Vice President of Finance and Operations

McKnight Foundation

Posted: 7/11/2019

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: Finance/Accounting

Primary domain: Community/Capacity Building

City: Minneapolis

Postal code: 55401

State: Minnesota

Country: United States

Organization Information:


$20M +


Mission statement:

We envision a world that recognizes the dignity of every human being, a world where we celebrate the creativity of the arts and sciences and come together to protect our one and only Earth. 

Position Details:

Job Description:

The McKnight Foundation (McKnight), a family foundation based in Minnesota, advances a more just, creative, and abundant future where people and planet thrive. Program interests include regional economic and community development, Minnesota’s arts and artists, education equity, youth engagement, Midwest climate and energy, Mississippi River water quality, neuroscience research, international crop research, and rural livelihoods. Founded in 1953 and independently endowed by William and Maude McKnight, the Foundation has assets of approximately $2.2 billion and grants about $90 million a year.

After a recent review of finance, operations, and investments in light of the retirements of two senior staff, McKnight now seeks nominations and applications for the newly created position of Vice President of Finance and Operations (VPFO). This new position will be responsible for leading the integration of the finance and operations functions and related teams into one unit for greater synergies and efficiencies.

Reporting to the President, the VPFO will join a passionate and highly experienced leadership team at a critical moment in the Foundation’s history to help achieve its strategic goals. The VPFO will build and steward strong, integrated systems and practices encompassing finance, operations and relevant compliance in support of McKnight’s mission. This person will be a strategic thinker and proven implementer in bringing about organizational, technical, and service enhancements. Along with the McKnight’s Senior Leadership Team, the VPFO will help to advance the Foundation’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; foster a culture of curiosity, innovation, excellence and purpose in which all staff grow and thrive; and serve as a thoughtful and active ambassador for the Foundation, internally and externally.


The ideal candidate will be deeply committed to McKnight’s mission and understand the critical role that philanthropy plays in advancing social change. While no one person will embody all the qualities enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

  • A minimum of 10 years of strategic leadership and career growth in finance, operational and compliance functions at a similarly complex organization;
  • Demonstrated track record of delivering quality services, organizational improvements, and excellence in strategic, organizational, and budget management along with outstanding stewardship of financial, physical, and human resources;
  • Demonstrated body of work that reflects a commitment to organizational excellence and efficiency, servant leadership, management of collaboration and effective teamwork, and promotion of equity, diversity and inclusion;
  • Clear strategic and operational vision and exceptional skill in synthesizing information and translating vision into action steps for the long and short term;
  • Demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities, navigating change management, and proposing new ways of achieving desired outcomes with inclusive approaches to planning, problem solving, and decision making;
  • Combined experience, maturity level, and flexibility to interact with a broad set of stakeholders, including the Board of Directors, senior level department heads, and staff across the organization;
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills including the demonstrated ability to research, synthesize, and analyze information, compose documents, and present data in a clear and concise manner to appropriate personnel, including top management, program staff, and Board of Directors;
  • Highly developed facilitation, coaching, and engagement skills; comfort with managing diverse group dynamics and leading toward common desired outcomes;
  • Highly developed emotional intelligence and demonstrated ability to use interpersonal skills and political acumen in respectful, collaborative, and diplomatic ways;
  • A strong, intuitive communicator, skillful at managing through influence; demonstrated ability to connect and inspire across stakeholder groups;
  • Passion for the mission-driven sector and the role philanthropy can have in addressing some of society’s most challenging problems;
  • Experience with nonprofits, foundations, and working directly with a private foundation Board of Directors a plus.


Not Specified


Commensurate with Experience

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:

Click here to apply for the opening.

This search is being conducted with assistance from Linh Nguyen, Tamar Datan, Nureen Das, and Javier Garcia of NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. All inquiries should be directed to [email protected]

McKnight Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and proudly values diversity. We encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply.

Posted By: NPAG


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