Senior Director, R&D Project Management, Project Excellence

CSL Behring
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
Sep 22, 2021
Pharm Country
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time

With operations in 35+ nations and ~27,000 employees worldwide, CSL is driven to develop and deliver a broad range of lifesaving therapies to treat disorders such as hemophilia and primary immune deficiencies, and vaccines to prevent influenza. Our therapies are also used in cardiac surgery, organ transplantation and burn treatment.

CSL is the parent company of CSL Behring and Seqirus. CSL Behring is a global leader in the protein biotherapeutics industry, focused on bringing to market biotherapies used to treat serious and often rare conditions. CSL Behring operates CSL Plasma, one of the world's largest collectors of human plasma, which is used to create CSL’s therapies. Seqirus is one of the largest influenza vaccine companies in the world and is a transcontinental partner in pandemic preparedness and a major contributor to the prevention and control of influenza globally.

We invite you to take a look at the many career possibilities available around the globe and consider building your promising future at CSL by becoming a member of our team!

Job Description

The Senior Director, Project Excellence has a primary responsibility to build a framework for which project teams, across the value chain, deliver consistently to time, value and quality through the distinction and end goal of establishing and maintaining high-performing teams.  Additionally, he/she will utilize CSL’s existing leadership frameworks for team leadership/management, and supplement to meet R&D specific needs as necessary to enable, encourage and induce the culture and behaviors of high-performing teams. He/she is responsible to direct and lead work across the R&D organization to advance project excellence and optimize project leadership capabilities and the culture of high-performing teams. He/She will be responsible for identifying and managing the ecosystem of team and organizational factors that will lead to successful stand-up of Project Excellence and management of CSL’s product portfolio.  This includes partnering with the enterprise L&D organization to identify, develop or curate, offer and deliver training or other learning solutions as appropriate. He/She will support building and developing internal capabilities in project leadership, high-performing teams, working in a project-focused culture.  He/she is responsible to establish methods to launch teams, track and report continuous improvement (metrics) in team performance and project leadership, while establishing a standard of excellence in all project leadership and high-performing team activities within R&D. The incumbent will also be a key contributor to the ongoing maturity and development of the Project Management organization as relevant application of such in support of our project teams.


Leading Project Excellence
•    Work closely with senior leaders and key stakeholders across R&D for initial development; continually improve on the capabilities to further drive a project-focused culture, high-performing teams, and strong project leadership
•    Introduce a change management plan to initiate and put emphasis on connection, collaboration and the need to elevate leadership skills of Product Strategy Teams (PSTs) and product champions.  
•    Lead culture change, promoting shared values and collaboration, supporting the shift from functional-focus to project-focus
•    Create the project excellence capability to strengthen core project management enterprise to drive consistency and data driven outcomes. 
•    Design, manage and execute project excellence and high-performing team training programs in partnership with the enterprise L&D organization; develop content through collaboration and partnership with senior leaders of project teams and functions, as well as external experts 
o    Identify intended outcomes/improvements for participants, create scorecard and measure success linking both high-performing team behaviors and portfolio metrics for success
•    Define a strategy for building key skills and capabilities across Project Excellence; identify targeted R&D project-focused audiences and associated learning objectives; develop and execute a planned schedule of offerings to meet business needs
•    Develop budget for management of programs; deliver value and execute within approved budget. Deliver value to the business while managing within budget
•    Optimize time requirements for program participants, guard against disruption and potential impact on portfolio delivery
•    Anticipate Project Excellence needs through collaboration and partnership with senior leaders of both project teams and functions 
•    Regularly surveil evolving project leadership skills and strategies, and incorporate skills into program to advance our high-performing team culture and respective strategy
•    Solve for business needs through pragmatic, targeted, high-quality solutions
o    Identify the best solutions and methods for content development and delivery (e.g., external vs internal)
o    Customize content, when appropriate
o    Retire training/content when no longer relevant
•    Provide oversight and management of ROI assessments; develop and capture trends; measure success and metrics; redesign accordingly
•    Establish criteria/standards for success with end-users and key stakeholders; Monitor and report on a regular basis 
•    Develop and provide meeting & workshop facilitation and presentation expertise to support key TALT and PST meetings, leveraging foundational project management, drug development and product-specific expertise
•    Provide development for R&D future project team leaders through access to program offerings
•    Create a ‘Community of Practice’ for the GPL network, supporting consistent ways of working and sharing of best practices (includes providing appropriate tools, templates, enhanced yet streamlined ways of working/processes, etc.)

Future Growth and Development of Project Excellence to meet Evolving Business Needs

•    Identify, coordinate and facilitate relevant trainings as appropriate to support professional development of future GPL candidates and/or other potential project team leaders (e.g., leading other R&D high-performing project teams) utilizing existing CSL programs and solutions when possible 
•    Consistently evaluate and develop new capabilities to meet the evolving R&D project environment
•    Anticipate future needs of the broader CSL R&D organization; identify opportunities to further support the level of maturity of project leadership and the development and resilience of high-performing teams
o    Examples could include project leadership for non-drug project teams, process improvement projects, other R&D business needs, etc.
•    Seek new ways of working and partner with L&D as appropriate to optimize methods for delivery of training material/capabilities 
o    Determine what capabilities to develop internally (e.g., what 'certifications' must we explore so that we have flexibility to provide specific core project leadership training via CSL staff vs. an external vendor
o    Determine what capabilities R&D should retain to supplement enterprise learning capabilities and curriculum.
•    Identify how and when to integrate the Project Excellence offerings to all PM staff (e.g., Research PM, EP/CMC PM, etc.)

Project Management functional responsibilities 

•    Partner and collaborate with project managers, project management leadership and key stakeholders to align and develop PM skills that underpin successful project and team leadership to optimize delivery of our portfolio
•    Partner and collaborate with Project & Portfolio Operations to align and develop data/reporting needs in support of project leadership development
•    Contribute to development and implementation of Project Management Roadmap, driving to the goal of increasing in the level of PM maturity within CSL & R&D
•    Contribute to PM skills development, as appropriate
•    Member of Project Management Leadership Team



•    Undergraduate science/business degree in relevant discipline essential, preferably with post-graduate qualifications
•    Post-graduate qualifications in business administration or related field preferable 


•    12+ years pharmaceutical or biotech experience 
•    12+ years’ experience working within a matrix organization
•    10+ years’ experience in supervising direct reporting staff
•    Proven experience with global, virtual cross-functional team leadership and management of high-performing teams
•    Involvement in cross-functional, multi-cultural and international product development teams
•    Excellent stakeholder management skills
•    Excellent communication skills (written, verbal, presentation) in English; experience adapting messaging to suit the intended audiences
•    Experience in successful creation, build-out and execution of a new 'business entity'
•    Forward-planning expertise to strategically align evolving business needs 
•    7+ years consulting background and/or experience in training
•    7+ years Change Management experience 

•    Demonstrated strong organizational, PM and leadership expertise
•    Subject Matter Expert and high degree of knowledge of project management expertise and leadership practices 
•    Efficient, pragmatic, and deliberate
•    Solution-focused and results-driven
•    Self-starter, innovator, and individual contributor
•    Anticipatory, agile, and flexible
•    Strong collaborative mindset and approach
•    Change agent with track record of successfully driving change in an organization
•    Ability to work independently, navigate ambiguity, adapt to change, and make rapid, disciplined decisions to enable agile execution.
•    Outstanding influencing ability & collaboration skills
•    Demonstrated experience with developing and implementing innovative strategies; can build and manage teams; has the ability to work cross-functionally and communicate effectively across the matrix, up to the C-level
•    Demonstrated experience diagnosing learning needs and creating/delivering development solutions (i.e., training or other) that drive skill improvement
•    Demonstrated ability to understand pertinent TA and project-specific information and able to deliver relevant information effectively and efficiently to senior leadership
•    Executive presence and negotiation skills; Ability to effectively engage across the enterprise, building constructive relationships to execute deliverables. 
•    Ability to work at strategic and operational levels 
•    Demonstrated experience in developing, managing, and controlling cross-functional project budgets, timelines, and scope documents. 
•    Cross cultural sensitivity demonstrating understanding and acceptance of different cultural Strong analytical skills
•    Excellent project management skills
•    PMP certification preferred 

Working Conditions

•    Role will support global teams, and will therefore be required to work flexibly to accommodate time zones

Travel Requirements

  • International travel will be required from time to time