Director of Procurement

Princeton University in New Jersey

Date Posted January 28, 2014
Type Administrative
Salary Not specified
Employment Type Full-time

Position Summary


The Finance & Treasury division of Princeton University seeks a Director of Procurement Services to serve as Chief Procurement Officer and help lead the effort to transform the University’s procure-to-pay processes and systems. This is a unique leadership opportunity for a seasoned procurement professional who will implement effective spend management practices, direct strategic and operational planning, and lead talent and performance management.


The Director will be responsible for leading the central purchasing and payments functions that support approximately $1 billion in annual disbursements and more than $160 million in annual purchases across a diverse group of goods and services. S/he will support the spend management initiatives across the University’s academic and administrative units, including negotiating advantageous contracts with vendors and coordinating the University’s procure-to-pay operations to ensure customer satisfaction, and cost-effectiveness while maintaining the highest integrity in all contracting, purchasing, and payment activities. In addition, the Director will build strong relationships and coalitions across the University that will foster consensus for spend management initiatives.


Princeton’s Finance & Treasury division is a vibrant organization, committed to continuous improvement. The successful candidate will have a demonstrated record of success in managing organizational change, establishing effective and efficient payment processes that align with procurement strategies, building strong relationships with customers and business partners, managing high quality systems, developing strategic and measurable business plans and budgets, and providing strong leadership and supervision to a team of professionals.


The Finance & Treasury division supports Princeton’s mission of teaching and research. The University’s historic, 500-acre main campus houses almost 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It plays a major role in the educational and cultural life of the area, employs more than 6,000 people, and brings in approximately $2 billion in economic activity to the region. Princeton employees are part of a rich and diverse community, with great natural resources, a thriving business landscape and easy proximity to New York City and Philadelphia.


Principal Duties:


  • Provide leadership and strategic direction for university-wide spend management efforts in the establishment, communication, and implementation of business goals and cost-saving initiatives.
  • Establish spend management as a practice, approach, and methodology in support of the University’s mission and objectives.. This will require effective communication, outreach, and training of campus clients.
  • Establish and lead effective and efficient payment processes that align with procurement strategies. Implements measurable standards for quality, compliance, and efficiency.
  • Manage, lead and inspire the team by mentoring, goal-setting, providing clear regular feedback, career development and coaching.
  • Develop business plans, goals and objectives, and annual operating budget and implement short- and long-term operational strategies.
  • Build effective relationships internally with customers and business partners.
  • Establish a high-quality service-oriented approach to save campus clients time and effort with procurement and payment needs.
  • Ensure compliance with University policies and government regulations; interact with government and internal and external auditors; evaluate and implement audit recommendations.
  • Provide functional leadership and oversight of purchasing and payment systems including PeopleSoft, SciQuest, and Concur.
  • Streamline the contract management process/lifecycle to ensure greater compliance, adoption and faster cycle times.
  • Establishes clear processes and tools for contract authoring and retention.
  • Develop and implement metrics that measure the performance of the department against University goals and benchmark it in a meaningful way with peer institutions.
  • Keep abreast of industry/university best practices to initiate appropriate innovations.
  • Develop an analytically focused organization and effectively use spend management tools and data to inform sourcing strategies and implement cost-saving opportunities.


Essential Qualifications:


  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Minimum of 10 years of management experience in procurement leadership/spend management for a large, diverse, and decentralized organization, preferably with a high percent of indirect spend.
  • A track record of successfully developing and leading high-performing procurement/spend management staff.
  • Ability to articulate a clear vision for the organization and ability to execute on a strategy to attain the vision.
  • Success in the development and implementation of strategic initiatives.
  • Ability to lead change in a decentralized, consensus-driven environment and to work through influence and persuasion.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with a wide variety of stakeholders and customers.
  • Respect for the compliance requirements a research university faces, preferably gained through experience with government contracting regulations.
  • Excellent communication skills (oral and written) with diverse audiences.
  • Ability to organize and analyze large volumes of data.
  • Strong negotiation skills.
  • Dedication to delivering outstanding customer service.
  • Experience collaborating with 3rd party service providers to deliver solutions (e.g. e-procurement electronic invoicing).
  • Experience utilizing internal and industry information to benchmark, measure, and improve processes.
  • Strong commitment to maintaining the highest levels of integrity.


Preferred Qualifications:


  • Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM) or equivalent designation highly desirable; MBA and/or advanced professional degree a plus.
  • Ability to lead, teach, and motivate a cross-functional team to deliver results.
  • Independent self-starter with excellent organizational, analytical, and planning skills. Ability to lead diverse initiatives and manage complex business issues.
  • Experience with change management.
  • Experience collaborating with Group Purchasing Organizations.

The final candidate will be required to successfully pass a background check.

To apply, send cover letter and resume to:, and post to requisition #1400047.