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Assistant Head of School for Finance and Operations and Chief Operating Officer

Job description

Northfield Mount Hermon

Mount Hermon, Massachusetts


Assistant Head of School for Finance and Operations and Chief Operating Officer


With the appointment of a charismatic and resourceful new head of school and following the successful 14-year service of the last incumbent chief financial officer, Northfield Mount Hermon (“NMH”) — located in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts — seeks an assistant head of school for finance and operations and chief operating officer (“COO”). The COO will play a critical role in sustaining NMH’s distinction among pre-eminent American independent boarding schools.


As NMH prepares for the most ambitious campaign in its history, the board, head of school, and his senior leadership team seek a strategic partner and collaborator who can identify new opportunities, think entrepreneurially about institutionally sustaining investments, provide an independent perspective on investment strategy, devise new analytics for resource allocation, and hone or re-imagine the long-term financial-planning models that have served the school so well. The new COO will inherit, and have the opportunity to renew, a highly professional financial operation that enjoys community confidence and trust.


Originally two neighboring schools (the Northfield School for Girls, founded in 1879, and the Mount Hermon School for Boys, founded in 1881), NMH merged into a single institution in 1971 and consolidated its operations on the Mount Hermon campus in 2005. Today’s NMH is a coeducational college-preparatory school enrolling 655 students (83 percent boarding and 17 percent day) in grades 9–12 or as postgraduates. NMH is proud of its diversity: 23 percent of students are international, representing 58 countries and 29 U.S. states. Classes are small, with a 6:1 student-to-teacher ratio and an average class size of 11.   NMH enjoys the company of its peers in the Eight Schools Association, established in 1973 as the boarding-school counterpart to the Ivy League.


The COO is responsible for the oversight and management of finance and operations at the school, and reports directly to the head of school, while working closely with the senior leadership team and the board of trustees. The COO supervises eight direct reports: the director of financial operations (who has a staff of five), the director of plant facilities, the director of human resources, the director of information technology, the director of dining services, investment and finance administrator, risk/purchasing manager and the director of auxiliary services.


The ideal candidate will be an experienced financial or business executive with a successful record of managing diverse operations, and with broad intellectual interests and a personal commitment to sustaining and strengthening the distinctive identity and mission of NMH. The successful candidate is likely to have senior financial- and operations-management experience in an academic institution that includes oversight of facilities, legal, risk-management, human resources, contracts, and project management. However, applications are also welcome from individuals with relevant experience elsewhere in commercial or social enterprises or in professional services (in an organization of comparable scope, scale, and complexity).


Candidates should manifest a desire to live in a vibrant, inclusive, and diverse learning community and have an affinity for independent secondary education (although there is no requirement to live on campus). A bachelor’s degree in an arts-and-sciences discipline and an MBA or graduate degree in a relevant field, or a bachelor’s and/or graduate degree in finance, accounting, or business administration, are required credentials. A CPA designation is strongly preferred.


Review of candidate materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment. Nominations, inquiries, and applications should be addressed to NMH’s search consultant, Mr. Chuck O’Boyle, directly at [email protected], who will send a detailed specification upon request. A complete application will include a letter of interest, a CV or résumé, and contact information for five professional references who can speak about the candidate’s qualifications for this position. (Referees will not be contacted without the candidate’s prior permission.)






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Job No:
Posted: 2/18/2019
Application Due: 4/19/2019
Work Type: