Project Leader - Pharmaceutical Therapeutic Areas

Lake County, Illinois, USA
May 08, 2018
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time
The Project Lead serves as the cross-functional leader who guides and directs the creation and execution of a comprehensive development strategy and lifecycle management plan for a portfolio compound or a group of compounds. This responsibility requires consideration and integration of all functional activities relevant to the successful development, registration, manufacture, and commercialization of the asset throughout its lifecycle. Serving as the primary face of the program at AbbVie, the Project Lead works with governance, functional leaders, other cross-functional groups, and, where applicable, external development partners, all to advance and maximize the value of the compound consistent with its prioritization in the overall portfolio.

Major Responsibilities:
  • Chairs an Asset Development Team (ADT) and the corresponding ADT Leadership Board (ALB) for a complex program or for a group of compounds. In this capacity, serves as the enterprise leader who is the project's primary point of contact for Pipeline Governance and senior management.

  • Leads the effort to articulate and present an integrated cross-functional strategy for all aspects of product development, consistent with the overall strategy articulated by Pipeline Governance and the Therapeutic Executive Committee (TEC). Maintains primary responsible for the ensuing deliverables, including a functionally aligned Asset Strategy/Plan and Product Development Plan (PDP).

  • Ensures timely, multidirectional, and comprehensive interactions with Pipeline Governance at prespecified milestones and as significant program issues or opportunities arise. Reviews and analyzes emerging data objectively to drive team toward recommendations that highlight opportunities, address potential risks, and proactively provide appropriate mitigation's.

  • Has a deep understanding of the role and value of each function on the team, to know how to solicit timely input. Collaborates with ADT functions to ensure program is appropriately resources and stays within allocated budget, and champions requests for incremental resources when appropriate. Works continually with supporting teams to ensure that executed plans are consistent with the Target Product Profile (TPP), Asset Plan, and PDP, tracking progress in conjunction with the Project Manager, with attention to committed timeline and budget.

  • Ensures that the ADT continually validates the viability of the program from a scientific and commercial perspective. Develops clear, prospective Go/No-Go decision points and serves as a champion for the program, using objectivity and judgment to analyze, interpret, and present data to Pipeline Governance and senior management

  • Serves as ADT/ALB representative to appropriate cross-functional teams (e.g., Global Commercial Team, Global Brand Team).

  • Establishes close ongoing ties with all team members and supporting teams, to ensure appropriate empowerment and delegation, and maintaining aligned efforts. Maintains a function-neutral position in prioritizing actions and making decisions, with an eye toward optimizing asset value in a timely and high-quality fashion. Coaches and mentors team members as appropriate.

  • Represents the ADT at interactions with external parties (e.g., Advisory Boards, regulatory interactions) when these engagements require broad cross-functional contributions.

  • Along with the Project Manager (PM), ensures that meeting agendas, background materials, and minutes are complete and available in a timely manner, with pending decisions clearly outlined, to enable the ALB to focus on strategy and decision-making, and to enable optimal communication of issues to supporting teams, team members, and functions

  • Stays abreast of professional information, industry trends, and emerging technology through conferences, medical literature, and other available training, to augment expertise in drug development and the pharmaceutical industry. Works with team members to maintain a comprehensive and up-to-date understanding of the competitive environment in the field and to assess for potential impact on ongoing programs.


  • Bachelor's Degree required; Doctoral-level degree highly preferred
  • Relevant experience (minimum of 8 years; 10+ years preferred) in an academic, hospital, or pharmaceutical/biotech setting
  • Experience leading a team in a cross-functional environment, preferably with global scope
  • Deep expertise in the relevant disease area/field of science and/or drug development
  • Ability to objectively exercise judgment and create pragmatic solutions to address complex cross-functional problems, and to be accountable for obtaining stakeholder advice to make informed decisions, in order to move a program forward in the face of uncertainty or incomplete data
  • Ability to lead and motivate team members from across functional areas; must be able to lead through influence and bring out the best in others.
  • Ability to delegate appropriate accountability and decision-making to supporting teams and functions
  • Strong collaboration, facilitative leadership, executive function, and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent oral and written English communication skills
  • Ability and willingness to respectfully challenge team members and functions in order to assess fully all opportunities, options, risks, and mitigations

Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Veterans/Disabled