Share this Job

Communications Lead- R&D , Commercial

Date: Jun 11, 2021

Location: Philadelphia, PA, US

Company: Spark Therapeutics

Join the Spark Team


We were born of innovation, springing from the curiosity, imagination and dedication of remarkable scientists and healthcare visionaries. Our shared mission is to challenge the inevitability of genetic disease by discovering, developing, and delivering treatments in ways unimaginable – until now.


We don’t follow footsteps. We create the path.


The R&D, Commercial and Patient Advocacy Communications Lead will serve as a strategic business partner to the Chief Medical Officer, Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Operating Officer, as well as the Commercial and Patient Advocacy Teams at Spark, driving both the external and internal communication strategies to support these teams.


Specific responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Creating a proactive external and internal communications strategy designed to clearly communicate Spark’s brand promise, reinforce its position as a leading gene therapy company externally and engage team members.
  • Supporting and bolstering Spark’s therapeutic areas with proactive product and corporate communications counsel and programming to drive product success
  • Serving as a key media contact and spokesperson for the Company.
  • Serving as a storyteller, writing a host of external media materials, internal employee messages, executive talking points and speeches, as well as social media and other digital content.
  • Partnering and collaborating with fellow Corporate Communications and Community Engagement leads to develop and drive a broad corporate communications strategy for Spark at the enterprise level.
  • Providing guidance on the latest trends corporate communications, public relations and employee communications in the biotechnology industry to drive best practice.
  • Measuring, tracking and reporting on progress of corporate communication programming.
  • Ensuring proper corporate review and approval of all corporate communication assets.




Strategic Planning 20%:

Lead development and implementation of an integrated communication strategy in partnership with R&D, Commercial and Patient Advocacy,  applying a strategic lens to communications strategies in support of their goals and objectives.


Content and Program Development 30%:

Develop messaging and communications tailored to relevant audiences and written in simple-to-understand, relatable and authentic ways. Assess audiences to establish appropriate communication channels and develop content and programs to support them accordingly.


Collaboration and Strategic Counsel 30%:

Work across teams, working closely with other Corporate Communications and Community Engagement leads and business partners, to move key projects forward. Continuously challenge the messaging and channels to keep content fresh, and champion new, creative ideas through well structured, well-supported and clearly articulated points of view.


Project Management & Administration 20%:

Manage relevant public relations agency partners/ vendors and budget to drive positive business outcomes.





  • Bachelor’s degree in Communications or related area of study.
  • Minimum of 15 years of professional experience, with at least 5 years supporting R&D or product brands in a life sciences company.
  • Demonstrated success as a creative storyteller and versatile writer, with an ability to provide strategic communications counsel.
  • Proven experience in external communications and internal communications in a corporate setting, developing compelling communication strategies with clear and measurable goals.
  • Top-tier media relations experience and crisis communication experience required. 





  • Passion about communication, particularly around science and product innovation.
  • Strong strategic leadership experience leading similar functions in peer organizations.
  • Demonstrated long-term perspective that extends beyond immediate initiatives; can articulate a clear narrative
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Sets aspirational goals to take organizational performance to the next level, reinventing the operating model when appropriate; goes beyond conventional performance benchmarks to set world class best practice
  • Navigates change and uncertainty; is agile in responding to feedback from within and outside the organization
  • Embraces and embodies the Spark values: “break the barriers, own your excellence, commit to collaborate, demonstrate the respect you seek, and above all, champion the patient”
  • Thoughtfully leads through influence and maintains focus on larger priorities; delegates effectively while managing performance and holding direct reports accountable
  • Collaborates and looks to support other leaders; sees value in championing the work of the group over the individual
  • Offers enthusiasm and empathy toward other leaders and their respective departmental goals; influences and ensures alignment toward common priorities
  • Able to connect, engage in open dialogue, disagree when necessary, and compromise toward the greater good of Spark


Nearest Major Market: Philadelphia