The Opportunity:

In the United States, only 25% of high-achieving students from low-income communities apply to the nation's most selective colleges and universities. At EMERGE, we believe that talent is universal, but opportunity is not. Grounded in this belief, EMERGE empowers and equips high-achieving students from low-income communities to apply to, thrive at, and graduate from the nation’s best colleges.


EMERGE is seeking a Managing Director of Finance & Operations to ensure the effective pursuit of the organization’s strategic goals.

Reporting to the Vice President of Growth, Strategy and Finance, the Managing Director of Finance & Operations is responsible for the financial, accounting, and operational aspects of the organization: managing the day-to-day operations, implementing finance and accounting policies and procedures that adhere to governmental, financial, and tax regulations and comply with GAAP standards to ensure efficiency and compliant financial operations.

As a senior leadership team member (SLT), this position is responsible for overseeing monthly, quarterly, and annual accounting and financial processes and reporting. This position works with the Vice President of Growth, Strategy & Finance to maintain and creates new processes for reporting, management of and forecasting EMERGE’s financial position.

The Managing Director of Finance & Operations monitors and evaluates accounting and financial systems and processes to identify areas for improvement and optimization. Additionally, this position leads the management of vendor contracts, financial modeling and RFP processes for our district partners.

The Role: As a Managing Director of Finance & Operations you will spend your time in the following ways:


  • Oversee the risk management policies, including insurance policy renewals and participant waivers
  • In partnership with the People and Culture leadership, create, manage, and refine operational processes, identifying best practices, and improving internal systems to prepare for future needs while being mindful of budget realities
  • Serve as point of contact with building management, vendors,

Annual Budgeting & Financial Processes

  • In conjunction with the Vice President of Growth, Strategy & Finance and leadership team, create the annual budget for board approval.
  • Work with each department to understand upcoming organizational needs, forecast related cost, and create cost models to build the budget.
  • Lead staff-wide finance trainings; create processes to train budget managers on interpretation and implementation of department budgets.
  • Facilitate the annual audit and tax compliance including timely completion of the 990 tax filing.
  • Support Vice President of Growth, Strategy and Finance and leadership team in projects requiring cost analysis.

Strengthen Financial Processes

  • Oversee and enhance systems and processes necessary for success including cash flow, monthly close & financials, contract & grants management, and accounting processes
  • Strengthen financial reporting and analytics to facilitate strategic business decisions
  • Work cross-functionally with the People and Culture team to ensure seamless operation of routine procedures, including payroll, benefits, tracking leave, 403B, monthly close and other internal systems.
  • Streamline processes and create efficiencies for critical finance functions including grants management, AR, and AP.
  • Steward finance-applicable strategic plan KPIs.
  • Establish a payroll reconciliation process.

Oversee Monthly Financials

  • Oversee month end close processes; support in timely production of financials and reporting of financials to board and other stakeholders.
  • Prepare monthly forecast analysis and oversees reporting for the organization.
  • Interpret financial information for various stakeholder audiences to support real-time decision-making.

Vendor & District Contracting Support

  • Manage vendor contracts including office, operations, technology, and legal.
  • Interface with banking partner(s) to stay up-to-date on relevant processes, security, and changes.
  • Ensure insurance covers organizational and programmatic needs and is priced competitively annually.
  • Work with Vice President of Growth, Strategy and Finance to model future growth and determine cost model for new district partnerships.
  • Own RFP and contracting process for new and renewing districts.

Additional Financial Processes & Strategic Projects

  • Work cross-functionally to manage salary bands and end of year salary adjustments that fit budget needs and market conditions.
  • Create materials, lead, and present quarterly finance committee meetings; support Vice President of Growth, Strategy and Finance in preparation for quarterly Board meetings.
  • Work closely with Board treasurer on new initiatives and ways to present material to Board members
  • Work closely with the External Affairs team to steward restricted grants, provide financials for grant reports, and manage incoming stock gifts.
  • Support Vice President of Growth, Strategy and Finance in modeling for future growth and new districts.
  • Support Vice President of Growth, Strategy and Finance with strategic projects as they arise.

Team Management

  • Manage the Senior Finance Coordinator; support in execution and implementation of team priorities.
  • Create High Impact Responsibilities & Behaviors for each team member; ensure the performance meetings are completed to support staff development.
  • Delegate roles and responsibilities across the team to ensure appropriate fiscal controls and segregation of duties.
  • Manage overall team dynamic and professional development opportunities to ensure effective team communication and culture.

The Person

Strategic Thinker & Problem Solver

  • Uses "out of the box" thinking to improve or enhance our processes; shares learnings with others and encourages the team to keep innovating and moving forward.
  • Actively develops systems, policies and procedures to create long term change.
  • Sees the big picture, sets a vision and creates milestones for team to achieve goals.
  • Prioritizes daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly actions for self and team to meet annual goals; delegates actions appropriately across team.

Relationship Builder

  • Builds trust with their team and the broader team to foster a collaborative culture, engages in healthy conflict and discussion and produces stronger outcomes as a result.
  • Motivates and empowers the team to drive towards a common goal; celebrates wins and fosters an attitude of gratitude.
  • Engages with direct reports and broader team in coaching and feedback conversations; facilitates development of team.
  • Spends time growing their network and knows when to engage stakeholders during the problem-solving process.

Strong Communicator

  • Communicates proactively and effectively to ensure alignment up, down and across the organization.
  • Seeks input from the right sources ahead of major decisions or changes being rolled out by the Operations team; provides or seeks clarity when unclear or in disagreement.
  • Proactively communicates decisions and “need to know” information to the direct team and the broader team.
  • Present finance and accounting material in a clear, concise, and coherent manner that not only presents the facts, but also the story behind the numbers and can articulate that to both internal and external stakeholders

Functional Leader

  • Displays a sense of ownership and responsibility of key metrics and functional focus areas, including being clear on decision making rights and communicating those decisions and being seen as a content expert who is able to share important data/information
  • Engages in continued professional development around critical knowledge & skills needed to lead team/initiatives effectively.
  • Drives accountability through listening, responding to, and following through in the areas of Operations.

Resource Maximizer

  • Thinks strategically about how organizational funds are being spent; understands area budget and cost drivers well enough to create budget and reallocate as needed throughout the year.
  • Thinks critical about major spending decisions to ensure organizational funds are being used wisely and understands the return on investment prior to spending; ensure team is also working to maximize resources.


  • Bachelor’s degree is required; MBA or CPA highly preferred
  • 7+ years professional experience working in a Finance or Accounting field
  • Experience with Financial modeling and reporting
  • QuickBooks Online knowledge preferred
  • Advanced expertise in Microsoft Excel
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills
  • Exceptional project management skills
  • Exceptional communication skills

Physical and Working Conditions:

  • Open-office environment
  • Sitting at a computer workstation for extended periods of time.
  • Role requires walking, standing, hearing, and talking.
  • Ability to lift/carry and push/pull up to 50 pounds.

Who we are:

At EMERGE, we live by our Core Values:

  • Equity grounds us
  • Diversity defines us
  • Talent mobilizes us
  • Meaningful relationships fuel us
  • Results distinguish us

Founded in 2010, EMERGE is a developmental, college access organization changing the life trajectories of thousands of students across the Houston area. Since its inception, EMERGE has grown from serving 14 students across four high schools, to serving over 1,600 high school students across five school districts. We also serve over 1,400 college scholars at over 100 selective colleges and universities across the country.

The EMERGE nonprofit is a partner to EMERGE Houston ISD, EMERGE Spring Branch ISD, EMERGE Spring ISD, EMERGE Aldine ISD, and EMERGE Klein ISD.

As EMERGE’s impact has grown, our nonprofit team has grown to over 40 staff members. The staff includes our College Access Team, College Success Team, Program Assets Team, Finance, Operations & HR team, and Development Team. You will be joining an energetic, passionate team of individuals working to propel Houston’s top talent upwards and onwards.

What we offer:

At EMERGE, we aim to enact our core value of “equity grounds us” within our compensation practices to ensure a competitive and equitable salary & benefits package for all employees.

To determine salary; we consider each candidate’s relevant experience, growth potential, and responsibilities within the role, as well equity across similar roles within the organization.


  • We offer Medical, Dental, and Vision insurance.
  • We provide Short-term and Long-Term Disability insurance, along with Life Insurance.
  • We offer Parental Leave
  • We have a 403b plan that employees can opt into.
  • Each employee has 28 Paid Time Off days for the year. EMERGE is closed for 18 holidays and 12 Wellness Friday.
  • Eligible employees are awarded $500/year stipend for role relevant professional development opportunities.

Priority Applications Deadline: May 15, 2024

The review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled, although submission before the priority deadline is highly encouraged.