The American International School of Guangzhou (AISG) is a diverse, private, coeducational day school, for students from preschool to grade 12. Established in 1981, AISG is the first international school in South China, and the only not-for-profit international school in Guangzhou. With an outstanding reputation for academic, cultural, and social contributions, AISG is a vibrant, dynamic, and innovative independent school.
Guided by American educational values and principles, the school offers an international curriculum with rigorous and engaging educational experiences and environments that ensure students are ready to lead successful, well-balanced, happy lives. Students at AISG learning in purpose-built facilities across two campuses: the Science Park campus for Middle and High School and the Ersha Island campus for Preschool and Elementary students.
With a student body that represents more than 50 nationalities, AISG embraces multiculturalism, inclusiveness, and global-mindedness. AISG’s world-class, high-caliber faculty challenges students to achieve, nurturing them in an environment where creativity and inquiry are celebrated and encouraging them to utilize their individual talents and pursue their dreams.
AISG places great importance on the concept of being “future-ready” and nurturing students to aspire, achieve, and contribute to society. The school prepares students for the future by equipping them with 21st-century innovation skills, with an explicit focus on creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and resilience. Graduates go on to matriculate to some of the top colleges and universities around the world, ready to leave their impact as compassionate, driven, global citizens.
Faculty and Staff: 204
Student-Teacher Ratio: 9.9:1
The American International School of Guangzhou seeks an exceptional leader to serve as Director of Finance and Operations (DFO). The DFO is a member of the Leadership Team and reports to the School Director. The DFO provides sound financial leadership and is responsible for the oversight and day-to-day management of the finance and operations of the school. This strategic role ensures the long-term goals of the school are met and that the academic and activities programs are efficiently and effectively supported. The DFO leads the school’s Operations Team which includes managers of Admissions, Finance, Human Resources, Facilities and Services, and Procurement.
The school is in the process of developing a master plan to redevelop the campus facilities, a short and long-term financing strategy to support the facilities development and aims to review the processes used to develop and maintain the operational budget. Hence, the school seeks a candidate with interest and experience in these areas who is interested in making a long-term commitment to the school.
Guangzhou is the capital and most populous city of the province of Guangdong in southern China. Located on the Pearl River about 75 miles (120 km) northwest of Hong Kong, Guangzhou is a sprawling port city and transportation hub with a history of over 2,200 years. Administratively, the city holds sub-provincial status and is one of China's nine National Central Cities. At the end of 2018, the population of the city's expansive administrative area is estimated at nearly 15 million.
Guangzhou is ranked as an Alpha global city because of its place in the global economic network. There is a rapidly increasing number of foreign temporary residents and immigrants from Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa which has led to it being dubbed the "Capital of the Third World." Around half of the population speak Cantonese or Mandarin as their native tongue.
Guangzhou has a distinct character that makes it different to rivals Beijing or Shanghai. It remains the heart of Cantonese culture, a title it shares with Hong Kong, and the culture, language, and food are all distinct. Guangzhou's isolation from the rest of 'typical China' by mountainous topography and early exposure to the outside world has resulted in its unique way of lifestyle, liberal ideas, distinctive cuisine, and tremendous wealth. It is no surprise that Guangzhou is a cradle of many reforms and revolutions that changed the fate of China forever.
The city features avant-garde architecture such as Zaha Hadid’s Guangzhou Opera House (known as the “double pebble”), the carved box-shaped Guangdong Museum, and the iconic Canton TV Tower skyscraper that resembles a thin hourglass. The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, a temple complex from 1894, also houses the Guangdong Folk Arts Museum.
Leadership and Supervision
Supervision and evaluation of all the six operations team members and a direct personal assistant.
Ensure practices, policies, and processes are in place to provide support for all areas of responsibility such that efficient and effective interaction with the school community are guaranteed.
Collaborates with Leadership Team on resource needs in support of curriculum and policy related issues to ensure alignment between funding and delivery of program.
Leads the budget development process with Leadership Team.
Leads Leadership Team on ERM, risk, safety, and security for facility and crisis management for handling emergency situations.
Strategic Financial Management
Responsible for all aspects of the financial performance, maximizing revenue, and containing costs; and to seek to maximize the funds available for long-term educational purposes.
Oversees $30 million annual budget, including operating and capital budgets and cash flow projections.
Engage in multi-year financial planning for the operating budget and capital budget.
Oversee annual audit process and audited financial accounts for the school.
Oversee the treasury functions including banking arrangements, investments, cash flow, and related analysis and projections.
Oversee Human Resource and payroll functions of the school, including establishing and maintaining proper financial controls.
Maintains control of the school’s funds resources, maximizing investment returns by maximizing the resources applied.
Prepare for and run the quarterly finance committee meeting, and report all relevant financial issues to the finance committee and board of governors.
Legal Affairs, Risk and Compliance
Ensure all operating licenses and permits are valid and maintained with local authorities.
Reviews and executes all contracts; and negotiates all outsourcing contracts and vendors contract.
Ensure school Insurances review and renewal.
Engages in school legal affairs, as appropriate.
Fulfills all the school taxation obligations.
Controls the annual Enterprise Risk management process including the annual risk review, risk mitigation work, as well as business continuity and crisis management. Organizing regular inspections to identity risk/aspects, implementing corrective action, and arranging monitoring where required. Ensuring all risk issues that have been identified are monitored and recorded.
Maintains good relationship with local authorities and partners in leased property and spaces and assist in the renewal of the rental contract.
Control and supervise salary and benefits policy, procedure, and practice.
Oversee implementation of HR policies, working closely with the HR Manager.
Analyze and evaluate compensation package for leadership, faculty, and staff and make timely recommendations to the School Director.
Work with legal counsel and the HR Manager when personnel issues arise.
Gain and maintain knowledge of PRC Labor laws/Foreign Expat Bureau regulations and practices.
Operations and Facilities Maintenance of Buildings, Property, and Grounds
Ensure efficient and cost-effective provisions of all property and facility services at both campuses owned or leased by the school.
Developing long-term facilities maintenance plan and assist in preparation of multi-year facilities plans and leading implementation of the facility master building plan.
Assists the school Facility Manager, Services Managers, and Principals to develop and administer procedures to assure that the school facilities are safe and secure.
Oversees major building projects, including selection of architects and contractors, financial controls, and communication with faculty/staff, building committee, and board of governors.
Coordinates with facility department on facilities planning, maintenance, repairs, and renovation; including budgeting, bid, and quotation and evaluation and planning and supervision of the work to be completed.
Oversees campus security, including serving as liaison with local police, U.S. embassy Regional security officer, and other security experts.
Oversees emergency response, security and crisis management; updates and maintains emergency manual, supplies, and training.
Liaises with the school as required on matters involving property, facilities, and securities matters.
A. in management, finance, or equally relevant area, preferably M.A. in business administration or other professional degree(s).
8-10 years of leadership experiences in a cross-cultural environment, preferably in an international school industry.
Demonstrated excellence in leadership and organizational skills with desire to drive for change and excellence.
Outstanding oral and written communication skills. Good command of the English language and an interest in Chinese language and culture.
Competency in the areas of human resources, budgeting and finance procedure, long-term financial planning, and facilities planning and renovation, security, and risk management.
Has excellent interpersonal skills, ability to work with individuals, teams, and management as well as being self- motived.
Ability to contribute positively and collaboratively to a vibrant and healthy organizational culture.
Ethical/professional behavior that ensures the school’s financial affairs are conducted in line with the mission, policies, and strategic plans established by the Board of Directors.