets, and fax machines.

Position Type and Expected Hours of Work

This is a full-time non-exempt position.  Generally, days and hours of work are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with a 1-hour lunch period.  Occasional work outside of these hours is expected in connection with Foundation events, such as participation in meetings, conferences, symposia, or other program events.

Other Duties

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. 

EEO Statement

The ABF is firmly committed to providing equal employment opportunities. All decisions regarding the terms, privileges, and/or conditions of employment, including but not limited to hiring, classification, grading, recruitment, discharge, discipline, compensation, selection for training or apprenticeship, promotion, renewal of employment, tenure or terms, and benefits, will be made without unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, order of protection status, marital status, disability, military status, unfavorable discharge from the military, sexual orientation, pregnancy, gender, gender identity, housing status, parental status, source of income, certain arrest or criminal history records, genetic information, protected activity (such as opposition to or reporting of prohibited discrimination or harassment), or any other status or classification protected by applicable federal, state, and/or local laws. The ABF prohibits discrimination, retaliation, and harassment of individuals on any of the bases listed above and any other basis protected by applicable federal, state and/or local law.

To receive consideration, please send a cover letter and résumé to as follows:

Email subject line: ABF/JPB Scholars Program Coordinator 
American Bar Foundation
750 North Lake Shore Drive 4th floor
Chicago, IL 60611

No phone calls, please.

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