Associate Director, Program Management, Operations #3065



Durham, NC, USA
Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2023
GRAIL is a healthcare company whose mission is to detect cancer early, when it can be cured. GRAIL is focused on alleviating the global burden of cancer by developing pioneering technology to detect and identify multiple deadly cancer types early. The company is using the power of next-generation sequencing, population-scale clinical studies, and state-of-the-art computer science and data science to enhance the scientific understanding of cancer biology, and to develop its multi-cancer early detection blood test. GRAIL is headquartered in Menlo Park, CA with locations in Washington, D.C., North Carolina, and the United Kingdom. GRAIL, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN). For more information, please visit
The position will assume a leadership role in Global Operations Program Management across all GRAIL facilities. In close collaboration with the Vice President, Operations and functional leaders in departments such as Engineering Operations, Clinical Lab, Technical Operations, Study Management and Manufacturing Sciences and Technology. The individual will oversee the management of the Operations Program and Project Portfolio. This includes the day-to-day administration, and execution and monitoring of critical initiatives. Furthermore, the successful candidate will demonstrate proficiency in developing and executing against comprehensive timelines that evaluate departmental priorities in a holistic manner, identifying and addressing risks and issues, spearheading the annual planning process, and facilitating operational leadership meetings and forums. It is essential that the individual is comfortable actively participating in workstreams, projects, and meetings to ensure alignment of activity scope with the strategic vision of the Vice President, Operations.


  • Foster cross-functional collaboration across all operations functions, with a primary focus on MSAT, Engineering Operations, Clinical Lab, Technical Operations, and Study Management, to effectively manage the Global Operations Program and Project Portfolio.
  • Update and maintain the content of the Global Operations Program Portfolio, promptly identifying and addressing risks, issues, and conflicts, while providing resolution recommendations to the VP, Operations.
  • Lead a high-performing team of Program Managers, maintaining execution to standardized project management principles.
  • Efficiently manage workload distribution within the Global Operations Program Management function
  • Provide functional team members with tools, techniques, and training to ensure alignment with the standards of Global Operations Program Management to enable effective project management within their respective functions.
  • Communicate and align ongoing work across functional and program teams with the vision of the VP, Operations.
  • Interpret the vision of the VP, Operations and generate content that aligns with the stated vision.
  • Oversee and facilitate the quarterly business review and quarterly portfolio review processes.
  • Act as a facilitator in communicating issues and outcomes to the Lab Operations Senior Leadership Team
  • Manage interfaces and ensure seamless handoff and communication between functional areas and sites to execute important project milestones.
  • Manage specific project initiatives as assigned by the VP, Operations, including execution of tactical project management responsibilities for self-managed initiatives.
  • Establish and maintain integrated project schedules and tracking tools to ensure effective project management across various functional areas.
  • Serve as a liaison between GRAIL and external partners when necessary, developing collaborative workflows, establishing successful relationships, communicating requirements internally and externally, and overseeing the delivery of key milestones and deliverables.

Required Experience

  • Minimum of a BA/BS in a scientific field is required, while an advanced degree is desirable in a subject area related to biology, diagnostics, communications, or leadership.
  • The ideal candidate will have at least 10-15 years multidisciplinary experience in the biotech/pharmaceutical industry, with at least 5-10 years direct project management in the lab operations, genomics or the medical device space. Project Management Certification (PMP or equivalent) is a plus
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, ability to develop important relationships with customers and key stakeholders, good conflict management skills.
  • Experience leading teams, facilitating large cross-functional meetings and negotiating solutions from groups with diverse perspective
  • Highly proficient in interpreting ambiguous instructions, extracting key information and formulating a path forward with minimal oversight
  • Proactive, self-driven individual with strong leadership, facilitation, teamwork, and influence management/negotiation as well as excellent organizational skills.
  • Proven ability to proactively identify risks and drive resolution of issues.
  • Ability to work independently for decision-making and resolution of project obstacles and conflicts. Familiarity with developing budgets and forecasting.
  • Ability to drive project plans and timelines (across multiple functional areas) is essential.
  • Strong communication skills (in person and written word) and ability to interact seamlessly with a diverse group of individuals and levels.
  • Ability to perform and be adaptive in a fast-paced environment under tight deadlines.

Key Attributes for a successful candidate

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, ability to develop important relationships with functional leaders and key stakeholders, good conflict management skills
  • Results and detail-oriented; self-motivated, ability to work with minimal supervision
  • Proactive/not passive: Motivated to solve problems and create situations to move forward while keeping the whole team intact through positive energy.
  • Communication: Can distill complex scenarios/ideas into clear messages and next steps to a broad audience
  • Adaptive: Can pivot quickly to new insights, direction and process while being grounded in defining what success looks like.
  • "Edge": Comfortable in tough situations, can be relied on in tense circumstances, and will face difficult challenges with diplomacy and self-assurance. For example, comfortable influencing decision-making of others internally, across functions/team, and at any level.
Based on the role, colleagues may be eligible to participate in an annual bonus plan tied to company and individual performance, or an incentive plan. We also offer a long-term incentive plan to align company and colleague success over time.
In addition, GRAIL offers a progressive benefit package, including flexible time-off, a 401k with a company match, and alongside our medical, dental, vision plans, carefully selected mindfulness offerings.
GRAIL is an Equal Employment Office and Affirmative Action Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, disability or any other legally protected status. We will reasonably accommodate all individuals with disabilities so that they can participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation. GRAIL maintains a drug-free workplace.
Following extensive monitoring, consideration of business implications, and advice from internal and external experts, GRAIL US has made the decision to require that all U.S. employees be “Fully Vaccinated” with the COVID-19 vaccine. “Fully Vaccinated” is defined as two weeks after both doses of a two-dose vaccine (e.g. Pfizer or Moderna) or two weeks since a single-dose vaccine (e.g. Johnson & Johnson) has been administered. Absent a qualifying exemption, all GRAIL US employees are to comply with this requirement, including providing documentation of such vaccination status, as a condition of employment. Anyone unable to be vaccinated, either because of a sincerely held religious belief or a medical condition or disability that prevents them from being vaccinated, can request a reasonable accommodation for consideration by GRAIL.