Job Postings

Printable Version: Director of Science 

Job Title:
Director of Science
New York City
Reports to:
Dr. Bernstein
April 2008

The Position

The Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise seeks a Director of Science to be a key member of the new executive team and to partner with the Executive Director. In January of this year, Alan Bernstein, PhD joined the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise as its inaugural Executive Director to establish the Enterprise’s permanent secretariat. From 2004 until the end of the 2007, an interim secretariat was hosted at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Dr. Bernstein has had a career in healthcare and healthcare sciences spanning over 30 years, and was most recently the founding president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Over the past seven years, he helped build CIHR into one of the world’s leading research agencies, supporting more than 11,000 health researchers with an annual budget of approximately US$1 billion.

Dr. Bernstein has begun to build the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise’s management team, having already recruited a Director of Operations and in the process of recruiting a Director of External Affairs. The Director of Science will report directly to Dr. Bernstein.

The Director of Science will be the senior technical “face” of the organization and will lead all science-related initiatives. S/he will be a very important spokesperson for the organization, particularly within the HIV vaccine scientific community and will also be a thought leader who is independent of any one particular research focus in order to be seen as a neutral leader.

Specific Responsibilities

The successful candidate for the new Director of Science:

  • Executive Leadership and Management

    • Oversees the process for updating the Scientific Strategic Plan (SSP) to define areas where further scientific and capital resources are required to accelerate HIV vaccine development.
    • Liaises with the Enterprise’s Scientific Stewardship Committee (SSC) to monitor the field and determine topics for expert working group consultations.
  • Scientific Development

    • Takes the lead on the creation of the annual “State of HIV Vaccine Science” reports.
    • Works with the researchers from the scientific endeavours launched in support of the Enterprise SSP (CHAVI, CAVD, CHVI, EDCTP and others) to ensure that their efforts continue to align with the goals and mission of the Enterprise and that the groups are coordinated at a global level so that the whole is greater than the sum of the activities at the individual consortia level.
  • Advocacy and Communication

    • Promotes greater coordination among HIV vaccine researchers worldwide by working with the scientific leaders of other key Enterprise stakeholder organizations to maximize their involvement and mutual engagement.
    • Engages new scientific stakeholders from the HIV vaccine field and other relevant fields to address the priority areas of the SSP and to collaborate with current stakeholders.

The Person

A preferred candidate must have the following qualifications:

  • Qualifications & Experience

    • Recognized and respected as a scientific leader.
    • A very strong understanding of the HIV vaccine research and development process, including upstream research, preferably based on first-hand experience.
    • A high level of scientific and personal credibility is critical, and this must be accompanied by very high levels of communication and interpersonal skills.
    • 10-15 years of leadership experience in HIV vaccine research
    • A track record of achievement and ideally publications that will result in a high degree of scientific credibility among his/her peers in industry and academia and will add to the reputation of the Enterprise as an organization with a very solid science base.
    • Meaningful experience in industry and/or interfacing with industry and regulatory bodies such as FDA and EMEA would be a plus.
    • A Ph.D. or MD with international experience/exposure and project management experience.
    • A very high level of communication skills and is comfortable making presentations to large and small groups with the scientific content targeted appropriately to the level of the audience.
  • Leadership & Management Behavioral Competencies

    • A builder of strong, productive personal and professional relationships and interconnected networks of people and organizations.
    • Highly developed and effective interpersonal and communication skills, verbal and written; able to communicate sensitively and compellingly with individuals as well as large groups across cultures and languages.
    • Encourages open communication and participation with an emphasis on transparency and the sharing of information.
    • Strong conceptual thinker who can drive quickly to a clear and concise synthesis of even the most complex issues and concepts.
    • A visionary leader who exudes a passion for the mission that is inspiring and contagious.
    • Defines ambitious goals and establishes priorities, designing processes and managing projects and resources that align to achieve those goals.
    • Able to handle challenging situations, including daunting tasks and complex interpersonal issues, with a calm, assured, unflagging approach that keeps all “eyes on the prize.”
    • A champion of innovation who responds to complex problems and challenges by applying new perspectives and exploring a variety of relevant possible solutions.
    • A team player who is willing to work with and patiently align diverse stakeholders who maintain their individual autonomy and decision-making.
  • Personal Characteristics

    • Excellent interpersonal skills and cultural competencies
    • Dynamic, energetic
    • A diplomat with strong persuasive capabilities
    • A bridge-builder
    • Values-driven with a high degree of integrity and moral authority
    • A resilient temperament
    • A consensus-builder who is able to listen to the views of multiple, diverse constituents while persistently working to achieve agreement
    • Experience in and appreciation for multiple global cultures
    • Insightful understanding of people, their agendas and motivations
    • Self-confident but acting with humility as a servant leader
  • Richard von Rueden, MD
    direct line + 1 617 330 2155
    mobile + 1 617 595 1788
  • Mary Ellen DeFrancesco
    direct line + 1 617 330 2163
    mobile + 1 443 803 6928
  • Vivian Velona
    Executive Assistant
    direct line +1 617 330 2191
  • Heidrick & Struggles
    150 Federal Street, Suite 2700
    Boston, MA 02110
    telephone +1 617 737 6300
    facsimile +1 617 737 1888
  • Ann Gales
    direct line + 44 20 7075 4013
  • Niren Thanky
    direct line + 44 20 7075 4229
  • Joanna Clayton
    Executive Assistant
    direct line + 44 20 7075 4220
  • Heidrick & Struggles
    3 Burlington Gardens
    London, W1S 3EP
    telephone + 44 20 7075 4000
    facsimile +44 20 7075 4001
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