February 23rd, 2023 R&D Administration

Senior Director Program & Alliance Management

San Diego, California, United States

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Please be aware that Acadia has a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for all employees.

The Sr. Director serves as a key driver for high-priority complex programs and provides program level support to Development teams with a keen focus on strategic planning and operational execution. The Sr. Director makes recommendations regarding program priorities, resource requirements, and strategic considerations to established governance committees for endorsement. As a Sr Director, they have direct responsibility for the review of program-level information and the accuracy of reporting in the organization.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Drives development of project level goals that contribute to the overall goals of R&D and drives execution of the program in a manner that achieves delivery of the goals/objectives and the agreed plan without compromising project deliverables or relationships
  • Leads and facilitates data needed for decision analysis with the team including development and assessment of outcome scenarios and alternative development options, robust go/no go decision criteria, probability of technical and regulatory success, value and investment implications
  • Consistently assesses program and project-level strategy relative to the overall R&D portfolio prioritization to ensure an appropriate balance between project priority and resource consumption. Proactively recommends and drives the operational plan and resource adjustments to improve productivity and return for the program
  • Drives development of the program-level goals that contribute to the overall objectives for the R&D portfolio. Monitors and reports to executive management on progress of the program goals
  • Drives landmark decision-point planning and associated deliverables across functions to achieve the overall program objectives. Clearly defines the critical path and generates clear decision criteria for the program
  • Prepares and manages governance interactions in partnership with the Clinical and/or Commercial lead
  • Develops project-level budgets and resource plans on behalf of the team. Proactively manages the overall program budget and resource demand including potential business development projects. Ensures that cross-functional efficiencies are identified and improved
  • Manages an integrated program budget and resource plan in partnership with the Team Lead, Finance team member and functional line representatives on the team
  • Leads governance within R&D for assigned programs including in-licensed, acquired or partnered programs
  • Leads the identification of operational and project/program issues for discussion with appropriate team leadership. Drives resolution across the team through options assessment, effectively documenting decisions and rationale
  • Other duties as assigned

Primary Alliance Management Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Manage the ongoing business relationship with various partners throughout the post-deal partnership life cycle
  • Plan and manage the operational aspects of alliances, including kick-offs, joint governance committees, ensuring alliance effectiveness and appropriate communications, coordination of activities, managing escalation, solving business problems
  • Proactively track, monitor and communicate contract achievements, obligations, and any financial payments to partners
  • Manage process for review and approval of reports and payments
  • Develop strong working relationships with internal and external partners
  • Work with project teams to evaluate and resolve any business / contractual issues in an equitable and timely manner
  • Perform period alliance health checks
  • Setting specific and measurable performance objectives, standards and accountabilities for each assigned collaboration ensuring the vision, goals and objectives of the alliance are aligned and communicated between the collaborators
  • Maintain regular, timely and accurate reporting to key partners on assigned projects
  • Lead efforts to ensure a smooth transition from pre-deal term to post-deal wind-down for all assigned Acadia deals for alliances, integrations and divesture / out-licensing initiatives
  • Supports alliance management strategy for Acadia and assists in the development of alliance management capabilities across the organization, i.e., staying abreast of new developments and trends, industry benchmarking and identifying new capabilities
  • Contributes to business development initiatives including pre-deal diligence reviews and negotiation of alliance-related agreements


  • Bachelor’s degree in life sciences. Advanced degree (MS/PhD) highly desirable but not required. Equivalent combination of relevant education and applicable job experience may be considered
  • Minimum 10+ years of progressively responsible, relevant experience focusing on program management with 4 years in a leadership role which includes experience managing cross-functional project teams. Alliance management experience is also required.
  • A strong understanding of the clinical development process and the principles, concepts, practices, and standards of pharmaceutical project management
  • Excellent knowledge of project management subject area and its application to drug development required to deliver time, cost, quality and risk management to teams.
  • Advanced meeting facilitation skills with Executive and Sr. Management and a demonstrated ability to lead brainstorming and scenario planning discussions
  • Financial management knowledge
  • Familiarity with FDA and/or EMA Regulations, ICH Guidelines, and GXPs governing the conduct of clinical trials is required.
  • Extensive pharmaceutical business experience in order to have a thorough understanding of the processes associated with implementing clinical development plans and regulatory interactions.
  • CNS and/or Rare Disease experience desired.
  • Excellent interpersonal, organizational, written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to support multiple project teams simultaneously, be well organized and have strong time management skills and attention to detail.
  • Skilled at negotiating with business partners or management and influencing senior level leaders regarding matters of significance to the department or segments of the organization.
  • Adept at creating and communicating a clear vision among team members effectively aligning resources to achieve functional area goals
  • Employee must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in accordance with our policy

Physical Requirements:

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch, see, talk or hear in a standard office environment. Employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 15 pounds.

Employee must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in accordance with our policy and in order to meet any independent vaccination requirements that our clients and client facilities may have.

The salary range for this role is $216,000.00 to $270,000.00. Actual amounts will vary depending on experience, performance, and location. In addition to a competitive base salary, this position is also eligible for discretionary bonus and equity awards based on factors such as individual and organizational performance.


What we offer you:

  • Competitive base, bonus, new hire and ongoing equity packages
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance
  • 401(k) Plan with a fully vested company match 1:1 up to 5%
  • Employee Stock Purchase Plan with a 2-year purchase price lock-in
  • 15+ vacation days
  • 14 paid holidays plus one floating holiday of your choice, including office closure between December 24th and January 1st
  • 10 days of paid sick time
  • Paid parental leave
  • Tuition assistance

EEO Statement:

Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they meet every single one of the qualifications in the exact way they are described in job postings. We are committed to building a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and innovative company and we are looking for the BEST candidate for the job. That candidate may be one who comes from a less traditional background or may meet the qualifications in a different way. We would strongly encourage you to apply – especially if the reason you are the best candidate isn’t exactly as we describe it here.

It is the policy of Acadia to provide equal employment opportunities to all employees and employment applicants without regard to considerations of race, including related to hairstyle, color, religion or religious creed, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, gender transition, country of origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, legally-protected medical condition or information, marital status, domestic partner status, family care status, military caregiver status, veteran or military status (including reserve status, National Guard status, and military service or obligation), status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, enrollment in a public assistance program, or any basis protected under federal, state or local law.

As an equal opportunity employer, Acadia is committed to a diverse workforce. If you are a qualified individual with a disability or a disabled veteran, you have the right to request a reasonable accommodation. Furthermore, you may request additional support if you are unable or limited in your ability to use or access Acadia’s career website due to your disability, along with any accommodations throughout the interview process. To request or inquire about your reasonable accommodation, please complete our Reasonable Accommodation Request Form or contact us at [email protected] or 858-261-2923.

Please note that reasonable accommodations granted throughout the recruiting process are not guaranteed to be the same accommodation given if hired. A new request will need to be submitted for any ADA accommodations after starting employment.

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