Finance Director

Finance Director
City of East Lansing
 East Lansing, Michigan
Job Description

East Lansing, Michigan (pop. 48,500) is looking for a seasoned Finance Director who is committed to customer-based results through empowerment of staff in a high-performing city government. East Lansing is home to Michigan State University located on the Red Cedar River, five miles east of Lansing, the State Capital. As a destination community, East Lansing offers a multitude of university-related culture, plus biking, golf, hiking, and kayaking nearby. The next Finance Director will assist with strategic financial planning and be adept at translating complicated financial matters to staff and elected officials. This is an excellent opportunity for an experienced professional looking to make a difference in an active and growing community.

East Lansing is a full-service city that operates under the Council-Manager form of government with a full-time staff of 300 and a FY 2023 combined budget of $155.2 million. The City is in sound financial condition with a 17% general fund balance and a AA+ bond rating.

With top-rated schools and growing businesses, East Lansing is known for its innovation, family values, and environmental stewardship. The city offers a full range of modern amenities including state-of-the-art hospitals and medical centers, contemporary retail centers, and a diverse array of restaurants and cafes. East Lansing is widely recognized as having a high quality of life and as one of the best places to live in the state. Major employers in the region include the Michigan State Federal Credit Union, Sparrow Health System, General Motors, and Auto-Owners Insurance Group. The area is well-served by the Capital Region International Airport.

The next Finance Director will need to be a doer, be consultative, and take responsibility for planning and supporting staff while overseeing the operations of the Finance Department as the chief financial officer, budget officer, and risk manager. This position is hired by, and reports directly to, the City Manager and provides highly responsible and complex administrative support to the entire city government. The Finance Department administers a complex chart of accounts and comprehensive financial services with a team of 15 staff, including professional managers for each of four (4) operational divisions that report to the Director: Budget and Accounting, Assessing, Income Tax, and Treasury. The Finance Department conducts purchasing and biweekly payroll also.

The ideal person will excel at translating technical finance information while employing strategic thinking to assist other departments and policymakers. The Director will need to speak effectively, explain, and analyze/evaluate the impacts of policies, projects, programs, and activities. The Finance Director will need to be able to see the big picture, make predictions, and effectively communicate long-range financial outcomes. Accounting capabilities are strong within the existing Finance team so the new Director can focus on enabling the overall team to continue to excel.


  • Bachelor’s degree in public administration, business administration, accounting, economics, or a related field
  • Eight (8) or more years of progressively responsible experience in local government financial-management, or any equivalent combination of education, experience, and training
  • Four (4) four years of administrative and supervisory experience
  • Fund accounting, municipal budget preparation and administration experience
  • Strong ethical standards
  • Knowledge of systems and inequities as they relate to diversity and inclusion


  • A master’s degree in a related field
  • Registration, or eligibility for registration, as a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Michigan

Compensation & Benefits

Salary is $96,237 - $134,032.94 per year (including the $2,000 annual certification bonus for holding a CPA), additional pay negotiable for the right candidate, DOQ/E. The City offers a generous compensation and benefits package which includes relocations assistance and some remote work flexibility. East Lansing has a strong collaborative culture.

Apply here, with cover letter, resume, and three professional references by January 5th. Applicants will be screened between January 5th and January 14th. Interviews will be conducted the week of January 17th and January 30th. Questions regarding the position may be directed to the attention of Ryan Cotton, Vice President, GovHR USA, Tel: 847-380-3240 x114. Applications are confidential until permission given. Open until filled. Position starts in April.

The City of East Lansing is committed to becoming a fully inclusive, anti-racist place to live, work, visit and do business. We are seeking and hiring individuals who share our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.