Astellas Pharma Senior Director, Information & Systems Strategy in Northbrook, Illinois

Developing innovative therapies is one of the most challenging, most essential and personally rewarding fields in science. This is the most exciting time to be a part of Astellas, a company with a uniquely collaborative and patient-focused culture.

There's something special about working at Astellas. It's reflected in our focus on the people we serve, the way we treat each other and the results we achieve together as a company.

Astellas is announcing a Senior Director, Information & Systems Strategy opportunity in Northbrook, IL.

Purpose & Scope

Operational Improvement & Reporting Excellence is a leader in aligning functions across M&D organizations in areas which impact quality management; process management; non-drug initiative management, including IT components, to support business strategy; business information reporting and analytics; resource management; and learning and development. As the Senior Director, Information & Systems Strategy this position will be accountable for providing vision, leadership and strategic direction ensuring methodologies, processes, architectures and technologies are in place to support the future information architect and transformation needs within M&D.

This position represents all business units within M&D and acts as a a trusted advisor that proactively influences and supports their business strategy, while ensuring appropriate technology solutions are being proposed and deployed to support M&D business needs and shape business demand, consistent with the strategic roadmap.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Accountable for:

  • Leading the identification of new IT demand and facilitate early assessment of opportunities in digital transformation and lifecycle management of systems within M&D.
  • Collaborating with M&D functions and IS to translate business needs/requirements into technology implications and review technology options, prioritizing business needs to ensure that all investments are in line with the overall M&D business & IT strategy.
  • Leading the preparation of business cases and ensure proper cost / benefit analyses are provided.
  • Partnering with appropriate IS, quality and business functions to ensure system enhancements are appropriately documented and test strategies related to implementation of system enhancements meet compliance needs.
  • Developing and maintaining effective collaborations with key stakeholders and functions, as well as of relevant external stakeholders.
  • Leading the annual planning and budgeting process for M&D, partnering with IS, to ensure projects with an IT component are properly prioritized and budgeted and that any changes to the portfolio are managed throughout the year.
  • Sponsoring and championing IT project-related communications to the business audience, and drive broader adoption of new processes & systems.
  • Promoting the right behaviors and compliance to the defined M&D IT frameworks, processes, roles & responsibilities within M&D.

People & Organization Management

Responsible for the effective implementation of an optimal organizational structure which maximizes the use of resources globally and reflects business needs and conditions.

Develops an environment to enable each member of the group to optimally operate in a matrix environment across multiple functions, role types and levels of management.

Manages the Information and Systems Strategy group and its people through successful recruitment, performance management, development planning and retention of a high performing team. Effectively delegates responsibilities to achieve group goals and effectively develops and aligns individuals to the best of their abilities, while ensuring optimal oversight and supervision to ensure goals are achieved and appropriate growth in technical, leadership and team membership skills.

Provides strategic guidance on the development and implementation of excellence in information and system development and maintenance of effective collaborations and service level agreements with key stakeholders and functions, as well as of relevant external stakeholders.

Quantitative Dimensions

  • Responsible for managing the allocation of funds allocated to IT-related development and/or maintenance per agreed upon priorities for M&D, approximately 1-1.5 million oku-yen.
  • May provide oversight and management of vendors or contractors.

Organizational Context

  • The position reports to the Head of Business Information Reporting & Analytics.
  • The position will oversee a staff of 5-10 people.
  • The position will work closely with other functions within Operational Improvement & Reporting Excellence.
  • The position works cross-functionally with other Astellas groups to develop and implement excellence in system and information management.




  • Education BA/BS.


  • Minimum 14 years in the pharmaceutical industry and/or management consulting group focused on R&D or clinical operations, with minimum 7 years in the drug development setting.
  • Strong understanding of the global drug development process to ensure cross-functional connections and operational processes are appropriately and effectively communicated across the organization.
  • Minimum 8 years' experience in establishing and/or implementing system standards in support of cross-functional operations, particularly systems used in clinical development.
  • Expertise in use of tools/systems, as a business user not technical/IT user, to facilitate and support clinical development.
  • Strong knowledge of tools used by pharmaceutical industry to support collection and maintenance of business operations and clinical data, such as CTMS, SAP, etc.
  • Minimum 12 years of people/project management experience, preferable in a highly matrixed, multicultural global setting.
  • Excellent oral and written communication and presentation skills in English, with an ability to interact at all levels of personnel.
  • Ability to see and communicate the vision, understand the strategy and align tactics to the strategy.
  • Strong and effective strategic thinker and problem solver with high degree of emotional intelligence, with the ability to both recognize and anticipate problems.
  • Ability to both recognize and anticipate problems. Possesses the ability to translate solutions into viable action plans at a global level that are effectively disseminated and implemented through cooperation of stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with functional leaders, negotiate solutions in a matrix environment and drive ownership and accountability across an organization.
  • May require up to 15% international travel.


  • Advanced degree (MA/MS or PhD or related degree) preferred.
  • Location for this position is Northbrook, IL, Leiden, Netherlands or Tokyo, Japan


Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Protected Veterans/Disabled

Category Development Operations