Chief Financial Officer

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is a key member of Helmsley’s senior management team and a thought partner to the CEO and the Trustees. S/he works closely with the CEO and each member of the senior management team (Chief Investment Officer, General Counsel, Director of Human Resources, Director of Grants Management,  and the Program Directors) to instill a culture of transparency, collaboration, and dynamic leadership in the organization.

On a day-to-day basis, the CFO has strategic and managerial responsibility for Helmsley’s financial and administrative operations and ensures that all such activities are conducted in an environment that supports Helmsley’s mission and programs, fosters continuous improvement and innovation, safeguards its assets, and mitigates operational risk.  S/he leads a staff of 23 people across all financial, accounting, and planning functions (team of 11) as well as in IT (team of 5) and office operations (team of 7).

The CFO is based at Helmsley's main office in New York City. S/he reports directly to the CEO and works closely with the three Trustees.

Key responsibilities include:

Operational and Financial Management

  • Manage all accounting procedures, processes, filings, and financial reporting. Ensure the accurate and timely preparation of all financial statements and reporting, including regular financial statements to management, regulatory agencies, and the Trustees.
  • Ensure a robust financial planning and analysis function to provide real-time insights regarding organization financials, and to ensure that improvements and efficiencies are achieved in a cross- functional, multi-program environment.
  • Oversee all aspects of operating cash management and manage the accounting systems, processes and procedures to record, monitor, and report on Helmsley’s assets and liabilities in compliance with all regulatory requirements.
  • Manage and monitor Helmsley’s cash forecast, with particular attention to monitoring payout requirements; ensure regular reporting to the CEO and Trustees for overall management of Helmsley’s grantmaking and operations.
  • Work closely with the Investment department, ensuring timely and accurate processing and recording of transactions and performance reporting.
  • Effectively manage external relationships with commercial and master custodial banks, external auditors, and consultants.
  • Ensure grant payments are made in accordance with appropriate authorizations and, as appropriate, help perform the financial review portion of the due diligence of prospective grantees
  • Advise the CEO and Trustees on how to invest in and leverage technology to enhance Helmsley’s insights into its finances, operations, and programs; to identify synergies and realized efficiencies across the organization; to ensure continuous improvement and innovation; and to mitigate risk.
  • Oversee the security and smooth operations of the IT functions including the network and cloud- based business applications and end user support.
  • Oversee the smooth functioning of day-to-day operations, including facilities, meeting space, reception, supplies, and AV.

Strategy and Innovation

  • The CFO is an innovative thinker able to drive cross-functional strategies and initiatives to address operational issues and enhance Helmsley’s effectiveness and impact.
  • In collaboration with the senior management team, identify and mitigate potential risks to Helmsley’s operational, programmatic, and reputational integrity.
  • As a member of the broader philanthropic community, share learnings and incorporate best practices learned from others.

Leadership, Mission, and Values

  • Lead by example; be a role model and advocate for Helmsley’s culture of collaboration, transparency, open communication, and dynamism.
  • Establish a client-oriented approach fully aligned with, and committed to, Helmsley’s overall programmatic objectives.
  • Empower staff to use their talents and capabilities to take thoughtful risks with the intent to drive impact and make change.
  • Nurture  and  develop  a  high-performing,  energized  team  that  encourages  original  thought  and proactivity.


We are looking for a strategic thinker and a proven financial and administrative leader to build on the successes of the current finance organization and to ensure an agile operational structure able to further Helmsley’s overarching goals and ambitions.

The successful candidate will be a seasoned and mature leader with at least 15 years of substantive experience in financial and administrative management in a company or other organization of similar size and complexity. S/he will have a track-record as a hands-on, proactive, and engaged partner to management, and will have contributed to the overall strategic dialogue of a significant organization or division.  In addition, s/he will have experience presenting to a Board of Directors in a clear and concise style and be comfortable answering probing questions and making thoughtful suggestions. A CPA and/or MBA as well as prior philanthropic experience are highly desirable.

The ideal candidate will have experience leveraging technology and systems to provide insights and drive efficiencies and innovation across an organization. Experience in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors is highly desirable.

The CFO will be comfortable in an interdisciplinary and high-performing environment that reflects Helmsley’s professionalism and standing in the philanthropic community. S/he must be able to forge collaborative relationships with the Trustees and the CEO, as well as with the operational and programmatic leadership of the organization, and contribute to a positive and vibrant environment.

We are looking for a confident, inclusive manager recognized for building and nurturing long-tenured, collegial, and resourceful teams. Above all, the CFO will have unquestioned integrity and a genuine commitment to Helmsley’s mission and values.


We have retained Russell Reynolds Associates to assist with the search process for this role. Please send cover letter and resume to Lucia Ferreira at


The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional nonprofits and other mission-aligned organizations in the U.S. and around the world in health, place-based initiatives, and education and human services.  Since 2008, when Helmsley began its active grantmaking, it has committed more than $1.5 billion.  For more information on Helmsley, visit

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the incumbent(s) of this job.  They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and activities required for the position.  Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.