Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Senior Advisor, Finance and Accounting Services in Seattle, Washington
The Global Financial & Accounting Services (GFAS) division is a growing team with an increasing breadth of responsibility. The foundation continues to grow in its global footprint and in the complexity of its work. The GFAS team is scaling up to support this important work. The team’s vision is to provide innovative and scalable global business solutions in accounting, tax, payroll, financial reporting and financial operations while safeguarding the reputation of the foundation and our related entities, with the highest standards of integrity and operational excellence.
GFAS is a division within the Finance organization at the foundation and an important part of the operations function. Operations supports and enables the five program teams to make investments and to run effectively and efficiently. As a function, Finance employs approximately 100 FTE’s. The GFAS division is responsible for financial reporting processes, technical and advisory services, internal controls, and the accounting functions at the foundation.
Leadership and Culture
We believe that energized people, working well together, fueled by great leadership in an inclusive environment in which they thrive, will do phenomenal things.
The Senior Advisor is a leader, problem solver, trusted business partner, and mentor. Manages and coordinates complex GFAS work activities that are highly visible internally and externally. The Senior Advisor is responsible for the following:
Cross-Foundation Projects (80% of the role)
Represent the GFAS team on cross-foundation projects. Guide teams by clarifying impacts and outlining requirements related to payroll, tax, accounting, insurance, treasury, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and employee incurred expenses. Collaborate with GFAS team members to ensure they understand how they will be impacted. Examples of projects include: finding innovative solutions to global hiring challenges, evaluating and implementing changes to regional office structures to expand permissible activities, and setting up new entities/offices/remote work locations.
Provide functional expertise to operations and program teams on complex investments, new regulatory requirements, and global employment of foundation staff, including related business risks and potential mitigation.
Manage the GFAS portion of cross-foundation projects, including communications with GFAS leadership on project status and resource needs.
Research & Analysis (20% of the role)
Research and provide guidance on best practices and process improvements for the GFAS functional areas.
Develop tools to streamline guidance and organize research information.
Document the impacts of cross-foundation projects on the financial operations of the foundation and its related entities.
While this position has no direct reports, this position works in a highly matrixed environment and works closely with the following internal and external stakeholders:
Internally: Regularly works closely with GFAS staff and members of other foundation operations teams.
Externally: Ability to network and share best practices with other peer organizations. Work closely with external advisors to research complex transactions and issues.
The ideal candidate has a blend of the following skills and experiences:
Strong financial and analytical background with focus on skills that facilitate decision making.
Knowledge of financial principles and processes, with ability to navigate complex environments.
Demonstrate excellent leadership, intellectual quickness, creativity, curiosity, discipline and resourcefulness.
Understanding of financial operations (payroll, tax, accounting, insurance, treasury, accounts payable, accounts receivable, internal controls and employee incurred expenses), and willingness to learn more about the functional areas.
Understanding of operational processes and policies at the foundation and how they support the programmatic work.
Experience planning and managing projects of high importance and visibility.
Demonstrated ability to communicate complex financial concepts to partners with diverse backgrounds, including leadership, program staff, and other foundation operational resources.
Advanced degree with 7+ years of experience. Previous experience working at or closely with the foundation, particularly the GFAS team, is strongly preferred.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
Excellent communication and relationship building skills.
Strong initiative, organizational skills and ability to work autonomously and cross-functionally while remaining flexible to changing tasks, priorities, and roles and responsibilities.
Project management and negotiation skills.
Actively listen to and learn from others.
Models professional courage– engages in trust based debate, asks hard or unpopular questions, and is willing to say no.
Intellectually curious with solution orientation and the ability to identify new ways of working.
Strong analytical, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Ability to educate and influence peers and leaders in the organization on the critical financial operation implications of a new initiative.
Applicants for this role will only be considered if they possess current US Work Authorization, and do not require employer-sponsored VISA support to begin or remain in this role.
As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is dedicated to the belief that all lives have equal value. We’re committed to creating a workplace where employees thrive both personally and professionally. We also believe our employees should reflect the rich diversity of the global populations we aim to serve—in race, gender, age, cultures and beliefs—and we support this diversity through all of our employment practices.
All applicants and employees who are drawn to serve the mission of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will enjoy equality of opportunity and fair treatment without regard to:
Prior Protected Activity
Guided by the belief that all lives have equal value, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation pride ourselves in being ‘impatient optimists’ whose purpose is to work to reduce inequity. Our vision is to ensure a world where every person has the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life. We have four missions to:
Ensure more children and young people survive and thrive;
Empower the poorest, especially women and girls, to transform their lives;
Combat infectious diseases that particularly affect the poorest; and
Inspire people to take action to change the world.
Key to enabling these missions is our commitment to science and innovation, collaboration and partnership, measurement and rigor, as well as optimism and risk taking. Based in Seattle, the foundation has a worldwide staff of 1,500 people and is led by CEO Mark Suzman and co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. We have offices in the United States, Europe, India, China and Africa.