Share this Job

Head of Strategy

Date: Jun 8, 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 Head of Strategy is responsible for defining the mid- to long-term strategic direction of the company. Their work will ultimately inform decisions on how the company deploys its resources to pursue its ambition of being a leader in gene therapy and bringing the benefits of the gene therapy modality to patients. This role will help drive change and shape the future.


Working closely with the Chief Strategy Officer and other leaders of the company, the Head of Strategy will be focused on informing decisions in the following areas:


•             Defining the ‘perimeter’ of the business: technology, disease areas, capabilities, etc.

•             Therapeutic area: defining therapeutic areas to pursue

•             Technology portfolio: what specific technologies are required to support ambition

•             Target choices: what specific target and enabling technology offers greatest value

•             Capabilities: what are required capabilities to support 


This role will be responsible for creating and directing an integrated team to re-define and achieve the strategic key business objectives for Spark.  This role will lead the strategy development and support the execution (end to end). In addition, will be responsible and partner with our Head of Finance to invest into the organization with a clear understanding of the value we are delivering.  The Head of Strategy is also accountable to establish, facilitate, and support strategies for the Functional areas to ensure alignment with business and corporate strategies. This role will lead the Annual Business Planning Process across Spark. 



  • Lead the development of the company’s mid to long-term strategy to maximize value to patients and shareholders, effectively articulating the company’s long-term corporate vision, strategy
  • Define strategic priorities and ensure that capabilities are in place or are being developed to deliver on strategic choices
  • Interface with business, corporate, and functional teams to ensure consistency and alignment of strategies
  • Influence decisions that affect strategic positioning of businesses and functions
  • Define how core capabilities create and deliver value
  • Coordinate any network architecture strategy development across the business
  • Lead strategy development and drive performance for the company
  • Collaborates with other functions to ensure that multi-functional plans and goals are developed and drive accountability across organization
  • Interface with executive and functional leadership to lead selected strategic or operational planning processes
  • Prepare and deliver key corporate strategic presentations (including corporate/portfolio presentations, board materials, etc.)
  • Lead portfolio strategy efforts which may include therapeutic area planning, business development opportunity assessment, and development of portfolio or resourcing tradeoff recommendations
  • Develop tools and planning processes in support of efficient and timely decision making
  • Design and implement management systems to measure progress towards attainment of strategic goals
  • Propose and guide the selection of improvement programs that build unique and difficult-to-copy skills and capabilities, aligned with defined strategies
  • Measures and communicates progress to ensure that the desired results are achieved
  • Establish and maintain processes for creating, reviewing, and communicating our strategy.


Manage a team to achieve business goals and objectives

  • Foster Spark’s Culture.  Role model the Spark Values. Create an environment where team members thrive by living our truths, always in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Emphasize to employees that “how” they achieve performance objectives is just as important as “what” they accomplish.
  • Hire & Integrate.  Know what skills, experiences and capabilities are needed to achieve current and future business goals. Take an active role in attracting and selecting talent who are inspired by our Mission, Vision and Values.  Consciously create a team with diverse backgrounds, experiences, skill sets and perspectives.  Help new team members successfully integrate into Spark so they can actively contribute and add value as quickly as possible.
  • Manage performance.   Ensure every team member knows what is expected of them, what it takes to be successful, and how they are progressing.  Provide team members with continuous and on-going performance feedback, holding everyone accountable to achieve results while demonstrating the Spark Values. Help team members understand how their work contributes to the overall success of Spark by continuously communicating priorities, decisions and changes; adjusting goals as needed.
  • Develop people.   Understand each individual team member’s career goals. strengths and motivators.  Partner with your employees to identify areas for development, conduct coaching conversations regularly and provide guidance on ways to develop through on the job experiential learning and stretch opportunities.


Education and Experience Requirements

  • PhD/MD/ or Advanced degree in a Science related field required
  • MBA is a strong preference
  • Minimum of 15 years+ experience with 10 or more in the following functions:  corporate development, business development, corporate strategic planning or management consulting in the area of strategic and business planning
  • Previous management consulting experience highly preferred
  • Strong knowledge of the pharmaceutical business including drug development and commercialization
  • Proven track record in driving the development of Business strategy to grow P&L and deliver efficient and effective operations
  • The incumbent must have prior experience in assessing prioritization of investments and its’ management to improve overall business performance
  • Strong strategic thinking and problem-solving skills, including ability to develop strategic frameworks to facilitate decision-making around complex opportunities
  • Strong analytical & financial modeling skills (product forecasts, P&L, NPV models, etc.)
  • Experience leading and motivating cross-functional teams, and ability to deliver on project timelines, progress, and outcomes
  • Excellent communications skills, in writing and orally, including presentation to senior executives and board
  • Demonstrated success in aligning senior leaders and key stakeholders through excellent interpersonal skills, high EQ, and persuasion. Able to build and maintain relationships with key stakeholders


Key Skills, Abilities, and Competencies

  • The ability to lead effectively in a complex, global organization, where skills of influence are equally as important as those of leadership
  • Having acquired experiences across multiple divisions would be a significant advantage
  • Superior strategy development skills and the ability to effectively communicate the visions, strategy, and results to a wide audience
  • Working knowledge of Lean and Six Sigma methodologies.  Lean/Six Sigma Certification preferred
  • Metric-oriented with strong analytical skills and the ability to comprehend broad sets of data (especially financial)
  • Effective in developing and setting operational goals and metrics. Effective organization and planning skills
  • Demonstrated ability to make sound decisions while coordinating multiple projects, programs, variables and priorities
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Effective communications up/down and across the organization
  • Proven execution expertise.


Complexity and Problem Solving

  • Honest, ethical and straightforward with a high degree of personal integrity
  • Team-oriented; ability to both lead and support team goals
  • Ability to analyze issues and determine the root cause and develop plans to resolve and build team capabilities to do the same
  • Agile thinker with the ability to thrive in a fast-paced and high-growth environment
  • A decisive and proactive leader; ability to prioritize effectively and focus on the most relevant issues
  • Forward-thinking and receptive to new ideas. Succeeds in an environment of continuous improvement
  • Passionate and committed to the company’s mission and goals.


Internal and External Contacts

This role will need to leverage consultative and interpersonal skills with the ability to influence key stakeholders including:  Chief Strategy Officer, CEO, Head of Finance, the Corporate Management Team, cross functional stakeholders, peers, and direct reports.


Other Job Requirements

  • Minimal travel as required



Nearest Major Market: Philadelphia