Director, Program Management

San Diego, CA
Sep 12, 2019
Biotech Beach
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

Tocagen is a clinical-stage, cancer-selective gene therapy company focused on developing first-in-class, broadly applicable product candidates designed to activate a patient's immune system against their own cancer from within.

Every member of our team plays a significant role in our success. Tocagen hires individuals who share our passion for ending cancer mortality and have exceptional talent that will contribute to this goal.


The Director, Program Management will be responsible for ensuring the scope and direction of programs through all stages of the product candidate development process, including preclinical and Phase 1-3 clinical development studies. This position will be able to develop and manage detailed project plans, drive the cross-functional development teams to achievement of key milestones, and facilitate communication throughout all levels of the organization. In addition, the Director, Program Management will play a leadership role in driving the stage-gate process for pipeline and portfolio prioritization and decision-making.

Duties and Responsibilities Include But Are Not Limited To:

  • Application of project management expertise, methodologies and standards to assist in building the foundation for a core PM function within the organization
  • Leads and manages day to day oversight for the Toca 511 Core Product Development Team
  • Develops, maintains, tracks and manages a high quality integrated project plan, including clearly identified critical paths and key risks as needed
  • Applies best practices for the development, initiation, planning, execution, control and closing of assigned projects and/or programs
  • Communicates effectively with team members, senior leaders and key stakeholders on program progress, issues, risks, requirements and opportunities
  • Facilitates and coordinates preparation for team meetings and program review meetings, ensuring quality presentation and results-oriented focus
  • Facilitates communication and has demonstrated ability to share complex information with diverse audiences across all levels within the organization
  • Develops and drives continuous improvements and implements best practices in support of the advancement of a portfolio of therapeutic candidates
  • Builds and maintains a positive working relationship with team members, key stakeholders and vendors alike
  • Provides PM expertise and leadership to Research teams for new pipeline assets transitioning from research to the clinic
  • Performs other duties as required





  • A strong track record of leading teams to evaluate new therapies in the biotech or pharmaceutical industry (oncology or gene therapy experience preferred).
  • Technical experience in a discipline associated with drug development is required
  • Knowledge of issues that drive early and late stage development projects and proven ability to develop and manage complex program plans, timelines and critical path tasks is required
  • Excellent written and verbal communication as well as negotiation and conflict resolution skills are essential
  • Demonstrated ability to lead, mentor and manage others (whether or not a direct reporting structure exists)
  • Strong organizational, analytical, and time management skills with demonstrated ability to effectively multitask and advance multiple projects simultaneously
  • Ability to hold oneself and others accountable for commitments in a productive and assertive manner
  • Demonstrates strong facilitation and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to drive consensus and decision making
  • Innovative and collaborative spirit
  • Must be able to prioritize and work effectively in a constantly changing environment.
  • General understanding of the FDA, EMA, ICH and other guidelines relevant to the pharmaceutical industry
  • Previous experience with preparation of a NDA/BLA is desirable


Education and Experience:




  • An Advanced Degree (PhD, MS) or equivalent experience in a relevant scientific and/or Project Management discipline is required
  • PMP certification is highly desirable.
  • Eight to ten years in biotech/pharma industry along with relevant project management experience managing drug development programs
  • Experience with biological products or cancer immune-therapeutics is desirable
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite applications and high-level of proficiency in Microsoft Project