Vice President and Practice Director for Clinical Research (Remote)

Rockville , MD
Oct 06, 2022
Nov 19, 2022
Full Time
Westat is an employee-owned corporation providing research services to agencies of the U.S. Government, as well as businesses, foundations, and state and local governments. Westat's research, technical, and administrative staff of more than 2,000 is located at our headquarters in Rockville, Maryland, near Washington, DC.

Westat is committed to building a diverse workforce and a culture of inclusivity, belonging and equity for all. We believe that our greatest strength draws on the different backgrounds, cultures, perspectives and experiences of our employees.

As Vice President and Practice Director for Clinical Research, you will direct a highly collaborative, multidisciplinary group encompassing Westat's contract research organization (CRO) staff. You will be the executive business leader of this 150-member team, and report to the Vice President and Health Research Sector Lead. You will guide the strategic planning and oversee the design, management, monitoring and delivery of advanced clinical trials and epidemiologic studies. The Clinical Research Practice supports federal and commercial clients through all phases of clinical trials and research including the following therapeutic areas:  infectious disease, oncology, pediatrics, vaccines and rare and emerging diseases. You will oversee a staff comprised of clinical trials project directors, epidemiologists, biostatisticians, data managers, site monitors and regulatory affairs associates. Your key responsibilities as Practice Director will include setting forth business strategy, accountability for business development, ensuring project quality, and supervising talent management.

Major Responsibilities:

Business Strategy
·    Lead in the development of the strategic direction and goals of the Clinical Research Practice in line with the corporate business goals/strategy. Direct planning and implementation of efforts to meet goals at the Practice level.
·    Lead, manage, and grow the portfolio of business with the Practice's key Federal (NIH and CDC) and commercial life sciences clients.
·    Develop and promote thought leadership that enhances Westat's visibility in these markets to create a competitive edge, attract new clients, and recruit associated talent
·    Ensure availability of leading-edge technology to support clinical trials.
Business Development
·    Provide personal leadership in the design and execution of targeted business development efforts to grow the Practice, effectively leveraging current contracts and services, and company- wide resources.
·    Set strategy, oversee business development, and capture activities for the Practice.
·    Work with other Practice Directors in the Health Sector, vet new opportunities that align with strategic plan and ensure pipeline fits corporate business targets. These opportunities should include expanding work with existing clients as well as developing new relationships within assigned Federal governments and commercial life science firms.
·    Engage routinely with senior staff on bid decisions and priorities
·    Collaborate across Westat to bring the full range of company capabilities to bear in the development and expansion of technical capacity and the pursuit of new and current customers.

Maximize Revenue
·    Build a firm revenue base and recruit, develop, and lead a first-rate team that is client-focused and known for meeting and exceeding objectives and proactively creating opportunities in the Federal sector and commercial life science space.
·    Establish growth priorities and an operating plan for the Practice in alignment with Westat strategic direction, guidance, and company-wide policies
·    Work with Finance and Contracts, oversee all area finances to establish and manage direct and indirect expenditures and commit Westat resources up to limits of authority.
·    Work across all Areas/Groups to staff project teams, optimize resource utilization and capacity.
Project Execution and Quality
·    Drive proactive delivery of client commitments, ensure effective program, and project quality review processes, and drive a proactive customer satisfaction culture that consistently achieves the highest client ratings
·    Conduct Project Reviews across the Practice based on risk, strategy, and project visibility
·    Within the areas of expertise, maintains awareness of industry standards, regulatory requirements, and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
Talent Management
·    Attract and retain talent for the organization. Develop the next level of leaders.
·    Oversee Practice human resource activities (supervisory accountability, disciplinary actions, and termination decisions) and strategies for developing staff to meet business goals.
·    Assure hiring plan in place to fill project vacancies in a timely manner.

 Basic Qualifications:
·    An advanced degree at the Master's level, Doctoral degree preferred. 
·    A minimum of 15 years' experience in a consulting or research or government contracting organization.
·    Demonstrated business development and technical leadership in a contract research organization (CRO) 
·    Experience leading and overseeing a body of large federal and commercial clinical trials and research projects, along with strong management skills are fundamental to the role.
·    A track record of thought leadership, with conference presentations, a body of published work, and excellent relationships with a variety of federal HHS agencies, commercial clients and other funders is essential


Westat offers a well-rounded and comprehensive benefits program focused on wellness and work/life balance. Eligible employees may participate in:
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plan
  • 401(k) Retirement Plan
  • Paid Parental Leave
  • Vacation Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Holiday Leave
  • Professional Development
  • Health Advocate
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Medical Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Short Term Disability Insurance
  • Long Term Disability Insurance
  • Life and AD&D Insurance
  • Critical Illness Insurance
  • Supplemental Life Insurance
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Health Savings Account


Protecting the health and safety of our employees and survey participants is a top priority for Westat. As a federal government contractor, Westat will require Westat staff, regardless of work location, to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 upon hire and to follow all safety protocols, subject to approved accommodations under applicable law.

Westat is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, genetic information, gender identity or expression, or any other protected status under applicable law.