Interim Head of Finance

Interim Head of Finance

Application deadline closed.

Job Description

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)


Job Purpose and Definition

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) is a leading global organization focused on addressing the root causes of violence through a feminist lens. We are working to create a world of permanent peace built on feminist foundations of freedom, justice, nonviolence, human rights, and equality for all.

We are seeking to hire an interim Head of Finance who is aligned with our mission, to  implement the financial strategy of the International Secretariat (IS)  based on our International Programme 2022-2025.WILPF International Secretariat has international offices in Geneva and New York City,  with an annual budget of approximately CHF 7 million and supervises a Finance Team of 5 members.

We are looking for someone to maintain operational continuity during this transition phase.   The successful candidate has strong technical skills in finance and grants management and can lead the Finance Team and organization through various upcoming audits. The successful candidate has extensive experience managing and complying with Swiss-based financial processes and has a solid understanding of WILPF’s operational needs. We are looking for someone committed to feminist, anti-racist, and inclusive ways of working, and who will thrive in a collaborative working environment.

The interim Head of Finance (HoF) has the overall responsibility of sustaining the implementation of WILPF’s financial function and priorities of the International Secretariat (IS). The interim HoF sits in the Senior Management Team (SMT) and is the highest compliance authority at the International Secretariat in terms of financial regulations. The interim HoF maintains the organisational budget, manages accounting and audits, oversees grants management and reporting, and supervises the Finance Team.

Main responsibilities

The interim Head of Finance will manage the following handover tasks with the current Finance Team:

  1. Manage handover of WILPF HoF duties.
  2. Manage upcoming audits, including planning of the audits with the auditors.
  3. Manage contacts (banks, Convera, auditors, IT company Delphisoft).
  4. Monitor expenses and revenues via dashboard (for GVA and UNO).
  5. Monitor risks ( compliance with donors’ requirements, foreign exchange impacts).


The interim HoF will manage the following tasks and processes:


Financial Strategy and Management

  1. Develop and analyse information to assess the current and future financial status of the organisation.
  2. Oversee the implementation of the Financial Manual, Policies and Systems.
  3. Maintain the financial health of the organisation and ensure compliance.
  4. Manage organisational cash flow and forecasting.
  5. Administer the payment process and authorise expenses to provide reasonable control.



  1. Review the annual organisational budget in consultation with the programme directors and WILPF NY office.
  2. Administer and review all financial plans and budgets, monitor progress and changes, and produce short-term projections.
  3. Produce accurate and timely financial reports: collate financial reporting materials for the various bodies of the organisation and several donors.

Grants Financial Management

  1. Supervise financial management of grants.
  2. Administer monitoring and reporting to donors.
  3. Provide financial planning, forecasting, and fundraising support.
  4. Oversee capacity support to staff and sub-grantees.

Internal Control/Auditing

  1. Oversee financial review and assessment regarding funds forwarded to partners. Continue assessment and training of partners, including online learning certificates and formal training opportunities on corruption.
  2. Maintain an internal control environment. Improve the overall financial policy and procedure manual for adequate financial controls to mitigate risks.
  3. Implement internal controls. Ensure that applicable laws, regulations and donor requirements or restrictions are complied with. Manage and guide employees to ensure appropriate financial processes are being used.
  4. Review outgoing partner and Section contracts (sub-grants).
  5. Coordinate and lead the annual audit process liaising with the auditor, Audit Committee, programmes and donors.
  6. Lead project and grant audits by liaising with the auditor, programmes, and donors.


  1. Maintain records of all financial transactions.
  2. Oversee bookkeeping for the Geneva office transactions.
  3. Oversee project/programme and grants accounting.
  4. Oversee monthly reconciliations and accounts reconciliations.
  5. Manage fixed assets for the purposes of financial accounting and safeguard through the maintenance of the Assets Register.
  6. Lead the preparation of yearly financial statements, work in close collaboration with CPA firm.
  7. Fulfill relevant taxation obligations of the organisation.

Team Management

  1. Provide interim management of the Finance Team.
  2. Provide mentorship and coaching to team members, and manage development conversations.
  3. Assess training needs for the Finance Team and co-create training plans with staff with timelines.


  1. Work with the Audit Committee of the International Board (representing the SG).
  2. Work with the Standing Committee on Risk Management (member of the SCRM).

Interdependencies and Reporting

  • The HoF reports to the Secretary General.
  • The HoF supervises the Finance Team, which includes Grant and Finance Coordinators, Finance Associates, part-time bookkeepers, and other Financial consultants.
  • The HoF sits on the Senior Management Team (SMT) with the Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General.
  • The HoF works closely with the International Treasurer, the HR Manager, programme staff and the UNO Office Manager.

Knowledge, Skills and Competencies:

  • Demonstrated financial management and planning skills. Experience managing a diverse, co-located team is a plus.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of budgeting and forecasting.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of Swiss GAAP accounting principles and international accounting standards.
  • Working knowledge of Swiss legislation and regulations. Knowledge of US financial legislation and regulations is a plus.
  • Ability to interpret financial information to programmatic colleagues.
  • Proven financial report drafting ability.
  • Excellent organisational skills with the ability to prioritise work and take initiative. Ability to quickly pivot to evolving organisational priorities. Ability to plan and prioritise work to ensure deadlines are met.
  • Strong analytical skills, with the ability to communicate arguments clearly, logically, and effectively.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a collaborative team. Enthusiastic and reliable team player, yet independent and self-reliant. Ability to be self-motivated, and to take initiative as needed.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with the ability to form and maintain effective partnerships and working relations in a multicultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
  • Keen interest in WILPF’s work and commitment to its feminist values.
  • Demonstrate a willingness to learn, remain open minded, and flexible.
  • Demonstrated professionalism, commitment, and integrity.

Education and Experience:

  • Minimum of 5-7 years of experience working in finance.
  • University degree in finance/accounting, business administration, public administration or related field required.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English. Working knowledge of French is desirable.
  • Experience in ERP implementation, ideally Microsoft Dynamics.
  • Previous relevant experience in NGOs or international organisations.
  • Experience in grant management.
  • Experience in applying and improving internal controls and processes.
  • Experience in committee work (preferably as a member of an oversight committee) is a plus.


Terms: Full time position for 4-6 months, with option to extend.

Location: Geneva

Annual salary: 85,000 – 102,000 CHF

Start date: ASAP

How to Apply:

Please send a resumé or CV and a cover letter to with “Interim Head of Finance” in the subject line. Please note that any applications without a cover letter will not be considered.

Deadline for application submissions is Friday, 10 February 2023.

WILPF thanks all applicants for your interest; however, only shortlisted applicants will be contacted. The position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate has been identified.