Employment Opportunity: Chief Financial and Operating Officer

The Pulitzer Center
Chief Financial and Operating Officer
Washington, DC (Preferred)


In 2006, the Pulitzer Center opened its doors with a donated desk, modest seed funding, and high ambitions: to fill in the gaps in under-funded global reporting and inspire a new generation of journalists to cover the big global issues that affect us all. Since then, the Pulitzer Center has built a fantastic staff and expanded its funding and mission to support more than 170 reporting projects a year on pressing global issues, sparking high-impact stories in more than 600 news outlets annually. The Pulitzer Center is behind some of the best reporting of the last decade: on conflict and peace-building, environment and climate change, migration and human trafficking, emerging science and health issues, criminal justice and much more. The organization’s projects have won the Pulitzer Prize, George Polk Awards, Peabodys, Emmys, National Magazine Awards and more. 
The Pulitzer Center has built a network of more than 1,300 professional journalists and college students and has forged strong partnerships with leading national and international media: The New York Times Magazine, Le Monde, PBS NewsHour, and The New Yorker, as well as local, regional, and specialty media outlets in all continents. The Pulitzer Center staff is global: a majority of the team is based in the Washington, D.C., area, with other staff members based in five countries outside the U.S.
The Pulitzer Center’s unique education and outreach program brings the organization’s projects and journalists into hundreds of school and university classrooms as well as a wide range of public forums. The Pulitzer Center works closely with a network of 35-plus universities, community colleges, and HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities), bringing journalists onto campus in person and online and providing mentored reporting fellowships for students attending universities that are part of the Pulitzer Center Campus Consortium. The Pulitzer Center is also currently engaged in a major expansion of the organization’s educational work in the United States, as lead education partner for The New York Times on The 1619 Project; the Pulitzer Center is developing a similarly ambitious education program globally under the auspices of its Rainforest Journalism Fund and Rainforest Investigations Network.
For more information about the Pulitzer Center, visit pulitzercenter.org. 

The Pulitzer Center’s Chief Financial and Operating Officer (CFOO) is a new leadership position designed to build organizational capacity, systems, and structure to support the team during a time of exciting growth, change, and impact. Reporting to the Executive Director and working closely with leaders across the organization, the CFOO will provide strategic leadership and daily management of the Pulitzer Center’s finance, HR, development, IT, and administrative functions and will co-create a vision of success, inspiring staff and creating adaptive systems that support the organization’s future growth in alignment with its mission.
The CFOO will also be a crucial steward of the organizational values and culture – championing the Pulitzer Center’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and fostering an entrepreneurial culture of innovation, collaboration, constant improvement, and accountability.
The ideal candidate will share the Pulitzer Center’s passion for raising awareness of critical global issues through journalism and education and have the energy and experience to help achieve the Pulitzer Center’s goals. They will have significant experience as a cross-functional leader with a demonstrated track record of building and empowering teams, creating and implementing innovative solutions to the complex financial, HR, development, IT, operations, and day-to-day administrative needs of a growing organization. Finally, the ideal candidate is a highly entrepreneurial and collaborative leader with an engaging, can-do management style and the ability to balance big-picture strategy with immediate needs.

Organizational Leadership

  • Play a key role in the development and implementation of the Pulitzer Center’s upcoming strategic planning in partnership with the senior team, staff, Board, and other key stakeholders
  • Lead, mentor, and develop the Operations Working Group, a cross-functional team consisting of four direct reports and seven total team members working across finance, development, HR, and IT
  • Work collaboratively with the Pulitzer Center’s senior management team to identify, develop, and implement organizational systems and infrastructure that will promote cross-team collaboration, overall organizational effectiveness, and operational performance, and build a platform for the growth of the organization

Financial Leadership and Management

  • Develop, implement, and lead the Pulitzer Center’s strategic finance processes, including organization-wide annual budgeting and multi-year forecasting, ensuring the highest levels of fiscal responsibility and supporting the financial strategies of departmental leaders across the organization
  • Optimize the Pulitzer Center’s finance and accounting policies, financial controls, and compliance systems; implement policies and procedures that model best practices in each of these areas
  • Advise the Executive Director regarding opportunities for continuous improvement of the organization’s fiscal function and performance
  • Manage a high-performing grant-writing function and work closely with the development team to implement efficient systems in all aspects of the grant cycle, ensuring timely and accurate reporting to donors and effective contract management
  • Provide leadership and guidance for complex domestic and international legal compliance issues and reporting requirements
  • Lead the annual audit process to produce an unqualified and timely audit and clean management report findings
  • Develop effective financial reporting systems for quarterly, monthly, and annual dashboards, enabling the Executive Director and Board to have visibility into the current financial status at any time    

​Culture, and DEI

  • Partner with the Pulitzer Center’s senior management team and staff to foster and cultivate a culture that promotes the values of the organization and reflects its deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Build leadership practices that support the recruitment, development, engagement, and retention of a diverse and talented workforce
  • Lead initiatives on best practices in organizational management, performance management, and leadership development
  • Develop and strengthen internal and external relationships among the leadership team and the organization’s staff

Human Resources

  • Own the vision and accountability for the organization’s Human Resources functions      
  • Partner with the Director of Human Resource to optimize strategies, policies, and practices that support the recruitment, retention, and wellbeing of a motivated and results-oriented staff and nurture a diverse, respectful, welcoming, and inclusive work environment for all employees    

Operations and IT

  • Own the vision and accountability for the Pulitzer Center’s IT and administrative functions and promote customer service, systems, and processes that reflect best practices and enable the organization to deliver on its mission    
  • Partner with the IT Manager to develop and implement the IT strategy across the organization ensuring that the necessary systems, security protocols, and policies are in place to provide best in class IT infrastructure to support the Pulitzer Center’s growth and safeguard data security
  • Oversee the organization’s risk management responsibilities, implementing policies and systems to ensure the organization adheres to all relevant regulations


  • 15+ years of senior management experience working cross-functionally across finance, operations, human resources, and IT in complex organizations; nonprofit experience preferred but not required
  • Demonstrated excitement for the Pulitzer Center’s journalism/education mission; experience working in an international organization a plus
  • Demonstrated expertise in managing organizational financial activity and systems, including budgeting, multi-year forecasting, modeling, accounting, and reporting; proven ability to navigate complex nonprofit compliance and risk management issues
  • Ability to analyze data, think strategically, anticipate future opportunities and consequences, set priorities, and make smart decisions to help the Pulitzer Center achieve its goals
  • Inspiring team leader with the ability to manage, develop, and coach diverse teams around the globe; prioritizes building authentic and respectful relationships with all colleagues within an organization
  • Ability to steward organizational culture, including leading diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives
  • Confidence and capability to lead in a fast-paced, changing environment while also navigating ambiguity and change inherent to a fast-paced, evolving organization
  • Effective and persuasive communicator, exceptional interpersonal skills, and the ability to communicate clearly with a broad range of audiences
  • Possesses unquestionable personal and professional integrity, unwavering commitment to equity, and a growth mindset
  • Innovative, creative, and willing to think outside of the box to develop solutions that meet the Pulitzer Center’s unique needs and support our high-performing team
  • Tech-savvy and knowledge of state-of-the-art systems for global operations management is a plus
  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree or equivalent experience preferred  


The Pulitzer Center has retained the executive search firm LeaderFit to manage all aspects of this search. Interested candidates should apply online here.

The Pulitzer Center is an equal opportunity employer and seeks to forward diversity through its programs and hiring.