Associate Director / Director, Program Management

94080, South San Francisco
Aug 31, 2021
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time

ESCAPE Bio, Inc., a privately held clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, is developing novel therapeutics for genetically discrete patient populations within neurodegenerative diseases. ESCAPE Bio was founded to leverage the rapid acquisition of emerging knowledge about novel neurobiology and neurodegenerative genomics. We have a diverse pipeline of novel and best-in-class small molecule therapeutics in major areas of unmet need.  We are building the leading neurodegenerative disease company focused on neurodegenerative orphan populations.

ESCAPE Bio has a strong investor base and management team. We seek an experienced Program Management leader to support advancement of one or more of our lead programs.

Position Overview

The Associate Director of Program Management will support the research and development programs to drive the development and execution of each program team strategy. This person will be a key member of the program teams and will report to the VP of Development Operations. In partnership with the Project Team Leader (PTL), the Director is responsible for ensuring that cross-functional core teams and functional sub-teams, if needed, are aligned with goals and timelines of the Compound Development Plans and drive optimal team performance and communication.  The Director will contribute to the planning, budgeting, progress tracking and on-time reporting of all components of the Product Development programs. The Director is responsible for contributing to the efforts for continuous improvement of project management processes and maximizing resources/processes through the application of project management best practices. 


  • Partner with PTLs and/or functional leaders to manage drug development program(s) from pre-clinical to early clinical development in a cross-functional organization that relies on a global network of contracted partners for execution.
  • Establish and maintain functionally integrated program plans, identifying and managing critical paths to value-creating milestones.
  • Partner with the team leader to ensure the team achieves and maintains a high-level of sustainable performance, by applying appropriate team management best practices.
  • Facilitate project team meetings, cross-functional communication and decision making. Manage the interfaces between functional areas and ensure effective handoff and communication between functions. Scaffold robust decision-making processes and ensure communication and implementation of decisions for the program.
  • Hold functions accountable for achievement of key development project deliverables in alignment with the agreed to plans and in compliance with quality standards
  • Responsible in partnership with PTLs and team to identify risks and opportunities, and develop contingency plans or solutions to manage the risks and seize opportunities
  • In partnership with Finance, maintain and actively update budgets, project plans and timelines for all projects.
  • Organize periodic program reviews to ensure efficient communication of issues and progress of programs
  • Communicate, document, and archive project team activities and decisions, act as a primary contact for project team related information.  Facilitate project updates for governance meetings and clearly communicate status in written documents and presentation.
  • Implement appropriate Project Management systems and tools and train team member and company leaders in their use/application

Desirable Traits and Skills:

  • Demonstrated understanding of the components of the pharmaceutical drug development pathway from lead optimization to NDA filing and the necessary interdependency of these components
  • Mature and self-assured team player who will work well with all other functional areas, and can effectively interact with individuals at all levels of the organization, and develop a cohesive relationship among the team
  • Outstanding organizational, and communication skills (written/verbal)
  • Ability to translate strategy into action, strong influence, negotiation, and presentation skills
  • Highly entrepreneurial and eager to drive programs through to completion.  Able to deal with pressures and timelines
  • Familiarity with use and implementation of Project Management tools (Microsoft Project, Office Timeline) and methods (e.g. waterfall/traditional, iterative approaches/Agile, critical chain) and ability to develop and apply an effective approach based on the attributes of each project
  • Ability to manage multiple competing priorities and rapidly gather, assimilate, and disseminate information on critical project components and milestones
  • Detail focus with ability to manage technical/scientific aspects as well as operational components of logistics, timing, and quality
  • Ability to work on abstract issues across functional areas, intangible variables and offer solutions in collaboration with the PTL and Program Team(s)


  • A BA or BS degree in the Life Sciences, 8+ years’ experience in the biotech/pharmaceutical industry, 5+ years of direct drug development project management managing cross-functional and/or functional sub-teams.
  • Experience managing early-stage drug development (FIH, IND, Phase 1 Study, etc.)
  • Certification in Project Management preferred