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Merck Director of Programs | Learning, Communications and U.S. Programs in Boston, Massachusetts

Job Description

This position is responsible for leading and managing one or more portfolios of our Company's Mother programmatic activities. This position will define and develop the long-term portfolio strategy, launch initiatives to fulfill the strategy, direct and oversee programmatic budgets and execution, as well as manage external partnerships to ensure desired results are delivered. This position will also lead on collaborating across the initiative to develop a unified approach to defining and measuring impact as well as lead global internal and external communications strategy and partnerships to share impact and insights.

Over the last ten years, we have invested in a strong foundation as partner of choice, both in the United States and globally, in the area of health equity and health system strengthening for shared maternal health goals. With the ongoing pandemic and the spotlight it put on inequity within and outside of the healthcare ecosystem, this role will significantly support broader efforts to advance engagement with local communities in order to advance health equity, grow thought leadership in this space and support an equitable health care ecosystem now and in the future.


Successful Execution of Programs

  • Direct the efforts of 5-10 internal and external Program Officers to ensure the successful implementation of portfolio investments and achievement of the portfolio objectives; helping to triage issues and provide guidance and decision-making on solutions

  • Serve as subject matter expert for technical matters to define strategy and drive communications and employee engagement efforts

  • Liaise with the AVP Health Equity ensure portfolio programs and projects are aligned strategically and technically to deliver impact

  • Define, develop and execute key domestic and international programmatic investment portfolios with a value of $10-20MM; This position will lead the project selection process and investment decision making and then oversee the implementation and on-going monitoring and reporting of these grants and collaborations

  • Lead efforts to engage our Company expertise from across the business to strengthen the Mother's Program including the support of Global Health Fellows and Expert Advisors

Partnership Management | Stakeholder Engagement

  • Lead relationship management efforts with strategic partners, key internal and external stakeholders, consultants and agencies. Establishes partnership objectives and manages progress against those objectives.

  • Acts as key contact for stakeholders, including responding to stakeholder inquiries both internally and externally

  • Serves as an ambassador, thought leader and advocate for the Mothers Program and our company at key global events, conferences, and meetings.

  • Ensures successful execution and sustainability of programmatic work through close collaboration with external grantees & collaborators located in countries where programs are being executed. Leads frequent communications with partners to maintain focus on progress.

  • Identifies opportunities for executive level partnerships and platforms for advancing the Mother's Program objectives – including development of supporting justification, cases for change and strategies

Relationship Management

  • Internal | Initiates and manages relationships with regional SBI leadership, local company subsidiary teams in assigned countries, relevant franchises, Global Communications, Corporate Responsibility and Company Foundation to ensure alignment of objectives

  • External | Establishes and manages relationships with external partners (local Government Ministries of Health & Ministries of Finance, United States Department of State, United Nations organizations, donor organizations, non-governmental organizations, community leaders and other key opinion leaders); build external network of subject matter experts, influential stakeholders, the general public and employees in the further advancement of local programs and efforts related to reducing maternal mortality globally; supports annual engagement with the Global Advisory Board

Program Development

  • Leverage the expertise and programs underway, while pursuing new approaches that differentiate Merck through impactful collaborations

  • Cultivate trusted relationships with external partners, including network of co-funders for current and future programs

  • Conduct due diligence/landscaping assessments in field to determine potential program investment alignment with program strategy and objectives

  • Direct Program Officers to evaluate new scopes of work. Synthesize information and develop proposals for Core Leadership team approval

  • Represent the Mother's Program at events, conferences, and meetings to develop and identify potential new program investments

Communications & Advocacy

  • Define and lead initiative-wide communications strategy, linked to company visibility and reputational goals, and drive results with and through internal and external collaborators

  • Oversee annual communications budget of $3M and choreograph operations at least five agency teams

  • Identify communications opportunities in collaboration with the Mother's Program portfolio leads across the initiative; serve as primary liaison with Global Communications to amplify programs on company channels

  • Develop technical content for communications of program work; contribute technical content for white papers, technical fact sheets, articles and program reports. Develop and execute advocacy strategy for the portfolio in collaboration with Advocacy lead

  • Lead engagement of marquee events such as the upcoming 10th anniversary and other leading maternal health events

  • Represent the Mother's Program in high visibility public engagements

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Education Requirements

  • Master of Public Health or similar advanced degree strongly desired (MD/PhD optional)

Experience and Skills


  • A minimum of 15 years of work experience

  • A minimum of five (5) years’ experience working in organizations and/or donor agencies that focus on global health or maternal health

  • Technical or subject matter expertise in initiative investment areas

  • Strategic and effective communication skills


  • International and U.S. experience working with NGOs, governments and/or multilaterals in roles of increasing responsibility

  • Working in low resource setting environments – particularly in the capacity of global health

  • Working with US and international community-based and health equity organizations

  • Successful track record managing partnerships and working with donors

  • Successful track record managing program budgets

  • Strategic and effective project management skills

Travel Requirements

  • 30-50% domestic and international

Our Human Health Division maintains a “patient first, profits later” ideology. The organization is comprised of sales, marketing, market access, digital analytics and commercial professionals who are passionate about their role in bringing our medicines to our customers worldwide.

Who we are …

We are known as Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, New Jersey, USA in the United States and Canada and MSD everywhere else. For more than a century, we have been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world's most challenging diseases. Today, our company continues to be at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions and advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and animals around the world.

What we look for …

In a world of rapid innovation, we seek brave Inventors who want to make an Impact in all aspects of our business, enabling breakthroughs that will affect generations to come. We encourage you to bring your disruptive thinking, collaborative spirit and diverse perspective to our organization. Together we will continue Inventing For Life, Impacting Lives while Inspiring Your Career Growth .

Invent. Impact. Inspire.


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.

Current Employees apply HERE ($1533/rel-task/3001$14.htmld)

Current Contingent Workers apply HERE ($4020.htmld)

US and Puerto Rico Residents Only:

Our company is committed to inclusion, ensuring that candidates can engage in a hiring process that exhibits their true capabilities. Please click here ( []) if you need an accommodation during the application or hiring process.

For more information about personal rights under Equal Employment Opportunity, visit:

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We are proud to be a company that embraces the value of bringing diverse, talented, and committed people together. The fastest way to breakthrough innovation is when diverse ideas come together in an inclusive environment. We encourage our colleagues to respectfully challenge one another’s thinking and approach problems collectively. We are an equal opportunity employer, committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace.

Search Firm Representatives Please Read Carefully

Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA, also known as Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Kenilworth, 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.

Employee Status:



No relocation

VISA Sponsorship:

Travel Requirements:

Flexible Work Arrangements:

Remote Work


Valid Driving License:

Hazardous Material(s):

Number of Openings:


Requisition ID: R111100