Job Descriptions: Healthcare and Pharma

By Scott Kirsner |  December 1, 2013

We’re assembling collection of job descriptions for a wide array of innovation-related roles, including in healthcare, medicine, pharmaceuticals, and biotech. We hope it’ll be useful as you’re trying to build out your own innovation team — or to see how other companies describe what innovation means to them, who innovation leaders report to, etc.

You can help. E-mail us with job descriptions you’ve seen, or used at your organization.

(Please note: Some of these searches may be on-going, but most aren’t. Please check with the company, LinkedIn, or Indeed to confirm.)

VP/Innovation, DSM Biomedical

As Vice President Innovation, you focus fully on developing and realizing the Innovation and Product Development strategy for DSM Biomedical. You do that in line with the overall DSM Biomedical strategy that you develop together with your colleagues in the Global Leadership Team. You are also responsible for the development, structuring and managing the Innovation organization in order to ensure the realization of the Innovation-objectives. You lead and inspire your team and you coach the different functions and technology groups in the way they work together in achieving the business goals. Through an in depth understanding of the market you build a vision on the short and long term growth of the Innovation function within DSM Biomedical.

Desired Skills and Experience

  • Qualification & Experience:
    • Technical Master’s degree is required
    • At least 10 years working experience in the Biomedical/Medical Devices sector of which at least 5 years Product Development Management experience at a well-established or start-up Biomedical company with budget- or P&L-responsibility
    • Experience with and knowledge of the execution of Intellectual Property and Regulatory strategies is needed
  • Personality:
    • We are looking for an entrepreneurial and result focused individual with a pro-active attitude and strong business sense.
    • You are a natural born communicator with excellent presentation, negotiation and client relationship skills with a passion for sustainability and innovation.The candidate is an inspiring manager able to get and keep the team performing at their best.

VP/Emerging Business Opportunities & Innovation, Sanofi

This position will lead a newly created emerging business opportunity (EBO) & Innovation group that will drive the development of transformational commercial innovation for the North American Pharmaceuticals business, within the organization and through partnerships externally. As Sanofi looks to expand beyond traditional pharmaceuticals to create sustainable value through diversified healthcare solutions, we need to consider opportunities for creating value beyond our existing products. Accordingly, we will consider new commercial business opportunities (e.g., services, innovative business models, new revenue streams, etc.), adjacent to our current business that will improve patient experience, improve population health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs. This role will be responsible for developing an ecosystem of emerging businesses and companies that comprise Sanofi North America’s commercial innovation portfolio. This individual will drive a disciplined and agile approach to develop ideas that create substantial patient value and commercial revenue for the organization.

Job Duties and Responsabilities:

  1. Lead the EBO to identify, develop and commercialize new business opportunities required to create sustainable value through diversified healthcare solutions
  2. 2. Develop concepts from ideas adjacent to existing business or independent of existing businesses but aligned with the overall North American Pharmaceuticals business strategy
  3. Evolve the criteria and framework for evaluating potential emerging business opportunities, and methods for testing and evaluating commercial value potential.
  4. Oversee portfolio of emerging business opportunities including concept testing, prototyping, scale-up planning and economic model development. Guide the development of business cases for go/no-go decisions, across the entire stage gate process
  5. Drive leadership commitment behind EBO and innovation
  6. Coordinate all emerging business opportunities across the organization and share and apply learnings from the EBO model successes/failures
  7. Oversee Center of Excellence business plan development and budget: secure funding and internal/external resources to accomplish set goals
  8. Help remove barriers that are slowing down projects and driving inefficiencies
  9. Play a major communication role inside and outside the organization, particularly with various stakeholders to understand new business models
  10. Interface with governance committees (e.g., Executive Committee, Operations Committee, others globally) to provide EBO portfolio analyses and updates to foster transparency, alignment and timely decision-making
  11. Identify and develop linkages with internal and external resources/network to rapidly advance new business project opportunities. Function as a project lead for select priority projects.
  12. Coach/mentor employees.
  13. Performs other duties as assigned.

Job Requirements

  • Minimum Required Educational Background and Job-Related Experience
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university
  • Post-bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university (e.g., Masters, MBA or equivalent) is preferred

Job Related Experience

10+ Years in management consulting/venture capital/health care/innovation. The development of business cases and industry scans, investment in and development of partnerships across different size ventures, leading to commercial success. The company reserves the right to consider candidates not possessing these minimum requirements but who possess an equivalent combination of comparable education and experience. Internal Career Development candidates are one example where minimum educational and job experience requirements may not be applicable.

Knowledge, Skills, and Equivalent Experience 

  • Preferred Qualifications:
    • Strategic thinker with strong ability to influence others and drive change in order to realize tangible results
    • Continuous learner, ability to identify new business opportunities based upon understanding of key trends in health care and adjacent fields (technology)
    • Successful track record of commercializing new products/services/businesses through various strategies (partnerships, co-development, etc.)
    • Experience with innovation/new products/new business organization set up and management
    • Well networked in the area of health care innovation, venture capital and incubation spaces
    • Strong leadership and general management skills
    • Portfolio management and analytical skills Ability to communicate effectively, sell ideas
    • Ability to conduct thorough analysis quickly and make decisions rapidly
    • Experience in successfully launching start-ups is a plus

Director of Product Development & Corporate Innovation, Fidelis Care

Fidelis Care, the New York State Catholic Health Plan, began in 1993 with the belief that all New Yorkers should have access to affordable, quality health insurance. Today, Fidelis Care is the largest government programs-based health plan in New York State, serving members in 59 of 62 counties, with future expansion planned.

The Director, Product Development & Corporate Innovation will lead the development and implementation of new product lines/programs, or components thereof. This position will be responsible for overseeing specific strategic initiatives designed to expand Fidelis Care’s product portfolio and increasing its market share, while improving operating margins and organizational quality. The Director will possess expertise in project management, financial analysis, process improvement and business planning. This position identifies and communicates project-related objectives, and holds Plan staff accountable for the achievement of such objectives while fostering a collaborative, team-oriented environment.

  • Develops and implements new product lines/programs in support of Plan’s strategic objectives.
  • Develops business plans, including market analysis, pro forma financial analyses and feasibility studies for new business initiatives.
  • Re-engineers operational processes to improve efficiencies, reduce expenses and facilitate membership growth.
  • Provides business development guidance to VP, Product Line and Corporate Innovation to ensure the success of specific strategic initiatives.
  • Assists in financial and business case development related to acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic partnerships.
  • Job performance requires fulfilling other incidental or related duties as assigned, assisting and training others, and performing duties of higher rated positions from time to time for developmental purposes.

Senior Manager for Enterprise Innovation Strategy, CVS/Caremark

The Senior Manager for Enterprise Innovation Strategy will be charged with driving the development and delivery of tactical service offerings and new business opportunities spanning across our enterprise: Retail Pharmacy, PBM, MinuteClinic as well as Specialty business units. You will via close partnership and collaboration with the group Director establish establishing well-supported strategic solutions, providing specific recommendations that will aid our executive management team with critical decisions. In this role you will be frequently interacting with the most senior of executives across multiple functional areas. You will also enjoy significant exposure to key business leaders throughout the company. In addition to the aforementioned you will:

  • Collaborate within our Enterprise Adherence Team to develop hypotheses, gather and analyze data, brainstorm strategic options and make recommendations and decisions that will directly affect product strategy
  • Oversee communication and adherence to overall strategy within project work streams
  • Own and manage day-to-day relationships with both internal teams as well as external vendors involved in project definition, design and planning
  • Collect, analyze and synthesize complex information from disparate sources into a clear and compelling story

In addition to a passion for innovation, strategy and the desire to make an impact, the ideal candidate will be an out-of-the-box thinker who is intellectually curious with a demonstrated interest in learning. Candidate must be a self-motivated, entrepreneurial and high-energy individual who can easily function in a high demand, performance-driven environment. A minimum of 5 years’ experience is required as well as the following:

  • Ability to work on multiple tasks in parallel
  • Strong leadership skills a keen ability to gain credibility with team members and senior management by building bridges, removing road blocks and gaining buy-in
  • Working knowledge of the economic and operational drivers of our business with specific experience in retail pharmacy or PBM preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to simplify complex details to coordinate solution components across multiple work streams
  • Superb communicator with an ability to effectively, concisely and logically get his/her ideas across to internal and external stakeholders
  • Ability to manage multiple competing priorities in a fast-paced environment
  • Product development, project management or strategic planning experience
  • Consulting experience within the Healthcare or Pharmacy space
  • BS in Pharmacy or PharmD required
  • Advanced Degree (MBA or equivalent) is also required

Director of Strategic Innovation, BD Biosciences

BD Biosciences is a world leader in bringing innovative diagnostic and research tools to life scientists, clinical researchers, laboratory professionals, and clinicians involved in basic research, drug discovery & development, biopharmaceutical production, and disease management. The Cell Analysis business unit has a long history of innovation and leadership in development and commercialization of cell analysis tools, platforms and assays serving a diverse array of customers and market categories.

The Director of Strategic Innovation will contribute directly to BD’s future growth by playing a central role in setting the direction of technical, scientific and business innovation within BD Biosciences’ Cell Analysis business unit.

We are seeking a highly innovative, passionate, and talented individual to join our team. The Director of Strategic Innovation will report to the Senior Director of Product Development & Strategic Innovation.

  • Driving rapid development of concepts to address unmet customer needs
  • Spurring business-model innovation to seize new opportunities
  • Managing assessment of emerging technology companies for opportunities and threats
  • Establishing robust market-research techniques to enable timely evaluation of new opportunities
  • Overseeing implementation of a worldwide pipeline for new ideas:
    • Ensuring that ideas find channels that enable rapid assessment, synthesis, and development
    • Fostering a work environment that rewards risk taking, rapid learning, and a bias for action
    • Ensuring organizational awareness of pipeline, projects, concepts, technologies, & capabilities
    • Facilitating regular InnoLeadship Council (business unit leadership team) and Innovation Working Team sessions
    • Leading the development of an R&D Intellectual Property Portfolio in emerging areas
  • Analyzing, vetting, synthesizing, and communicating product and business concepts:
    • Driving initial financial analysis and development of business proposals
    • Developing strategic participation plans for market entry and eventual competitive leadership
    • Crafting & communicating proposals and plans for review and decision by executive leadership
  • Building relationships to advance innovation objectives:
    • Developing relationships with KOL’s, academic institutions, scientific institutions, companies and investors to keep abreast of important opportunities and to foster technology-development linkages to other businesses
    • Interfacing with R&D, Marketing, Legal, and Business Development functions
  • Integrating with other BD worldwide functions, Business Units, BD Technologies, & Corporate Business Development


  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in Business Development, Marketing, Portfolio Management, Strategic Planning, or Venture Capital
  • Minimum of 3 years of experience with product development in a regulated environment


  • Prefer Bachelors’ degree in science or engineering with strong scholastic achievement; PhD or MD preferred
  • In-depth knowledge of the medical device & life sciences industries
  • Experience as a business leader in a team environment
  • Demonstrated success in the development of business strategy
  • Demonstrated business acumen from exposure to general management issues and their resolution
  • Experience integrating science and technology into business processes

Technical & Analytical Skills

  • Strong knowledge of scientific and technical principles
  • Able to draw upon technical breadth to evaluate concepts outside area(s) of personal expertise
  • Excellent analytical skills & discipline; able to conduct thorough analysis of concepts that have high uncertainty
  • Excellent critical thinking skills; able to constructively challenge ideas and invite critical feedback

Customer Focus

  • Intellectual drive to gain firsthand understanding of customer needs
  • Focused on maintaining current knowledge about market and competitive dynamics
  • Thrives on interaction with the external business and academic community
  • Business and strategic acumen
  • Demonstrated ability to make sound business judgments and timely decisions
  • Approaches day-to-day decisions from a strategic perspective
  • Capable of conducting thorough analysis while pragmatic enough to progress early concepts through incubation and commercialization stages
  • Ability to create novel and unique value from different concepts (2+2=5)

Leadership Style

  • Passionate, energetic leader within a team environment
  • Polished, professional and approachable style
  • Leads through building relationships; demonstrated skills facilitating across functions and disciplines; motivated by collective success
  • Skilled change agent; demonstrated capability to balance a drive for cultural change with a sensitivity to the consequences of change
  • Agile learner, tolerant of risk, and biased towards action
  • Skilled communicator at all levels; able to translate complex business and technical concepts for diverse audiences; able to craft executive communications to facilitate decision-making