Associate Director (Cell Culture)

United States of America, California, Vacaville

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Leadership & People Management: 

  • Member of the MSAT Leadership team and the Vavaville extended leadership team

  • Actively drive Vacaville Cell Culture Process Engineering group to meet goals in staff development, safety, group efficiency, process improvement, and customer service

  • Develop resources (staff, equipment) plans for the Cell Culture Process Engineering group to meet strategic objectives. 

  • Participate in and promote continuing education for self and direct reports; establish development plans for Technical staff to enable ongoing development, training, and succession planning.

  • Partner with Vacaville Quality and Compliance staff to support ongoing manufacturing operations and to support site-wide Quality and Compliance initiatives; ensure systems and staff are prepared for Inspections by Regulatory Authorities and corporate compliance audits.

  • Work in partnership with technical leaders across Roche to develop and champion strategies for product transfer, process validation, and process improvement

  • Develop, implement and oversee group objectives, ensuring alignment with site goals.

  • Networks with senior internal and external personnel in own area of expertise.

  • Represents organization on assigned projects.

  • Create an environment of strong team spirit, timely and effective communications, sense of urgency, high motivation and inspire team to achieve goals in the immediate and longer term. 

  • Manage and administer people processes including selection, hiring, promotion, and compensation and provide training of personnel on company and department policies systems and processes.

  • Build a culture of continuous improvement and network mindsets, and model lean leadership principles.

  • Have a high tolerance for ambiguity, being humble, curious and vulnerable, when faced with uncertain times.

  • Possess a contribution mindset fueled by an inner drive to take initiative without being directed

  • Demonstrate effective leadership through communication, respect, influence, persuasion, and trust.

  • High sense of self-accountability.

  • Initiate methods to facilitate effective decision-making and collaboration with your team and cross-functionally 

  • Provide strategic direction and management necessary for subordinate staff to achieve their stated objectives

  • Strong leadership, collaboration and influencing skills, with demonstrated ability to problem solve and drive positive change.


  • Analyze process and facility capabilities to identify opportunities for improvement.

  • Specify processing requirements in support of product-related and quality initiatives.

  • Lead the transfer of products to Vacaville Operations and support transfer from Vacaville to other network sites.

  • Provide technical support to the front-line operations support groups in the Manufacturing Department to troubleshoot and improve process operations.

  • Design and execute laboratory experiments targeted at improving process robustness

  • Collaborates with technical staff across Roche to define and implement product-focused strategic initiatives across the Roche Drug Substance network.


  • Plan, develop and oversee group budget and strategic staffing plans.

Job Requirements


  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in the life sciences or in an engineering discipline

Experience (may vary depending on site size/scope)

  • At least 12 years experience in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry

  • At least 7 years of managerial experience 


  • Applies a complete understanding of theories and concepts from one’s technical/professional discipline to independently address a broad range of difficult problems. 

  • May determine methods and procedures on new assignments.

  • Solves a wide range of difficult problems in imaginative ways.

  • Demonstrates judgement in selecting methods and techniques for obtaining solutions.

  • Participates in developing courses of action that may impact multiple functions in the organization.

  • Regularly exercises independent judgment and discretion regarding matters of importance.

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

  • Strong team leader with demonstrated ability to manage complex projects, lead technical teams, and support manufacturing operations in a flexible and dynamic team environment.

  • Experience in leading, motivating, developing, and sustaining creative output from a diverse technical staff.

  • In depth knowledge of Biopharmaceutical  manufacturing processes and GMP requirements

  • Experience in a Lean Manufacturing environment a plus