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Asylum Access

Chief Financial Officer

About Asylum Access

Asylum Access is a human rights advocacy organization that supports forcibly displaced individuals and communities as they reclaim their rights, agency, and power. Their unique combination of legal empowerment, policy advocacy, and global systems change creates conditions in which refugees can live safely, move freely, work legally and go to school. Their work transforms the traditional approach of endless humanitarian handouts into a sustainable solution that honors refugees’ freedom, dignity, and autonomy, and equips them to make choices about their own lives.

Asylum Access’ global team and family of local civil society organizations advocate to make human rights a reality for refugees throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Their national organizations are led and staffed primarily by community members in those countries, and there is strong mutual trust and respect between them and their clients. On the international stage, they work with established institutions to shift the global system to better uphold and promote refugees’ human rights. They can help catalyze and lead systemic transformation because, uniquely among NGOs in the refugee response sector, they focus exclusively on rights and governance. 

About the Role

The Finance Department at Asylum Access is in charge of planning, organizing, controlling, and monitoring financial resources to achieve organizational goals. It also ensures the financial integrity of the organization and produces high-quality financial assessments to inform organizational strategy.

In all of these areas and in their day-to-day work, they embed Asylum Access’s values of being results-oriented, resourceful team members who value their people and partners. These values shape their financial governance, structure, systems, and processes to ensure the organization is equipped to achieve impact on the personal, community, and systemic levels. 

Purpose of the Role

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will provide strategic, people, and systems financial leadership at Asylum Access. The CFO will design, in partnership with the Global Finance Director, the infrastructure, systems, and process to prepare Asylum Access for substantial growth over the coming 5 to 10 years, and will bear the primary duty to implement and roll out new systems.  As a member of the Global Leadership Team (GLT), the CFO will be involved in initiatives targeted to provide a clear financial strategy and systems for sustainable and conscientious growth. The organization seeks a strategic CFO with a track record of organizing a growing organization to meet future expansion.

Duties and Responsibilities

Strategic Leadership

  • Provide strategic data- and people-oriented financial recommendations to the GLT and Board for org-wide decision-making on a regular basis, and during important planning periods such as annual planning and strategic planning. 
  • Provide effective and timely communication of critical financial information and recommendations regarding the financial health, results, and condition of the organization, including relevant trends, forecasts, risks, and opportunities to the GLT and Board.

People Leadership

  • Work across departments and subsidiaries on effective stewardship and management of organizational resources, assuring advancement of team priorities and fulfillment of organizational goals.
  • Build a strong culture of finance-informed management across the organization, including between and within each national organization and global programs teams.
  • Strengthen the existing finance team to align finance management capacity with strategic plans.  Where necessary, recommend team structure adjustments.
  • Support the HQ finance team to implement their key roles which include:
  1. Overseeing the annual budget process, monitoring revenue and expenses, and enforcing budget accountability. Managing budgeting, financial forecasting, and cash flow for management and board.
  2. Overseeing existing accounting cycles.
  3. Managing external audits, including subsidiaries and grant audits.
  4. Developing successful relationships with grantees/subgrantees and creating and sustaining an environment that maintains these relationships. Establishing meaningful relationships with external partners and stakeholders. 

Systems Leadership

  • Oversee the development of the org-wide grant financial system in close partnership with the Global Finance Director, Grants Finance Manager, and COO.
  • Support the development of KPIs for the finance team for financial forecasting.
  • Support the development of a compliance framework and management system, and draft or update policies for compliance with regulatory bodies and donors, as necessary. 
  • Together with Board liaisons, develop a system for the effective management of Asylum Access’s investment portfolio in accordance with policy and guidance from the Board Finance Committee. Create a risk assessment for opportunities for investments to build a sound investment portfolio.
  • Develop a system to examine short and long-term goals plus existing and projected financial resources available at a given time to create data-based budgets and forecasts to ensure alignment of org-wide goals with existing and projected resources.
  • In close partnership with the Global Finance Director, be a major thought partner to the GLT to increase sustainable revenue growth.
  • Support the development of capitalization / long-term asset-based planning as needed

Skills and Experience

  • Previous significant work experience in a senior NGO management role that includes financial oversight and collaborative work with other senior staff members on cross-cutting organizational goals,  priorities, and initiatives.  
  • Previous significant work experience in finance/accounting roles. 
  • Experience building, coaching, and mentoring high-performing, diverse teams with multiple layers. Proven track record in change management. 
  • Experience in collaborative, shared-leadership environments.
  • Previous experience interfacing with a Board of Directors on financial and strategic matters.
  • Demonstrated skills in integrating technology and systems to improve accounting productivity and accuracy.  
  • Knowledge of Office Suite and Excel, and familiarity with financial software such as NetSuite and Concur. 
  • Experience in a multi-location international nonprofit organization.
  • Demonstrable competency in thinking about diversity, equity and inclusion in relation to the financial management of an international organization.
  • Dedication to results, with a “can-do” attitude and mindset. Outstanding problem-solving ability. Excellent logical, communication, and presentation skills. 
  • Proven motivational and staff coaching ability. Outstanding sense of accountability and integrity.

Candidates who have experienced forced displacement are strongly encouraged to apply

Hours and Location of Work 

The CFO is a full-time position that can be based in Canada, the US (California, Texas and New York preferred) and Latin America. Candidates should be aware that some flexibility regarding working hours is required in order to take off-hours calls and meetings with international colleagues.