Employment Opportunities

Office Controller - Washington D.C. 


The Mountain Institute, a non-profit organization, has an opening for an 80% time FINANCIAL CONTROLLER working in its Washington, DC office.

Under direct supervision of the Executive Director, the Controller performs senior level accounting functions and grants/contract management in a non-profit environment. The Controller will utilize Abila (formerly Sage MIP) Fund Accounting software as well as Excel. In addition to accounting functions, this position may be responsible for various human resources, corporate registration, government compliance reporting, and other tasks as assigned by the Executive Director.

Background checks are performed before an offer of employment will be made.



·      Responsible for overseeing all financial aspect of the organization, including financial reporting to the Executive Director, program staff, donors, and the Board of Trustees.

·      Partner with program directors and staff to ensure financial needs of the programs are met, while focusing on adding value through proactive financial management and sharing of information.

·      Ensure that all grant reporting requirements are met in a timely and efficient manner.

·      Proactively manage the organization’s indirect cost rate, negotiating the rate with the Federal cognizant agency and ensuring that actual overhead costs are managed consistently with the current negotiated indirect cost rate agreement.

·      Responsible for the financial oversight of international field offices, performing monthly financial reviews, cash needs projections, budget development and review, and providing guidance and mentoring to field finance staff.

·      Develop, document, and refresh fiscal policies and procedures as needed and ensure that procedures are both understood and followed; ensure compliance with Federal and donor regulations.

·      Coordinate with all levels of the organization to prepare annual budgets for program costs and overhead expenses.

·      Proactively communicate with Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees, including scheduling regular meetings, setting the agenda, and preparing financial package for review and discussion.

·      Participate in Board of Trustees meetings, preparing and presenting financial reporting package, proactively identifying issues and proposing solutions, and addressing Trustee concerns.

·      Manage annual financial statement audit.



  • Responsible for determining the proper and consistent application of generally accepted accounting principles.
  • Responsible for determining the proper and consistent application of labor laws.
  • Maintain technical knowledge by attending educational workshops and reviewing publications
  • Adhere to the policies and procedures of the Institute.
  • Perform other related duties as required and assigned.
  • Maintain confidentiality of financial and personnel information examined.
  • Communicate planned and unexpected absences or tardiness by staff directly to the Executive Director.



  • A bachelor's degree in Accounting or related field with at least 15 hours of accounting class work, and a minimum of five years' progressively responsible finance experience.
  • Experience with non-profit accounting strongly preferred.
  • Experience with fund accounting required, and working knowledge of grants administration under federal government awards (e.g., USAID, Dept. of State) strongly preferred.
  • Good oral and written communication skills and analytical skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and cultural sensitivity to effectively interact with all levels of staff, partner organizations, and funders from around the world.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Experience working in a multi-national team structure.
  • Ability to take initiative.
  • Spanish language skills highly desirable.
  • Experience with fund accounting software, preferably Abila (Sage) MIP Fund Accounting, is preferred.



Holiday Leave: 11 days per year.

Sick Leave: Earn 1 day per month of employment up to 60 days. Pro-rated if less than full time.

Vacation Leave: Less than 2 years of service – 20 days. Two years of service or more – 25 days. Pro-rated if less than full-time.

Other Benefits: Health Insurance Plan, Short and Long-term Disability, Dental/Vision Plan option, Life Insurance.

Retirement: 403(b) plan with TIAA-CREF. Employee may contribute up to the maximum allowed by law. Matching institutional contributions are at its discretion on a yearly basis.


To apply for this position, please email a cover letter, resume, and salary requirements to ataber@mountain.org. Please note that, upon hire, employees must provide proof of legal eligibility to work in the United States of America.


The Mountain Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Fall Seasonal Field Instructor-Appalachian Program

Location:  Circleville, WV

Length of Employment: August 22-November 20, 2015

Deadline: Hiring now for the fall

Supervisor: Course Director

Position Overview:

Based at the remote Spruce Knob Mountain Center in West Virginia, Field Instructors of the Appalachian Program lead students on “Mountain Learning” courses, helping people become confident, competent individuals with a clear vision of their responsibilities and potential for improving the human condition and the natural world.

Our courses typically serve students in 5th-12th grade, from schools in West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, D.C, and New York. Courses include 1-2 day residential courses on our 400-acre mountain property, 1-2 day field courses in local communities, 4-8 day field courses in the nearby Monongahela National Forest, and a variety of off-site courses throughout the Mid-Atlantic States, including the Appalachian Trail.

Field Instructors help students gain confidence, experience, and appreciation for mountains through lessons and activities such as hiking, backpacking, campcraft, orienteering, caving, stream ecology, forest ecology, geology, rock climbing, canoeing, outdoor cooking, and survival skills. In addition, Field Instructors tailor courses to meet the thematic goals of each school we serve, leading students in discussions and initiatives around leadership, communication, environmental stewardship, teamwork, and creative problem-solving.

For more information about Mountain Learning Programs, please visit www.mountain.org/appalachian.

Institutional Background:

The Mountain Institute works to conserve mountain environments, preserve mountain cultures and sustainably develop mountain economies. Founded on the slopes of Spruce Knob in West Virginia in 1972, we are now headquartered in Washington D.C. with locally-staffed offices in Nepal (Himalayas), Peru (Andes) and West Virginia (Appalachians). The Appalachian Program’s primary focus is to provide quality educational programs that take students beyond the classroom, with a focus on interpersonal development in a rigorous and challenging outdoor setting.


•         Maintain a physically and emotionally safe environment for students and guests.

o   Prepare and deliver hands-on, experiential, and inquiry-based lessons in a remote
     outdoor setting for both day and evening programs.

•         Lead 1-8 day residential and field based programs in challenging settings that include hiking,
          backpacking, campcraft, orienteering, caving, stream ecology, forest ecology, geology, rock
          climbing, canoeing, outdoor cooking, and survival skills.

•         Facilitate discussions and initiatives around leadership, communication,
          environmental stewardship, teamwork, creative problem-solving, and other subjects.

•         Implement and model excellent risk management strategies and administer first aid as needed.

•         Teach and lead groups in the outdoors, in varying weather conditions, and on uneven terrain.

•         Prepare facilities and gear before trips and clean facilities and gear at the end of trips.

•         Prepare and cook meals for visiting educational and rental groups under supervision of Kitchen

•         Maintain a professional demeanor while interacting with groups and guests.

•         Assist with facility upkeep as needed, including basic carpentry, repairs, vehicle maintenance, and
          general troubleshooting.


•         Bachelor's Degree or equivalent experience

•         Current Wilderness First Responder Certification (Preferred)

•         Minimum of Wilderness First Aid & CPR/AED certification (Required)

o   *(WFR certification offered on site August 31st-September 8th)

•         Effective communication, leadership, and interpersonal skills

•         Positive attitude, determination, and unassailable work ethic

•         Teaching experience, either formal or informal

•         Ability to confidently lead groups in a remote outdoor setting

•         Desire to teach and work with young people from varying social and economic

•         Curiosity about the natural world and willingness to learn academic natural science lessons

•         Experience working in the outdoors, especially in inclement weather

•         Desire to protect, conserve, and promote mountain ecosystems

•         Ability to live in shared space with other instructors and practice positive self-care.

•         Valid driver’s license

•         Ability to work flexible hours including evenings and some weekends

•         Desire to live in a remote place with an outstanding community of outdoor professionals and to
          work hard to make positive change in our world


Starting pay is $60.00 per day. Instructors are also provided with housing during their period of employment and board during programs.

To apply, send a cover letter, resume, and three references to: 

Melinda Brooks
Spruce Knob Mountain Center
18 Woodlands Way
Circleville, WV 26804

The Mountain Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer