Chief Financial Officer Program

Jan 25–May 28, 2021 $35,000

Questions? Contact Us:

+1 646 713 0918 (US)
+65 6871 4030 (Singapore)
+91 90290 07437 (India)
+971 44302011 (Dubai)

Columbia University Campus
New York City 
Plan your stay

In partnership with
Eruditus Executive Education

Module dates are:
Module 1: January 25–29, 2021 (New York)
Module 2: Feb-Mar 2021 (Online)
Module 3: March 15–19, 2021 (New York)
Module 4: Apr-May 2021 (Online)
Module 5: May 24–28, 2021 (New York)

“New York City and Columbia Business School are the best possible training grounds for a budding CFO. Our access to financial and capital markets expertise in Manhattan is unparalleled.”
– Faculty Director Shiva Rajgopal

Chief Financial Officer Program

As the global economy and organizations have evolved, so has the role of the chief financial officer (CFO). The role's responsibilities have transformed from being an information gatekeeper to a strategic decision maker in the business. The growing trend of CFOs being promoted to CEO roles bears testament to this fact.

Organizations are witnessing profound changes driven by innovations in technology, business models, and rising expectations from boards and stakeholders. Today’s CFOs are not just driving cost efficiencies but also advancing into new frontiers, reacting to changing market conditions and competition, driving strategy around capital allocation, and conducting more in-depth risk analyses for actionable insights. According to a December 2018 McKinsey CFO survey, the number of functional areas reporting to CFOs increased from 4.5 in 2016 to about 6.2 just two years later, and 44 percent say they are leading transformation efforts within their organizations.

That’s why now, more than ever, CFOs must be strategic partners — able to nimbly execute and assertively communicate the strategies that will drive their companies forward. They must also be committed to data-driven decision making and capable of navigating complex financial operations that still include but go beyond previous duties.

The Chief Financial Officer Program will help financial leaders take the next step in their careers. Through a challenging curriculum driven by world-class faculty and the latest industry research and insights, this program will help senior leaders develop the knowledge and skills to seamlessly transition to the CFO role.

The program tackles various themes during the intensive six-month multimodular learning journey structured around value creation, capital markets, monitoring performance, strategy, leadership, and developing the relevant skills for the CFO. At the end of the six-month journey, participants are equipped with the skills, tools, and frameworks to lead the financial transformation and handle the increasingly complex challenges being faced by their respective organizations.

Program Partner:Eruditus Executive Education is the program partner for Columbia’s Chief Financial Officer Program. Prospective participants with questions on the program are encouraged to contact them for further information by email ( or call +1 646 713 0918 (US), +91-22- 61623112 (India), +971 44302011 (Dubai), or +65 6871 4030 (Singapore).


Learn from world-class faculty and practitioners

At Columbia Business School Executive Education, you study at the very center of business. Not only will you learn from world-renowned Columbia Business School faculty who are experts in their fields but you will also get in-depth insights from active and former industry practitioners, including a host of executives in residence at Columbia Business School, tasked with bringing their decades of industry expertise to our student body.

Experience an expertly developed curriculum

Acquire the skills to be a successful CFO through a thoughtfully designed and cutting-edge curriculum. The program features real-world business challenges and project work, guided by expert faculty that allow you to apply your knowledge in real time.

Connect with your experienced peer group

Prepare for your next career milestone alongside other seasoned financial leaders from around the globe—and make new, lifelong connections.

Immerse yourself in the world's financial capital

Study at an Ivy League business school located in the financial capital of the world — New York City.

Step into your next leadership role

Develop leadership abilities to lead financial transformation and guide the future success of your organization.


Upon completion of the program, executives earn the following select Columbia Business School alumni benefits:

  • A 25 percent tuition benefit for themselves and up to four colleagues each year for full-price Executive Education in-person programs lasting up to seven days and all full-price online programs
  • Global Columbia Business School alumni networking opportunities
  • Access to Columbia Business School Alumni Career Services resources, including access to unique career content, a job board, an online networking platform, the alumni directory, and more. Download the full list of resources
  • Lifetime Columbia Business School forwarding email address
  • Subscriptions to the Columbia Business alumni magazine
  • Eligibility to join a Columbia Business School alumni club. View the alumni clubs list


The Chief Financial Officer Program offers a holistic perspective of the financial complexities and leadership challenges that today’s financial leaders face, while helping participants develop the knowledge and skills to be an effective CFO.

The six–month program journey features three in-person immersion modules, and two multiweek online modules. The curriculum explores the various themes that are quintessential for a successful CFO, through immersive sessions at the university campus, case studies, guest speaker sessions, online modules, and interaction with Columbia Business School's Ivy League faculty.

Theme 1: Value Creation Audit

  • How does the firm make money, margins, and asset turns
  • Information beyond the financial statements: 360-degree feedback on the firm’s value drivers
  • How can we potentially change costs, implement operational improvements, and make business model refinements
  • Valuation of the firm
  • Designing the corporate portfolio for optimal value creation

Theme 2: CFO as a Strategic Partner

  • Strategy audit: identifying drivers of differentiation and costs; analyzing the value proposition of business models, and the desired capabilities and activities
  • Strategic choices and their value implications; linking them to financial metrics
  • Making strategic decision for growth and margins
  • Balancing discipline in finance with investing in innovation
  • Responding to competition
  • Managing the relationship with the CEO

Theme 3: Capital Markets

  • How do capital markets view the firm
  • Managing investors and quarterly earnings calls
  • Raising capital
  • Pay-out policy and signaling
  • Credit ratings and implications for capital structure
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Capital allocation and capital structure
  • Capital expenditure: how to split between pay-outs/acquisitions; dividends, stock buybacks
  • The M&A process: strategy, valuation, and execution

Theme 4: Monitoring Performance

  • What are the KPIs and dashboards to monitor?
  • Data–driven decision making and decision making under uncertainty
  • Risk management (credit, currency, etc.)
  • Compensation policies
  • Accounting systems and legacy systems

Theme 5: CFO as a Leader

  • Managing and motivating teams of people
  • Engaging the board
  • Communicating effectively with the board, investors, different functions, and business units
  • Learning to work with various leadership styles and capabilities
  • Crisis management
  • Activist investors

Theme 6: Tomorrow’s CFO

  • Global economic environment
  • Move to capital markets
  • Real options; valuation of international projects
  • FinTech and the finance function
  • Sustainable investing (Environment, Social, and Governance [ESG] framework and implications)
  • Disruptive technology (artificial intelligence, robotics)
  • Blockchain and cyber risk

Note: Topics and sessions are subject to change based on faculty availability.

For the complete curriculum and calendar, please download the program brochure.


The Chief Financial Officer Program is uniquely designed to suit midcareer professionals with a strong financial background from diverse industries. Individuals stepping into a CFO or other financial leadership role will benefit from the in-depth curriculum, expert faculty, and invaluable networking opportunities.

All the key elements of the Chief Finance Officer program experience — the professors, the content, peer interactions, and application exercises are designed specifically for executives with:

  • A minimum of 10 years of work experience
  • International exposure (preferred)
  • An urgent agenda for change
  • Fluency in written and spoken English



Shiva Rajgopal, Faculty Director
Roy Bernard Kester and T.W. Byrnes Professor of Accounting and Auditing, Columbia Business School

Shiva Rajgopal is the Kester and Byrnes Professor at Columbia Business School. A highly regarded academic, Shiva is one of the world’s leading experts on measuring how well managers serve as responsible stewards of the corporation’s resources. He is perhaps best known for his finding that around 40 percent of Chief Financial Officers would sacrifice a positive net present value project to meet quarterly analyst consensus earnings estimate. Apart from conducting pioneering research on short-termism, Shiva's extensive body of academic and practitioner focused work covers a wide range of contemporary issues in financial reporting and governance such as accounting restatements, frauds, SEC enforcement actions, efficacy of board and executive compensation schemes in delivering shareholder value, whistle blowing, and the paramount importance of corporate culture as an under-appreciated economic asset of the firm. He has wide-ranging experience in solving applied business problems with global private equity funds, leading insurance companies, financial services firms, hedge funds, and cyber security ratings agencies. His work has been featured extensively in the Harvard Business Review, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Barrons, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes and the Economist.

Additional Faculty

Alfred DrewesAlfred Drewes
Director, Executive in Residence Program, Columbia Business School;
Former COO of Sun Products Corporation and Former SVP and CFO of Pepsi Bottling Group


John FaraciJohn Faraci
Executive in Residence, Columbia Business School;
Former Chairman and CEO of International Paper


Jesse GreeneJesse Greene
Executive in Residence, Columbia Business School;
Former VP of Financial Management and Former Chief Risk Officer at IBM


Katherine HenselKatherine Hensel
Executive in Residence, Columbia Business School;
Former Managing Director at Lehman Brothers


Wei JiangWei Jiang
Arthur F. Burns Professor of Free and Competitive Enterprise, Columbia Business School


Paul KazarianPaul Kazarian
American investor, philanthropist, and former investment banker


Amit KhandelwalAmit Khandelwal
Jerome A. Chazen Professor of Global Business, Columbia Business School


Bruce KogutBruce Kogut
Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Professor of Leadership and Ethics, Columbia Business School


Sheena IyengarSheena Iyengar
S. T. Lee Professor of Business, Columbia Business School


Douglas MaineDouglas Maine
Executive in Residence, Columbia Business School;
Senior Advisor to Brown Brothers Harriman & Co;
Former CFO and SVP at IBM


Fred MarcusaFred Marcusa
Lecturer in Law, Columbia Law School


Stephan MeierStephan Meier
James P. Gorman Professor of Business, Columbia Business School


Eduardo MestreEduardo Mestre
Executive in Residence, Columbia Business School;
Senior Managing Director and Chairman of Global Advisory at Evercore;
Former Vice Chairman of Citigroup


Ciamac Moallemi Ciamac Moallemi
Associate Professor, Columbia Business School


Oded NetzerOded Netzer
Professor of Business, Columbia Business School



Along with the above listed faculty, additional Columbia Business School faculty may contribute to and teach in the program. Faculty lineup is subject to change.


To apply to the program, please complete the online application here.

Application Deadline and Fees

Round 1

Date: Aug 11, 2020
Application Fees: 300 USD

Round 2

Date: Sep 22, 2020
Application Fees: 400 USD

Round 3

Date: Nov 10, 2020
Application Fees: 500 USD

Round 4

Date: Dec 8, 2020
Application Fees: 600 USD

Application Process

Admitted participants will have to pay 20 percent of the program fee within 10 days of their admission to confirm their seat. Please note that if a candidate is admitted and accepts the admission, the application fee will be credited towards the program fee.

Please note that admissions to the program are on a rolling basis.

We strongly recommend that interested participants apply early. The first module of the program takes place in the United States. For those applicants who need a visa to travel to the United States, it is recommended that you apply by the early application deadline to allow sufficient time for your visa processing formalities.

* Program location may vary. While the majority of our programs run on campus, some programs may run off campus in New York City.