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Alexion Pharmaceuticals Director, Global R&D Project Manager in Boston, Massachusetts

This position can be based from any of the following Alexion locations; San Francisco, CA, Boston, MA, New Haven, CT, or Blue Bell, PA or be remote/virtual, based anywhere in the United states and may require up to 20% travel.

Position Summary

The Director, Global Program Manager(GPM) is responsible for directing the strategic and operational, planning, and decision-making processes within Alexion’s Global Program Teams. This role serves as the strategic partner and operational leader (Global Program Manager) for the development/lifecycle programs and provides program management excellence to the Global Program Teams (GPT).

The GPM works closely with the Global Program Team Leader (GPTL) who is responsible for overall team leadership to ensure robust and balanced cross-functional planning, decision-making, implementation, monitoring, and reporting for one or multiple related programs to ensure strong alignment between Development/ Lifecycle strategy (if applicable) and operational execution by the GPT. The GPM works to ensure the cross-functional teams operate effectively with positive team dynamics and adhere to Alexion’s operating model.

The Director GPM must be able to both provide strategic vision and guide the team to develop integrated plans for successfully executing the strategy. The Director GPM will provide content expertise on the timing, costs and resources required for development plans on these potential programs. The successful delivery of development milestones and goals ties to the overall longevity of Alexion’s pipeline and commercial infrastructure. The Director GPM might mangage ad hoc teams intended to assess Business Development (BD) opportunities and/or the integration of such opportunities. In this role, the Director GPM will act as an operational leader to help the team achieve assessment objectives, governance interactions, and organize the strategies and tactics.

The Director GPM will be responsible for one or more programs with significant complex cross-functional and/or cross-program strategic implications in Alexion’s pipeline/lifecycle portfolio.

Principal Responsibilities

  • Strategic partner to the GPTL and the team’s line function representatives to ‘pressure-test’ assumptions, drive scenario planning / trade off analysis and integrate cross functional planning across development into the overall project plan

  • Work closely with the GPTL to facilitate the elaboration, approval and execution of the global program strategy, as well as facilitate decision-making process for their program(s). In close collaboration with GPT members drives evaluation of product opportunities/ scenarios and develops comprehensive integrated recommendations (eg, to Governance Committees) resulting in strategic and operational product plans.

  • Coordinate and drive development process planning activities of the GPT including Milestone setting, Strategic Integrated Development Plans, Long Range Plan, budget inputs and go/no go criteria as appropriate.

  • Manage and forecast an integrated project budget and resource plan, including assumptions, investment buy-ups/buy-downs, in partnership with the GPTL, Finance team member, and the GPT. Ensures transparency and understanding of the approved plan, funding status of activities, and identifies potential efficiencies with the team.

  • Prepare and manage governance interactions in partnership with the GPTL and ensures timely input of program status/risks/issues into the reporting system for high quality portfolio reporting.

  • Work independently to provide best in class operations and program management expertise to drive GPT members towards excellence in execution eg.

  • Define and track scope, risks, budget/costs and time, critical path

  • Maintain the overall development plans and enterprise portfolio inputs

  • Drive team meetings/agendas/minutes/action items including decision and action logs

  • Facilitate team goal setting and tracking to ensure adherence to plan and strategy, and end of year team evaluation process

  • Coordinate GPT communications to ensure team member alignment

  • Manage set up of sub-teams an provide guidance on sub-team management

  • Drive Stage Gate Review preparation for “holistic program views” at program inflection points

  • Reinforce team operating principles to maximize alignment within the team and with others

  • Brings project management leadership and expertise in the assessment and integration of external assets into the Alexion pipeline

  • Lead other cross-functional initatives (either strategic and/or operational) if required by SPPM

  • Proactively address opportunities for improvement within SPPM and support the growth and professional maturity of the SPPM organization

  • Represent the SPPM vision and mission to the Alexion organization and be a spokes person for SPPM

  • The Director GPM may directly or indirectly manage more junior Program Managers or Program Coordinators and may provide guidance/mentorship to other junior staff to help them grow

% of Time

Job Function and Description


GPT Program Management


Program Management Processes and Operating Model


Supervision/Mentoring of Junior R&D PM Staff (if applicable)


Independent creative thinker and enabler requiring minimum oversight. A self-starter who is pro-active, motivates, and has tact, diplomacy, is a true team player, with excellent leadership skills

  • Demonstrated ability to provide effective project management leadership in terms of setting project plans for the lifecycle of a program from discovery through launch

  • Proven track record of planning and managing complex programs in different phases of development including cross functional deliverables (Research, CMC and Commercial)

  • Solid understanding of the processes in drug development/market access in biologics/small molecules etc relating to required development plans, task durations, cost, and product value assessment

  • Strong influencing and interpersonal skills including negotiation, managing meetings and group dynamics, ability to balance concerns of line management with objectives of cross-functional team.

  • Ability to operate and motivate a team in a matrix environment and ability to work with / influence people at all levels in the organization without authority

  • Technical proficiency includes demonstrated proficiency in the use of project planning and resource forecasting tools and systems (e.g. Microsoft Project or equivalent , resource forecasting, decision analytics, simulation), and the use of reporting tools

  • Expertise in budget and resource management and prioritization frameworks

  • Demonstrated understanding of program risk management and mitigation in order to simulate the likely obstacles to program progression

  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to deal with competing priorities; high level of problem solving capability and business acumen, ability to balance competing priorities and quickly and objectively drive the team towards a path which maximizes value

  • Excellent communication skills (written and verbal communication skills in English)

  • Highly skilled in negotiation, facilitation, and managing matrix team dynamics

  • Experience with business development activities preferred. i.e. diligence, integration, scenario planning


  • Master’s degree in a scientific, technical, or business discipline

  • At least 10 years of experience within one or more functional role(s) in pharmaceutical R&D drug development, biotechnology drug development, or related industry.

  • At least 8 years of cross-functional program management experience

  • Project Management Institute (PMI) qualifications or similar formal training preferred


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Some opportunities happen only once in a lifetime - like a job where you have the extraordinary opportunity to change lives. At Alexion, such opportunities arise through our unwavering mission to serve patients and families affected by rare diseases. These patients are our guiding star, and we act with integrity, urgency, and discipline because we know their lives are at stake.

Alexion is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on serving patients and families affected by rare diseases and devastating conditions through the discovery, development and commercialization of life-changing medicines. As a leader in rare diseases for more than 25 years, Alexion has developed and commercializes two approved complement inhibitors to treat patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), as well as the first and only approved complement inhibitor to treat anti-acetylcholine receptor (AchR) antibody-positive generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG) and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD). Alexion also has two highly innovative enzyme replacement therapies for patients with life-threatening and ultra-rare metabolic disorders, hypophosphatasia (HPP) and lysosomal acid lipase deficiency (LAL-D) as well as the first and only approved Factor Xa inhibitor reversal agent. In addition, the company is developing several mid-to-late-stage therapies, including a copper-binding agent for Wilson disease, an anti-neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) antibody for rare Immunoglobulin G (IgG)-mediated diseases and an oral Factor D inhibitor as well as several early-stage therapies, including one for light chain (AL) amyloidosis, a second oral Factor D inhibitor and a third complement inhibitor. Alexion focuses its research efforts on novel molecules and targets in the complement cascade and its development efforts on the core therapeutic areas of hematology, nephrology, neurology, metabolic disorders and cardiology. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Alexion has offices around the globe and serves patients in more than 50 countries. Further information about Alexion can be found at:

As a leading employer in our industry, Alexion is proud to offer a highly competitive package of base and incentive compensation as well as a comprehensive benefits program designed to support the health, wellness and financial security of our employees and their families. Benefits include group medical, vision and dental coverage, group and supplemental life insurance, 401(k) with company match, tuition reimbursement, relocation assistance and much more.