(Associate) Director, Finance and Operations - J-PAL MENA

  • Egypt
  • Master's
Start Date (Earliest):
Length of Commitment:
More than two years

Purpose: The job holder will build a streamlined and efficient finance and operations vertical integration which manages the complex finance, administrative, and operational aspects of the work of J-PAL MENA at AUC. As the office has just launched, the job holder will be asked to focused on creating effective operations, internal documentation and communication systems, and financial planning to help our team maximize the effectiveness of our work. He/she will ensure J-PAL MENA at AUC is able to meet partner, donor, and researcher requirements while adhering to AUC policies and procedures, and will strengthen office operations and administration to create a supportive and efficient workplace for all J-PAL MENA at AUC staff. Also, play a critical role as a central liaison between J-PAL MENA at AUC, AUC administration and support offices, J-PAL’s global office at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a network of local, regional, and international donors that support J-PAL MENA at AUC’s work. In addition, manage the direct and indirect reports in our growing finance and operations team and will work closely with the vertical heads of our research, policy, and training teams.

Principal Accountabilities:

Financial and Grants Management (50%)

  • Manage multi-year budgets for research and policy projects and core funding for J-PAL MENA at AUC; track results, anticipate problems and develop solutions, and report regularly to the executive director and J-PAL worldwide finance and operations director
  • Oversee all financial reporting to ensure accuracy as well as implement processes that will increase accessibility of information to J-PAL MENA’s senior leadership and project managers on grant financials; report regularly to J-PAL MENA managers and faculty leads on grant financials and advise on necessary alterations to budget
  • Maintain a system of financial control, financial management, and accounting that meets AUC and donor requirements for transparency and responsible management of resources
  • Enhance current procedures and overall management of multi-year budgets and financial projections for J-PAL MENA programs and initiatives, including exercising judgement on how to allocate funding across priorities
  • Ensure that staff effort is appropriately allocated to grants and that funds from grants are used in accordance with grant terms
  • Should J-PAL MENA at AUC succeed in raising funds for a sub-granting research initiative, manage competitive request for proposal process, issue research sub-awards, and manage grant deliverables

Financial Sustainability and Fundraising (20%)

  • Support fundraising through development of donor-specific budgets, showing value to donors while supporting J-PAL MENA’s sustainability. Brief funders on J-PAL MENA financial strategies as needed; collaborate with key-stakeholders and provide guidance to J-PAL MENA staff on how to most effectively develop proposals and budgets, anticipating potential logistical or administrative challenges; able to lead budget development independently, aligned with the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) requirements, and submit in collaboration with OSP
  • Coordinate with the AUC OSP and ensure that all proposal budgets meet the university standards and requirements for submission
  • Develop strategic budget and financial planning processes, establish assumptions, projections, and goals for J-PAL MENA, including managing staff allocations and financial planning across intersecting multi-million-dollar grant
  • Develop strategies that work to minimize financial risk
  • Lead financial aspects of fundraising negotiations with local, regional and international donors to J-PAL MENA at AUC

Organizational Operations and Management (25%)

Human Resources

  • Strengthen the human resources systems for J-PAL MENA overall, with an aim of providing the structures and support needed to help the team work effectively with a positive, dynamic team culture
  • Propose systems to quickly advertise, interview, hire, and onboard new staff as J-PAL MENA needs evolve
  • Ensure compliance with all AUC and J-PAL HR processes
  • Ensure that J-PAL team understands AUC policies and taps into the many resources available to the campus community
  • Provide guidance and close follow up on the annual performance review process


  • Work with AUC procurement and contracting staff to manage procurement of goods and services
  • Manage vendor relationships in support of research project implementation
  • Work closely with J-PAL MENA at AUC staff to finalize MoUs and contracts with partners and donors

Office Operations

  • Manage knowledge management systems for the office, including standardizing file location, access, and retention practices
  • Liaise with AUC and the J-PAL global office to ensure the optimal operation of office computers and telecommunications systems
  • Identify needs proactively for as well as procure day-to-day office materials


  • Orient Initiative staff on how to use AUC financial and administration forms.
  • Develop systems, manuals, and processes to integrate J-PAL MENA at AUC with AUC offices including OSP, HR, Procurement, IT, Legal, and others - aligning J-PAL MENA’s unique operational needs related to running Randomized Control Trials with AUC policies

Information and Systems Management (5%)

  • Provide strategic direction to the office on how to best document, organize, and communicate information across the organization. This includes contact managements in salesforce, document organization in Dropbox and Google Drive, hiring, and project management
  • Develop knowledge management and information systems for complex projects that generate large datasets requiring advanced data storage
  • Develop systems to facilitate regular international travel for major conferences hosted by J-PAL MENA, or for research project principle Investigator travel to Egypt
  • Implement best practices to avoid duplication of effort, consistent file storage across staff turnover, and curation of key guides and documentation
  • Perform additional duties as assigned


Minimum Education Requirement:

  • Minimum master’s degree or equivalent
  • Advanced University degree from an accredited institution in accounting, finance, administration or any other relevant field is required


  • Minimum of 15 years of experience, 12 of them with relevant and substantial experience in financial and organizational management of complex operations and finances
  • Demonstrated leadership skills in supervising teams with direct and indirect reports is required
  • Experience in an academic research setting, non-profit financial management, and high-level fundraising activities is strongly preferred
  • Experience managing multiple international donor funding streams is strongly preferred


  • Ability to manage budgets
  • Excellent command of spoken and written Arabic and English
  • Comfortable to work with computer applications (such as Asana and salesforce)
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Professional problem solving skills
  • Ability to take initiative and lead a team of peers
  • Experience with financial management/accounting software is expected
  • SAP experience is an asset
  • Good attention to details with excellent follow up skills
  • Time management and multi-tasking
  • Ability to work independently, take initiative, and exercise budget monitoring

How to Apply

This position is open until March 30, 2022

Important information for your application to be considered: Please send your resume and a tailored cover letter explaining your interest in J-PAL MENA and your suitability for the position, and e-mail it to to [email protected]. Please write “F&O Director Application” as the subject of your email. Only applicants who submit both of these materials will be considered. Placement is based on the candidate’s experience and skills. Only candidates who make it to the short list will be contacted.

Placement is based on the candidate’s experience and skills. Only candidates who make it to the short list will be contacted.

"The American University in Cairo is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. Individuals with

disabilities are encouraged to apply."

“We thank all individuals who have expressed interest in working at The American University in Cairo."