Chief Financial Officer

The Mission of the SETI Institute is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe. The Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation founded in 1984 to conduct scientific and educational research and programs. Currently, it employs ~130 people, including more than 75 research scientists. Research and education projects are funded by Federal Agencies, including NASA, the NSF and private donations.


The SETI Institute seeks a Chief Financial Officer with significant experience with non-profit management. The position will oversee financial, human resources and business affairs of the Institute, safeguard and manage financial assets, assure compliance with all federal, state and sponsor reporting requirements and laws. The CFO will also provide management and Board of Trustees with information and analysis regarding corporate and business activities, financial planning and forecasting.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Provide strategic leadership and advice for management and the Board of Trustees regarding policies, programs and the effective use of resources, processes and systems.
  • Provide guidance to accounting, human resources, contracts and procurement and grants administration department staff.
  • Ensure compliance with generally accepted accounting principles and other non-profit accounting governing agency regulations.

Qualifications and Attributes:

  • A minimum of a BS, a CPA and/or MBA would be a plus.
  • 10 years of financial experience with 5 years of experience in a C level role preferably in a non-profit organization.
  • Experience in non-profit accounting in accordance with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting principles.
  • Deep knowledge and understanding of OMB Circulars A-122 and A-133, and all other relevant federal, state and sponsoring agency regulations.
  • Experience in investment management, auditor interface, banking relations, financial statement preparation and analysis. 
  • Must be able to represent the Institute to financial institutions, donors, foundation executives, auditors and public officials and willing to collaborate and partner with fund raising activities.
  • Demonstrated leadership and supervisory ability, team management, and interpersonal skills are critical.

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