Guatemala: Director of Finance and Administration

Organization: Semilla Nueva
Country: Guatemala
Closing date: 12 Jan 2017

Summary of the organization

Malnutrition affects over a billion people worldwide, and Guatemala has the third highest rate in the world with nearly half of children suffering stunted growth. Semilla Nueva works with scientists, farmers, and the Guatemalan government to promote biofortified crops. Biofortified corn, beans and other crops have been bred to have higher yields, better taste, and far more nutrients. These new crops allow farmers and families to continue growing and eating what they traditionally have, while dramatically improving the nutrition of their children and the entire food system. Semilla Nueva’s goal is to reach more than a million people with these new crops in the next five years.

Semilla Nueva works directly with farmers to test and improve these new seeds. We achieve scaling through collaborations with farmer groups, NGOs, the government and through direct sales of commercial seeds based on innovative social marketing campaigns. We have also constructed a national collaboration to promote biofortified seeds, which has helped nearly 20 organizations in the majority of the country reach 5,000 families in its first year. Our newest seed, launched in 2016, has already changed the daily diets of 27,000 people, and we hope to reach 60,000 by 2017. Further, this year marked our first year of commercial seed sales, which we hope to provide over half of our revenue in the next five years, allowing Semilla Nueva to become more and more financially sustainable.

Our work has led to international recognition including some of the leading awards in social entrepreneurship, including an Ashoka fellowship and Forbes 30 under 30 for our founder, Curt Bowen.

Summary of the position

The Director of Finance and Administration will be a strategic thought-partner, and report to the executive director (ED). The successful candidate will be a hands-on and participative manager and will lead and develop an internal team to support the following areas: finance, business planning and budgeting, human resources, administration, and IT.

The Director of Finance and Administration will play a critical role in partnering with the senior leadership team in strategic decision making and operations as Semilla Nueva continues to enhance its quality programming and build capacity. This is a tremendous opportunity for a finance and operations leader to maximize and strengthen the internal capacity of a well-respected, high-impact organization.

Summary of the position

Financial Management

 Analyze and present financial reports in an accurate and timely manner; clearly communicate monthly and annual financial statements; collate financial reporting materials for all donor segments, and oversee all financial, project/program and grants accounting.
 Coordinate and lead the audit process, liaise with external auditors and the finance committee of the board of directors; assess any changes necessary.
 Oversee and lead annual budgeting and planning process in conjunction with the ED; administer and review all financial plans and budgets; monitor progress and changes and keep senior leadership team abreast of the organization’s financial status.
 Manage organizational cash flow and forecasting.
 Implement a robust contracts management and financial management/ reporting system; ensure that the contract billing and collection schedule is adhered to and that financial data and cash flow are steady and support operational requirements.
 Update and implement all necessary business policies and accounting practices; improve the finance department’s overall policy and procedure manual.
 Effectively communicate and present the critical financial matters to the board of directors.
 Coordinate with other directors to lead the development and maintenance of Semilla Nueva’s business plan and five year plans and projections.

Human Resources, Technology and Administration.
 Further develop Semilla Nueva’s human resources and administration, enhancing professional development, compensation and benefits, performance evaluation, training and recruiting.
 Ensure that recruiting processes are consistent and streamlined.
 Establish and manage a comprehensive training program to educate employees regarding staff tools, policies and procedures.
 Work closely and transparently with all external partners including third-party vendors and consultants.
 Oversee administrative functions as well as facilities to ensure efficient and consistent operations as the organization scales.

 Minimum of a B.A., ideally with an MBA/CPA or related degree
 At least 7-10 years of overall professional experience; ideally 6+ years of broad financial and operations management experience
 The ideal candidate has experience of final responsibility for the quality and content of all financial data, reporting and audit coordination for either a division or significant program area, and has preferably overseen a human resources function previously
 Ability to translate financial concepts to – and to effectively collaborate with — programmatic and fundraising colleagues who do not necessarily have finance backgrounds
 A track record in grants management
 Technology savvy with experience selecting and overseeing software installations and managing relationships with software vendors; knowledge of accounting and reporting software
 Commitment to training programs that maximize individual and organization goals across the organization including best practices in human resources activities
 A successful track record in setting priorities; keen analytic, organization and problem solving skills which support and enable sound decision making
 Excellent communication and relationship building skills with an ability to prioritize, negotiate, and work with a variety of internal and external stakeholders
 A multi-tasker with the ability to wear many hats in a fast-paced environment
 Personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and dedication to the mission of Semilla Nueva

 Full-time position based in Guatemala City
 Minimum commitment of two years, preferably three
 Comfortable traveling to and spending time in rural parts of Guatemala with difficult living conditions.
 Fluent English and Spanish

Salary: Competitive local salary, dependent on experience

How to apply:

Before applying, please review our website, blog, and Annual Report which are found at

To apply please email us a cover letter and CV to with the subject line Finance and Admin – Your last name, your first name.

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