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Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) - Chair

(Norwalk, CT) The Board of Trustees of the Financial Accounting Foundation is seeking a Chair for the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). This full-time opportunity will provide an individual with an appreciation for the Board's important mission to lead with inspiration, command respect and help create change in a consensus-driven organization.

The Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) is the independent, private-sector organization with responsibility for the oversight, administration, and finances of its standard-setting Boards, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), and their Advisory Councils.

Through its standard-setting boards, the organization establishes and improves financial accounting and reporting standards—known as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or GAAP—for public and private companies, not-for-profit organizations, and state and local governments in the United States.  The FAF Board of Trustees selects and appoints the members of the FASB and the GASB and protects the independence and integrity of the standard-setting process.  The FAF, FASB, and GASB are located in Norwalk, Connecticut.  

Major Responsibilities

  • Leadership/External Focus - Act as the principal public spokesperson for the GASB across its full range of constituencies and ensure that stakeholders’ concerns and issues are heard and considered, which requires extensive travel.
  • Forward Planning - Lead the overall strategic direction and activities of the GASB and provide the leadership to inspire teamwork where colleagues and staff excel in the achievement of the GASB’s mission.
  • Strategic Partnership - Serve, along with the FAF President/CEO and FASB Chair, as a member of a leadership and stewardship team for the combined GASB, FASB and FAF organization, fostering a tone at the top of collaboration, communication, and commitment to excellence in the achievement of the organization’s mission. Build, maintain, and strengthen constructive relationships with all of the GASB’s extensive and varied stakeholders.
  • Process Stewardship - Critically evaluate the processes by which the GASB conducts its work and oversee changes as necessary. Serve as one of seven active participants in the GASB process. Steer a diverse group of strong-minded individuals toward consensus. Manage in an orderly and constructive manner the process by which the Board develops and states its position on financial accounting and reporting issues. Address and balance a wide range of state and local governmental sensitivities. 

Candidate Selection Criteria

  • Experience with the national scope of state and local government financial accounting and reporting issues at a senior level (for example, CFO/finance director of a local government or comptroller or auditor of state government); public accountant at the senior partner level with substantive experience in audits of state/local government financial reports; senior investment leader with knowledge of and experience in municipal securities markets and related financial reporting; or a senior executive (such as a president or CEO) or senior board chair or member of a nationally recognized state/local government organization or a municipal markets regulatory body.
  • Strong and current technical understanding of U.S. generally accepted accounting principles for state and local governments, with a CPA viewed as highly desirable.
  • Experience or strong interest in standard setting or financial regulatory matters.
  • Proven success interacting and influencing at the board level and collaborating and demonstrating neutrality, when needed, with senior-level professionals.
  • Demonstrated thought leadership and intellectual capacity, curiosity, rigor and engagement.
  • Experience presenting to large audiences of various constituencies.
  • Proven success in attracting and retaining top talent and leading a talented and dedicated professional staff, providing appropriate direction to ensure the goals of the GASB and the FAF are achieved deliberately and in a timely manner.
  • Experience leading and managing organizational change in a thoughtful, effective manner.
  • Experience operating in a continuous improvement environment, assessing administrative structures and duties, with the ability to recommend and implement change where appropriate.
  • Experience in building and maintaining relationships with stakeholders, constituencies and other interested parties, with the ability to have differences of opinion while retaining mutual respect.

Critical Competencies for Success

Commitment to the GASB’s Mission

Passion for the Board’s mission, appreciation for the importance of independent standard setting for state and local governmental accounting and reporting, concern for the public interest, understanding of the varying interests and perspectives of investors and other users of state and local government financial information (such as citizens, legislative and oversight bodies, taxpayers, and underwriters and analysts), as well as preparers and auditors of financial reports.

Technical Skills and Strategic Acumen

Strong knowledge and technical competency in state and local governmental accounting and reporting and an individual who can provide value-added analytical insight and perspectives by:

  • Bringing a strong background of achievement and recognized stature in governmental finance or accounting.
  • Being a highly intelligent, insightful, and rigorous thinker who can understand a broad range of accounting issues and think about both immediate and longer-term implications of standard setting, including post-implementation analysis.
  • Being fact-based and data-driven, demonstrating the ability to analyze issues and offer sound practical judgment.
  • Being capable of assessing the current financial environment and anticipating issues that may require GASB’s attention and focus.
  • Collaborative Leadership Skills
  • Being an inspiring and pragmatic leader who will command respect and help lead organizational change in a consensus-driven organization by:
  • Considering varied viewpoints, weighing the evidence presented in an impartial fashion, and reaching well-reasoned and supportable decisions in a timely fashion.
  • Effectively leading Board deliberations on technical accounting issues and building consensus to make progress on GASB’s technical goals.
  • Being hands-on and engaged, proactively working with the FAF President/CEO, the FASB Chair, and other colleagues, by influencing and shaping agendas, to achieve successful outcomes.
  • Understanding how to work effectively, lead and delegate, and build consensus when appropriate in an organization with diffuse and complex lines of authority.
  • Possessing strong interpersonal skills that will help build positive working relationships, demonstrating professional respect and a calm demeanor.
  • Understanding how to identify and develop leadership qualities in others, as part of the board and key staff succession strategy.
  • Understanding situations that require a consensus building style vs. a command and control style.
  • Being able to operate as a focal point or the “Face of the GASB,” with appropriate ambassadorial skills, for a high-profile organization, demonstrating natural authority.

Communication Skills

  • An articulate communicator who will command respect and instill confidence by:
  • Having an open, engaged, and inclusive style, possessing a point of view along with the appropriate level of diplomacy and discretion in private and public meetings, and in written materials.
  • Being an active listener who improves mutual understanding and possesses an intuitive style to influence others.
  • Interacting effectively and proactively with a senior and talented team and a range of interested third parties, such as state and local government organizations and groups, audit partners and others in accounting firms, regulators, legislative bodies and other standard-setting organizations.
  • Appropriately advocate for and succinctly explain the need for certain standards that are being implemented or changed.

Other Personal Characteristics

  • Strong values, integrity, and character.
  • Being resilient and resourceful with a high energy level.
  • Willing to commit to serve in the role for a single 7-year term.

The GASB Chair is the only full-time GASB member.  FAF offices are located in Norwalk, Connecticut. Qualified candidates are encouraged to indicate interest as soon as possible by contacting the recruiter, Heidi Voorhees, President of GovHRUSA at HVoorhees@govhrusa.com.  Application materials, including resume, cover letter and contact information for five references should be submitted no later than June 1, 2019 to www.GovHRjobs.com.

Posted:Apr 5,2019

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