Director, Internal Audit

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Job Posting

Director, Internal Audit

May 31, 2018

Job Category: Other

New York, NY or Washington, DC

Organization Summary

Co-founded in 1915 by Helen Keller, Helen Keller International is dedicated to saving the sight and improving the lives of the world’s vulnerable.  We combat the causes and consequences of preventable blindness, malnutrition and diseases of poverty with more than 120 programs in 20 African and Asian countries, as well as in the United States. Renowned for its reliability, efficiency and high level of technical expertise, Helen Keller International promotes the development of large-scale, sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing issues in public health.  We deliver scientific rigor and effectively leverage donor dollars with our hallmark characteristics of grit, compassion and integrity.  If you share these characteristics, we invite you to apply to work at Helen Keller International.



HKI’s internal audit unit brings a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes. Internal Audit is an internal resource that provides independent, objective assurance and consulting to our many offices around the world in an effort to continuously improve HKI’s operations in support of our mission.  The function provides objective assurance on the effectiveness of HKI’s risk management framework.  It is meant to be preventative and proactive in nature with a strong training component that emphasizes personal responsibility at all levels.


Functional Relationships

To ensure full independence of the audit function, the Director of Internal Audit reports to the Audit Committee of the Board of Trustees, though day-to-day oversight and management will be provided by the Chief Financial Officer.

In the course of performing his/her duties, the Director will work with staff at all levels of the organization and may be required to call upon the expertise of colleagues among HKI’s global management staff in the US and regional offices.  In addition, the Director will supervise staff and consultants to perform internal audits and/or investigate allegations of fraud, waste, or abuse in HKI’s projects and operations.

HKI has a matrixed reporting structure that respects both the line management and authority within country office and regional hierarchies; and the accountability and oversight duties of subject matter experts and multi-country program managers at the global management level.  Regular communication and a spirit of team work among colleagues, both hierarchically and laterally are essential to make this structure thrive.




Scope of the Position

The Director, Internal Audit provides direction and leadership in the area of internal audit throughout HKI.  S/he will promote Internal Audit as a value add to the organization and deliver Audit services that consistently improve the control environment, build capacity, and enable the achievement of operational excellence.


The Director is responsible for the design, implementation and management of HKI’s internal audit program and the evaluation and improvement of the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes. The individual will play a key role in continually improving and maintaining a world-class internal control environment and supporting management to fulfill their responsibilities for managing risk while making certain the mission of HKI is carried out.


Risk Assessment and Audit Planning

  • Prepare an annual audit risk assessment of HKI’s operations and develop a flexible agency-wide audit and compliance plan and calendar with input from CFO and relevant global management staff that integrates appropriate risk-based methodologies for review and approval by the Audit Committee of the Board.
  • Recommend changes and/or additions throughout the year in response to matters arising and new award requirements.
  • Identify and report deviations from sound business practices, company policies and procedures, and government laws and regulations to the Board Audit Committee and executive management. Act as staff liaison to the Board Audit Committee.


Audit Implementation

  • Establish overall audit procedures, systems, and tools for conducting internal control audits in accordance with the Government Auditing Standards and best practices.
  • Recommend changes to improve the effectiveness of Internal Audit's administration, programs, plans, and/or performance standards; and
  • Manage and monitor implementation of approved audit plans.
  • Prepare for and perform, or supervise preparation and conduct of internal audits of HKI offices, sub-grantees and/or audits of specified functions or processes to identify reportable issues and risks.
    • Conduct entry meeting to review purpose, scope of work, methodology, and to set expectations for communications during the audit fieldwork.
    • Document, evaluate and tests systems, controls, and administrative procedures to determine their adequacy and effectiveness to ensure (i) compliance with policies and procedures, (ii) accomplishment of project’s objectives, (iii) reliability and integrity of information, (iv) economic use of resources, and (v) safeguarding of assets.
  • Present results in a clear and effective manner and work with teams to develop corrective action plans to solve any deviations from HKI and donor policies and procedures.
    • Conduct one-on-one and small group trainings, pertaining to findings throughout the field work, as time permits.
    • Conduct exit meetings to review all findings and discuss additional training needs.
  • Draft or review thorough and timely internal audit reports and communications on the results of work performed, including potential recommendations for improvements and training.
    • Ensure supervisor, and others as necessary, are alerted in regards to any organizational conflicts of interest or other significant internal controls or compliance issues.
  • Prepare or review corrective action plans resulting from audit/review findings in coordination with regional and country office management.  Validate and follow-up implementation of plans.


Special Reviews

  • Coordinate with relevant colleagues to monitor donor required audits.
  • Conduct and/or assign and supervise special reviews of business or financial processes as requested by executive management or the Board Audit Committee and manage the timely completion of necessary follow up activities. These special reviews may include:
    • review of country offices financial statements audit and other external reviews/audits
    • desk reviews of country offices or sub-grantees
    • investigations related to whistleblower complaints;
    • implementation of sub-grantee risk mitigation plan


General Management

  • Support management in fulfilling their responsibilities for managing risk.
  • Collaborate with, and provide advice and counsel to management when changes or additions to company policies, programs, procedures, and systems are being planned;
  • Keep abreast of new company programs, policies, and priorities as well as trends and new developments in audit international sites.
  • Provide expertise, advice, and support to:
    • build colleague’s understanding of financial terms, conditions, standards and policies; and
    • develop training modules for on-site and on-line forums

to ensure that programs are delivered with minimized compliance risk.

  • Lead a team of auditors (employee and consultants) to schedule, coordinate, and conduct financial, operational, and/or information systems audits of selected projects or country programs.
  • Hire and manage audit staff in compliance with HKI policies.  Mentor, supervise and evaluate direct reports and contribute to an atmosphere conducive to professional growth and development.
  • Consult with and guide staff to achieve goals by providing ongoing feedback in a context of mutual respect.
  • Prepare and manage annual Audit budget.


  • Minimum of ten years’ experience in progressively responsible roles within audit, grant accounting and/or management in an organization with remote international offices, plus a BS/BA in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance or Accounting or equivalent combination of education and experience. CIA or CPA preferred. Certification as Fraud Examiner a plus.
  • Expert knowledge of regulatory compliance and reporting including Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and Office of Management and Budgets (OMB) Circular A-133; A-110; A-122 (now Uniform Guidance 2 CFR Part 200), Sarbanes-Oxley, professional auditing standards and best practices in internal control systems. Experience with Title II projects a plus.
  • Strong overall business acumen with the ability to align governance, risk, and control needs and requirements with the realities of the work environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to gather, analyze, and synthesize information from many sources.
  • Ability to apply various internal control frameworks, risk concepts, and auditing standards to audit work.
  • Proven success in managing risk and mitigating losses.
  • Familiarity with the systems and procedures and funding streams of non-profit organizations.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team; must be able to work with a minimum of supervision in the conceptualization, planning, management and implementation of activities.
  • Must be able to multi-task and work under tight timelines. Ability to work in a fast-paced office environment.
  • Proven ability to effectively manage staff, vendors and budgets.
  • Excellent oral and written English language skills, including the ability to clearly communicate complex financial and compliance issues into layperson language, and to write and edit reports.
  • Fluency in French is highly desirable.
  • Highly computer literate with a demonstrated knowledge of accounting and spreadsheet software.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills and the ability to work in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity. Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with staff at all levels. Strong client service orientation.
  • An ability to work in challenging and changing environments, and to see through challenges to find solutions.
  • The presence, credibility, and communication skills (written and verbal) are required to influence others at all levels within the organization.
  • Ability and willingness to travel internationally (30-40%) to developing countries to conduct audits.

Application Instructions

Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to noting the job title in the subject line.  Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

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Helen Keller International is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.