The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA) brings artists and audiences together, presenting contemporary art and culture in ways that illuminate what it means to be a citizen of Chicago and the world. As one of the nation’s largest contemporary art organizations, the MCA is an innovative and compelling center where the public experiences the work and ideas of living artists and engages with the historical, social, and cultural issues of our time. With a $31M budget and staff of 200, the MCA boasts a collection of over 2,000 works, a retail store, a 300-seat theater, and a terraced sculpture garden with a panoramic view of Lake Michigan and offers programming onsite and online through exhibitions, MCA Stage, The Commons, and the MCA Dialogue Series, among others. MCA programs are dedicated to being artist-activated and audience engaged, providing a platform for experimental art and processing cultural shifts that resonate with a range of audiences. The MCA will also be expanding its community engagement in Chicago through a new arts multiplex warehouse located in south or west sides of Chicago.
The MCA believes in the values of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) and is committed to enacting structural change through action. As an aspiring anti-racist organization, the museum continues to expand its capacity to operate in a manner where actions support this commitment through diverse public programming, inclusive leadership, and cross-departmental work. Additional information about the MCA’s commitment to IDEA can be found here.
The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will be the key leader responsible for fueling the fiscal health and sustainability of the MCA and the person charged with providing the financial information, planning, advice and direction that underpins the realization of ambitious institutional and departmental plans. The ideal candidate will operate from a place of “yes” and bring experience, creativity, and a collaborative spirit to their work, quickly becoming a trusted advisor to the Pritzker Director, the executive team, and the board.
This is a significant leadership position with substantial engagement across the organization. In addition to working closely with the executive team, the CFO will staff the Audit, Finance and Investment Committees of the board, providing them with timely information and advice that allows them to fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities to the MCA. The CFO may also work with the Executive and Compensation Committees of the board. The CFO will present regularly at board meetings, delivering updates that are accessible to people with a range of financial experience and knowledge.
• Provide financial leadership and partnership to the executive team, providing counsel for decisions affecting MCA finances, organizational structure, management, and reputation. Ensure that all financial aspects of the MCA are in alignment with overall objectives and reflect the MCA’s core values.
• In conjunction with the Pritzker Director, develop, maintain, and revise an organizational business model which will inform decisions on the maintenance and expansion of the MCA’s operations and mission, including capital campaigns. Partner with the director to ensure strategic management of finance functions.
• Institute rigorous, best-in-class processes in financial planning and analysis, cost management process improvement, metrics, and policy changes. Integrate data collection across departments to meet financial and operational goals. Proactively develop a best practice understanding of the museum profession in general to ensure the MCA stays current in strategic and financial matters.
• Supervise, mentor, train a finance and accounting team of 5 FTEs, including oversight of special projects; establish clear goals and ensure the team has the tools, training, and support to meet them. Set high standards for integrity, accuracy, productivity, professionalism, and cooperation in the workplace.
• Implement, maintain, and revise the multi-year budget process. Ensure organizational resources are appropriately allocated. Develop the capital projects budget and project the impact on the cash needs of the MCA.
• Communicate with and report to the Board of Trustees and relevant subcommittees regarding the annual audit, federal and state tax forms, and quarterly financial updates; ensure information is shared in a way that is appropriate for the audience. Present the annual budget to the Board.
• Oversee the annual audit process and the production of the audited financial statements, including balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. Collaborate with outside auditing firm and the Audit Committee chair on the results and reporting of the required financial activities, including the annual audit, examination of internal controls, and the Federal and State tax forms.
• Serve as a strategic partner to the Chief Institutional Advancement Officer and Director of Development to develop fundraising strategies for annual operating needs and capital campaigns. Institute accounting systems and practices that will allow for management and reporting of gifts and the associated legal and financial restrictions.
• Highly developed leadership, entrepreneurial, decision-making, and people management skills; ability to foster trust and collaboration among team members and trustees and manage through change with flexibility and poise.
• Proven ability to conceptualize and analyze problems and solutions in a proactive, constructive, creative manner that will result in improved performance across the organization; sound problem-solver with excellent reasoning skills, the ability to understand and deal with complexities with ease and creatively overcome obstacles to achieve goals.
• Strong executive presence and proven ability to engender confidence and lead with authority, while also considering contrary points of view.
• Proven experience in budgeting, strategic forecasting, planning, and in overseeing financial, accounting, compliance, and risk management functions.
• Highly skilled at presenting financial information in a clear, confident fashion to a range of individuals with varying levels of financial expertise; quantitative, analytical, and communication skills.
• Ability to forge and maintain effective working relationships with a variety of representatives of public and private organizations, Board members, vendors, and museum staff.
• Curiosity and drive to stay ahead of trends in the museum world to identify new and unique opportunities to serve the mission.
• Strong project management skills and ability to lead multiple, high-profile projects forward and effectively leverage available resources and/or creatively identify new resources as necessary to drive results.
• Ability to delegate authority combined with a willingness to work in a “hands-on” manner as part of a team.
• Ability to prioritize competing and sometimes conflicting demands.
• Unquestioned integrity, ethics, and values.
• MBA, other advanced degree, or equivalent work experience.
• At least ten years of senior-level financial experience in a multi-faceted and highly complex nonprofit or similar cultural institution.
• Initial salary range $205K – $225K. Please note a final offer will account for the selected candidate’s experience while also upholding equity with this position’s peer group.
• Competitive benefits package.
Please send resume and cover letter to MCAChiCFO@pbrsearch.com.
Frequently cited statistics show that women and people from underrepresented groups apply to jobs only if they think they meet 100% of the criteria. If you meet many but not all criteria and feel you may be a good fit for the role, the MCA encourages you to apply. The MCA is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, national origin, ethnic origin, citizenship status, disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital status, veteran statue, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law in its employment policies. In addition, MCA will provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities.