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Director, People, Finance & Administration

Job Description

The world’s biggest social problems are complex, multi-faceted, and pervasive. No academic center, company, or organization can solve systemic issues – such as economic inequality, inequitable access to health care and education, and racial discrimination – alone. We need leaders with different skills and experiences to come together to generate fresh insights, evidence, and action to make progress.

Stanford Impact Labs – a major initiative at Stanford University – invests in mission-driven teams of researchers and practitioners from government, business, nonprofit organizations, and philanthropy. These teams (we call them impact labs) work together on social problems of their choice, where practical progress is possible. With our support, these impact labs rapidly develop, test, and scale new solutions to social problems that affect millions of people worldwide. Learn more about our work at https://impact.stanford.edu/ .

Stanford Impact Labs (SIL) is an equal opportunity organization strongly committed to racial and social justice. To that end, we particularly encourage people from underrepresented backgrounds to apply for open positions. Please submit your resume and a cover letter through the Stanford Career Portal .


Stanford Impact Labs (SIL) is hiring a Director of People, Finance and Administration. In this role, you will design, deliver, and improve strong systems, processes, and practices for finance, people, and administrative operations. The Director of People, Finance and Administration will support the Executive Director at a unique time of dramatic growth in the organization, with a team and operating budget that has doubled over the past 12 months. Your work will establish best practices, support continued growth and compliance, and inform decision-making about SIL’s future, in ways that allow our startup team and culture to thrive within the demands of a 132 year-old institution. Specifically, the Director of People, Finance and Administration will lead the following areas of work:

Leadership and Management

?     Serve as a key member of the leadership team shaping growth and impact of SIL, providing evidence-based recommendations about spending, procurement, hiring, recruitment, retention, facilities, and continued oversight of impact labs’ financials.

?     Directly oversee the strategy, management and continuous improvement of all SIL people, financial and administrative operations to ensure compliance and enable impact.


?     Develop, improve, and maintain financial models to manage the $15+ million annual operating budget, and to inform SIL’s programmatic expansion

?     Lead annual budgeting process. This involves coordinating across six functional teams, identifying areas of concern, and building processes for timely completion and oversight

?     Responsibly steward and optimize the use of funds, and monitor financial health to accomplish the SIL mission of social impact.

?     Build internal systems for contracting and procurement that allow SIL to make decisions quickly and pay vendors on time, and support SIL staff in working with vendors and contractors.

People Operations

?     Lead the implementation of SIL’s talent strategy to inclusively and equitably attract, hire, retain, and grow a diverse team

?     Improve SIL recruiting, outreach, hiring, retention, and performance management processes by identifying and solving inefficiencies, reducing bureaucracy, and applying a human-centered approach based in evidence and best practice

?     Refine onboarding and offboarding processes, and serve as key liaison between SIL and Stanford Humanities & Sciences HR.

?     Identify and implement ways to build and maintain a healthy and positive team culture

?     Build and implement professional development strategies for SIL Staff

?     Support SIL Directors and Managers as they seek to recruit, hire, and support staff, by providing guidance, administrative support, and problem-solving

?     Lead postdoc appointment process for SIL postdoctoral fellowship program, in coordination with host labs

?     Lead Stanford and USCIS visa applications process for SIL staff, in coordination with the Bechtel Center, Humanities and Sciences HR, and other Stanford units, to ensure timely completion and submission of necessary documents

General Administrative Operations

?     Serve as point of contact with key partners in finance, HR, facilities, and other administrative offices at Stanford Humanities and Sciences, as well as Stanford’s Office of Development liaisons.

?     Develop and administer training for SIL staff for finance, budgeting, CRM maintenance, hiring, submitting transactions and reimbursements, and other administrative processes.

?     Supervise, coach, and develop the Operations & Finance Administrator 

?     Develop and implement best possible practices in software licenses, and the use of office space and facilities, that are right-sized for Stanford Impact Labs and fall within the boundaries of University policy.

?     Collaborate with SIL and Humanities and Sciences staff to ensure accuracy and timeliness of SIL’s Salesforce CRM database, create annual reports, and develop donor-facing materials.

Investment Operations

?     Maintain prudent and fit-for-purpose financial management policies for a diverse portfolio of partners and awardees.

?     Support Investments & Accountability team in their selection process, overseeing the honoraria process for reviewers and investment committee members, and reviewing proposal budgets to identify questions and discrepancies

?     Support Stanford Impact Labs’ grantees by providing ad hoc financial management support and developing proactive guidance to our impact labs to anticipate common financial management roadblocks

?     Support the review of Stanford Impact Labs’ portfolio of investments by analyzing labs’ financials and generating insights into use of funding


?        You are excited to build and optimize organizations. You have demonstrated experience developing and improving the processes and systems required to grow organizations.  You have a meticulous eye for improving outcomes of your work, and for the organization. You are excited to innovate, and are open to testing and learning what works (where, when, for who, and why). You are at home in a lean start-up environment, with the ability to stay focused and nimble in the face of rapid change.

?        You are a skilled finance and administrative professional with 5+ years of experience and a track record of success. You have experience both creating and tracking financial models, and doing the day-to-day work of ensuring timely, accurate, and compliant financial systems.

?        You are committed to expanding into people operations. While you may have little experience of people operations, you are willing to learn and grow in this new and exciting field to shape/curate/maximize the employee experience of 15 (and growing) dynamic team members.

?        You are versatile and are willing to roll up your sleeves. You love wearing multiple hats, and the thought of switching from strategizing about recruitment for a new position, to troubleshooting a contracting snag with a vendor, to presenting to leadership on the financial health of the organization (all before lunch!) excites you. You are able to both plan and execute, and you are motivated by our “no task too small” culture. You care about the little things without losing sight of the big picture.

?        You are a collaborative team member and leader. You have experience advising leadership, providing evidence-driven recommendations, and managing teams. You are comfortable building trust-based relationships and partnerships to deliver shared goals. You have a track record of teamwork and leadership, especially across different ways of working. You have experience reconciling multiple, diverse viewpoints to negotiate across internal and external stakeholders.

?        You are an effective communicator. You are capable of communicating effectively and compassionately both verbally and in writing to understand and advocate for competing needs, inquire about workarounds, and influence and persuade people. You have experience documenting complicated processes in ways non-experts can understand, and clearly explaining the reason behind any changes to policy or procedure. You have demonstrated experience explaining complex financial concepts to different audiences, and have trained team members in financial and administrative best practices.

?        You are a flexible, resourceful, and well-organized project manager. You have a proven track record of coordinating multi-faceted and complex projects, including the ability to anticipate issues, develop proactive solutions, and engage the right people to support and champion success.

?        You are a leader, invested in team members’ and other stakeholders’ growth and development. You have the ability to provide training, coaching, and mentoring for staff on new policies and processes. You have management experience and are eager to coach and develop a lean team. You are eager to build approaches to professional development outside your immediate team, for a larger organization.

?        You are a catalyst for racial and social justice work. You care about social inequities and systems of oppression. You have a demonstrated track record of working effectively across lines of difference. You are committed to centering equity and inclusion in programs and practices.


?        Familiarity with Stanford’s financial and administrative systems, including Oracle Business Intelligence (OBI), PeopleSoft, Stanford’s gift processing transmittal process, labor schedules, labor distribution adjustments, SeRA and sponsored research policies, Taleo and other hiring and appointment processes and webforms, space oversight databases, and more.

Research shows that many applicants who would be successful in a position are reluctant to apply unless they meet every listed requirement. We encourage applications from candidates who do not meet all the listed requirements, but who believe they have the ability to grow and thrive as the first Director of People, Finance and Administration at Stanford Impact Labs.


We will review applications on a rolling basis and encourage interested candidates to apply as soon as possible. We plan to stop accepting applications May 17th, 2023. Please submit the following through Stanford’s online jobs portal. 

?     A 1-2 page resume highlighting examples of relevant skills and experiences

?     In lieu of a cover letter, please send us responses to the following questions:

1.    Tell us what energizes and excites you most about the Director of People, Finance and Administration role, why you think you are particularly well-suited for the role and how it ties into your longer-term goals.  [300 words max]

2.    What will be your biggest challenge in this role and why? [250 words max]

The hiring process will involve:

?     A take home exercise for shortlisted candidates intended to assess some of the core competencies required to succeed in this role,

?     Two interviews for further shortlisted candidates,

?     A day-long work trial intended to give 1-2 finalist candidates a sense of what working at SIL is like.

?     We will check references for final candidates only.

Learn more: To ensure equitable access to information about this job, we will not be holding informational interviews. Instead, we encourage all interested candidates to join us for an open webinar, on Wednesday, April 26th , where we’ll provide more information and take questions. You will be able to register in advance or view the recording of the webinar at: https://impact.stanford.edu/people/careers-opportunities .

The expected pay range for this position is $95,000 to $134,000 per annum. Stanford University provides pay ranges representing its good faith estimate of what the university reasonably expects to pay for a position. The pay offered to a selected candidate will be determined based on factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal equity, geographic location and external market pay for comparable jobs.

This position is classified by Stanford University as an Academic Services Administrator, Job Code 4122, Grade J. Other duties may also be assigned, not all unique aspects of this job are covered by this job posting.

Why Stanford Impact Labs is for You

We’re a small and growing team working towards a game-changing mission, we bring thoughtful excellence to our work and to how we work together, seeing and valuing each other as more than just “people we work with”. Our team loves working here because of the meaning they derive from the work, the people they get to do the work with (colleagues, partners, stakeholders), the culture of collaboration and atmosphere of trust, openness and care, as well as the hybrid work environment.

Why Stanford is for You

Imagine a world without search engines or social platforms. Consider lives saved through first-ever organ transplants and research to cure illnesses. Stanford University has revolutionized the way we live and enrich the world. Supporting this mission is our diverse and dedicated 17,000 staff. We seek talent driven to impact the future of our legacy. Our culture and unique benefits  empower you with:

?        Freedom to grow. We offer career development programs, tuition reimbursement, or audit a course. Join a TedTalk, film screening, or listen to a renowned author or global leader speak.

?        A caring culture. We provide superb retirement plans, generous time-off, and family care resources.

?        A healthier you. Climb our rock wall, or choose from hundreds of health or fitness classes at our world-class exercise facilities. We also provide excellent health care benefits.

?        Discovery and fun. Stroll through historic sculptures, trails, and museums.

?        Enviable resources. Enjoy free commuter programs, ridesharing incentives, discounts and more

We anticipate this position playing a leading role in the organization during its period of growth. We view this role as a multi-year position beginning with a one year fixed-term that may be renewed annually. This position will be based on the Stanford campus and is a hybrid position, with 2-3 days of in-person work and 2-3 days of remote work per week.

The job duties listed are typical examples of work performed by positions in this job classifications and are not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, tasks and responsibilities. Specific duties and responsibilities may vary depending on department or program needs without changing the general nature and scope of the job or level of responsibility. Employees may also perform other duties as assigned.

Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of their job.

Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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