Oct 26, 2022

Chief Finance and Operations Officer

  • 12M Recruiting
  • Portland, OR, USA
Full-Time Administration/Operations Finance/Accounting

Job Description


In the southwest section of Portland sits a premier independent school with both an outstanding reputation and an exciting future. Catlin Gabel has been educating preschool through grade 12 students since 1957, and the two schools that merged to form Catlin Gabel have nearly 100 years of history before that. This progressive institution that runs on an old family farm is a true diverse and inclusive community, with more than 50% students of color. The main campus comprises approximately 70 acres, and the school recently purchased an eight-acre campus just three blocks away that housed a former art college. With this acquisition comes an exciting array of possibilities for Catlin Gabel to expand its program, services, and facilities. On that note, the school has just begun a $30M campaign that will yield a thriving community center for athletics and wellness and add funds to the endowment. In the future, the school will likely undertake additional campaigns to support facility renovations as well as new construction.

Now, Catlin Gabel seeks a chief finance and operations officer (CFOO), reporting to the head of school, to play a critical role for all these major undertakings. On a day-to-day basis, the CFOO oversees three critical finance and operations units--the Finance Department, the Facilities Department, and the Technology Department--each of which has an experienced leader at the helm. Between all that, the CFOO works collaboratively with other leadership team members, including two assistant heads of school, and helps to ensure continued operational improvement across this complex campus. The CFOO also works closely with the head and the board on financial strategy, planning, and analysis. The school hopes to onboard its next CFOO by late January of 2023, to allow for a graceful transition of leadership. 

12M Recruiting is running the search on behalf of Catlin Gabel. Applications are due December 4. For application instructions and the full job opportunity statement, please visit:




Applications Accepted Starting: October 26, 2022

Application Deadline: December 4, 2022

Remote Semifinal Round: Mid-December

On-Site Final Round: Week of January 2

Decision Announced: January 16, 2023

Start Date: January 30, 2023, or later by mutual agreement



Cabinet Leadership

Provide counsel to the head of school, to whom this role reports, and to the board of trustees, and forge collaborative relationships with the Treasurer and the heads of the Audit and Endowment Committees.

Serve as a key executive team member for board committees and task forces including finance, technology, real estate, and compliance and risk management.

Engage and support all members of the Admin Team on financial and/or operational initiatives and decisions that impact or originate within their respective departments.

Work closely with the assistant head for enrollment and external relations and the assistant head of school, both of whom have broad areas of responsibility at the school.


Coordinate and oversee the annual budgeting process, both operating and capital, develop financial models for planning and budgeting, and lead the tuition setting process.

Manage the organization’s relationship with its bankers, and negotiate lines of credit and other credit and debt facilities as appropriate.

Oversee all financial and investment processes, systems, and services — including the audit, tax filings, grant applications, accounting, investments, and cash management — many of which are managed on a daily basis by the controller, who supervises the finance team.


Oversee multiple operational units, including facilities, food service, and technology, each of which is led by a director or a third-party manager that works on-site.

Advise and support the director of human resources, who reports to the head of school, on all matters involving people operations.

Oversee risk management, insurance, vendor contracts and agreements, and leases, and seek to support equitable and inclusive business practices and relationships.

Capital projects and change management

Serve as project manager and/or advisor for capital building projects.

Coordinate planning and design functions among the school, architects, building contractors, and owner’s representatives.

Develop project budgets and monitor spending throughout the design and building phases.

Provide guidance on major change initiatives involving facilities, grounds, transportation, technology, dining services, and other operational aspects of the school.

Incorporate the school’s commitment to environmental sustainability when working with the facilities director on matters related to buildings, grounds, and transportation.

General leadership

Provide training and mentorship to direct reports and their respective teams.

Develop and sustain a positive, productive, and supportive team culture.

Perform other duties as assigned.

Hiring Organization

Catlin Gabel School



Education and Experience

Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred

CPA, or five years of fund accounting experience

MBA, or five years of strategic planning experience

Five years of team leadership experience, including supervising managers or directors

High proficiency using technology for financial analysis, operations management, modeling, and reporting; experience with Blackbaud's Financial Edge desired but not required

Competencies and Qualities

Exceptional communication, collaboration, and relationship-building skills, including the ability to work with board members and school leaders, to contribute positively to organizational morale, and to coach others through change and complexity

Excellent operational management skills, including experience with contracting, purchasing, and project management

Broad-based analytical, problem-solving and leadership capabilities, and an ability to contribute strategically in areas beyond finance and operations

A demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and an understanding of diverse cultures and experiences and an awareness of implicit bias

An ability to create and maintain positive, supportive, and trusting relationships with individuals from diverse backgrounds and positions

An ability to work as a team member to problem solve, compromise, and collaborate, bringing flexibility and the willingness to give and take direction when necessary

Effective meeting facilitation skills, with an ability to monitor interpersonal interactions, foster collaboration, inspire productivity, and design clear decision-making processes

Drive and self-motivation, an ability to multitask, and exceptional business judgment

A desire to work at a progressive, mission-aligned K-12 school in service of a diverse and innovative faculty, staff, and student body.

Good understanding of how to implement, leverage, and/or manage: internal controls, accounting and risk management policies, risk mitigation, and the audit process, including audited financial statements for nonprofits.

Experience developing, implementing, and assessing asset allocation strategies for managing investments and endowments

Working environment, physical requirements, and schedule

Work is primarily performed in an office setting with moderate heat, sound and light.

Work occurs during prolonged periods in stationary position at a desk or on a computer.

This job requires mobility to traverse the campus to attend meetings and events.

This job requires attending off-campus events, as well as occasional out-of-town travel.

This is a full-time, 12-month senior leadership position. The CFOO must be available to represent the School at community-wide events and board-related meetings, which may take place on evenings and weekends. This position includes four weeks of accrued vacation and gets 10 extra holidays to use over school year.

Industry/Service Area




Application Instructions


For more information please visit the following link, which contains the job opportunity statement and complete application instructions.


Catlin Gabel School seeks to employ the best qualified individuals from available applicants and to provide them with opportunity for advancement in a manner that does not discriminate because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, genetic information, or any other status protected under local, state or federal equal employment opportunity laws or regulations.

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