Educating leaders for a sustainable future.

Director of Finance and Operations

Location: Kigali, Rwanda

Duration: 2-year minimum commitment.

The Akilah Director of Finance and Operations (DFO) will have a unique opportunity to reimagine higher education for women in Rwanda. In a post-genocide era in which women have assumed significant leadership roles in both Parliament and a booming business community, Akilah is poised to develop the next set of Rwandan leaders.  The DFO will play a critical role in supporting the educational experience of these aspiring women leaders by managing the Institute’s overall finances and creating systems to ensure that the day-to-day operations run smoothly. Our dream candidate is strategic, a serious critical thinker, detail oriented, and trustworthy. S/he is extremely creative when it comes to identifying cost savings in our budget.  He/she is able to hold the big picture in mind while diving into the granular details. The DFO will design and support the student tuition payment systems, the budget, the audits, and oversee all cash flow.  We expect the DFO to be innovative about how we can reduce or expenses, find greater efficiencies in our operations, and assume responsibility for ensuring that all of our financial policies are managed with fidelity. Akilah will likely move to a new building in the fall of 2014 and the DFO will manage the build out of the facility, including managing the engineers and architects and overseeing all of the operations associated with the new building.

Key responsibilities include:

General Accounting and Finance:

  • Identify areas in the budget where Akilah can optimize expenditures, find savings, and be creative about our spending in order to keep our operation as lean as possible.
  • Ensure the accuracy of all financial statements and controls.
  • Serve as the primary point of contact on all communication to the US related to finance.
  • Assist the Country Director and CEO in preparing required budget.
  • Oversee the financial reporting of all grants and campus financial transactions.
  • Monitor and reconcile all expenses and revenue in both US and Rwandan bank accounts.
  • Manage monthly expenses and provide the Country Director with monthly reports on the budget verses actual spending.
  • Oversee office procurement. Approve all payments for local vendors and contractors for goods and services received. Ensure timely payment
  • Complete other assigned duties as needed.

Financial Management and Reporting:

  • Record all financial transactions on a daily basis into the office accounting system (QuickBooks) and submit weekly and monthly reports to the Country Director and CEO
  • Oversee both local and US annual audit and ensure that it is in alignment with Rwanda and US regulations.
  • Design procurement procedures and then enforce them with staff.
  • Ensure that all donor restricted grants are tracked according to their guidelines and are in compliance.

Payroll Management:

  • Ensure that Akilah is in compliance with national tax and labor regulations, including paying local income taxes and social security on a timely basis.
  • Ensure the monthly payroll allocation entries are properly calculated, coded, and entered into accounting system.
  • Ensure that PTO is properly recorded into payroll.

Student Tuition Management:

  • Manage and maintain accurate records of each student’s tuition fees, payments, and student loans.
  • Conduct financial consultations with students.
  • Provide strategic recommendations on the current student loan program (UOB) and for any future programs that may be of interest.

Operations and Facilities

  • Akilah is planning to buy a new building and move into a new location in January 2015. The Director of Finance and Operations will oversee and orchestrate the entire move. Specifically, s/he will work with engineers and architects to solidify the designs and construction and then manage all of the day-to-day operations related to building management.  
  • Ensures effective campus operations and recommends operational improvements to the Country Director.
  • Creates and communicates campus schedule and room assignments to faculty, administrative staff and students.
  • Work with suppliers to introduce a new payment system to reduce the amount of petty cash used.
  • Provide operational support for special projects, special events and other public relations affairs (i.e. students orientation, graduation, private sector events, etc.) 
  • Ensure campus safety and security and notifies the Country Director and the Principal of any violation of policies, procedures, or operational irregularities.  
  • Manages inventory of Akilah assets, classrooms supplies, and creates a reordering process when necessary. 
Provides logistical support for campus faculty and staff.  
  • Plans and implements special projects as assigned by the Country Director to increase service delivery, room utilization and/or accommodate program needs.  


  • In collaboration with the IS department manager and Director of Technology, work to ensure that Akilah has a fast and reliable wireless Internet connection at all times.
  • Identify efficiencies in systems management by introducing new tools and apps.

Qualifications and Skills

  • Masters Degree with a specialization in financial accounting or certified accountant preferred 
  • 3-5 years of experience in a finance related role – working with audits, budgets, Excel and QuickBooks 
  • Excellent oral and written skills  
  • Excellent computer management skills
  • Demonstrated track record for thinking creatively and strategically to minimize costs where necessary and ability to maximize efficiency


Competitive compensation, health insurance, campus crèche, gym membership, generous PTO, 1 annual round-trip flight to home country

Leave a comment