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Chief Financial Officer
The Planetary Society in Pasadena, California
Date Posted 05/24/2022
Salary 165,000 - 175,000  USD 1
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled


Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and working with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Board of Directors, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) leads all financial and human resource functions for The Planetary Society. The CFO sets the organization’s financial policy and direction and is an active participant in, and driver of, the organization’s overall strategy. The CFO is a member of the senior leadership team and serves as the staff liaison to the Finance and Audit Committees of the Board of Directors.


The Planetary Society has been the world’s largest and most effective space advocacy group for more than 40 years. Co-founded by Carl Sagan and now led by Bill Nye, The Planetary Society’s mission is to empower the world's citizens to advance space science and exploration. We offer a supportive and collaborative work environment and operate with a high level of mutual trust. We are passionate about our mission and committed to continual organizational improvement while also respecting and protecting work/life balance. Our team is strengthened by its diversity of talents, experiences, and perspectives. We foster mutual respect and a sense of belonging for all people in our work.


Strategy and Leadership

  • Provide vital input into short- and long-term strategic and operational planning within the organization.
  • Provide strategic recommendations based on financial analyses and projections, cost identification and allocation, and revenue/expense analysis.
  • Oversee long-term budgetary planning and cost management in alignment with the Society's strategy and priorities.
  • Work with the Chief Development Officer to align financial management with short- and long-term financial planning and projections.
  • Inform the Finance Committee of the Board of Directors about issues, trends, and changes in the operating model and operational delivery.
  • Work with the Finance Committee of the Board of Directors to establish and maintain sound investment policies.

Department Development and Oversight

  • Ensure compliance with all relevant regulations and laws.
  • Work with CEO/COO to manage annual planning and budgeting for the organization and develop financial forecasts and cash flow projections to ensure availability of funds for the organization’s programs, general operations, and long-term stability and growth.
  • Oversee the implementation of budgets, to monitor progress and present operational metrics both internally and externally.
  • Ensure that finance staff maintains financial record systems in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, and monitor the use of all funds.
  • Oversee the preparation and approval of all financial reporting materials and metrics for funding organizations and The Planetary Society's Board of Directors; prepare and communicate monthly and annual financial statements.
  • Manage cash flow and forecasting; direct all financial, project-based, and departmental accounting.
  • Ensure timely completion of annual audits, financial statements, and ensure proper filing of tax returns and state registrations.
  • Ensure legal and regulatory compliance regarding all financial functions.
  • Coordinate all audit activities.
  • Foster smoothly operating finance and HR functions through timely and effective resolution of disruptions.
  • Evaluate current financial processes and tools and implement improvements as needed.
  • Ensure finance and HR technologies are used efficiently, cost-effectively, and securely.
  • Evaluate and oversee all benefits negotiations.
  • Manage banking and investment manager relationships.
  • Ensure vendors are paid on-time and services remain within budget.

Team Development and Management

  • Plan and direct the work of the organization's finance and HR employees and contractors, and establish overall objectives and priorities for finance and HR.
  • Recruit, onboard, manage, and mentor finance and HR team members, including leading regular one-on-one meetings, encouraging professional development, setting and monitoring annual goals, conducting performance reviews, and administering salary adjustments for all direct reports.
  • Embody and promote The Planetary Society's core values: passion, credibility, optimism, integrity, effectiveness, and inclusion.
  • Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values learning and a commitment to quality.
  • Engage other members of the staff leadership team to facilitate cross-department collaboration that ensures that all financial and HR solutions positively support the organization's evolving strategy, operations, and data collection needs.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Finance, or related discipline; MBA and/or CPA preferred.
  • 10+ years of experience in progressively responsible financial leadership roles.
  • Excellent working knowledge of financial software such as Quickbooks.
  • Advanced spreadsheet (Excel) skills with experience building complex budgets and models.
  • Demonstrated experience in managing finance, accounting, compliance, budgeting, internal control, fund accounting, and financial and investment reporting.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively and relate well to staff, Board members, advisers, members, donors, and others.
  • Experience with examining, developing, reengineering, and recommending financial and HR policies and procedures and maintaining HR compliance.
  • Integrity, honesty, and a strong commitment to maintaining confidentiality.
  • A collaborative and flexible style, with a strong service mentality.

The Planetary Society offers a highly competitive salary, 7% employer contribution to a 403(b)-retirement savings plan, paid employee healthcare with a variety of plan options, a generous PTO plan, and the ability to work hybrid or remote.

The Planetary Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages applications from qualified individuals who are representative of the culturally and ethnically diverse communities that we serve.

Envision Consulting was retained by The Planetary Society in their search for a CFO.

*Please mention to employers when applying for this job*
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