Associate Director, Finance & Administration

About the Nicholas Institutue

The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University improves environmental policy making worldwide through objective, fact-based research to confront the climate crisis, clarify the economics of limiting carbon pollution, harness emerging environmental markets, put the value of nature's benefits on the balance sheet, develop adaptive water management approaches, and identify other strategies to attain community resilience.

The Nicholas Institute is part of Duke University and its wider community of world-class scholars. This unique resource allows the Nicholas Institute's team of economists, scientists, lawyers and policy experts to not only deliver timely, credible analyses to a wide variety of decision makers, but also to convene these decision makers to reach a shared understanding regarding this century's most pressing environmental problems.

To be considered for this position, please include a cover letter with your online submission.

Occupational Summary

The work performed by this position is to ensure the accountability of the Institute to key stakeholders including university administrators, directors, and funders. 

Provide effective finance and administrative direction and coordination of business-related functions such as finance, budget development, human resources management, space utilization, and facilities planning, grant administration, information management, programs, and overall operational procedures and policy interpretation for the Nicholas Institute.  

This position, reporting directly to the Director of the Institute with a dotted line to the Executive Director of the Office for Interdisciplinary Program Management, oversees and supervises the work of the administrative office, including two direct reports and indirect supervision to three programmatic administrative staff members and shared resources.

Further, this position manages day-to-day operations and advises the Institute Director, provides recommendations regarding financial and administrative decisions, and oversees the implementation of said financial and administrative policy decisions made.   

Worked Performed


  • Direct the financial management of revenues and expenditures within the Institute’s$3.5 million dollar annual operating budget, from all funding sources including internal SIP funds and endowments.  
  • Conduct financial analysis for programs and new initiatives including the development of short- and long-term financial projections and ensure legal and regulatory compliance for all accounting and financial reporting functions.   
  • Serve as the Institute’s liaison to the Campus Grants Management Team (CGMT) and Foundation Relations to ensure close coordination of sponsored research activities.
  • Direct and coordinate budget preparation/administration and forecast reporting for the Institute and to distribute budget information to appropriate offices.  Monitor the Institute’s financial performance and determine fiscal requirements, coordinate operational and financial reporting, and monitor all budgets within the Institute.
  • Responsible for salary setting, spring/fall variance, and year-end close.  Manage the use of reserve and restricted funds and monitor fiscal operations. Implement University policies and guidelines as they relate to budget and payroll.
  • Meet with the Institute director, managers, and program area directors to discuss projections and develop a plan of action for fiscal stability; ensure compliance with established budgets and operational plans.
  • Monitor variances and recommend and implement corrective action when necessary.
  • Evaluate business proposals, contracts, and special projects to determine feasibility and escalate to appropriate officials as deemed necessary.  


  • Maintain liaison with all levels of internal administration and outside organizations in coordinating business.
  • Responsible for the review and approval process of reimbursement requests, travel requests, invoice payments, purchase requisitions, independent contractors, corporate card expenses, journal vouchers, reconciliation of expenses on all Institute program codes and other administrative and accounting processes transacted by the financial analyst.
  • Oversee personnel activities including business office staff and other administrative staff.  Including but not limited to, recruitment, hiring, appointments, promotions, disciplinary actions, scheduled time-off, and other related activities.  Adhere to University requirements, creation and/or review of offer letters, memorandum of understandings, salary setting, reclassifications, performance appraisals, compensation planning.
  • Advise the Institute director and area directors on staffing needs, taking into account the Institute’s priorities, programs and resources.  Make staffing recommendations based on projected resource requirements, including plans for short- and long-term staffing.
  • Develop with the Institute Director and implement associated performance targets for research individual salary allocation targets.
  • Manage the system rights of personnel, i.e. SAP R3, SPS, Duke@Work, iForms, eCert, Buy@Duke, and other security accesses and systems.  
  • ApproveSPS records submitted by Central Grants Management Team.
  • Oversee information technology functions provided by TTS, to ensure all IT needs of the Institute are met.
  • Assist administrative senior program coordinator with the set-up and maintenance of Scholars@Duke portal.   
  • Oversee quarterly tracking and reporting of space assignments and inventory for the Institute, including maintaining and updating space functions, and occupant information in the Web Central space management system.


External Candidates, please apply here.
Duke internal employees, please apply here.


The intent of this job description is to provide a representation of the types and level of duties and responsibilities that will be required of positions given this title. It shall not be construed as a declaration of all specific duties and responsibilities of the particular position, as employees may be directed to perform job-related tasks other than those specifically presented in this description.

Duke University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. Duke also makes good faith efforts to recruit, hire, and promote qualified women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans.