Director, Operational Excellence

San Diego, California
Oct 22, 2020
Biotech Beach
Required Education
Masters Degree/MBA
Position Type
Full time

At Retrophin, our mission is to identify, develop and deliver life-changing therapies to people living with rare disease. Giving patients a chance, providing hope, is what drives us.

Retrophin recognizes that our exceptional employees are vital to our success. We are a dedicated team focused on meeting the unique needs of patients. Our work is rewarding, professionally and personally because we are making a difference and we are passionate about what we do.

We are seeking talented individuals with an entrepreneurial drive who will thrive in our collaborative, fast paced environment and share in our mission to help others. We are headquartered in San Diego, CA with additional offices in Dublin, Ireland.

Position Summary:

The Director, Operational Excellence - Medical Affairs will be responsible for the development and implementation of organizational and operational excellence programs and strategies. This position will serve as both a primary point of contact and operational partner for TA leadership. The scope of this role is global, supporting multiple Therapeutic areas (TAs) at a programmatic level (i.e. multiple related TAs). This role is a key contributor to the development of practices and performance that foster a culture of accountability and excellence in delivery. The Director, Operational Excellence - Medical Affairs will contribute to the development and execution of continuous improvement initiatives, operational scorecards and dashboards, best practices in business processes, operational excellence principles and systems development and deployment.

Essential Functions:

  • Establish, implement, and maintain industry standard program management (PMO) standards and improvement methodologies to drive consistent project implementation approaches, governance structure, and measurement of initiatives and the contributions of the greater Medical Affairs (MA) team.
  • Structure, align, and streamline communication, touch points, and delivery plans from Medical Affairs to key internal business partners.
  • Drive a performance management culture by developing and deploying tools and techniques that mobilize and develop individuals at all levels, encouraging cross-team collaboration to achieve positive results for the organization.
  • Increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the Medical Affairs team's performance across all functions through fostering cross functional relationships, decreasing redundant work and development of continuous improvement strategies.
  • Collect and communicate performance measures for MA operation across TAs. Monitor performance measures and takes appropriate actions when necessary. These measures include, but are not limited to, headcount, schedules, and budgets across multiple MA functions.
  • Assess program issues and develop solutions to ensure overall program productivity, quality, and timelines are met within budget, involving other functional areas where appropriate. Identify risks and communicate as needed. Actively seek solutions and take calculated risks where appropriate.
  • Lead the development and improvement of tools, templates and processes across a collection of TAs. Anticipate and lead effective navigation of upcoming "planning" processes and deliverables (e.g. LRP, Medical Planning).
  • Lead the coordination of the LRP process and current financial year activities focusing on collection and reporting of tactical execution, metrics, and financial status/LBE information and maintaining adherence to budget/headcount at a program level.
  • Own and provide program management leadership for complex program of projects with overarching Medical Affairs initiatives.
  • Champion the strategic direction and transformation of Continuous Improvement by simplifying, standardizing and integrating improvement programs.
  • Establish and maintain best practices in areas of business processes, KPIs and analytics.





  • Master's or Pharm D, PhD in related Life Sciences discipline. Equivalent combination of education and applicable job experience may be considered.
  • 8+ years of relevant work experience with direct experience leading and supporting operational excellence transformations in a pharmaceutical or a related regulated industry.
  • Project management certification (e.g. PMP) preferred.
  • Strong professional experience in a similar role within the pharmaceutical industry.
  • A proven record of accomplishments in continuous improvement events, projects, team leadership and problem-solving with a demonstrated success initiating change and influencing at all levels.
  • Ability to work in a global environment with well-rounded experience executing and leading projects on continuous improvement.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills with an expertise in project management principles and application including the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and evaluate priorities.
  • Ability to quickly assess a complex scenario and utilize common scenario planning tools and techniques to offer project teams and management viable alternatives.
  • Highly proficient computer skills (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint), including extensive experience with Microsoft Project.
  • Well organized with the ability to multitask, prioritize and manage shifting responsibilities in a dynamic, cross-functional teamwork environment.
  • Excellent collaboration skills with strong attention to detail and the ability to multi-task and manage complexity.
  • Strong interpersonal and organizational skills and excellent verbal and written communication skills are required.
  • Successful record of creating and managing complex project plans, timelines, budgets and critical paths.
  • Ability to travel 10% domestic and internationally.


Retrophin, Inc. is an EEO/AA/Veteran/Disability Employer