Dean for Administration and Finance

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Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) seeks a seasoned administrative and financial leader to help drive cultural and operational change that promotes innovation and excellence in education, clinical care delivery, research and discovery, and community. As a strategic thought partner to HSDM’s Dean, with oversight of the School’s $52 million operating budget, the Dean for Administration and Finance will advance institutional priorities and navigate environmental challenges with an eye toward improving operating efficiencies, enhancing revenue streams, managing expenses, and protecting assets.

Ranking as one of the preeminent schools of dental medicine in the country, HSDM educates clinicians, educators, researchers, and leaders in the profession; boasts core strength in dental, oral, and craniofacial research; and offers students public health opportunities in local communities and across the globe. The only school at Harvard to offer direct patient care, HSDM treats a community of 50,000+ active patients the Harvard Dental Center HSDM graduates make their mark in prevention, discovery, and practice as they work to improve the health and well-being of local and global populations.

Office of Administration and Finance

HSDM’s Administrative Offices support the School's mission of fostering a community of diverse global leaders in education, research, and clinical innovation dedicated to improving human health by integrating dentistry and medicine. One of eight, the HSDM Office of Administration and Finance leads development of the School’s strategic plan and manages the following key areas: Finance, Grants Management, Human Resources, Facilities, Information Technology, and Risk and Compliance.

Position Summary

Reporting to HSDM’s Dean with a dotted-line reporting relationship to Harvard University’s Executive Vice President and Harvard Medical School’s Executive Dean, the Dean for Administration and Finance serves as HSDM’s chief financial and administrative officer, advising on all aspects of fiscal and administrative affairs and providing clear guidance and communication consistent with the Dean’s vision and strategic goals.  

Primary Responsibilities

  • Oversee resource allocation, management and administration of HSDM’s full-range of financial, facilities, clinical, research, and educational and administrative support functions, including human resources and information technology.
  • Manage all financial operations including strategic multi-year planning, forecasting, budgeting, accounting, financial reporting and variance analysis, financial risk assessment, and capital planning.
  • As a principal member of the HSDM leadership team, work with the Dean to champion strategic planning efforts, collaborating with faculty leadership and senior department heads to assure alignment of clinical, academic, research, and administrative efforts, as well as deployment of resources, consistent with HSDM goals, objectives, and finances.
  • Partner with senior leadership on the development of annual and long-term operating and capital budgets.
  • Lead physical resource planning, and construction and renovation initiatives.
  • Oversee program/outcome assessments, business continuity, and risk/compliance assessment and planning; advise on strategic operating decision-making and tools to measure and evaluate performance.
  • Work closely with the Dean and Associate Dean of Development and Alumni Relations to plan and implement philanthropic partnerships and activities.
  • Provide leadership in building community, diversity, and communication among all HSDM populations and represent HSDM on multiple committees. Facilitate and nurture strategic relationships across the University and greater Harvard community, and with other Dental Schools, advancing HSDM’s brand and reputation.
  • Lead, mentor, develop, and retain a high-performing, evolving 18+-member team that includes Senior Director of Financial Operations, Directors of Facilities and Operations, Risk and Compliance/IT Strategy and Security, and Human Resources, Director of Grants Administration, and Clinical Applications Director.
  • Foster a team-oriented, customer-focused culture committed to professional excellence and accountability, and an inclusive workplace culture where diverse backgrounds, styles, abilities, and motivations are welcomed.
  • Continually assess, evaluate, and improve departmental structure and operational processes.
  • Encourage professional development for self and team, keeping abreast of best practices.

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • 15+ years of progressive leadership experience in finance and operations.
  • Knowledge of accounting practices, managerial finance, budgeting, and financial analysis.
  • Record of accomplishment in strategic and financial planning, preferably in organizations undergoing change; strong business acumen and judgment.
  • Proven ability to motivate and manage teams, build strategic relationships, work and negotiate with a broad range of constituents, mediate competing interests, and lead through influence as well as through direct authority.

Additional Qualifications

  • M.B.A., M.S.F., or advanced degree in related discipline.
  • Demonstrated experience serving as an advisor to senior leaders, adding value beyond the strict definition of the position; able to advise on financial and strategic issues, balancing rigor, structure, and effectiveness.
  • Proven success inspiring and leading a data-driven, mission-oriented, service-minded team.
  • Experience in complex, academically-based environments (e.g.: healthcare, research, higher education) highly desirable.

Skills, Abilities, Attributes

  • High energy, team-oriented, customer-focused with a passion for excellence consistent with Harvard’s culture and core values, and operating with the utmost integrity.
  • Politically savvy, able to successfully navigate a complex academic, clinical, research organization with multiple internal and external stakeholders, leading through influence and with transparency to gain trust and credibility.
  • A superior relationship manager who is able to engage and coalesce numerous constituencies, and build alliances and partnerships in implementing innovative solutions.
  • An active listener with high “EQ” who is open to and shares new concepts and ideas, synthesizes complex situations, provides clarity and illumination to others, and can facilitate and negotiate.
  • Exceptional communication and presentation skills with genuine comfort in a front-facing leadership role.
  • Highly organized and self-directed, able to develop comprehensive short- and long-term strategic and operational plans from broadly-stated mission objectives.

The Harvard School of Dental Medicine is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. This is a retained search of Exceptional Executive Search.

For more information, contact Nicole Gakidis, Search Director, at [email protected].

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