Executive Director (Technical Leader), Engineering Innovation, Chemical Engineering R&D

Merck Cherokee

Rahway, NJ

Job Description

The Engineering Innovation Lead is an Executive Director role that will act as a Technical Leader and will be a critical partner to the Executive Director/Head of Chemical Engineering Research & Development (CERD) within Small Molecule Process Research and Development (SM PR&D). The role is accountable for serving as a key technical leader that influences above project/ function strategy and drives engineering innovation across CERD, with a particular focus on identifying and building capabilities, technologies and facilities that enable the mission of best-science-at-first-filing (BSFF).

The responsibilities of this role include influencing strategic direction and driving sound decisions that accelerate innovative engineering solutions and new perspectives on operational excellence, shaping the next several decades of how we develop and deliver on our processes. In addition, the role will be pivotal in developing business strategies for complex, critical and multi-billion-dollar investments (both in-flight and forward looking), realizing a potent upgrade portfolio through collaboration with critical partners, driving innovative solutions across modalities, and serving as a technical and strategic bridge across functions and divisions thus enabling solutions that provide optimal impact and value across stakeholders.

Finally, the technical leader will partner closely with the Head of CERD to design new operating model frameworks for the evolving drug substance facility network within our company's Research and Development Division and its interface with partner organizations across the enterprise.

Nature and Scope of Position:

The scope of responsibility includes partnership with the CERD and the role is expected to be leveraged by the larger PR&D community particularly as it relates to strategies for enabling BSFF through internal assets. The role is expected to contribute expertise and creativity to the collective knowledge of the organization through mentorship, coaching and developing talent. A diverse network of stakeholders and collaborators exist for this role, including Development Sciences and Clinical Supply (DSCS) leadership, our Manufacturing Division, partners across modalities, IT, Global Engineering Services, Global Safety & Environment, Industrial Hygiene, and Quality. Decisions made by the Engineering Innovation Lead will impact the ability to deliver on the pipeline for decades to come.

The role will serve as a subject matter expert in engineering and scale-up operations, as well as have enterprise perspectives for the pipeline, overall process development and commercial product introduction. The role is expected to deliver solutions through understanding and anticipating critical challenges to be solved and critical partner needs, playing an active role in identifying and implementing solutions, and challenging the status quo on how new pipeline processes are developed and scaled-up. The Engineering Innovation Lead will drive significant and long-lasting impact by identifying, developing, and driving innovative engineering processes, prototype technologies and development-at-scale-paradigms through collaboration across the diverse network of stakeholders described. The role will also provide insightful input that helps drive decisions on operating models for future facilities and their integration with the larger PR&D community. In addition, this role is expected to be a key leader in forums where engineering technical expertise is required to help set strategy and direction (e.g., at technical review forums, governance, cross-functional or cross-divisional engineering steering teams).

This role requires a proven technical leader with experience across functions and divisions, with a passion for technical excellence, mentoring and collaboration. This role requires in-depth knowledge of the manner in which drug substance process development contributes to overall new product introduction. This expertise will be leveraged to set the strategy for critical SM PR&D operational priorities, and to successfully partner with cross-divisional stakeholders to translate this strategy into commercial realization. As the role requires leadership across a portfolio of projects and collaboration with other executive leaders in the company, the individual must possess executive level written and oral communication skills and have the ability to influence without authority.

Education Minimum Requirements:

  • B.S. in engineering or a related discipline.

Required Experience and Skills:

  • Minimum 15 years of experience in new product introduction, with experience across pipeline process development, operations, and new technology builds.

  • Ability for innovative problem-solving, both technically and strategically, across functions and divisions.

  • Demonstrated ability for taking initiative, demonstrating creativity and innovation, and influencing without authority.

  • Strength in delivering solutions and results on firm deadlines.

  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, and collaboration skills.

  • Demonstrated ability for navigating complex, cross-divisional networks in order to deliver results and drive value for the enterprise.


In accordance with Managers' Policy - Job Posting and Employee Placement, all employees subject to this policy are required to have a minimum of twelve (12) months of service in current position prior to applying for open positions.

If you have been offered a separation benefits package, but have not yet reached your separation date and are offered a position within the salary and geographical parameters as set forth in the Summary Plan Description (SPD) of your separation package, then you are no longer eligible for your separation benefits package. To discuss in more detail, please contact your HRBP or Talent Acquisition Advisor.

Employees working in roles that the Company determines require routine collaboration with external stakeholders, such as customer-facing commercial, or research-based roles, will be expected to comply not only with Company policy but also with policies established by such external stakeholders (for example, a requirement to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to access a facility or meet with stakeholders). Please understand that, as permitted by applicable law, if you have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 and an essential function of your job is to call on external stakeholders who require vaccination to enter their premises or engage in face-to-face meetings, then your employment may pose an undue burden to business operations, in which case you may not be offered employment, or your employment could be terminated. Please also note that, where permitted by applicable law, the Company reserves the right to require COVID-19 vaccinations for positions, such as in Global Employee Health, where the Company determines in its discretion that the nature of the role presents an increased risk of disease transmission.

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We are an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, or disability status, or other applicable legally protected characteristics. For more information about personal rights under the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment laws, visit:

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U.S. Hybrid Work Model

Effective September 5, 2023, employees in office-based positions in the U.S. will be working a Hybrid work consisting of three total days on-site per week, generally Tuesday, Wednesday and either Monday or Thursday, although the specific days may vary by site or organization, with Friday designated as a remote-working day, unless business critical tasks require an on-site presence. This Hybrid work model does not apply to, and daily in-person attendance is required for, field-based positions; facility-based, manufacturing-based, or research-based positions where the work to be performed is located at a Company site; positions covered by a collective-bargaining agreement (unless the agreement provides for hybrid work); or any other position for which the Company has determined the job requirements cannot be reasonably met working remotely. Please note, this Hybrid work model guidance also does not apply to roles that have been designated as “remote”.

Under New York State, Colorado State, Washington State, and California State law, the Company is required to provide a reasonable estimate of the salary range for this job. Final determinations with respect to salary will take into account a number of factors, which may include, but not be limited to the primary work location and the chosen candidate’s relevant skills, experience, and education.

Expected salary range:

$200,200.00 - $315,100.00

Available benefits include bonus eligibility, health care and other insurance benefits (for employee and family), retirement benefits, paid holidays, vacation, and sick days. For Washington State Jobs, a summary of benefits is listed here.

Search Firm Representatives Please Read Carefully
Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA, also known as Merck Sharp & Dohme LLC, Rahway, NJ, USA, does not accept unsolicited assistance from search firms for employment opportunities. All CVs / resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at our company without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of our company. No fee will be paid in the event a candidate is hired by our company as a result of an agency referral where no pre-existing agreement is in place. Where agency agreements are in place, introductions are position specific. Please, no phone calls or emails.

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