CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER - REPORTERS SHIELD
Skoll World Forum
Location: Remote, within 6 hours of UTC+0 time zone required.
Application Deadline: Open until filled.
We are seeking an astute finance professional to provide strategic financial leadership to an innovative insurance-based legal defense non-profit that protects investigative reporters worldwide against legal harassment.
Legal harassment, particularly SLAPP suits (“Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation”), has long been used by the rich and powerful to intimidate journalists, human rights defenders, and independent media. SLAPPs are on the rise and impose a significant burden on those targeted. Reporters Shield is a new global program that aims to defend investigative reporting against such harassment by covering the costs of lawyers to defend cases and respond to threats, and by offering pre-publication review in high-risk circumstances. Its ultimate goals are deterring bad actors from waging these suits and strengthening the field of investigative reporting.
Reporters Shield was developed by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and the Cyrus Vance Center for International Justice. It is set up as a membership organization open for all media organizations that publish on issues of public interest and who engage in investigative reporting. Its design draws on lessons learned by journalists at OCCRP, who have had dozens of SLAPP lawsuits brought against them and their collaborators. Work on Reporters Shield started in 2021, and in 2023, it was registered in the United States as an organization with a global remit. In addition to membership income, IJD receives financial support from governmental human rights funding mechanisms and from charitable foundations.
This is a new position within an organization that has the potential to transform the investigative journalism ecosystem globally. Working alongside the Executive Director, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will play a key role in setting the organization’s direction and ensuring its long-term sustainability.
The CFO will provide strategic financial leadership by rigorously assessing the financial implications of IJD’s mission, clearly communicating that assessment to the other members of the leadership team, and ensuring that IJD has adequate financial resources to fulfill its mission.
IJD is a start-up expected by its founders and funders to expand rapidly; its growth plan assumes that it will have approximately 200 member organizations within 3 years. The CFO will help IJD manage this growth successfully by ensuring that the financial systems and processes of all group entities are robust, enabling IJD to quickly and efficiently fulfill its financial obligations towards its members, and to provide financial reporting and analysis as required to internal and external stakeholders in a timely fashion. Currently accounting services for IJD Vermont I and II are provided by AIG, but it is anticipated that as IJD grows, some or all of these services will be brought in-house. The CFO will ensure that this transition is managed smoothly.
Key functions of the role include:
Planning and Strategy:
– Analyze the financial implications of the organization’s strategy and mission.
– Develop and maintain the organization’s long-term financial forecast.
– Communicate the financial implications of the organization’s strategy and mission to other members of the senior team clearly, enabling the senior team together to make financially well-informed strategic decisions.
– Evaluate financial performance and advise on necessary adjustments, including adjustments of membership fees.
Budgeting and Reporting:
– Lead the annual budgeting process and regularly update forecasts.
– Oversee the preparation and presentation of accurate and timely financial reports, including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements.
– Monitor actual financial results against budgets and forecasts.
– Recommend corrective actions when necessary.
– Develop appropriate tools to assess the organization’s financial risks, including the financial risk profile of its membership.
– Manage the organization’s risk exposure by assessing financial risks and recommending appropriate mitigation.
– Ensure that the organization maintains adequate reserves.
Cash and Investment Management:
– Manage the organization’s cash flow and liquidity.
– Support the organization’s Investment Committee, including by ensuring that resources are invested in compliance with the organization’s investment policies, and by preparing assessments of the organization’s investment managers.
– Ensure that the organization maintains sufficient balances of liquid resources, in compliance with the organization’s investment policies.
– Ensure compliance with all relevant regulations and reporting requirements.
Audit and Internal Controls:
– Implement and maintain strong and appropriate internal financial control systems.
– Oversee internal and external audits.
– A bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or a related field.
– Ability to think strategically, including the ability to provide sophisticated analysis of strategic plans.
– In-depth knowledge of relevant accounting standards.
– Strong leadership skills.
– Proficiency in financial software and tools.
– Strong communication skills, including the ability to communicate complex financial information clearly.
– Extensive experience in financial management at senior level.
– Master’s degree in finance, accounting, or a related field (MBA or MFinance) and/or CPA certification.
– Experience in the insurance industry, or a demonstrated ability to analyze and manage pooled financial risk.
What’s In It For You?
– Competitive compensation with ongoing recognition of success.
– Leadership position in an innovative organization that is at the forefront of protecting investigative journalism worldwide.
– Being able to work from home.
– Working with a small and friendly team.
To apply, please email your CV as well as a Cover Letter explaining why you would be the best candidate for this position to jobs[at]occrp.org
All applications must be submitted in English. Incomplete applications will not be considered. We regret that the high number of applicants greatly exceeds our capacity to respond to each person. We apologize that we will not be able to reply to any unsuccessful applicants and are unable to sponsor work visas. Reporters Shield staff are hosted by the Journalism Development Network, Inc. As an equal opportunity employer, JDN values having a diverse workforce and strives to maintain an inclusive and equitable workplace. We encourage people from all different backgrounds to apply. We do not discriminate against any person based upon race, religion, color, national origin, sex, medical conditions, family status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, disability, genetic information, or any other legally protected characteristics. If you are a qualified applicant requiring assistance or an accommodation to complete any step of the application process, please contact info[at]reporters-shield.org