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Chief Scientific Officer

Location: New York, NY

Background and Position Overview

Founded in 1993 by Evelyn H. Lauder, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) is today the largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research this year, awarding $63 million in grants to 300 scientists across the globe. BCRF is the top-rated breast cancer research organization in the US. BCRF is seeking a Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) who has a passion for the mission, provides scientific leadership and develops strategic partnerships to advance its mission. The CSO leads the BCRF portfolio of research granting programs and manages the scientific and grants management team. The CSO reports to the President and CEO and works very closely with the volunteer Scientific Directors, Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), SAB members and the chiefs of other departments.

Primary responsibilities include:

  • CSO leads all scientific aspects of the BCRF portfolio of research grant programs

  • CSO staffs the Scientific Advisory Board and works closely with the volunteer Co-Scientific Directors and Chair of the SAB to set the science vision, lead and drive execution towards their vision for BCRF to achieve its mission of ending breast cancer by advancing the world’s most promising research

  • CSO leads the Research Department team that includes a Director of Science Communications and Grants, Scientific Program Manager, Grants Manager, and science interns. The CSO has shared resources with the Chief Operating Officer in executing grant payments and expense tracking

  • CSO sets annual department goals, in partnership with the CEO, and guides and develops Research team members on setting and achieving individual goals, and fosters development of the team

  • The CSO leads the scientific aspects of the annual grantee retreat every October, in partnership with the Co-Scientific Directors and Chair, SAB, as well as assembling and managing ad-hoc ‘think tanks’ in specialized areas of research as identified by the SAB. Aspects include the overall theme, speakers, and format.

  • CSO identifies, negotiates and executes partnerships to leverage BCRF’s grant investments including partnerships between BCRF and pharmaceutical companies, government agencies (such as NIH, NCI and the FDA) and other foundations, as scientific opportunities arise

  • CSO works closely with the other departments in revenue generation to support BCRF’s mission. The CSO maintains deep relationships with pharmaceutical partners including their internal patient advocacy and medical affairs staff and leadership

  • The CSO identifies scientific speakers from within the BCRF grant portfolio to speak at BCRF Symposium & Luncheon events, as well as other BCRF events as determined by the CEO

  • The CSO serves as a public spokesperson for the Foundation and represents BCRF at medical conferences, with the media and public relations

  • The CSO plays an important role in stewarding and fostering the engagement of donors with BCRF

  • The CSO reports to the President and CEO, and collaborates closely with the Chiefs of Operations, Development, Partnerships, Communications and the Executive Directors of Play for P.I.N.K., The Pink Agenda and the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance

Professional experience/qualifications:

The ideal CSO candidate will be an accomplished scientific leader, preferably with experience in the nonprofit, government, pharmaceutical or related sector of biomedicine, and have extensive experience in advancing science through strategic grant-making and partnerships. She/he will have the strategic vision to build on BCRF’s nearly 25-year success in advancing breast cancer research, while also demonstrating the qualities of servant-leader who works closely with BCRF’s Co-Scientific Directors and its world-renowned Scientific Advisory Board that is comprised of past-presidents of AACR, ASCO and other professional societies, as well as members of the National Academies of Science and Medicine.

The successful candidate will have the following qualities:

  • A minimum of 10-15 years demonstrated experience leading a similar scientific enterprise, preferably in a grant- making organization

  • A deep knowledge of the breast cancer research landscape across the continuum of cancer research from basic biology and etiology, through genetics, risk and prevention, to development of diagnostics and treatments and the current industry market, to research to improve quality of life, survivorship and cancer control

  • A known leader in the cancer community with experience in forging partnerships with industry, government agencies and other foundations

  • Demonstrated experience advancing programs with a team approach and a track-record of working in a cross- functional environments

  • Deep and broad business networks and experience interacting with boards, advisory boards, top donors, patients and patient groups, the media and the public

  • Creative, strategic thinker with a ‘hands-on’, resourceful and analytical style

  • Experience in managing grant-making teams and familiarity with peer-review grants management systems

Background summary:

BCRF is the largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research awarding $63-million in grants this year. BCRF is the top- rated charitable organization in this space. BCRF produces these results in a fast-paced, high-volume office with a dedicated, passionate and driven staff eager to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer.

The Research Department is a small, but dynamic team of individuals within BCRF that works to ensure that the BCRF Research Program and the investigators it supports are successful in achieving the Foundation’s mission to prevent and cure breast cancer by advancing the world's most promising research. The Research program team includes the Chief Scientific Officer; a Director of Scientific Communications and Grants; a Scientific Program Manager; a Grants Manager; and shared Financial and Administrative Support. The team works collaboratively across BCRF with staff from the communications, development, corporate partnerships and the finance and operations departments.

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

Interested parties are requested to email their resume and cover letter to Lisa Risi, Chief Operating Officer, at lrisi[at]