Director of Finance and Administration (KDI)

Open Date: May 31, 2016

Job Title: Director of Finance and Administration

Organization: Kounkuey Design Initiative (KDI)

Location: Downtown Los Angeles

Closing date: Until Filled

Kounkuey Design Initiative is looking for an exceptional individual to fill the role of Director of Finance and Administration. This is a new position within a dynamic and growing organization. The ideal candidate will be interested in and knowledgeable of the design and community development professions, and excited to take on the challenge of developing this position, the corresponding departments, and the overall organisation.


Kounkuey Design Initiative (KDI) is an award winning non-profit design and community development organization that partners with communities living in extreme poverty to physically transform degraded environments, grow economic resilience, and build social cohesion. KDI was started in the informal settlement of Kibera, Kenya in 2006 to explore the potential of community-driven public space to transform underserved neighborhoods into thriving communities. The resulting Kibera Public Space Project has grown into a network of active and attractive community hubs that meet residents’ most pressing needs of clean water, decent sanitation, income generating opportunities, safe recreational spaces, and education.

KDI believes participatory design and long-term investment are key to sustainable development. Working collaboratively with communities from project conception through implementation, KDI enhances their ideas with technical knowledge and creativity, and connects them to extant resources. KDI has since used the participatory model developed in Kibera to work with communities in Haiti, Ghana, Los Angeles and the Coachella Valley in California.

KDI’s head office is in Downtown Los Angeles with the other principal office in Nairobi, Kenya. For more information about the organization, please visit


This is not a conventional position, because this is not a conventional organization. The Director of Finance and Administration will be a strategic thought-partner, and report to the Executive Director (ED) and work closely with the Associate Director. The successful candidate will look forward to working from our Kenya office for a few weeks each year. The candidate will be a hands-on and collaborative manager and will lead and develop an internal team to support the following areas: finance, business planning and budgeting, human resources, administration, and IT, in both the US and Kenya Offices. This is a tremendous opportunity for a finance and operations leader to strengthen and build the evolving internal capacity of a highly innovative, dynamic, and high-impact organization.


Financial Management

  • Strengthen and build-up existing financial/accounting team across the country offices
    • 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 annual audit process, liaise with external auditors and the finance committee of the board of directors; assess any changes necessary.
    • Oversee and lead annual budgeting (1.5-2.5 million dollar annual budget) and planning process in conjunction with the ED and Associate Director (AD); 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 procedures manual.
      • Effectively communicate and present the critical financial matters to the Board of Directors.

Human Resources, Technology, and Administration

  • Further develop, build, and harmonize KDI's human resources and administration, enhancing professional development, compensation and benefits, performance evaluation, training and recruiting, across the country offices.
    • Ensure that recruiting processes across offices 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 5 years of overall professional experience; ideally 6+ years of broad financial and operations management experience
  • Experience holding final responsibility for the quality and content of all financial data, reporting and audit coordination for either a division or significant program area, and preferably, overseeing a human resources function
  • 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; knowledge of accounting and reporting software


  • 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
  • A successful track record in setting priorities; keen analytic, organization and problem solving skills which support and enable sound decision making
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills with a wide variety of internal and external audiences
  • A proactive approach to problem solving
  • Willingness to travel and to communicate across multiple time zones
  • Personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and dedication to the mission of KDI

  SALARY RANGE: 65-75k

Interested candidates should submit a resume, cover letter, and writing sample to Chelina Odbert, Executive Director at [email protected]

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to their race, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status or medical condition.

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