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Rideau Hall Foundation/Fondation Rideau Hall

Director of Finance



Company Information

The Rideau Hall Foundation

Established in 2012, the Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF) exists to amplify the Office of the Governor General in its work to connect, honour and inspire Canadians. The RHF works in close collaboration with external partners to support initiatives that strengthen our identity, build capacity, and promote the advancement of a smart and caring nation. The Rideau Hall Foundation’s four pillars of activity – exploring new ways of learning, developing leadership, promoting a culture of innovation and widening the circle of giving – speak to the vision of the Foundation’s Chair, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and the Office he represents. These pillars are strongly interrelated and may be adjusted over time to respond to shifting opportunities and challenges determined by future governors general and the RHF board.

The Rideau Hall Foundation will serve as a platform, connector and amplifier for initiatives that foster Canadian values and identity by utilizing the unique leadership role that governors general can play in helping marshal the talent, energy, and resources of the country.


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Job Description

Important Note:  If you are interested in this position, please refer to the application instructions under "To Submit Your Interest".

The Opportunity

The Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF) is seeking a strategically-oriented and creative finance professional to join its senior leadership team in the role of Director of Finance. This is truly an impactful mandate with an aspirational organization.

Reporting to and working closely with the President & CEO, as well as in collaboration with the Foundation’s Board of Directors, the new Director of Finance will help set the financial policy and direction for the organization. The Director of Finance will lead all financial management, budgeting and planning, and will be an active participant in, and driver of the Foundation’s overall strategy. The Director of Finance will help ensure that the mission, vision and goals of the Rideau Hall Foundation are realized. This will include providing strategic and organizational development support to the CEO, advising the Board where needed and appropriate, collaborating with all key stakeholders and partners, most notably the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, and managing internal business operations in tandem with the other senior leadership colleagues. 

Because of the unique nature of the Foundation, the ability to work effectively in both official languages is important. Also of importance will be an inherent appreciation for the vast diversity that exists across Canada and the role multiculturalism continues to play in shaping our nation. Limited travel within Canada may be expected. The position is based in Ottawa, with offices in the historic New Edinburgh neighbourhood, within close proximity to the Governor General’s residence.

The Ideal Candidate 

The Ideal Candidate will be an experienced financial leader - on the one hand, strategic in orientation with a forward looking planning approach, and on the other, possessing strong tactical day-to-day financial management experience. Passionate about the mission and goals of the Foundation, the new Director of Finance will excel in the role by applying discipline and rigour while also bringing creativity and innovative thinking. Shifting between vision and operationalization, the successful candidate will actively participate in moving the Foundation’s strategic plan forward.

Entrepreneurial and nimble, with strong business acumen, the ideal candidate will masterfully transition the work currently out-sourced to the Community Foundations of Canada, and operationalize the financial management function directly within the Rideau Hall Foundation. The Director of Finance will be comfortable shaping something new in a fast paced and fluid environment, with the limited infrastructure and resources of a recently established Foundation.

The relevance and impact of the Foundation will be constant themes as the successful candidate closely collaborates with the President & CEO, the Board, and Foundation colleagues and partners to build the organization’s capabilities and ensure its long-term sustainability. Able to balance drive and persistence with patience and restraint, the Director of Finance will be comfortable working independently while being a supportive team player. Dependable and trustworthy, the ideal candidate will contribute to a supportive and respectful environment.

The Director of Finance will bring solid financial expertise and a knack for accounting processes and controls, and ideally hands-on experience in scaling for growth and systems integration. Given the early stage of the Foundation, the successful candidate will be highly flexible and willing to roll up their sleeves to build the finance role, processes, and controls. Highly responsive and timely with information, the Director will be adept at forecasting and planning as well as measuring for growth and impact.

Well-organized and with solid analytical abilities, the Director will effectively set priorities, guide team members, monitor progress towards goals and track the details, information and data. The successful candidate will act as coach and mentor, providing help and guidance to allow staff members to effectively contribute to and support the Foundation’s work. 

The ideal candidate will understand and appreciate the historic role they will be playing in shaping strategy and capacity for the Rideau Hall Foundation and its future impact.  How they conduct themselves will be as important as what they do. The successful candidate will have significant leadership experience and maturity, as well as discretion and loyalty, with a constant awareness and respect for the Governor General’s role and Office.  Diplomatic and sincere, the Director of Finance will represent the Foundation with professionalism, integrity, and humility.  Collaborative and consultative in their approach, the new incumbent will be an honest partner who possesses an ability to develop and maintain trusting relationships with the Foundation board, colleagues, staff, partners as well as internal and external stakeholders. 

Confident and credible, the successful candidate will provide exemplary support and partnership to the President & CEO and the Board. The ideal candidate will effectively engage and interact with thought leaders to probe, connect, and catalyze on ideas.   With an eye for the details, the new Director nonetheless clearly sees and understands the broader vision, and will keep the big-picture aspirational goals of the Foundation in mind. The Director of Finance will have the ability to convey facts, data and information into a compelling and impactful story for the Board and all stakeholders of the Foundation.

A university degree and qualifications as a CPA are required for this position. The successful candidate should have knowledge of the Canadian charitable and not-for-profit sector, and ideally exposure to the investment management area.


Key Areas of Responsibility

Strategic & Operational Planning

  • As a member of the senior leadership team, participate in the development and monitoring of short- and long-term strategic and operation plans for the Foundation.
  • Collaborate with the senior leadership team to ensure effective and efficient implementation and execution of operating plans and develop value-added strategies to strengthen engagement, collaboration and education for the Foundation’s partners. 
  • Provide a financial and business lens on measuring the impact and success of the Foundation’s programs, and assist in integrating a strong understanding of the purpose, relevancy and impact of the Foundation.

Financial Management & Accounting Controls

  • Oversee, monitor and report on the Foundation's financial position to ensure its wellbeing and sustainability.
  • Develop and ensure implementation of annual and long-range financial plans and budgets for the Foundation.
  • Establish and implement effective financial management, accounting processes and controls satisfactory to the President & CEO, Board of Directors and relevant regulatory bodies.
  • Conduct financial analysis and provide efficient, accurate and timely financial reporting to the Foundation and the Board.
  • Advise the President & CEO and the Board on a wide variety of business issues, both strategic and operational.
  • Oversee and lead the annual audit and reporting process, and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Manage the investment and reserve funds of the Foundation as set out in policy developed by the Board, and more specifically the Finance & Audit and Investment Committees.
  • Manage the cash flow to maximize effective utilization of funds and negotiate with financial institutions as required.
  • Develop and implement the budget process and ensure compliance, including monitoring other functional areas’ spending and recommend any corrective actions as necessary.
  • Develop and ensure adherence to proper tax receipting policies and practices.
  • Manage and track fixed assets of the organization and maintain inventory control.
  • Develop and implement purchasing practices and monitor the purchasing system.
  • Oversee the processing of payroll and benefits.
  • Build relationships and problem solve as required in a timely and collaborative manner with all vendors, contractors, suppliers and partners.
  • Manage team members supporting the finance function, and when necessary recruit, orient and develop staff.

Organizational Leadership & Partnership Collaboration

  • As a key member of the senior leadership team, participate in setting the operational directions as well as policy-making in the context of the mission and current priorities of the Foundation.
    • Work collaboratively with staff members of the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, and build strong and cohesive relationships to effectively achieve desired outcomes.
  • Provide strategic support and advice to the President & CEO on organizational development, resource allocation, and risk assessment and management.
    • Engage with and support external partners and stakeholders as it relates to financial matters.

Board Relations & Governance Support

  • Provide governance and financial management subject area expertise support to the Board.
  • Report on all financial matters, in a thorough and timely manner, to the Board, and relevant Board Committees, including assistance with external firms including audit, external investment managers, and legal counsel.
  • Advise the President & CEO and the Board on enterprise risk management issues and processes.

Operational Management

  • Assist on business systems and information technology planning to achieve the Foundation’s goals, including the implementation and integration of the Financial Edge software application.
  • Engage with and facilitate cross-department collaboration to ensure that all financial, IT, and HR solutions support the Foundation’s evolving strategy, goals and priorities.
  • Monitor all legislation and regulations relevant to the Foundation, such as employment standards, privacy, human rights, certifications, etc., to ensure that the organization is compliant.
  • Oversee the management of all leases, contracts, insurance coverage and other financial commitments.
  • Work closely and transparently with all external partners including third-party vendors and consultants.


Qualifications and Competencies

  • Proven senior financial management leadership experience ideally coupled with broader operations accountabilities, including direct involvement with systems, technology, processes and controls.
  • Demonstrated experience in developing and implementing an organization’s strategic plan.
  • Knowledge of board governance, and experience presenting and reporting to a Board of Directors on an organization’s financial state of affairs, enterprise risk management issues and legal matters.
  • Experience within small or start-up organizations or initiatives, and proven ability to manage through growth periods.
  • Successful leadership experience enhancing organizational effectiveness including coaching and mentoring teams.
  • Experience with, or exposure to, fundraising revenues and philanthropic donations, and the financial systems to manage, analyze, forecast and plan for such.
  • Exposure to, or working knowledge of, investment management of philanthropic foundation assets and managing relationships with investment management firms would be a decided asset.
  • Thorough knowledge of the legislative, accounting and specific Canada Revenue Agency requirements for not-for-profits, and more specifically registered charities, is preferred.
  • At minimum, a Bachelor’s degree in a related field, or equivalent is required; an MBA or related would be an asset.
  • A professional accounting designation (i.e. CPA) is required.
  • Expertise with Blackbaud’s Financial Edge and Raiser’s Edge applications would be an asset, including experience guiding a systems implementation.
  • Demonstrated commitment to volunteerism or the non-profit and philanthropic sector.
  • Bilingual in both official languages.

Additional, the successful candidate will possess strengths in the following character attributes:

  • Team Leadership
  • Strategic Orientation
  • Political Acuity & Sound Judgment
  • Creativity & Innovation
  • Organizational Planning & Attention to Details
  • Problem-Solving & Analysis
  • Flexibility & Adaptability
  • Communication & Facilitation
  • Maturity & Relational Intelligence
  • Tact & Diplomacy
  • Work Ethic & Integrity
  • Alignment with the mission and vision of the Rideau Hall Foundation


To Submit Your Interest

KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) has been retained to conduct this search on behalf of the Rideau Hall Foundation.  For more information about this leadership opportunity, please contact, with privacy assured: David Laws, Vice President or Sylvie Battisti, Senior Executive Search Consultant by email at

To view the full Executive Brief, please visit:

Interested individuals are invited to send their resume and a letter of interest to the email address listed above by August 30, 2017.  All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence. 

Further information about the Rideau Hall Foundation is available at

Contact Information

Rideau Hall Foundation/Fondation Rideau Hall
David Laws
4163409710 ext. 1019
Posting Date: 09-Aug-2017Accounting and Finance Permanent, Full-Time Open 1 ASAP
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