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Senior Associate Director, Research Operations

The Senior Associate Director, Research Operations plays a key role in helping drive business processes by owning Business Unit-wide operational efforts and high-priority special projects to enable efficient and timely execution.

About Us:
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) was founded in 2000 with one clear objective: accelerating meaningful therapeutic advances and, ultimately, a cure for Parkinson’s disease (PD). The Foundation applies extraordinary scientific, business and media assets to this singular focus—thus creating a unique and dynamic organization. Since inception, MJFF has quickly grown into the largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson’s disease research, having funded over $1.5 billion in research projects in both academic and industry labs worldwide.

Core to our philosophy is how we think of our capital and its risk profile relative to other stakeholders in the drug development pipeline. We work aggressively to de-risk various therapeutic strategies and tools in the hopes of building a robust pipeline of new treatments for patients. In order to achieve our mission of finding a cure for PD it is critical that we engage with, and bring together, members of the PD community including researchers, physicians, health professionals and most important, people with Parkinson's and their families.

We believe that to find a cure for PD as quickly as possible, our capital needs to push research forward today—we therefore deliberately hold no endowment or excessive reserves. We instead seek to deploy funds raised as quickly and wisely as possible. MJFF raises over $100 million annually. Today, the Foundation has approximately 200 full-time employees. We offer a collegial and collaborative environment where optimistic problem-solvers and entrepreneurial, resourceful individuals can thrive and make a tangible difference for millions of people living with Parkinson’s disease.

Position Summary:
The Senior Associate Director, Research Operations plays a key role in helping to drive business processes that enable efficient and timely execution of Research priorities and activities. This position will sit on the Research Operations team and will assist senior Research Leadership (Business Unit heads, Co-CSOs) by owning Business Unit-wide operational efforts and special projects identified as high-priority by the senior Research leadership team that does not fit within existing business lines and require cross-functional executive facilitation. This role also serves as a critical liaison between Research and the Strategy & Planning and HR groups. A successful candidate is expected to be both a strategic thinker and operational doer, creatively solving any problem that arises with a bias toward action and an executive mindset.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Manage the operational priorities of the Research BU and the senior Research leadership team.
  • Partner with the senior Research leadership team (Deputy CEO, Co-CSOs, and Executive VP, Research Strategy) to drive strategic planning & organizational accountability.
  • Act as a proxy for senior Research Leadership, helping Departments interpret, understand and carry out strategic and operational intent. Use good judgment to filter information up, down, and across.
  • Serve as Research point of contact across HR and strategic planning activities.
  • Work with the senior Research leadership team to define relevant initiatives and cross-functional projects; lead special projects from initiation to completion, support the implementation of change management, measure progress and drive successful outcomes.

Qualifications and Skills:

  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • 8-10 years of relevant work experience with measurable success and achievement.
  • Highly innovative thinker with specific expertise in process optimization.
  • Excellent analytical and communication skills (written and oral).
  • Self-starter capable of working independently.
  • Effective team player with a collaborative approach to problem-solving.
  • Comfort reporting to both leadership and broadly across more junior team members as well as cross-departmentally.
  • Clear alignment with MJFF Core Values of Optimism, Urgency, Resourcefulness, Collaboration, Accountability and Persistence.

Vaccine Statement: 
At The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF), the health and safety of our team and our community is a priority. MJFF has made the decision to require all staff receive the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment. Successful applicants for this position must be fully vaccinated by date of hire and proof of vaccine is required. Full vaccination is defined as two weeks after both doses of two-dose vaccine or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine has been administered. Anyone unable to be vaccinated, because of medical or religious reasons, can request a reasonable accommodation for consideration.

How to Apply:
Interested candidates should submit a resume and thoughtful cover letter describing their specific qualifications and interest in the position. Applicants who best match the position's needs will be contacted.

MJFF is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage applications from individuals who will contribute to our efforts to build and support a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce. Diversity may refer to characteristics including, but not limited to, race, religion, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic circumstance, geographic background, ability and disability, political ideology and age.

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