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Director, Serious Illness Care Program

The Serious Illness Care Program (SICP)  based at Ariadne Labs, a joint center for innovation of the Harvard Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, seeks an experienced, inspiring leader to direct, grow, and scale  the Program and join our leadership team.   Ariadne Labs was founded by Dr. Atul Gawande with the mission to drive scalable solutions for better care at critical moments in people’s lives everywhere. Better care means better health outcomes, lower costs, and more actual caring. Critical means solving health systems failures that have major impact, typically touching people by the millions. Established in 2012, Ariadne Labs currently has research programs in the areas of childbirth, surgery, serious illness, and primary health care.

The Director of SICP will lead and inspire the staff and faculty of the Serious Illness Care Program, establishing programmatic vision and  strategy, and sustaining and expanding the Program’s portfolio of research and innovation, its faculty, fellows, and staff, and its partnerships.

The Role

Reporting to the Chief Medical Officer of Ariadne Labs, the Director will be responsible for leading  all aspects of the Serious Illness Care Program, including setting programmatic vision and strategy, management of faculty and staff, oversight of research,  and development of  innovation partnerships and national initiatives to support the  expansion of the Serious Illness Care Program. The Director will also drive the dissemination of the Program’s work through academic and other publications and outreach. The Director is expected to build and foster a positive team culture and to support the career growth and development of team members. In addition, the Director of SICP will serve as a member of the Ariadne Labs leadership team, contributing to the Labs’ strategic direction and delivery of its overall priorities.


As the leader of SICP, the Director will define and articulate the long term vision and strategy of SICP, and contribute to the national strategy for serious illness more generally. This strategy combines both implementation and spread of existing tools and communities of practice, along with the development of new research products and innovations.

The Director will execute this vision  with the support and collaboration from the Assistant Director of Project Management (ADPM), through effective day to day management and supervision of the team and all SICP activities. The Director manages a team of 8-10, including the ADPM and program faculty, who are direct reports.

The Director will also serve as a member of the Ariadne Labs Leadership group, providing input on the organizational strategy and priorities as requested by the Executive Director and the Executive team.

Program Development and Implementation:

To expand the scale and impact of the Serious Illness Conversation Guide, the Director will lead and supervise the faculty and staff responsible for executing on several initiatives, including implementation projects with key partners such as University of Pennsylvania, Baylor Scott and White, and Blue Cross Blue Shield. Key to SICP’s  success in scaling the program will be the development of new contracts and partnerships with health systems and payers. To support the development of those relationships, the Director will supervise a team that works on business models aimed at spreading SICP.

Over time, the Director is also expected to identify new  areas in serious illness care for the Program to explore and develop, and to work with the SICP team and  other Ariadne leaders to develop new innovations,  projects,  and implementation tools to spread SICP on a national and global scale.


With the SICP team and with input from the Innovation, Science & Technology and Implementation Platforms, the Director will identify and implement methods for using data from SICP implementation projects to validate and improve the work, and identify and test new innovations. To this end, the  Director will be responsible for overseeing  grant-writing, development, testing, and implementation of innovative projects in Serious Illness Care, and the publication of a variety of knowledge products, including academic papers, educational products such as curricula, and others related to the evaluation of the program and dissemination of its tools.  The Director will mentor faculty in research and manuscript production.

Revenue Generation: 

With the support from the Labs’ revenue team and other Ariadne resources, the Director will identify and cultivate a pipeline of grants, partnerships, and funders that will sustain the program over the next several years. This will involve establishing strong relationships with existing funders such as the Hartford Foundation, the Cambia Foundation, and others.  It will require  building new partnerships with health systems and payers that will be critical to support not only spread of SICP, but will also fund new research and discovery to improve serious illness care and communication.

Advocacy and outreach:

The Director of SICP will serve as the public face of the Program, representing Ariadne Labs and the Serious Illness Care Program as a thought leader in the serious illness community nationally and internationally through speaking and participating in public events, meetings, and engaging with the press.  The Director will regularly contribute to appropriate scientific and professional meetings, and deliver presentations internally and externally to raise program visibility and report results.

Knowledge, skills and abilities:

  • Expert in End of Life care, palliative care, geriatrics, internal medicine, primary care, social work or a related field with a reputation for clinical and academic  excellence
  • Strong leadership and management skills, with demonstrated success building and leading collaborative teams
  • Skilled at building and maintaining positive working relationships at all levels within organizations, as well as externally with partners
  • Commitment to mentorship  and professional development of faculty and staff
  • Team-player who can work collaboratively with multidisciplinary colleagues and partners on large, complex initiatives
  • Experienced educator in communication skills
  • Superb judgment
  • Excellent writing skills and strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills, including presenting ideas and results
  • Excellent ability to multitask, prioritize, and recognize when concerns need to be escalated in a fast-paced environment
  • Openness to working in a flexible, rapidly developing new organization
  • Critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, and a commitment to ongoing professional growth
  • Ability to link across clinical, educational, and policy domains


Our core values are: Respect for the Ariadne Labs mission, our community, each other, and ourselves; stewardship of our work and resources; pursuit of excellence, with a focus on continual improvement; a belief in a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to our work; and a commitment to meaningful diversity and inclusion in our work and in the Ariadne Labs Community.


Characteristics of leaders who are most successful at Ariadne Labs include: humility about the limits of one’s own expertise and experience, intellectual curiosity and agility, openness and generosity, self discipline, and service orientation.


To apply:

Please click here.

Please contact Kit Nichols, Director, Talent Developemnt at knichols@ariadnelabs.org with any questions.