Chief Operations Officer

Chief Operations Officer

At Sage Bionetworks, we design and develop modern tools for data-intensive biomedical research with the goal of accelerating the translation of science into medicine. By improving the way researchers collaborate and use data, we help enable new discoveries. We believe innovation springs from the knowledge we gain by learning from one another.

We are seeking a business executive that will lead our operations team, ensuring that our non-profit organization has the operational growth and maturity to deliver on our mission.  In particular, you will partner with the President and the Board of Directors to lead development of a business sustainability plan that will ensure organizational stability over the next decade.

In this role, you will manage the business operations team with four primary objectives:

Culture. Cultivate a diverse workplace and a culture that values equity, derives strength from diverse backgrounds, perspectives, talents, and experiences, and promotes all staff feeling included, connected, and engaged to bring their unique skills toward fulfillment of the mission.

Business Sustainability.  Collaborate across the organization to forecast and model a long-term sustainability strategy for our non-profit organization and to shape the business strategy while maintaining alignment with the Sage mission. Work with the President and Board to identify and grow alternate funding strategies that complement our existing, highly-successful grants- and contracts-based funding model.

Leadership. As a member of the leadership team, work with the President to influence the direction and impact of our growing organization, guide organization-wide strategy, set core values and culture, and work across teams to ensure our operational success. Ensure programmatic, operations, and executive staff have tools and support necessary to achieve organization goals.

Business Operations. Set the business and operational strategy for the organization, with accountability for performance and results of all business functions. Manage an 11 person team responsible for Finance, Grant Management, Human Resources, Communications & Marketing, Contracting, and Administration as well as external legal counsel. Analyze financial, operational, administrative, and human capital capabilities, processes, and procedures; identify modifications and enhancements required to support a future-state operating model.  Serve as a leadership partner and subject matter expert on operations strategy and organizational issues. Set and implement strategies to ensure work is effectively coordinated across our internal project-based and function-based teams.

 In this position you will:

  • Drive people strategies, programs, and processes to be competitive and to effectively support the recruitment, hiring, development, compensation, and retention of a diverse, talented, and successful workforce.
  • Drive initiatives for diversity, equity, and inclusion goals and see that they are met throughout the organization.
  • Drive strategy for business sustainability over the next decade, partnering with the President, Board of Directors, primary funders and other key stakeholders around organizational impact, business sustainability, funding strategies and plans for the future.
  • Lead Sage business and operational strategy, and serve as a key advisor to the President on all operational issues.
  • Manage an 8 person business operations team that encompasses human resources, finance, grants management, and communications.
  • Set strategy for and manage implementation of marketing and communications to build the visibility for the Sage mission and to advance partnerships and other business initiatives.
  • Set strategy for and manage implementation of budgeting, financial planning & analysis, accounting services and systems, internal controls, risk management and compliance, procurement, and vendor management, as well as facilities.
  • Set strategy for and manage implementation of Grant Management, including federal and foundation pre- and post-award activities, and serve as the organizational Signing Official.
  • Set strategy and manage implementation of HR operations, compensation & benefits, employee relations, compliance, organizational design and transformation, talent acquisition & management, and organizational learning & development.
  • Set strategy for and manage the implementation of administrative functions supporting cross-team and operational objectives; integrate administrative staff as adjunct members of the operations team.
  • Negotiate complex US and international contracts.
  • Develop the supporting cross-team workflows and information systems to coordinate effectively across teams in a matrixed business model.
  • Maintain compliance of all operations functions and alignment with industry standards and best practices.
  • Set comprehensive goals for performance and growth; analyze operating results and promote continuous learning & improvement.

Experience, competencies and qualifications required:

  • Bachelor’s degree (advanced degree preferred), 10+ years of progressive leadership in operations strategy, financial management, or another relevant field preferred.
  • Knowledge of and experience in non-profit business models and sustainability.
  • Knowledge of and experience in a life science research environment is highly desirable.
  • Deep understanding of the principles and activities associated with delivering effective people services, talent management, financial management, contracting, grant management, as well as facilities and administrative services.
  • Experience implementing the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion in practices and processes related to staff, products and services, and partnerships.
  • Experience in outreach and strategic development.
  • Experience leading organizations through transformational change.
  • A passion for working in a high-impact, mission-focused organization.
  • A strategic and business mindset; a curious, creative, and versatile thinker; comfortable with ambiguity in a complex environment.
  • Highly collaborative, with an inclusive and team-oriented work style.
  • Excellent communication skills, able to make complex ideas/concepts clear and easily understood by others.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving capabilities; adept problem solver; data driven decision maker.
  • Uses varied problem-solving tools and techniques; brings wisdom and experience to decision making.

This is an executive level position on our management career ladder, with a compensation range of $160,000 to $240,000. Actual compensation is dependent upon experience.

In light of recent concerns of Covid-19, all interviews will be conducted remotely, and most positions will be remote through at least January 10, 2022. The option to work on-site at our Seattle office prior to January 10 will be considered upon request.

Sage provides a flexible work environment and will accommodate requests for geographically remote work with manager approval. Sage will also accommodate local employees who choose to work remotely from the Washington area with the option to come into the office on a flexible schedule.