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Covance Director, PM COE - West Coast in Irvine, California

Job Overview:

Director, Project Management Center of Excellence

Home-Based in the US on the West Coast

The Director is responsible for overseeing operational, financial and quality delivery of a portfolio of clinical studies conducted within a GTMO therapeutic area. The Director with the mentoring and support of the Senior Director is expected to serve as the voice of the customer, ensuring effective project design and execution while fostering strategic relationships in order to grow the business.

Additionally, the Director is responsible for the line management and talent development of assigned project management staff with an emphasis on developing and improving consistent project management excellence. The Director supports the Senior Director and/or the PMO to establish project management standards and ensure they are followed by performing regular assessments of staff performance on projects.

Helps to implement the GTMO vision and strategy; develops and delivers against operating plans & project plans; achieves results in a global, virtual and complex environment; tracks and measures progress. Leads by Example in creating a forward looking culture of ownership and accountability; delegates for development and growth; identifies and sets up high performers for success; is self-aware and a learner.

Business Development

  • Has a good understanding of the industry, market and our clients and presents Covance’s operational and clinical capabilities to clients. Contributes to the growth within the Therapeutic Area; contributes to the design and development of winning trial solutions that result in a growing, profitable portfolio of business in the TA.

  • Owns client expectations and satisfaction; identifies, develops and fosters new and existing client relationships at appropriate operational levels with clients, KOLs, and strategic partners; and guides teams in delivering to establish/maintain effective client relationships.

  • Contributes to business development strategies, including RFI response, proposal development, bid defense preparation and presentations.

Line Management & Talent Development

  • Ensures allocated resources are aligned with current and forecasted work in terms of capability, quantity, timing, and efficiency.

  • Attracts, selects, on-boards, develops and retains high performing talent; strengthens and deepens talent bench and succession.

  • Assesses project management competencies for assigned staff in order to create developmental plans that will increase competencies and close performance gaps.

  • Provides line management and technical support to assigned project leaders, including training, development and performance review of assigned staff.

  • Contributes to development and delivery of TA specific & program-specific training.

  • Ensures the right talent are assigned to the right projects at the right time; ensures that the talent is fully utilized; and ensures project staff assignment is aligned with contract.

Operational delivery

  • Optimizes global P&L, including top line growth, operating margin, project cost variance, forecasting, expense management, and other business metrics.

  • Responsible for operational, financial, and quality delivery, encompassing consistent quality while mitigating risk and assuring patient safety, data integrity and GCP compliance.

  • Supports a culture of project management excellence whereby project leaders have a deep understanding of their role and responsibility to ensure project success for the TA and their clients across the region.

  • Ensures that assigned staff understand and perform consistently according to defined operational, financial, and quality performance and process standards.

  • Uses established operational, financial and quality metrics and reporting dashboards to assess resource needs and staff performance for assigned staff.

  • Supports the development and implementation of consistent project tools, templates and reports that deliver informative performance metrics and other critical information to stakeholders.

  • Implements and enables consistent issue escalation and resolution


Bachelor’s degree

  • Advance degree, PhD and/or MBA preferred


Minimum requirements:

Eight (8) or more years of drug development and clinical research experience (CRO), preferably including 3 or more years leading P1b-PIII clinical trials in respective Therapeutic Area. Two or more years global leadership experience, ideally in a complex, virtual and matrix environment leading large multi-functional teams.

  • Broader level client relationships and business development experience.

  • Demonstrated vision, strategy and growth experience.

  • Financial acumen (P&L, budget, forecast, resources etc.)

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Covance is committed to diversity in the workplace and is an equal opportunity employer (Minority/Female/Individual with Disability/Veteran/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity). Your confidentiality and privacy are important to us.