Senior Director, Commercial Training & Effectiveness
Deciphera Pharmaceuticals
 Waltham, MA
Company Summary:
Deciphera Pharmaceuticals
is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on improving the lives of cancer patients by tackling key mechanisms of drug resistance that limit the rate and/or durability of response to existing cancer therapies. Our small molecule drug candidates are directed against an important family of enzymes called kinases, known to be directly involved in the growth and spread of many cancers. We use our deep understanding of kinase biology together with a proprietary chemistry library to purposefully design compounds that maintain kinases in a “switched off” or inactivated conformation. These investigational therapies comprise tumor-targeted agents designed to address therapeutic resistance causing mutations and immuno-targeted agents designed to control the activation of immunokinases that suppress critical immune system regulators, such as macrophages. We have used our platform to develop a diverse pipeline of tumor-targeted and immuno-targeted drug candidates designed to improve outcomes for patients with cancer by improving the quality, rate and/or durability of their responses to treatment.

We offer an outstanding culture and opportunity for personal and professional growth based on these key principles:
·       providing a collaborative, energized and fun work environment where people are empowered and supported in the achievement of their career goals
·       a diverse and multi-disciplinary workforce
·       dedicated and talented people who are passionate about achieving excellence in all they do
·       a work environment that allows you to balance your priorities
·       above all else, a commitment to the patients we serve

Deciphera is seeking an experienced and  dynamic commercial leader with extensive product launch experience to build and lead the company’s commercial training and effectiveness (CTE) capability.  The Senior Director will be responsible for CTE strategy and execution for the company’s oncology portfolio including the launch of its lead asset ripretinib, a highly-selective, broad-spectrum KIT and PDGFRa kinase switch control inhibitor currently in development for the treatment of GIST, other solid tumors, and systemic mastocytosis. The Senior Director of CTE is a critical senior commercial leadership role that will be instrumental in Deciphera’s evolution from the clinical stage into a fully-integrated, commercial-stage oncology company.


  • The Senior Director of CTE will play a critical role in building and leading the vision, structure, talent base, capabilities, and operating model of the commercial organization.  Success in this role will require not only building and leading a high-performing training and effectiveness function, but also successfully partnering with fellow members of the commercial leadership team (CLT) to:
  • Guide commercial strategy
  • Develop and implement new organizational capabilities, and
  • Establish and cultivate a positive team culture based on respect, trust, integrity, professionalism, humility, continual improvement, putting patients first, and “doing the right thing.” 
  • Partner with fellow CLT members to establish the concepts of learning, development, and continual improvement as core competencies of the commercial organization
  • Partner closely with fellow members of the CLT to define and continually evaluate the commercial team’s training and effectiveness needs based on robust market insights; organization structure and roles; and commercial objectives, strategy, and performance.
  • Partner with internal subject matter experts (commercial, medical affairs, clinical development, legal, regulatory, HR, etc.) and external vendors/consultants to develop and/or source tailored training content that meets specific commercial needs.  Content topics could include:
  • New hire/onboarding – corporate info, benefits, IT support, HR processes, etc.
  • Clinical content – disease, patient journey, current and evolving diagnostic and treatment paradigms, unmet needs, ripretinib and competitor product profiles, etc.
  • Customer insights – key insights into the needs and perspectives of Deciphera’s key customers including academic vs. community physicians, mid-level prescribers (NP/PA), nurses, pharmacists, payers, etc.
  • Commercial strategy, tools, and tactics – marketing strategy, core messages, materials, and programs; market access strategies and programs; med info processes; etc.
  • Commercial systems/processes (e.g., CRM, Concur, speaker portal, etc.) and analytics (data/reporting)
  • Business acumen – selling skills (delivering high impact questions and messages, aligning needs, closing, follow up, etc.) and territory planning and execution (customer prioritization and objectives, path-to-goal development, progress tracking & reporting, issue identification/mitigation, etc.)
  • Compliance – work with legal to deliver necessary training to ensure compliance with all policies and procedures
  • Successfully develop and implement a multi-channel approach to content delivery to optimize impact:
  • Lead the planning and execution of live meetings in close partnership with functional leads and field leadership to ensure the needs of all stakeholders are met (meeting objectives, agenda, roles and responsibilities, presentations, training workshops, etc.)
  • Partner with IT and HR to evaluate, select, and implement scalable distance learning / virtual classroom tools (LMS, web-based, telecon/webex, apps, etc.) and to explore the use of creative communication methods to optimize engagement and reinforce key learnings (e.g., podcasts, video blogs, group video chats, etc.)
  • Develop and implement methods for measuring the impact of training initiatives and for identifying and addressing education gaps
  • Ensure outstanding project management and operational excellence within the CTE function.  Develop and execute detailed work plans, collaborate within a matrixed environment to ensure initiatives are well planned and effectively implemented, establish and manage vendor relationships, and build and manage the CTE budget.
  • Role involves significant travel (up to approximately 30% of time)


  • BS/BA degree in business, life sciences, or related discipline.  Advanced degree preferred (e.g., MBA, MPH, NP, PharmD, PhD).
  • Twelve (12) or more years of experience within the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industries including at least 5 years in commercial training and effectiveness roles
  • Oncology launch experience is highly valued; oral oncolytic or rare/orphan market experience strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to devise and deliver large, complex initiatives/programs that have measurable impact on the organization.
  • Outstanding planning and project management skills.
  • Experience building new commercial capabilities in preparation for product launches is required.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to deliver results in competitive markets.
  • Experience in and understanding of other commercial functions (e.g., marketing, market access, sales, insights/analytics, etc.) will be an important consideration for this role.
  • Ability and willingness to work effectively and seamlessly at multiple “altitudes” within the organization.  Maintains a “no job is too big or too small” attitude necessary to succeed in a startup environment.
  • Must be a resourceful, creative problem solver who seeks out, and is receptive to, new ideas and approaches to solving persistent challenges.
  • Must be a true team player – authentic, humble, professional, able to build a positive team spirit and lead teams through the ups and downs of drug development, puts success of the company and the overall commercial organization above own interests and supports everyone’s efforts to succeed, grow, and develop.
  • Demonstrated ability to motivate and lead people – including in roles without direct managerial authority.  Must have the managerial courage to make and stand by difficult and/or unpopular decisions if it is what is right for patients and for the business.
  • Highly skilled at influencing cross-functional teams as an equal partner, including interfacing with key internal and external stakeholders across commercial and medical/clinical teams.
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to adapt to changes in the work environment. Manages competing demands. Changes approach or method to best fit the situation. Able to deal with frequent change, delays, unexpected events, or uncertainty/ambiguity with maturity and professionalism.