Los Angeles, CA

Chief Financial Officer, Cal Wellness
The Organization

The California Wellness Foundation (Cal Wellness), is a nationally recognized philanthropy devoted to advancing health and wellness for the people of California. Launched as a grantmaking entity in 1992, Cal Wellness has taken on some of the most vexing issues and important initiatives on behalf of underserved Californians. As a public health funder committed to social justice, Cal Wellness aims to fulfill its vision for every resident of California to enjoy good health and experience wellness. Cal Wellness is led by Judy Belk, who was appointed President and CEO in 2014.

With the retirement of its long-time CFO, Cal Wellness now seeks nominations and applications for a new Chief Financial Officer to continue building and stewarding a strong financial operation and innovative investment portfolio in service of its mission. Reporting to the CEO, the new CFO will join a passionate, highly experienced leadership team at a pivotal moment in Cal Wellness’ history. The new CFO will work directly with the CEO and Board of Directors to guide Cal Wellness’ strategic vision and to enhance its financial capabilities and investment portfolio. The CFO will serve as an integral part of the senior leadership team working together to shape the future of the organization. In leading the finance team, they will promote a culture of integrity, high performance, continuous improvement and innovation. This position is based in Los Angeles, CA.


The California Wellness Foundation is a private, independent foundation established in 1992 with a mission to protect and improve the health and wellness of the people of California. As one of the largest health-focused foundations in California, with more than $900 million in assets, Cal Wellness is a nationally recognized leader for its strategic core operating support for grantees; public policy grantmaking; and a focus on violence as a public health issue. It is Cal Wellness’ desire to promote equity and level the playing field so that everyone has access to good-paying jobs, healthy and safe neighborhoods, and quality health care services. The Foundation’s current Advancing Wellness grantmaking strategy includes three interrelated portfolios: Bridging the Gaps in Access and Quality Care, Promoting Healthy and Safe Neighborhoods, and Expanding Education and Employment Pathways. Since its founding, Cal Wellness has awarded nearly 9,000 grants totaling more than $1 billion. Its annual operating budget is approximately $13M, and its annual grantmaking is approximately $35M.

As the Foundation looks to the future, it is pursuing new and innovative strategies beyond its core grantmaking to advance its mission, including implementation of new technology systems, development of its public affairs capacity, and establishing mission- and program-related investment portfolios.

Cal Wellness has a diverse staff of approximately 40 located in our Los Angeles and Oakland offices and a diverse 11-member Board located throughout the state of California. The Foundation’s work underscores a belief that wellness requires social justice, a deep commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and sustained efforts to eliminate systemic barriers that prevent access to health care, education, employment and safety.

Please visit calwellness.org for more information.

Position Overview


The CFO will steward the financial health of Cal Wellness and serve as a key strategic advisor to the President and CEO. Leading a five-member finance team, the CFO’s responsibilities will include but not be limited to:

Foundation Leadership

•             As a member of the Executive Management Committee (EMC), participate in setting the strategic direction of Cal Wellness, proactively raise strategic issues, make recommendations, and collaborate to support the continued evolution of the organization.

•             Mentor and develop individuals and teams, manage work allocation, provide performance feedback and professional development, and support positive team dynamics.

•             Ensure the Finance team is recognized by Foundation staff, management and Board as a trusted, reliable and active partner in achieving strategic goals and objectives.

•             Represent Cal Wellness in the philanthropic sector and to external audiences. Speak at events to share Cal Wellness’ investment strategies and initiatives to advance DEI in finance.

Strong Financial Systems and Controls

•             Develop, implement and evaluate Finance team activities, maintaining compliance and internal controls and managing risk. Oversee the day-to-day accounting for grants and investments, general accounting matters, payroll, and financial operations.

•             Oversee and participate in the preparation of audits, tax returns and all financial filings required by law, as well as ongoing monitoring of budgets and spending.

•             In partnership with the Vice President of Operations, identify and implement technology tools to improve efficiency and effectiveness of finance operations and monitor laws and regulations impacting the financial operations of private foundations. Recommend processes and strategies that address related requirements.

Board Relations, Stewardship of Financial Assets and Alignment of Investment Operations

•             In partnership with the Board, CEO and management colleagues, shape Cal Wellness’ financial policies and strategies to reflect the Foundation’s vision, mission and beliefs.

•             Participate in all Board meetings, serve as the main liaison to the Board’s Finance and Audit Committees, and attend all Board meetings.

•             Design and implement a high-functioning management model to leverage relationships with three external investment advisors (for the main portfolio, the mission-related investment portfolio, and program-related investments).

•             In partnership with external investment advisors, provide effective monitoring and reporting on investment performance and strategic recommendations on investment strategies and approaches to the CEO, Finance Committee and Board of Directors.


The ideal candidate will be committed to Cal Wellness’ mission and will have a minimum of ten (10) years relevant experience. They must be a strong manager, skilled leader, innovative collaborator, and effective communicator. The ideal candidate will possess the experience, education, attributes and competencies described below.

Experience and Education

•             A minimum of ten (10) years of strategic leadership and career growth in a finance function at a complex and relevant organization (e.g. a foundation, large nonprofit, university, audit/consulting firm, etc.).

•             Clear record of achievement in financial and investment management and experience with the intersection of finance, investment, accounting, and compliance related to private foundation grantmaking and mission related investing.

•             Demonstrated effectiveness in managing substantial financial assets comparable to Cal Wellness’ endowment.

•             Strong knowledge and skills related to financial accounting and reporting standards such as defined by the Financial Accounting Standards Board or equivalent entities.

•             Experience effectively managing relationships with investment consultants and asset managers. Experience with mission-related and impact investing is a plus.

•             Success in managing, training, developing, and directing finance and accounting staff; ability to motivate staff to achieve goals through individual and team supervision, performance management, coaching, and professional development.

•             Experience in change management or organizational development is a plus.

•             An advanced degree in business administration, finance, investments, or related field, or equivalent skills and experience.

Additional Attributes

•             Demonstrated ability to synthesize complex financial information and ideas into clear, concise, and compelling materials.

•             A strategic, comprehensive, and critical approach to planning, problem solving, and decision making as a leader, contributor, and member of an executive leadership team.

•             Flexibility and collaborative approach required to partner with senior level department heads and to serve as a resource to all levels of staff for guidance in finance-related issues.

•             A sincere belief in diversity, equity, and inclusion, particularly as it relates to the diversity of people and places represented across California.

•             Passion for the mission-driven sector and the role philanthropy can have in addressing some of society’s most challenging problems.

Core Competencies

The ideal candidate will embody Cal Wellness’ core competencies:

1.            Live our Core Values: Respect, Integrity, Accountability, Equity, Stewardship, Excellence, Learning, and Trust.

2.            Drive Towards Innovation: Be bold. Experiment and learn from both successes and failures.

3.            Make a Difference: Yes, we can. Own our responsibilities and our ability to make positive change.

4.            Contribute to One Team: We’re in this together. Our success is a collective effort.

5.            Show Courage: Be thoughtful but act on your convictions. Be open to feedback.


Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and qualifications. Highlights from our benefit package include: a variety of health plans, a generous 401(k) retirement savings plan with a 16% employer-contribution, paid time off, professional development and educational opportunities, matching gifts, and the opportunity to work at a mission and values driven organization.

How To Apply

Please submit a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, and your resume (in Word or .pdf format) to: CW-CFO@nonprofitprofessionals.com. In order to expedite the internal sorting and reviewing process, please type your name (Last, First) as the only contents in the subject line of your e-mail, and share where you learned of the position in the contents of your email. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

This search is being conducted by Carolyn Ho, Linh Nguyen, Nureen Das, and Javier Garcia of NPAG.

Cal Wellness is an equal opportunity employer and proudly values diversity.

Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Sign up