June 13th, 2024 Program Management

Executive Director Portfolio Management Rare Disease

Princeton, New Jersey, United States

View All Jobs

Please note that this position is based in Princeton, NJ. Acadia's hybrid model requires this role to work in our office three days per week on average.

This position serves a key leadership role in the organization as the portfolio program leader in support of the cross-functional strategy for the programs (assets) in the Rare Disease franchise. This role contributes to the creation of the portfolio and program strategies, collaborating with the commercial franchise leadership, strategic product planning, and research and development (R&D) organization to successfully deliver on the corporate goals.  The Executive Director is accountable for leadership and execution of program plans within the portfolio, including leading the asset strategy teams, ensuring effective communication across the wider cross-functional organization and translating decisions into action. 

Primary Responsibilities

  • Lead Asset Strategy Teams (ASTs) for Rare Disease Franchise by driving the teams to execute on the strategic vision of the Rare Disease portfolio.
  • Drive planning for key drug development stage-gate decision points after Phase 1 and co-chair stage-gate committee for Rare Disease franchise.
  • Manages an integrated program budget and resource plan in partnership with the R&D Operations Lead, Finance team member and functional line representatives on the team.
  • Facilitate resource planning, and financial and capacity assessments for Rare Disease franchise.
  • Partner with Strategic Product Planning function to establish or update Target Product Profiles (TPPs) for the Rare Disease portfolio that are aligned with the Strategic Value Proposition for the initial development and life-cycle management of the asset.
  • Coordinate formation of the ASTs for Rare Disease Franchise programs following a Go to Phase 2 (POC) decision at Stage Gate 3 and knowledge transfer from the Early-Stage AST members or Alliance Delivery Teams (ADTs) for partnered programs.
  • Collaborate with Research and Development (R&D) Operations team to ensure development team plans and timelines align with the strategic goals for the portfolio.
  • Ensure clear translation of the Strategic Value Proposition for each asset into an integrated strategic development plan for each program.
  • Proactively communicate contract milestones, scientific and financial obligations to ASTs for partnered programs to make well-informed strategic recommendations and decisions.
  • Proactively conduct risk management, and contingency and scenario planning across disciplines, ensure transparent communication of risks and escalate to executive management with appropriate speed.
  • Lead and facilitate decision analysis with the team including development and assessment of outcome scenarios with alternative development options, robust go/no go decision criteria, probability of technical and regulatory success (PTRS), and value and investment implications.
  • Ensure a coordinated approach across portfolio managers to ensure aligned execution and consistent reporting across stakeholders (ie, financial planning and analytics, executive leadership team and board of directors).
  • Other duties as assigned.


Bachelor’s degree in life science or related field; Advanced degree preferred.  Targeting 15 years of progressively responsible, relevant experience focusing on program management with 10 years in a leadership role which includes experience managing cross-functional project teams.  Successful candidate will have a strong understanding of the drug development process from preclinical pharmacology through to regulatory approval and the principles, concepts, practices, and standards of pharmaceutical program management. An equivalent combination of relevant education and experience may be considered.

Key Skills:

  • Executive presence and communication skills required.
  • Excellent knowledge of project management discipline and its application to drug development required to deliver time, cost, quality and risk management to teams.
  • Advanced meeting facilitation skills and ability to lead cross-functional teams that include executive and senior management without direct authority.
  • Financial management knowledge required.
  • Rare Disease experience required.
  • Excellent interpersonal, organizational, written and verbal communication skills.
  • Independent, motivated, team leader with the ability to thrive in a matrix environment.
  • Ability to support multiple asset teams simultaneously with strong organizational and time management skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to accommodate and lead teams through shifting priorities, demands and timelines.
  • Ability to elicit cooperation from a wide variety of sources and to be persuasive, encouraging and motivating.
  • Adept at creating and communicating a clear vision for a program among team members to facilitate alignment of resources to achieve program and corporate goals.
  • Proven track record of implementing Project Management tools, methodologies, practices and infrastructure, as related to the biopharmaceutical Industry.
  • In-depth knowledge and skill with Microsoft (MS) suite including MS PowerPoint, MS Project, MS Word, MS Excel.

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 and independently from remote locations. Employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 20 pounds.  Ability to travel independently overnight and work after hours if required by travel schedule or business needs.




What we offer you (US-Based Employees):

  • 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 (US-Based Employees): 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 talentacquisition@acadia-pharm.com 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.

Notice for California Applicants: Please see our California Applicant Privacy Notice within our Privacy Policy.

Notice to Search Firms/Third-Party Recruitment Agencies (Recruiters): The Talent Acquisition team manages the recruitment and employment process for Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. (“Acadia”). Acadia does not accept resumes from recruiters or search firms without an executed search agreement in place. Resumes sent to Acadia employees in absence of an executed search agreement will not obligate Acadia in any way with the respect to the future employment of those individuals or potential remuneration to any recruiter or search firm. Candidates should never be submitted directly to our hiring managers or employees.