Company Info


We believe that character strengths such as grit, growth mindset, gratitude, self-control, and curiosity enable kids to lead lives that benefit themselves and other people. We believe that radical advances in building character are possible when scientists and educators work together, powered by design thinking and disciplined by the scientific method.

Contact Info

Character Lab
3401 Market Street
Suite 202
Philadelphia, PA 19104


Other Jobs at Character Lab

Research Partnerships Manager

Director of Finance & Operations

Philadelphia, PA

Job Overview and Requirements

Character Lab is looking for a Director of Finance & Operations. Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Sean Talamas, and collaborating with other Directors and an Operations and Finance Associate, this individual will oversee the financial and operational needs of the organization. This is an exciting opportunity for a finance professional with operational and nonprofit experience to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of Character Lab.

The ideal candidate has prior experience in a nonprofit environment managing finances. They should be equally comfortable diving into spreadsheets to analyze financial information and taking a bird’s-eye view to align the organization’s financial strategy with its programs and lines of services. They will manage key external partnerships, identify and correct inefficiencies, and develop effective strategies to improve operational and financial processes. As a member of Character Lab’s Directors’ team, the ideal candidate will also play a critical role in strategic decision-making across the organization.

About Character Lab

Character Lab is a nonprofit devoted to advancing the science and practice of character development. We were founded in 2012 by two educators (Dave Levin and Dominic Randolph) and one scientist (Angela Duckworth) who see character development as essential to helping all children thrive.

Our research has shown that success and well-being depend on a multitude of strengths that are organized into three dimensions: interpersonal, intrapersonal, and intellectual. Interpersonal strengths like gratitude and empathy enable caring relationships with other people; intrapersonal strengths like grit and growth mindset enable achievement; and intellectual strengths like curiosity and humor enable a fertile life of the mind.

To advance the science of character development, Character Lab connects leading psychologists with middle and high schools across the country. To advance the practice of character development, Character Lab translates research findings into Playbooks: instructional materials co-created with scientists, educators, and designers. To learn more, see our most recent Annual Letter.

Our culture is both challenging (we’re never done improving) and supportive (one of our core values is excessive generosity). We are a small team working under one roof. To learn more, read our Culture Book.

Job Responsibilities

  • Provide strategic thought-partnership to the COO and other Directors to ensure alignment of organizational priorities across functions

  • Oversee and lead annual budget development process, including revenue and other financial forecasting

  • Maintain and upgrade operational and financial management systems, processes, and policies

  • Ensure maintenance of the organization’s internal controls and financial standards and procedures

  • Oversee all accounting functions performed by our finance and accounting vendor

  • In collaboration with the other Directors, develop statements of work, including proposed budgets for fee-for-service arrangements

  • Oversee preparation and finalization of quarterly and annual financial reporting materials for funders, foundations, and the Board

  • Coordinate annual audit process, liaising with external auditors and the audit committee of the Board

  • Ensure proper and timely filing of all federal and state tax returns and registrations

  • Manage the organization’s physical infrastructure (e.g., office space needs) and office operations (e.g., inventory and supplies)

  • Manage all organizational technology needs, including but not limited to: purchasing of new equipment and software, overseeing copier agreement and maintenance, etc.

  • Establish and maintain ongoing trainings to educate employees on organizational processes, policies, and procedures.

  • Manage and support the Operations & Finance Associate

Job Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field (MA/MBA preferred)

  • 5-15 years of professional experience in finance, operations, or nonprofit management, including experience managing and leading a team of direct reports

  • Prior experience in a nonprofit required, ideally overseeing financial reporting
  • Fluent understanding of financial & operational systems and procedures

  • Comfortable working with collaborators and thinking strategically about system improvements and efficiencies

  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills

  • Exceptional organizational and project management skills

  • Strong attention to detail

  • Highly proficient in Microsoft platform (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), G Suite platform (Google Docs, Sheets, Slides), and finance-related programs (Quickbooks, Expensify, etc.)

Physical Demands/Environmental Factors

  • Frequent, prolonged and irregular hours of duty

  • Some light to medium level of manual labor

  • Some travel for work-related responsibilities and needs


Competitive salary is commensurate with individual’s experience and skills. All full-time employees receive a comprehensive benefits package.

Application Process

Character Lab is an equal opportunity employer and encourages a diverse pool of candidates to apply. We accept applications on a rolling basis. To begin the application process, please submit a resume and compelling cover letter.