Senior Director/Executive Director, Program Team Leader

South San Francisco, CA
May 13, 2022
Required Education
Masters Degree/MBA
Position Type
Full time

Graphite Bio is a clinical-stage, next-generation gene editing company harnessing high efficiency targeted gene integration to develop a new class of therapies to potentially cure a wide range of serious and life-threatening diseases. Graphite Bio is pioneering a precision gene editing approach that could enable a variety of applications to transform human health through its potential to achieve one of medicine’s most elusive goals: to precisely “find & replace” any gene in the genome. Graphite Bio’s platform allows it to precisely correct mutations, replace entire disease-causing genes with normal genes or insert new genes into predetermined, safe locations. The company was co-founded by academic pioneers in the fields of gene editing and gene therapy, including Maria Grazia Roncarolo, M.D., and Matthew Porteus, M.D., Ph.D.

Learn more about Graphite Bio by visiting and following the company on LinkedIn.

The Role:

Graphite Bio's highly differentiated gene integration platform harnesses the power of CRISPR and natural DNA repair processes to achieve targeted gene integration to precisely repair genetic defects at their source. We are seeking a highly motivated and seasoned Program Team Leader (PTL) to lead cross-functional, drug development teams starting at Development Candidate nomination with accountability to the Executive Team for successful global development and commercialization of development assets. They will be a member of the Development Leadership Team.

The candidate will partner closely with the members of their product development team (PDT) across all functional lines to develop and execute project strategies. They will also partner with other senior leaders across Graphite Bio as key stakeholders. This position will be hybrid, with travel to our offices in South San Francisco as necessary to attend key meetings necessary to deliver business objectives.

What You Will Do:

  • Lead cross-functional drug development teams through preclinical and clinical phases to enable successful global development and commercialization by developing integrated, cross-functional strategies and plans to execute
  • Act as the ultimate decision maker at the PDT after gathering cross-functional input and advise when executive team input or decision making is needed
  • Assume the overall accountability for quality, time, cost, proactive risk management/mitigation planning, and compliance on assigned projects
  • Serve as the enterprise leader who is the asset’s primary point of contact within Graphite and to key external collaborators
  • Partner with the team and other stakeholders to develop vision, target product profile, strategy, objectives, go/no go decisions, milestones, risk assessment and mitigation strategies, as well as determining goals, annual budget and investment requirements
  • Provide direction and leadership to the PDT, including scientific oversight of activities, data review based on key milestones, budget, and planning
  • Enable the PDT to focus on strategy and decision-making, communicating effectively across all functional areas so that deliverables and interdependencies are clear
  • Flex easily between taking a high level, strategic view and delving into details at a scientific, medical, development, CMC and commercial level as needed in partnership with the team
  • Objectively exercise judgment and create pragmatic solutions to address complex cross-functional problems, and be accountable for obtaining stakeholder advice to make informed, data-driven decisions, taking smart and calculated risks to move a program forward in a highly complex, uncertain, and competitive environment
  • Maintain a function-neutral position in prioritizing actions and making decisions, with an eye toward optimizing asset value in a timely and high-quality fashion
  • On an ongoing basis, clearly communicate evolving program risks, implications of changes in the competitive landscape, and progress toward key milestones to executive leadership as well as supporting teams, team members, and functions
  • Work hand-in-hand with the project manager, prepare and lead effective PDT meetings
  • Build a high performing team culture by engaging matrix team members on the vision and ensuring clear team member roles and responsibilities, promoting team cohesiveness to optimize performance, ensure accountability of team members, and mediate conflict resolution
  • Partner with subteam leaders to ensure clear goals and performance standards are in place, provide feedback and coaching, and hold sub-team leaders accountable for key deliverables
  • Able to lead through influence and bring out the best in others as well as delegate appropriate accountability and decision making to supporting teams and functions
  •  Seek assistance from PDT functions to ensure the asset is appropriately resourced, stays within allocated budget, and champions requests for incremental resources, when appropriate
  • Engage with functional heads as needed to develop and execute plans to manage team member performance issues or capability gaps
  • Actively support Investor Relations in managing external communications related to project

What You Will Bring:

  • Advanced degree in life sciences or medicine (PhD, MD, MBA, PharmD, or MA/MS)
  • 10+ years of pharma or biotech drug development line or matrix management experience with 5+ years leading cross-functional development teams, cell- or gene- therapy experience strongly preferred
  • Demonstrated leadership, strategic thinking and decision-making ability. Creative and business focused problem solver with a willingness to work in a fast-paced and dynamic start-up environment
  • Must possess strong analytical abilities and be a critical thinker who can present to and hold their own with senior management
  •  Extensive knowledge of all phases and functions within drug development including regulatory processes. Able to comfortably dive into any area of the program, understand business needs, effectively challenge team members, and make decisions based on changing priorities
  • Highly collaborative and able to engage, coach, motivate and influence team members at all levels as well as delegate appropriate accountability and decision making to supporting teams and functions. Thrives in team environment
  • Inspire and role model both behavioral and technical aspects of high performing teams
  • Excellent communication skills (written and verbal); must have the ability to concisely and cogently report program plans and outcomes to line and senior management
  • Able to guide the team and make trade-off decisions on program scope, costs and strategy
  • Proven agility in assimilating new data – scientific and business - and applying it to the asset strategy, while prioritizing and navigating competing demands
  • High energy, results-oriented, and driven to deliver on the program success
  •  Strong initiative and “can do” attitude, and dedicated work ethic
  • Level will be commensurate with candidate’s background and experience

What Graphite Will Bring:

At Graphite Bio, we are intentionally building a community that is inspired, diverse, and curious. For this role, and all roles, we seek someone who is:

  • Determined. You share our mission to bring curative gene editing to patients. And you know the need is urgent.
  • People-focused. You prioritize relationships. You value differences and are an excellent listener.
  • Adaptable. You seek solutions, even when things change. You prefer to find your way to “yes!”

EEO Statement

Graphite Bio is an equal opportunity employer. We believe that our strength is in our differences. Our goal to build a diverse and inclusive team began on day one, and it will never end. 

COVID-19 Policy

All company employees, regardless of work location, must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Fully vaccinated means a person has received all recommended doses in their primary series COVID-19 vaccine. Requests for an accommodation/exemption for medical or religious reasons, as well as under applicable state law, will be considered on a case-by-case basis consistent with applicable law.

  To all recruitment agencies: Graphite Bio does not accept agency resumes or applications. Please do not forward resumes to our jobs alias, or Graphite Bio employees. Graphite Bio is not responsible for any fees related to unsolicited resumes or applications.