The American Academy in Rome is the oldest overseas center for research and study in the arts and humanities. Each year, the Academy awards the Rome Prize to a select group of artists and scholars who are invited to live and work in a dynamic international community in the heart of Rome. To support the work of these Fellows, the Academy also hosts programming in Rome, New York, and around the United States.
AAR is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
The President is the chief executive officer of the American Academy in Rome and is ultimately accountable for all aspects of its performance, ensuring that it continues to play a critical role in advancing the arts and humanities. They will have a nuanced intellect, a global mindset, and the ability to be a compelling advocate for the Academy and its mission. The President will partner with the staff and Board to refine AAR’s strategy and raise the visibility of the Academy and the Rome Prize, while at the same time building AAR’s organizational capacity and growing its financial resources. Key to the ongoing success of the Academy will be the President’s ability to foster a healthy, inclusive organization where diversity of thought and background are valued; to expand the Academy’s influence and impact in both the United States and Italy; and to accelerate the Academy’s ability to garner significant support from both institutional and individual donors.
The Board of Trustees
Chief Financial Officer
Director of Communications
Vice President of Development
Director, Programs (Rome Prize Competition)
Other key relationships:
Individual and institutional donors
The Society of Fellows
Leaders of adjacent cultural institutions in the United States, Italy, and broader Europe
- Organizational Leadership: The President will be accountable for ensuring that the Academy has the organizational culture, structure, talent, systems, policies, procedures, and financial wherewithal to deliver on its mission. The task of creating a cohesive, empowered, highly collaborative organization is complicated by the fact that the Academy operates in two different countries with very different mores and norms
- Impact and Influence: The President will be a compelling and committed advocate for the arts and humanities in general, and will for the work of the Academy and its Fellows and Residents in particular. They will work to elevate the profile of the Academy, driving the development of distinctive programming and expanding the Academy’s convening power. The President will serve as the public face of the Academy in a range of settings, articulating the value of its work and the singular importance of its mission
- Resource Building: The President will serve as the chief fundraiser for the Academy, and thus will be responsible for cultivating, soliciting, and husbanding both individual and institutional donors. In addition, they will ensure that the development function at the Academy is highly effective and has the resources it needs to continue to grow annual giving and deliver a successful capital campaign, which will be launched sometime after their arrival
Senior Leadership Experience
Senior leadership experience within a comparable organization of similar complexity and scale. Demonstrated strengths in building effective organizational structures and managing people.
Subject Matter Expertise
Credibility and standing in one or more of the Academy’s disciplines, coupled with intellectual curiosity about the full range of arts and humanities. A love for Italian history, culture, and language is highly desirable.
Significant experience in institutional advancement. Enthusiasm for fundraising. A strong track record in securing individual, foundation, corporate, and government funding.
Exceptional communication skills and public presence. Ability to articulate persuasively the case for supporting innovative artists, writers, and scholars. Knowledge and experience in new information and communication technologies, particularly as they relate to content dissemination, brand building, and public engagement would be an asset.
Demonstrated Commitment to the Values of Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion
Has had meaningful impact on diversity and inclusion within a complex organization serving a large and varied set of stakeholders. Has demonstrated a commitment to including and engaging historically underserved communities.
Has reported to or interacted substantively with a Board of Trustees.
Critical Leadership Capabilities
The President will provide dynamic, imaginative leadership, including charting a path forward to raise the visibility and public profile of the Academy and the Rome Prize. As the chief executive officer, the President:
- Identifies and proposes potential changes to the Academy’s strategy or direction while also considering their implications across different parts of the organization, taking care to consider the operational and cultural differences between the United States and Italy
- Brings new thinking that challenges assumptions and conventional wisdom
- Contributes to the development of an organizational strategy for the Academy based on an understanding of the socio-economic trends impacting the arts and humanities
- Appreciates and communicates the trends and environmental shifts occurring in both the United States and Italy over a three-plus-year horizon that pose challenges to the Academy’s current strategy
As the chief executive officer of a United States organization that has its main operations in Italy, the President will be a culturally agile, skilled, and inspiring leader of a staff that is spread across two continents. To ensure that the Academy is unified around its strategic priorities and is a cohesive, collaborative, and highly functioning organization, the President:
- Communicates the vision and purpose of the Academy to internal stakeholders with enthusiasm and passion
- Demonstrates consistency, authenticity, and empathy in interactions with the staff and the senior leadership team, building trust, empowerment, and collaboration across the organization
- Promotes cross-organizational collaboration to build or reinforce alignment around the organization’s purpose, vision, and direction
- Creates organizational structures and practices that enable people within the organization to work to their highest and best use, deliver meaningful results, grow as professionals, and find fulfillment in their work
Exhibiting Cultural Agility
The President is charged with ensuring a robust and diverse community of Fellows and Residents in Rome as well as with building strong partnerships with allied public and private institutions, both inside and outside the United States, with a demonstrated ability to lead a diverse group of people and foster an inclusive community. As such, the President:
- Demonstrates an understanding and appreciation for American and Italian culture, and for the essential role that both the arts and humanities play in advancing the human condition
- Celebrates the distinctive contributions of different cultures and disciplines and, at the same time, advances opportunities for unique synergies that the Academy’s operating model affords. Establishes ground rules and promotes mutual respect and equity across functional, disciplinary, and geographic boundaries.
Other Personal Characteristics
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Energy and stamina
The Search Process
The American Academy in Rome is eager to receive input that will help it build a pool of talented individuals. To that end, the Search Committee welcomes your comments, inquiries, applications, and nominations, which may be submitted via the confidential search mailbox: AARpresident [at] spencerstuart.com.
The American Academy in Rome is a non-profit organization with its principal finance and fundraising operation in New York and its program operation in Rome, Italy, which includes a secondary finance office. The two offices manage their respective finances and operating budgets in separate ledgers in a shared accounting system (Financial Edge), and the New York office converts the Rome ledger and consolidates it with the New York ledger on a monthly basis. Similarly, the Rome financial statements are audited separately and consolidated into the overall institutional audit annually. The Academy employs Italian staff in Italy and American staff in the U.S. and Italy and is subject to laws and regulations in both countries.
The Academy’s Controller is based in New York and responsible for managing and executing a full range of financial and administrative strategies, tasks, and processes across the whole organization, and providing proactive direction and support to the staff in both New York and Rome. The Controller leads all U.S. day-to-day finance operations in a small but complex organization with significant international operations.
In conjunction with the Chief Administrative and Financial Officer (CAFO), the Controller establishes broad financial goals, priorities, and strategies based on internal needs and external circumstances, and analyzes Academy-wide activities and data to monitor financial status and measure against goals and trends. The Controller manages and executes all financial, project-based, and departmental accounting, and has functional responsibility for accounting, accounts payable/receivable, cash flow, endowment and grant funds, bank and investment accounts, budgets, audits/tax returns, payroll, and reporting/filing. The Controller is responsible for developing, implementing, and overseeing all financial and accounting systems, controls, policies, and practices to ensure compliance with organizational policies and applicable laws and regulations.
The successful candidate will be a strategic professional who has broad-based expertise and depth in the relevant areas of the Academy’s needs, ideally from work experience in non-profit organizations. The ideal candidate will appreciate the Academy’s unique profile as a hybrid academic and cultural institution, as well as the complexities of concurrent operations and business models in two different countries.
The Controller reports to the Chief Administrative and Financial Officer (CAFO) and works in close coordination with the Deputy Director of Finance and Administration in Rome. The Controller oversees the Staff Accountant in the New York office.
Finance Management (60%)
- In conjunction with the CAFO and senior management staff, establish broad financial and budget goals, priorities, strategies, and benchmarks based on an understanding of internal needs and external circumstances, and analyze Academy-wide activities and data to monitor financial status and health and measure against goals and relevant trends
- Manage and execute all financial, project-based, and departmental accounting, including analyzing and presenting all financial reports in an accurate and timely manner, and preparing statements and accounting for projects, programs, and grants
- Develop, implement, and oversee financial and accounting systems, controls, policies, practices, reporting, and records to ensure compliance with organizational policies and applicable laws and regulations, including cash management, accounts payable, accounts receivable, cash receipts, credit control, and petty cash
- Manage the general ledger, all subsidiary ledgers, and all financial records, including preparing and posting journal entries, reviewing and approving new vendors, reviewing and coding transactions, preparing reconciliations, overseeing cash transactions, making adjusting entries, and performing monthly closing; and in collaboration with the Deputy Director of Finance and Administration in Rome, manage the chart of accounts and project codes to ensure a coherent accounting structure across both locations
- In collaboration with the Deputy Director of Finance and Administration in Rome, oversee and manage organizational cash flow, including developing monthly projections, forecasting future needs, anticipating changes, and purchasing and transferring Euros for Rome operations
- Manage complex endowment and grant funds, including tracking and allocating changes to fund values, projecting fund spending and balances
- As directed by CAFO and investment advisors, manage investment portfolio, including executing investment transactions, reconciling accounts
- Work collaboratively with the Finance team to support annual and multi-year budgeting (both operating and capital), including planning and consolidating budgets, reviewing and analyzing budgets with Rome, monitoring budget to actuals, balancing and reforecasting, and evaluating year-end performance
- Oversee annual audit and tax return in New York, including preparing and maintaining audit and tax return schedules, developing controls, and serving as liaison with external auditors
- Oversee and handle banking and other accounts, including reviewing, analyzing, and reconciling accounts, managing temporary cash accounts, and representing the Academy in banking relationships
- Oversee all statutory reporting and tax filing, including sales tax, benefits, 1099, and 1042
- Support CAFO in relevant Board and Committee activities, including preparing agendas, reports, and presentations; reporting to Board and Committees if needed; reviewing minutes; and ensuring timely follow up on action items
- Maintain awareness of relevant industry trends, standards, and best practices at similar institutions, as well as businesses and other organizations, in order to ensure compliance, appropriate controls, and effective management, as well as to set standards for comparison and development
- Perform other finance management responsibilities as needed and directed, including but not limited to performing accounting duties when needed
Accounting Supervision (20%)
- Supervise Staff Accountant in all aspects of accounts payable, including corporate credit cards, and process payables as back up to Coordinator
- Supervise Staff Accountant in all aspects of accounts receivable, including reconciling contributions with development, and processing cash receipts as back up to Coordinator
- Supervise Staff Accountant in all aspects of payroll and timekeeping, and process payroll as back up to Coordinator
- Supervise Staff Accountant in all other accounting tasks, including petty cash, and process as back up to Coordinator
- Performs additional accounting tasks as needed and directed
Department Management (10%)
- Manage and support professional and productive finance department, ensuring close collaboration and coordination between staff in New York and Rome; timely and satisfactory achievement of tasks and goals; compliance with institutional policies and procedures; and collegial working relationships across departments
- Develop, manage, and implement comprehensive and cost-conscious annual and multi-year administrative budgets, including setting priorities in context of institutional goals; planning short- and long-term revenues and expenses; establishing margins; monitoring and controlling revenues and expenses; analyzing and explaining variances from budget; and reforecasting budget and goals
- Manage performance of finance staff members through mentorship, guidance, training, and leadership by example, including setting goals and expectations; providing regular and constructive feedback; evaluating performance and making recommendations for salary adjustments, title changes, and/or promotions; and taking counseling and corrective action, including formal disciplinary procedures when necessary
- Develop and implement finance staffing plans within budgetary and organizational parameters to handle workload and meet immediate needs and long-range plans, including proposing staff positions and structures; writing job descriptions; benchmarking with comparable peer institutions; and recruiting, interviewing, selecting, and onboarding qualified staff
- Overseeing finance department administration, including recruiting, reviewing, and hiring independent contractors, vendors, and consultants within budgetary and organizational parameters, as well as managing department contracts
- Perform other department management responsibilities as needed and directed
- Manages and ensures adherence to calendar of finance, accounting, and other administrative deadlines
- In conjunction with the HR Consultant, performs HR tasks as back up to Staff Accountant, including processing new hires, benefits, and separations
- Completes or oversees completion of business forms, including credit applications, tax exempt forms, and resale certificates
- Assists with occasional evening and weekend events and programs
- Performs additional administration tasks as needed and directed
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential function satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.
- Bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, business, or related area of study, CPA preferred
- Eight to ten years of professional experience in progressively responsible roles and proven track record of skillfully and effectively managing accounting, finances, and budgets with at least seven years at the management level, ideally in a combination of non-profit organizations and finance, accounting, or other similar companies, or comparable combination of experience and substantial knowledge of non-profit management
- Understanding and appreciation of non-profit cultural institutions, and genuine interest in the Academy’s mission and work
- Demonstrated strength in strategy, organization, planning, and analysis, especially with respect to budgets, operations, and projects
- Significant strength in managing time, organizing work, and being highly accountable in dynamic and creative setting with competing demands on attention and frequently changing and conflicting priorities and deadlines
- Demonstrated ability to work independently, be proactive, and take initiative with minimal direction or guidance, balanced with skill in executing plans and detailed tasks accurately and efficiently
- Proven management abilities with substantial skills in developing and supporting staff, assessing and designing workflows, working productively with all levels of management and staff, and collaborating with colleagues in another location
- Excellent professionalism and diplomacy in representing Academy internally and externally, with superior writing, editing, oral communication, and presentation skills in both Italian and English, especially on financial, business, and legal matters
- Exceptional judgment, professionalism, and discretion in handling confidential and sensitive situations and matters
- Advanced skills in accounting and donor database software, preferably Financial Edge and Raisers Edge
- Advanced skills Microsoft Office suite, especially in Excel
- Accessibility to respond to urgent and emergency situations outside of business hours.
The American Academy in Rome is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Please submit a cover letter outlining your interest in the Academy, the contributions you expect to make to the Academy’s mission, and your qualifications for the position of Controller through the Academy’s online jobs portal. Applications will be accepted until Friday, February 3, 2023.
Senior Manager of Development
The Senior Manager of Development is responsible for the cultivation, stewardship, and solicitation of the Academy’s individual donors and for the organization’s development operations.
In this role the Senior Manager will support Leadership on individual major and restricted gift fundraising, drive the strategy and results for the annual appeal, oversee individual membership programs, directly manage the Patrons Program and McKim Society ($5,000–$25,000 annual and estate donor memberships, respectively) and support the Director of Development on planned gift fundraising. The Senior Manager has oversight of the organization’s Development Operations, including reporting, database management, research, and gift processing.
The person in this role supervises the Development Operations Coordinator (New York) and the External Affairs Officer (Rome). They also provide direction to the Administrative Support Manager (New York).
- Manage Senior Leadership donor pipelines by supporting the CEO, Director of Development, and Director in Rome in their outgoing communication to donors, drafting meeting prep memos and materials, conducting relevant prospect research, and maintaining database records
- Write proposals, reports, and gift agreements for individual prospects and donors in all areas of giving
- Build a portfolio and serve as gift officer for individual donors by identifying, cultivating, strategizing approaches, soliciting, and stewarding gifts
- Work closely with the Board Relations Manager on tracking and advancing prospects connected to Academy Trustees
- Oversee all membership groups: set a cohesive strategy to see that financial goals are met and advance member relationships with AAR
- Directly manage the Patrons and the McKim & Morgan Society, and provide direction to the External Affairs Officer who manages the Friends of the Academy and Friends of the Library groups
- Working closely with the External Affairs Officer and the Senior Manager of Special Events, see that a dynamic program of events is assembled and executed to both fulfill membership benefits and build prospect relationships
- Research, identify, cultivate, and solicit new members, working with senior staff and Trustees when appropriate
- Develop materials and marketing strategy
- Draft proposals and correspondence to members, including renewal letters
- Ensure fulfillment of benefits and maintenance of member records
- Develop strategy, including conception and language drafting, for both annual appeals and targeted fundraising appeals
- Solicit annual fund donors and prospects in order to achieve fundraising targets
- Manage the Development Operations Coordinator in their work relating to Appeal project management
- Oversee the execution of all aspects of operations for the Development department including: gift processing and acknowledgements, database management, revenue reporting, research, and general administrative support
- Supervise the Development Operations Coordinator and provide direction to the Administrative Support Manager in their development-related tasks
Bachelor’s degree required, preferably in the arts or humanities; master’s degree preferred.
Qualifications and Competencies
- Solid professional with 6+ years of Development experience, preferably in individual giving or major gifts
- Knowledge and understanding of the New York philanthropic community
- A minimum of one year of staff management experience and the ability to manage, motivate and train a team
- An engaging personality and superior presentation skills with the ability to communicate with people throughout the organization and donor and alumni community
- Must possess strong organization skills, with meticulous attention to detail
- Must be able to work independently, and be a positive and constructive team player
- Ability to manage deadlines required
- Experience compiling budgets and tracking expenses is helpful
- Ability and willingness to work evenings and to travel
- Knowledge of donor databases required; several years of experience working with Raiser’s Edge and NXT is strongly preferred.
The American Academy in Rome is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Please submit a cover letter outlining your interest in the Academy, the contributions you expect to make to the Academy’s mission, and your qualifications for the position of Senior Manager of Development through the Academy’s online jobs portal. This position will remain open until filled.