Senior Project Manager, BetterBirth

The BetterBirth Program is focused on ensuring better health and wellbeing for women, newborns, and infants by improving quality and standards of care, minimizing complications, and ending preventable deaths. By generating evidence and working with impacted communities to co-design effective and actionable tools, information, and resources, we aim to equip providers with the support they need to provide safe, compassionate care. We do this through the effective implementation of scalable, evidence-based solutions that work in the real world, both at the frontline of care and in communities.

The BetterBirth Program began with the goal of evaluating the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Safe Childbirth Checklist and identifying opportunities and strategies to support its successful implementation. Since that time, our work has grown to address the complexities across the ecosystem of maternal, newborn, and infant health. The portfolio is managed by the BetterBirth Leadership Team (a dyad made up of a science expert and a management expert). This dyad approach is replicated within each project within the portfolio; each project dyad reports into the BetterBirth Leadership Team.

One area of the BetterBirth portfolio focuses on building the evidence base for solutions to help vulnerable infants survive and thrive. The Program is currently documenting infant feeding practices across three Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs) in order to inform an understanding of what additional evidence is required to guide global recommendations around feeding for vulnerable infants. A next stage research project to test potential solutions for vulnerable infants is planned and will form part of this position’s work portfolio. As with all of the BetterBirth Program’s research and solutions development work, the infant feeding work includes a broad range of stakeholders and experts collaborating with Ariadne Labs to successfully carry out and complete the work.

At Ariadne Labs, the Senior Project Manager is a critical role for developing strong partnerships, ensuring clear lines of communication among internal and external partners, and will be responsible for ensuring that the infant feeding work is delivered with excellence: on time, on budget, on scope, and with a high level of quality. In partnership with the BetterBirth Program Leadership and the Scientific Project Lead for the infant feeding work, the Senior Project Manager provides both strategic and day-to-day guidance and support to members of the infant feeding project team. Further, the role is a bridging function to ensure broad stakeholder input is considered and integrated into a standard scientific approach. The role must also consider where appropriate flexibility in the approach is required to address feasibility, as well as to mitigate and manage project risk. This position requires significant international travel (when/if COVID risks reduce) and an ability to develop and maintain senior level external relationships through in-person and remote communication.

This position also requires an individual who is skilled at working consistently and collaboratively within Ariadne Lab’s matrix organization to draw in the right expertise at the right time to support the work of the program, e.g. Revenue and Development, Finance, Communications, Innovation, Science & Technology, Implementation, and Talent Development. The Senior Project Manager will report directly to the Associate Director, BetterBirth. The Senior Project Manager will work in close partnership with the Scientific Project Lead and BetterBirth Program Leadership to provide leadership and management to the project staff and partners, and will be accountable to BetterBirth Program Leadership for maintaining program budgets and timelines.

Position Description

The principal role of the Senior Project Manager, BetterBirth will be to manage the vulnerable infant feeding study within the BetterBirth portfolio. This will include:

  • In collaboration with the Scientific Project Lead, provide thought partnership towards articulating a vision and strategy for the project that is understood within the BetterBirth Program team, within Ariadne Labs, and with external partners and stakeholders
  • Cultivate and manage positive relationships with and between external stakeholders and partners across multicultural contexts to ensure appropriate input to, buy-in to, and execution of the work
  • Develop and maintain positive relationships with key internal stakeholders to effectively secure Ariadne Labs resources and support, including insight to inform significant program decisions
  • Represent the Project effectively internally and externally, including composing and delivering regular project communications
  • Identify potential risks, barriers, and opportunities for project work, solve problems as they arise, and escalate issues where appropriate to BetterBirth Program Leadership
  • Develop and reinforce strong communication channels within the team and with the Scientific Project Lead and BetterBirth Program Leadership to build and maintain a positive team culture
  • Manage, coach, and develop junior team members, including providing guidance on activities where the Senior Project Manager is not deeply involved
  • Lead comprehensive project planning and scoping: annual and quarterly project planning; alignment of project goals, objectives and activities; execution of project deliverables with clear process and workflow definition; and revising and updating of tasks, timelines, and deliverables as appropriate
  • Exhibit strong meeting management and facilitation with internal team and external stakeholders
  • Collaborate with the BetterBirth Program’s Grants Manager to ensure project budgets (including those of subcontractors) are managed, tracked, and updated
  • Ensure all work is undertaken in compliance with IRB and any other necessary ethics boards in collaboration with Ariadne Labs’ ethics specialist
  • Collaborate with scientific leadership and other team members on key messaging from study findings and support development of dissemination materials (eg. presentations, summary documents, abstracts, etc)
  • Oversee project deliverable requirements ensuring smooth workflow process and timely submission in compliance with funder requirements upon request, engage in activities like: support for revenue and grant generating activities; development of tools, materials, training, webinar content, and synthesize lessons learned from research into communications or deliverables.

Ariadne Labs-wide responsibilities:

  • Participate in, and encourage team member participation in, Ariadne Labs’ organizational meetings, updates, and community building activities
  • Communicate Ariadne strategic and organizational updates to team members, and communicate back to Ariadne leadership on important organizational issues affecting team members where appropriate
  • Share learnings from the vulnerable infant work with other Ariadne program teams
  • Model and reinforce Ariadne’s values by serving as a steward of not only the BetterBirth Program, but of Ariadne’s overall mission and goals

PLEASE NOTE: This position will require a willingness to travel 15-20% of the time required (assuming COVID policy allows).

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience is required
  • 5+ years of relevant experience is required

Additional Qualifications and Skills

The following job-specific skills and competencies are preferred:

  • Master’s Degree
  • 5 – 10 years of program management or research coordination experience, including at least 3 years experience in managing multiple projects and people simultaneously
  • Experience in a role requiring leadership and collaboration both within an organization and with external partners, as well as a demonstrated ability to work efficiently and diplomatically as part of a team effort
  • Experience managing and mentoring junior team members, both individually and in small teams
  • Experience working in Low or Middle Income Countries
  • Experience working in a matrix organization/environment
  • Familiarity with Google Drive (e.g. Google docs, Google Sheets, etc.), Smartsheet, and other project management software tools

The following cultural competencies are also preferred:

  • Awareness of and aptitude to appropriately and effectively understand, respect, and adapt to cultural and identity-based difference within group environments
  • Knowledge of and commitment to concepts and issues tied to social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Skills related to creating and supporting an environment that allows for inclusion, effective intercultural engagement, and personal humility and authenticity

To apply, log onto Harvard Careers and search requisition #58458BR under the “Search Jobs” tab