Chief Financial Officer

East Boothbay, ME   |   Full time

Institutional Summary
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences seeks a dynamic, experienced Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to manage and advise on a spectrum of matters ranging from day-to-day financial and operational issues to development and implementation of long-term strategic goals.

Bigelow Laboratory is a small (85 employees) non-profit basic research institution whose mission is to understand the key processes driving ocean ecosystems, their evolution, and their fundamental relationship to life on Earth through interrelated programs in research, education, and technology transfer. Our focus ranges from microbial oceanography to the large-scale dynamics of the global ocean. Senior Research Scientists and Research Scientists drive innovative research programs at the Laboratory, supported by Postdoctoral Research Scientists and Scientific and Administrative Staff.

Bigelow Laboratory has an approximately $12M operating budget with about 80% of budget income through sponsored research activities via state, federal, or foundation grants, with the remaining through philanthropy. The Laboratory currently has 18 Senior Research Scientists and three Research Scientists, each of whom is responsible for raising and managing the funds for their own research programs. The Laboratory also operates a number of centers that contain fee for services and online purchasing.

Strategy, Planning, and Management

  • Act as Chief Financial Officer and strategic business partner as part of the Executive Leadership Team to create and establish yearly financial objectives that align with the Laboratory’s plan for growth and expansion
  • Assess and evaluate financial performance of the Laboratory with regard to short-term and long-term operational goals, budgets, and forecasts
  • Recruit, interview, and hire finance, accounting, and payroll staff as required
  • Ensure that Senior Research Scientists are provided with the highest-quality support in finance, accounting, and payroll operations
  • Identify, acquire, and implement systems and software to provide critical financial and operational information
  • Evaluate departments and make suggestions for automating processes and increasing working efficiency
  • Communicate, engage, and interact with Board of Trustees, Executive Leadership Team, and Senior Research Scientists
  • Select and engage consultants, auditors, lenders, vendors, and investors
  • Participate in pivotal decisions as they relate to strategic initiatives and operational models

Financial Analysis, Budgeting, and Forecasting

  • Prepare and present monthly financial budgeting reports including monthly profit and loss by division, forecast vs. budget by division, and weekly cash flow by division
  • Review and analyze monthly financial results and provide recommendations
  • Develop and maintain monthly operating budget and annual Laboratory operating budget
  • Identify, develop, and execute analysis of business initiatives, product launches, and/or new service offerings

Accounting, General Ledger, Administration, and Operations

  • Supervise the accounting department to ensure the proper functioning of all systems, databases, and financial software including regular maintenance and backup of all accounting systems
  • Review and ensure application of appropriate internal controls and financial procedures
  • Ensure timeliness and accuracy of financial and management reporting data for federal funders, foundations, and the Board of Trustees
  • Oversee the preparation and timely filing of all local, state, and federal tax returns
  • Work with Human Resources to ensure appropriate legal compliance
  • Oversee preparation of monthly, quarterly, and annual financial statements
  • Review all month-end closing activities including general ledger accounts, balance sheet accounts, and overhead cost allocation
  • Serve as a key point of contact for external auditors and manage preparation and support of all external audits

Financial Management

  • Manage cash flow planning process and ensure funds availability
  • Oversee cash, investments, and asset management area
  • Explore new investment opportunities and provide recommendations on potential returns and risks
  • Maintain outstanding banking relationships and strategic alliances with vendors and business partners
  • Utilize forward-looking models and activity-based analyses to provide financial insight into the organization’s plans and operating budgets

Financial Relations and Policies

  • Represent Laboratory to banks, financial partners, institutions, investors, public auditors, and officials
  • Remain current on audit best practices as well as state, federal, and local laws regarding Laboratory operations
  • Maintain up-to-date indirect cost negotiations with the federal government

Finance and Accounting Team Management

  • Mentor and develop a team managing work allocation, systems training, performance evaluations, and the building of an effective and efficient team dynamic

Cash Management

  • Oversee weekly cash management and AP Department, approve large payables, sign checks, authorize large wires and ACHs
  • Supervise Accounts Receivable management and provide guidance relating to the collection process

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) – Position Requirements
Bachelor Degree in Accounting or Finance
CPA/MBA Preferred
10+ years total accounting or finance experience
Outstanding knowledge and understanding of GAAP, Uniform Guidance, and Federal grant management
Background coordinating with IT staff to manage and/or upgrade accounting system
Systems implementation experience strongly preferred
“Hands On” ERP Systems Experience – Oracle, Blackbaud experience preferred
Outstanding communication and presentation skills
Demonstrated leadership ability, confidence, and executive presence – ability to motivate staff
Excellent analytical, reasoning, and problem-solving skills
Significant experience working with external auditors, internal controls, and compliance-related issues

About Midcoast Maine

Bigelow Laboratory’s state-of-the-art oceanfront campus in East Boothbay is located in scenic Midcoast Maine, perfectly situated to provide access to the very best Maine has to offer. Within a reasonable commuting distance of most major Maine cities, this mid-coast peninsula offers the perfect balance between small town coastal charm and urban accessibility. Our peninsula is home to fishermen and sea captains, marine biologists, nature lovers, botanists and gardeners, artists, merchants, and entrepreneurs. Many non-profit organizations call this region home and work hard to further their missions in support of the arts, seamanship and marine education, conservation, historic preservation, and more. Learn more about the Boothbay Harbor Region here.


To apply, please submit a brief cover letter, your résumé, and contact information for three professional references on our online application portal. The Selection Committee will begin review of applicants on August 30 and will accept applications until the position is filled.

Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

Submit Your Application

You have successfully applied
  • You have errors in applying
Cover Letter *
Résumé *