Position Description

The Controller is a new position that will work directly with the Chief Financial Officer and members of the Finance and Development department to advance strong financial management and performance at ChangeLab Solutions.

Reporting to the Chief Financial Officer, the Controller manages day-to-day operations for accounting and payroll functions, ensuring smooth, timely, accurate, and compliant implementation of this work. They conduct budgeting and reporting processes and provide analysis and recommendations to facilitate strong financial management, decision making, and performance. They also manage our organization’s implementation of regulations, internal controls, and external reporting to ensure compliance and risk management that meets the highest standards of nonprofit financial management. As manager of the accounting and payroll unit, they directly supervise the Senior Staff Accountant, with potential to supervise additional staff in the future.

About ChangeLab Solutions

Our mission is to create healthier communities for all through equitable laws and policies.

ChangeLab Solutions is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that uses the tools of law and policy to advance health equity. We partner with communities across the nation to improve health and opportunity by changing harmful laws, policies, and systems. Our interdisciplinary team works with community organizations, governments, and local institutions to design and implement equitable and practical policy solutions to complex health challenges. For more information on our organization and our work, see

The successful candidate will embody our organization’s core values:

  • JUSTICE: We believe that all people have the right to health, justice, dignity, and opportunity. We work to dismantle oppressive and racist systems, laws, and policies and replace them with laws and policies that address the root causes of health inequities.
  • LEARNING: We are always learning. We take risks, reflecting on our failures and our successes in order to strengthen our health equity work.
  • COLLABORATION: We believe that complex problems are best solved through partnerships across multiple disciplines and sectors that maximize collective resources and align actions to advance health equity.
  • COMMUNITY: We learn from those we work with, and we respect lived experience. We acknowledge that our lives, histories, and futures are interconnected, yet not all voices have been equally heard or valued—which is a barrier to health and equity.
  • INTEGRITY: Our solutions in service of health and equity are grounded in evidence, legal precedent, and community-led change efforts.

ChangeLab Solutions is committed to centering equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in our organizational culture, norms, practices, and policies. As an organization, we are committing time and resources to build our internal capacity and stay accountable for doing this work. As a staff, we are engaging in trainings and collective EDI work. We are eager to hire applicants who are personally dedicated to EDI and who are excited to join an organization where this work is part of the employee experience.

ChangeLab Solutions has a strong commitment to building a staff that is rich with cultural, social, and intellectual diversity. Candidates who can contribute to this goal are encouraged to apply and to identify their strengths and experiences in this area.

Key Responsibilities

Management of Accounting and Payroll Functions

The Controller effectively manages and supervises the day-to-day operations of the accounting and payroll functions, ensuring smooth, timely, accurate, and compliant implementation of this work.

  • Manage operations of the accounting and payroll unit, ensuring that transactions and processes occur in a timely and accurate way
  • Develop the capacity of the accounting and payroll team through actions such as aligning team goals with department and organizational goals, managing work distribution and workflows, and directly supervising one or more Finance department staff
  • Serve as the in-house accounting and payroll expert, troubleshooting issues and providing guidance on complex scenarios and best practices
  • Design, implement, and maintain policies and procedures in accounting, payroll, budgeting, banking, and cash flow
  • Maintain an updated chart of accounts and ensure adherence to cost accounting methodology
  • Ensure the maintenance of complete and accurate fiscal records
  • Ensure effective use of accounting and finance software systems, providing recommendations for improvements as needed
  • Support finance software upgrades
  • Contribute to organization-wide and cross-departmental management efforts to promote communication and coordination of our shared goals, objectives, and priorities; serve on the Management Meeting and Knowledge Management teams as requested

Budgeting, Reporting, and Analysis

The Controller conducts our organization’s budgeting and reporting processes and provides high- level analysis and recommendations to facilitate strong financial management, decision making, and performance.

  • Generate financial analysis and provide recommendations to the CFO, CEO, and other decision makers to aid management decisions, using methods such as ratio analysis, trend analysis and scenario planning
  • Generate relevant and timely financial reports and analysis for internal and external stakeholders, including regular reporting to the Executive Leadership Team, other managers, and the Board of Directors
  • Prepare and monitor our organization’s annual and department budgets in collaboration with members of the Executive Leadership Team and other managers
  • Collaborate with the grants administration unit to monitor financial activity on grants and contracts, providing recommendations and supportive actions
  • Collaborate with the procurement unit to monitor subcontractor activity, providing recommendations and supportive actions


The Controller manages our organization’s implementation of regulations, internal controls, and external reporting to ensure compliance with the highest standards of nonprofit financial management.

  • Manage organizational compliance with respect to our retirement plan, debt agreements, GAAP, OMB Uniform Guidance, and other relevant regulations
  • Serve as the main contact for our retirement plan
  • Design, implement, and maintain effective internal controls and other policies and procedures
  • Oversee annual audit and preparation of Form 990
  • Manage our annual NICRA proposal and oversee indirect cost activity
  • Contribute to other regulatory and government filings as needed

Other duties as assigned.

Required Education, Experience, and Skills

  • At least six years of progressively responsible nonprofit accounting experience with a track record of clean audits
  • At least four years of payroll experience, including payroll processing, taxation, and deductions
  • At least three years of management experience, including management of people, projects, processes, and day-to-day financial functions
  • Strong understanding of GAAP
  • Demonstrated people, financial, and project management skills
  • Ability to work independently and successfully manage multiple projects with competing deadlines
  • Demonstrated ability to lead a team to achieve successful outcomes
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate with other team members and across departments
  • Strong organizational abilities, including planning, delegating, and task facilitation
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Strong computer skills (experience with Sage Intacct preferred), with the capacity to learn new systems
  • Ability to identify and resolve problems and challenges, as well as demonstrated ability to successfully manage teams or individuals
  • CPA preferred

Required Personal Attributes

  • Transparent and high-integrity leadership
  • Collaborative leadership skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills; demonstrated team player (playing both leadership and execution roles)
  • Excellent management skills, to build and maintain internal and external relationships
  • Talent for nimble management, with capacity to operate and create structure in a dynamic, rapidly evolving organization
  • Detail-oriented, highly organized, and self-motivated
  • Ability to excel in an entrepreneurial environment
  • Cultural humility and a deep commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion

Physical Requirements

Work Location and Expectations

This position is open to applicants throughout the United States and can be performed remotely. All applicants should be comfortable with working from home and with virtual connection programs and practices.

After adjusting to working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, ChangeLab Solutions has shifted to a virtual-first hybrid workplace that supports options for in-person and remote work. Staff members who are local to the San Francisco Bay Area have the option to work from home or in our office in Oakland, California. Staff members beyond the Bay Area work remotely. Business travel and in-person work are currently limited and will evolve in accordance with safety considerations, state and local guidelines, and organizational circumstances.

When it is safe, Bay Area staff and staff outside the Bay Area will be expected to travel to the Oakland office periodically for meetings and in-person engagement. Advance notice will be given before in-person work is requested. ChangeLab Solutions covers travel costs for staff outside the Bay Area.


ChangeLab Solutions is committed to offering a competitive compensation package that centers our values; our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion; and our mission. We seek to attract, motivate, and retain staff by compensating team members in a way that values their contributions to our organization and puts them in the best position to thrive.

In 2022, ChangeLab Solutions implemented a compensation plan with a compensation philosophy and salary structure that establish pay ranges for each position and guide compensation decisions. The plan is shared with all ChangeLab staff.


  • Full-time, exempt position; starting salary range of $92,500 to $106,250 per year
  • Starting salaries are set in accordance with our compensation plan, which considers multiple individual and organizational factors, including internal equity. To uphold pay equity in alignment with the compensation plan, starting salaries are not negotiable. Before applying, please ensure that the compensation for this position meets your needs.


To support the well-being of our staff and their families, ChangeLab Solutions invests in a generous benefits program and in supports for work-life balance. Our benefit offerings include the following:

  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage (ChangeLab Solutions contributes 100% of employee premiums and 50% for dependent premiums)
  • Long-term disability insurance and life insurance
  • 403(b) plan with 3% employer contribution
  • Commuter benefits and flexible spending accounts (parking, transit, dependent care, health care)
  • Generous paid time off package, starting at roughly 4.5 weeks PTO annually, plus 11 holidays and weeklong closure in December
  • Reimbursements to support remote and hybrid work
  • Fiscally stable organization
  • Work with an interdisciplinary team that is committed to a shared mission and to building a community and culture of connection and inclusivity

Application and Hiring Process

How to Apply

Application Deadline

  • The preferred application deadline is Wednesday, January 4. After that date, we will continue to review applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Target Start Date

  • February or early March 2023

Hiring Process

  • We anticipate that the hiring process will consist of a 30-minute phone interview, 2 rounds of video interviews with a panel of ChangeLab Solutions staff members via Zoom, and one work exercise.


  • If you require accommodations during the interview process or work exercise, please share your request when your interview is scheduled.