Managing Director & Controller

17 days ago
Full time role


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of ...

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Job Description


NRDC is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. NRDC was founded in 1970 and our people helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act and many of the implementing regulations. Today, our team of more than 700 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy advocates, communications experts, and others work across the United States and the globe from our offices in Bozeman, Montana; Chicago; New York; San Francisco; Santa Monica; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.


NRDC is seeking a Managing Director Controller to work with the Finance and Accounting team in our any of our US offices.

Position SummaryLocation: This role can be based in one of NRDC’s existing US offices in New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, or San Francisco. NRDC operates in a hybrid office model. We offer NRDCers flexibility; we ask them to come into the office and spend meaningful time there in collaboration with their colleagues.


Reports to: Chief Financial Officer


Reports: Accounting team (Assistant Controller, Senior Director of Financial Reporting, and Accounts Receivable Manager, managing a total team of approximately 15)


The Controller will:

  • Be responsible for the oversight of all accounting and associated external and internal reporting activities, serving alongside the CFO as staff liaisons to the Audit Committee.
  • Supervise all day-to-day accounting operations, including functional responsibility over accounts payable, accounts receivable/revenue, payroll, tax, and the accounting aspects of investments, fixed assets, and grants administration.
  • Take a strategic approach to ensuring that NRDC has effective systems, processes, and procedures in place to support an effective internal control framework and facilitate the annual audit.
  • Contribute to enterprise risk management and efficient business processes.
  • Lead and evolve the accounting team as a strategic, client-focused, innovative, and responsive function.
  • Work closely with Finance, program and/or functional unit leaders and their staff, not only to educate them regarding accounting procedures, but also to explore how the Accounting and Finance Department, as a unit, can strategically support their priorities and operations through effective collaboration and financial program reporting.


Accounting Leadership: 

  • Oversee all accounts, ledgers, and reporting systems; ensure compliance with appropriate US GAAP standards and the applicable regulatory requirements, including tax compliance and reporting, as well for China and India where NRDC has a presence. 
  • Implement consistent accounting policies, practices, and procedures across all programs, upholding federal, state, and local legal standards by remaining knowledgeable about existing, new, and forthcoming legislation and updates to nonprofit accounting guidance relevant to NRDC. 
  • Develop and enforce internal controls and safeguards pertaining to the receipt of revenues (donor gifts), costs, and program budgets and actual expenditures and manage the month-end and year-end accounting close process, including all internal and external financial reporting requirements. 
  • Oversee all external audit activities (e.g., financial statement, pension, and compliance audits, as applicable, and oversee the preparation of all required tax forms and such other regulatory reports/audits that might be required).  
  • Provide historical inputs for financial planning processes such as budgeting and financial forecasting, cash flow projections and grant management. 
  • Present NRDC financial reports and performance to senior leadership and the CEO, Executive Team, and Audit Committee as appropriate. 


Strategic Finance Leadership: 

  • Develop and own the strategic vision for the Accounting function, in the context of the strategic goals of the Accounting & Finance department and broader institutional priorities, lead both cultural and structural change management initiatives. 
  • Continuously assess and evolve the internal control framework to adapt to the evolving nature of NRDC’s programmatic activities and growth, including the implementation of best practices  
  • Address NRDC’s needs through increased and effective communication and leading cross-functional effective change management initiatives to reduce risk and improve efficiency.    
  • Support the review and reimagining of the internal control infrastructure, automation, and workflows, in order to: 
    • Enhance Impact: Become a function that enhances strategic decision-making and resource allocation, and aligns grant management with NRDC’s strategic priorities; and 
    • Evolve Mindset: Cultivate a strong client-centric orientation to help influence decisions and outcomes. Partner with cross-functional stakeholders to advance NRDC’s strategic priorities. 
  • Lead financial systems and workflow optimization and modernization, building a robust financial infrastructure that enables actionable financial forecasting and strong data analysis to drive strategic decision making, efficient donor reporting, and integration of real-time finance and accounting information to sustain future growth. 


Team Leadership  

  • Empower and develop the team, enhance manager effectiveness, and build a culture of innovation and evolution, to improve the cohesion and productivity of the group.  
  • Serve as an integral member of the leadership of the Accounting & Finance team and a senior member of Operations, contribute to the culture and effectiveness of the larger Accounting & Finance function and Operations. 
  • Set the tone for a positive risk culture, which is defined as a set of encouraged and acceptable behaviors, discussions, decisions, and attitudes toward taking and managing risk, and creating an environment of trust and productivity.   
  • Leverage the strengths of the current accounting team members, help to clarify roles and responsibilities, and develop and implement training programs to maximize and reach optimal individual and organizational goals. 
  • Foster a team culture that values diversity and promotes equitable, inclusive practices.  
  • Strengthen internal communications with staff at all levels throughout the organization, creating and promoting a positive and supportive work environment. 
  • Perform performance appraisals – include honest feedback and actionable items to improve performance, mentor and coach team members. 


Professional Experience: 

  • A seasoned leader with 10-15+ years of accounting and finance experience, ideally beginning in accounting and auditing, followed by experience gathering, evaluating, presenting, and reporting financial information to executive teams and external stakeholders.  
  • Experience in a complex nonprofit, which has multiple programs, is strongly preferred. 
  • Strong knowledge of internal controls, not-for-profit accounting, and compliance coupled with good risk judgment. 
  • Demonstrable experience successfully leading financial system re-engineering and workflow improvements, including selecting and overseeing accounting and reporting software installations that optimize actionable financial forecasting and strong data analysis. 
  • Extensive experience coordinating audit activities and managing reporting, accounts payable and receivable, general ledger, payroll, and accounting for investments, fixed assets, and donor gifts (restricted, unrestricted, pledges, charitable gift annuities, endowments, etc.).  


Key Competencies 

  • Understanding of, and commitment to, NRDC’s mission as well as a demonstrated desire to contribute meaningfully to organizational culture. 
  • Exhibits a strategic, innovative mindset and a strong institutional orientation; ability to develop a strategic plan and execute effectively. 
  • Ability to build strong relationships cross-functionally, demonstrating strong collaboration skills and the ability to communicate clearly and persuasively across teams and cultures. 
  • Personal qualities of integrity and credibility; a proactive, hands-on strategic thinker who will own, in partnership with the CFO and others, as appropriate, the responsibility for accounting operations and lead the team. 
  • A working knowledge of what NRDC does and how it fulfils its mission, including grants management as it relates to compliance and reporting of government and foundation grants to inform the accounting control framework, workflows, and processes. 
  • Keen analytic, organizational, and problem-solving skills which allows for strategic data interpretation, risk identification and remediation versus simple reporting; an appreciation of how the accounting function fits into the broader institutional context. 
  • Strong stakeholder engagement, interpersonal and communication skills; experience in effectively communicating key data, including presentations to senior management, the board, the Audit Committee, the Finance Committee, or other outside partners; ability to collaborate and partner with other functional leaders.  
  • Ability to build a dedicated team: commitment to recruiting, training, developing, and retaining a diverse team; the foresight and ability to delegate accordingly and operate an effective, high-performing team.  
  • Commitment to diversity and an appreciation for different perspectives, experiences, and traditions; passionate about creating an organizational culture that reflects equity, diversity, and inclusion in action. 



  • Bachelor’s degree. 
  • Active CPA. 



  • As needed, to support institutional events and activities 


NRDC is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in our work and in our workplace. We believe that celebrating and actively welcoming diverse voices and perspectives is essential to solving the planet's most pressing environmental problems, and we encourage applications from candidates whose identities have been historically under-represented in the environmental movement.


We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.


We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a supportive working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and is commensurate with skills and experience. For this position, the salary is $200,000 to $240,000. Internal equity considerations will be reviewed before making a final offer.


Our offices are open and we are operating in a hybrid model. We offer NRDCers flexibility, we ask them to come into the office and spend meaningful time there in collaboration with their colleagues.  We call this purposeful presence.


As a science-based organization, NRDC aims to do our part to help contain the COVID-19 public health crisis. For the sake of health, safety, and equity, we ask that people be vaccinated unless they have an approved medical or religious accommodation or other exemption in accordance with state and local law. We consider a person to be vaccinated two weeks after receiving one full course of a CDC-approved vaccine. In accordance with state or local law, new hires will be asked to attest to vaccination, those wishing to do so may request medical or religious accommodations or other exemptions via NRDC Employee Relations. NRDC treats all vaccine-related data confidentially, in keeping with local, state, and federal laws.


To apply, visit and upload your résumé and cover letter. Please mention where you saw this posting and upload any additional materials that showcase your abilities. Due to the high volume of applications, we will contact only those candidates we would like to interview. Please no phone calls, emails, or in-person résumé drop-offs.


If you experience technical problems while applying or if you are a person with a disability and need assistance applying online, please reach out to iCIMS Customer Care at 1-800-889-4422.


For more about NRDC, visit

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of ...

View Company Profile