Director, Human Resources

AveXis Inc.
San Diego, CA, US
Oct 03, 2018
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time

Ready to join a team committed to moving gene therapies into the clinical and commercial settings for patients and families devastated by rare neurological genetic diseases? AveXis is advancing cutting-edge science to treat rare and life-threatening genetic diseases starting with our clinical-stage, proprietary gene therapy candidate, AVXS-101. We are in the midst of an incredible journey and are looking for passionate individuals to join us on this important mission.

AveXis, Inc., a Novartis Company , is a clinical-stage gene therapy company, dedicated to developing and commercializing novel treatments for patients suffering from rare and life-threatening neurological genetic diseases. Our initial product candidate, AVXS-101, is our proprietary gene therapy product candidate currently in development for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA, Type 1, the leading genetic cause of infant mortality, and for the treatment of SMA Type 2. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, has granted AVXS-101 Orphan Drug Designation for the treatment of all types of SMA and Breakthrough Therapy Designation, as well as Fast Track Designation for the treatment of SMA Type 1. In addition to developing AVXS-101 to treat SMA Type 1 and Type 2, we also plan to develop other novel treatments for rare neurological diseases, including Rett syndrome (RTT) and a genetic form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) caused by mutations in the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene.

The Director, Human Resources is responsible for aligning business objectives with employees and management in a growing, complex research and development environment. The position serves as a key partner to management on human resource related matters. The role assesses and anticipates HR-related needs and communicates needs proactively within our HR department and business management. He/She will seek to develop integrated solutions and formulate partnerships across the HR function to deliver value-added service to management and employees that reflects the business objectives of the organization. The Director HR will maintain an effective level of business knowledge, drive the culture, and integrate into the environment as a true business partner. The position will play a critical role in supporting the expansion of the AveXis Research and Development facility in La Jolla, CA.


  • Serve as a strategic partner to the site staff, developing HR strategies, needs assessments and result driven HR solutions.
  • Integrate talent and performance management related actions and outcomes across all functions within the manufacturing organization. Measure, monitor and activate outcome-based talent actions.
  • Responsible for ensuring the effective "delivery" of all HR programs and services. Responsible for HR results in the business, including client satisfaction, HR effectiveness and associated financial results.
  • Establish, build and maintain strong relationships with key HR partners from all Practice Areas to ensure elements of HR are successfully coordinated to meet business needs and priorities.
  • Ensures compliance with applicable Company Policies and Procedures.
  • Manage delivery of HR services across all site functions.
  • Responsible for the diagnosis, development and delivery of HR strategies, programs and services that influence and drive the needs of the respective business.
  • Work with management to identify internal high potential talent and drive delivery of local development programs for employees in the location.
  • Build trust-based, collaborative, sustainable relationships with executives, managers and customer groups.
  • Build partnerships with local industry, academic, and research organizations.


  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent required; Master's in labor Relations, Business, Industrial Relations or similar discipline a plus.
  • 8 - 10 years (4-6 years at a Director level) demonstrated success working in a complex operating environment, within the biopharmaceutical or biotechnology industry. Support of a neuroscience therapeutic area a plus.
  • Prior experience supporting a research and development function is required, with experienced collaboration with Chief Scientific Officer / Head of R&D.
  • Demonstrated ability to leverage partner HR functions to deploy resources and programs that positively impact the business.
  • Demonstrated success working in a complex, fast paced operating environment.
  • Demonstrated understanding of organizational development activity including high performing teams preferred.
  • Proven communication, organizational, and presentation skills.
  • Demonstrate a high level of professionalism, confidentiality, and discretion.
  • Ability to build strong relationships with peers and cross functionally with business partners.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with senior leaders and collaborate with staff at all organizational levels is required.
  • Demonstrated in-depth knowledge of California employment/labor regulations.
  • Ability to learn fast, understand the business, and change course quickly when needed.
  • Ability to model and demonstrate work behaviors that are consistent with each of the company's core values: Tenacity, Teamwork, and Integrity.

This position will be based at our San Diego (La Jolla) Research and Development facility. Ability to travel 10-15% will be required.

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

AveXis is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, genetics, disability, age, sexual orientation or veteran status.