Title: Director of Finance & Chief of Staff
Reports to: President
Location: Charlottesville, VA / Washington, D.C. area
Schedule: Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm
Status: Full Time – Exempt (40-hour work week with full-time benefits)
Compensation: Salary range:  $175,000 – $195,000
Benefits: Hybrid In-Person and Remote, Group Health and Dental Insurance, Short-Term and Long-Term Disability Insurance, Vision Insurance, 403(b) Plan, Profit-Sharing Plan, Paid Time Off, and Retreat Time Off

Position Summary

The Director of Finance & Chief of Staff will play a critical role in partnering with the leadership team in strategic decision-making and organizational performance improvement.  This position provides high-level strategic & financial analysis support to the President, keeps the President abreast of current issues, and makes judgments and decisions on behalf of the President on a regular basis. The role facilitates  effective organizational processes, supports a joyful and collaborative work climate, and contributes to the financial health of the organization.  

Strategic Counsel

  • Supports and champions Mind & Life’s organizational culture and models Mind & Life’s values: integrity, compassion, curiosity, excellence, and inclusion.
  • With the President, sets organizational performance indicators, holds quarterly learning events focused on organizational performance, and drives culture change toward a focus on organizational impact vis a vis the organization’s purpose.
  • Translates strategic ideas into actions, processes, and easily consumed visuals.

Accounting and Finance

  • Analyzes and presents financial reports in an accurate and timely manner; clearly communicates monthly and annual financial statements; collates financial reporting materials for all donor segments, and oversees all financial, project/program and grants accounting. 
  • Oversees the external bookkeeper who is responsible for A/R, A/P, banking, credit cards, payroll and payroll taxes, property tax returns, and year-end allocations. 

  • Leads the annual budgeting and planning process in conjunction with the President. Administers and reviews all financial plans and budgets; monitors progress and changes and keeps senior leadership team abreast of the organization’s financial status.
  • Coordinates and leads the annual audit process, liaises with external auditors and the Board Finance Committee; assesses necessary changes.
  • Manages the outside investment advisors to ensure stated investment policies are followed In collaboration with the Board Investment Committee.
  • Manages organizational cash flow and forecasting. 

  • Updates and implements all necessary business policies and accounting practices and improves the finance department’s overall policy and procedure manual. 

  • Analyzes the potential of different earned revenue options and makes recommendations.
  • Oversees processes for timely and accurate reimbursements to staff, partners, and vendors. 

Chief of Staff

  • Promotes a healthy work environment and team connectedness across the organization.
  • Leads coordination with other Directors to ensure efficient processes and workflow throughout the organization.
  • Ensures all direct reports are working efficiently and to their full potential and positively engaged in their job functions. 


  • Helps prioritize donor meetings and further Advancement objectives
  • Works with Advancement Team as related to executive-level responsibilities and priorities including:
    • Stewardship of donors.
    • Supporting the annual appeal.
    • Impact communication and presentation.
    • Financial reporting as required by various foundations, donors, and contracts.

Executive Administration

  • Strategically aligns the President’s prioritization and time management with top financial, administrative, and outward-facing priorities.
  • Anticipates the needs of the President and the organization. Handles the pressure and complexities that arise within a fast-moving, challenging environment.
  • Maintains positive working relationships with all MLI colleagues and the broader MLI community, and serves as a bridge to the President as appropriate.

Board of Directors and Steering Council

  • Participates in Board of Directors and Steering Council meetings as well as other groups and meetings led by the President.
  • Manages the coordination, creation, and distribution of the Board Book, along with the President’s Executive Assistant. 

Completes other tasks and assignments as requested by the President.

Maintains positive working relationships and participates in promoting positive culture with Mind & Life team and broader Mind & Life community.


  • Keen analytic, organization and problem solving skills that support and enable sound decision making
  • Excellent communication and relationship building skills with an ability to prioritize, negotiate, and work with a variety of internal and external stakeholders.
  • Strong financial controlling instincts with an understanding of unrestricted and restricted fund accounting. 
  • Ability to translate financial concepts to and effectively collaborate with programmatic and fundraising colleagues who do not have finance backgrounds.
  • A track record in grants management is helpful.
  • Tech-savvy with experience in accounting and financial reporting software.
  • Facilitation skills to plan and execute group experiences into productive outcomes. (Ideal)
  • An accessible, visible, and flexible management style that inspires trust and confidence in staff.
  • Able to maintain strict confidentiality and discretion.
  • Embodies personal qualities of integrity, kindheartedness, and credibility.
  • High level of self-awareness and emotional intelligence.
  • Multicultural awareness and appreciation of diversity.
  • Strong commitment to the mission and values of the Mind & Life Institute.

Level of Education and Professional Licenses / Experience Required

  • Bachelor’s Degree required; MBA/CPA or related degree preferred.
  • Management consulting experience preferred.
  • Some level of investment management experience preferred.
  • Significant nonprofit accounting experience with a successful track record in senior financial management roles for at least five years.
  • Experience in general administrative management roles for at least two years.

Additional Information

  • Based in Charlottesville, Virginia or Washington, D.C. area.
  • Mind & Life operates in a hybrid in-person and remote work environment.
    • Three days in-office, two days remote.
    • Multi-state team; most staff based in Charlottesville but few staff work remotely from out-of-state locations.
  • Position may include occasional domestic or international travel (a few times per year).
  • All offers of employment are contingent upon clear results of a thorough background check. 
  • Candidates must have an automobile and a valid driver’s license.

Mind & Life is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion, and following best practices to support a thriving organization with a diversity of perspectives. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

Please submit your cover letter and resume to jobs@mindandlife.org using the subject line “Director of Finance / Chief of Staff.”

(Updated May 1, 2024)

About Mind & Life

At the Mind & Life Institute, we bring science and contemplative wisdom together to better understand the mind and create positive change in the world. Building on Mind & Life’s 35-year legacy and co-founder the Dalai Lama, we seek to foster insights and inspire action on how our inner lives contribute to individual, societal, and planetary flourishing. We’re committed to addressing mounting global challenges through our convenings, grantmaking, digital resources, and strategic partnerships. 

With our organizational values of compassion, integrity, excellence, inclusion, and curiosity, we are committed to attracting and retaining a diverse staff. As such, we will honor your experiences, perspectives, and unique identity. Together, we strive to create and maintain a working environment that is inclusive, equitable and welcoming. Please see Our Commitment to Racial Equity and Inclusion on our website.