Chief Finance & Talent Officer

Reports to:     Executive Director 

Location:        Hybrid | New Haven, CT with some in-state travel


Overview: The RISE Network’s mission is to ensure all RISE high school students graduate with a plan and the skills and confidence to achieve college and career success. Founded in 2015, RISE partners with Connecticut public high schools to lead statewide networks where school communities work together to use data to learn and improve. Through its core and most comprehensive network, RISE partners with nine high schools and eight public school districts, serving over 13,000 students; the majority of RISE students identify as Black, Latinx, and/or low-income. RISE high schools work together to ensure all students experience success as they transition to, through, and beyond high school by using data to pinpoint needs, form hypotheses, and pursue ideas to advance student achievement. Over the past seven years, RISE high schools have achieved double-digit gains improving Grade 9 on-track achievement, four-year-high school graduation rates, and student identification of postsecondary plans, while also decreasing subgroup gaps across all indicators. In 2021, the RISE Network was honored to receive the Carnegie Foundation’s annual Spotlight on Quality in Continuous Improvement recognition. Increasingly, RISE is pursuing opportunities to scale its impact through consulting partnerships with public school districts, state agencies, and non-profit organizations. RISE is eager to partner with mission-aligned organizations to improve student outcomes and close opportunity gaps.

Position Summary:  The Chief Finance & Talent Officer (CFTO) serves as a member of the RISE Leadership Team and oversees the organization’s core internal functions.  They lead RISE finances, talent, and office operations.  This includes leadership of the RISE Operations Team and various external and high-stakes partnerships. The CFTO invests in excellent back-office operations to promote organizational effectiveness and efficiencies in support of RISE’s direct service work with school partners. 

The CFTO will report to RISE’s Executive Director and will manage a team of direct reports specializing in finance, operations and compliance, and talent management. The CFTO will also oversee and manage multiple vendors who provide key operational services, including: a PEO firm that manages human resources and payroll and benefits, an accounting partner to execute accurate bookkeeping, a legal services firm responsible for contract review and counsel, a talent strategy consulting firm to support with talent acquisition, and an IT services provider.

Key Responsibilities:

1. Team Leadership

  • Oversee the implementation and continuous improvement of RISE’s finance, talent and operations functions.

  • Establish and monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) for the team, ensuring all team members have a shared understanding of success metrics and how their roles support results in these areas.

  • Promote team coordination and communication, including by facilitating purposeful team meetings and overseeing team work plans. 

  • Be a strong team developer with strong relational skills and the ability to effectively lead, encourage, and develop teams with diverse backgrounds and work styles.

  • Support the ongoing professional development of all team members through coaching, modeling, mentorship, feedback, and other learning opportunities.

  • Maintain an excellent team climate rooted in high expectations, an appreciation for team diversity, and a commitment to create an inclusive and collaborative team environment.

  • Engage team members in weekly one-on-one check-ins and ongoing performance management routines, providing staff with ongoing feedback and coaching.

  • Serve on the Leadership Team, helping to shape and advance the organization’s strategy and growth.

  • Be the change management, process and practice, champion, supporting the overall success of the organization. 

  • Manage key external partnerships that serve as an extension of the Operations Team’s capacity.

  • Promote strong collaboration with other RISE functional teams.

  • Oversee organizational systems for project management and KPI tracking.

2. Finance:

  • Lead the development of RISE’s annual budget and provide financial analysis for multi-year budget models in collaboration with the Executive Director.  

  • Oversee systems for accounts payables and accounts receivable, and ongoing accounting functions and other financial reporting and auditing functions in partnership with our external bookkeepers.

  • Bring leadership and a strong understanding/experience with non-profit finances and accounting

  • Serve as the finance liaison to the Board of Directors and Treasurer. 

  • Support managers in developing and leveraging team budgets and resources. 

  • Prepare quarterly financial reports and briefing updates for the Leadership Team and Board of Directors, inclusive of variance flags and recommendations.

  • Maintain and uphold internal financial policies and controls.

  • Oversee contracting processes, including by negotiating contracts with external vendors.

  • Support efforts to pursue a diversified revenue model advancing organizational sustainability.  

  • Maintain financial systems for grant reporting; ensure compliance with all financial grant requirements.

  • Exercise excellent resource stewardship in and beyond Operations Team, helping to organize staff and financial resources in support of student outcome goals.

  • Oversee annual filings.

3. Talent Development

  • Support all stages of the employee life cycle, supporting talent systems to impact organizational performance, and creating a continuum of support.

  • Oversee talent acquisition systems, including strong recruitment, hiring, and on-boarding processes.

  • Oversee performance management systems, including goal-setting, ongoing supervisor feedback, and year-end reviews.

  • Build manager capacity to lead performance management routines and scaffold internal calibration.

  • Partner with managers to design and deliver meaningful and relevant professional learning experiences aligned to RISE KPIs and competencies.

  • Oversee employee benefits and maintain thorough staff policies.

  • Partner with other leaders and staff to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion at RISE.

  • Design and implement routines to monitor staff climate in support of employee morale and retention, creating systems that result in actionable data and team improvements.

The most competitive candidates will possess the following knowledge, skills and abilities:

  • 10-12+ years of progressive professional experience in finance, organizational operations, and talent management.

  • Four years minimum in a leadership role in two or more of these functional areas, having had a team of finance and talent/ops people reporting directly to them.  RISE is currently a team of 40 people and growing.

  • Alignment to organizational mission and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism.

  • Has worked with or on behalf of communities with similar demographics/mission as those served by RISE.

  • Experience as a member of an organizational leadership team, working to advance organizational goals.

  • Systems-level strategist who can build and codify effective systems that will enhance and support future organizational growth/expansion.

  • Strategic thought partner to leaders across functions (i.e. senior leadership team) who can inform and implement talent, operational and financial strategies.

Working at RISE:

RISE is committed to being a great place to work! Here’s what you can expect as a member of the RISE team:

  • A hybrid workplace (i.e., two on-site days per week) with flexibility to work where and when it makes the most sense for employees to thrive personally and professionally.

  • Comprehensive benefits, including medical, dental, vision insurance, and full coverage of the premiums for our employee-only base plans.

  • 20 PTO days per year, in addition to 12 organizational holidays and 3 personal days.

  • Paid parental and family leave, as well as compassionate leave for staff who experience the loss or serious illness of a loved one or their own extended illness.

  • A 401k plan with a 5% matching contribution that vests immediately.

  • Employer-provided equipment, including laptop and cellphone with mobile hotspot as well as funds to help set up your office, at home or at work.

  • Investment in continued professional development and learning, through ongoing coaching and development, internal training, funds for external learning opportunities, and a tuition reimbursement program.

Salary Range:

$160,000 - $210,000.  Most new hires' salaries fall within the first half of the range, allowing team members to grow in their roles.  For those who already have significant and aligned experiences at the same level as the role, placement may be at the higher end of the range.

The Connecticut RISE Network is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes candidates from diverse backgrounds.