Director of Medical Affairs

Location: Washington, DC
Department: Melanoma Research Alliance

Title:  Director of Medical Affairs

Reports to:  Chief Science Officer

Location:  Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) office in Washington, DC

Type:  50% to 100% of full-time effort, dependent on the candidate.

Position Overview:

The Director of Medical Affairs (DMA) under the guidance of the Chief Science Officer (CSO) and in close coordination with the Scientific Program Director is responsible for building and maintaining relationships and knowledge of melanoma clinical research to advance MRA’s research agenda.  The DMA will act as the lead for MRA’s medically related communications with all stakeholders and will regularly meet with key clinical research leaders in industry, academia, professional organizations and policy-making organizations. The DMA will keep pace with key medical developments, understanding and leveraging the current and expected pharmaceutical pipeline and the melanoma research environment, and will employ that knowledge to ensure continued development of scientific discoveries into tools and treatments for patients.  

The mission of the Melanoma Research Alliance is to end suffering and death due to melanoma by collaborating with all stakeholders to accelerate powerful research, advance cures for all patients, and prevent more melanomas. Annual funding for MRA research awards is approximately $8 to $10 million and, as of 2018, MRA will have awarded a total of over $100 million to melanoma research programs around the globe. Through our unique collaborative approach, MRA has leveraged an additional $90 million. MRA was launched in 2007 by Debra and Leon Black under the auspices of the Milken Institute, and due to the ongoing support of our founders, 100% of every donation made to MRA is able to go directly to support melanoma research. 


  • Partner with the CEO, CSO, Scientific Program Director, Scientific Program Manager and development and communications staff to advance the overall MRA research agenda.
  • Establish, maintain and manage a comprehensive portfolio of relationships related to melanoma clinical development with thought leaders in industry, academia and government to further the organization’s goals, inclusive of apprising MRA and MRA stakeholders of emerging melanoma therapeutics.
  • Promote increased industry focus on melanoma and address inquiries from the pharmaceutical and medical research communities on the MRA research agenda.
  • Serve as ambassador for MRA's engagement with key medical and clinical research organizations, including ASCO, AACR, AAD, FOCR and others to advance MRA’s research program.
  • Continuously survey the medical research landscape to identify relevant academic, government and biopharmaceutical sector activity around the globe.
  • Work with development and communication staff to maximize awareness of medical programs and provide insight to support their activities.
  • Work in coordination with development and scientific staff to secure industry support for the MRA Annual Scientific Retreat and for MRA’s overall research and educational activities.
  • Contribute to the success of MRA’s Annual Scientific Retreat and any other meetings associated with the research agenda including meetings with FDA, industry, academia or patients.
  • Contribute to internal and external communications about melanoma research, including clinical aspects of MRA’s research portfolio and other melanoma-treatment related information requests.
  • Supervise consultants, and interns as needed.
  • Represent MRA at external meetings and relevant professional activities (will require travel up to 30% of time.
  • Maintain relationships with key constituents including MRA Board of Directors and experts involved in the Grant Review Committee, Scientific Advisory Panel and Medical Advisory Panel. 


  • Graduate degree required (e.g. MS, MPH, PharmD, MD, PhD).
  • Minimum three years of experience in oncology scientific or medical affairs and experience in interacting with the pharmaceutical/biotech sectors preferred.
  • High intellectual capacity that can be, and has been applied to learning new areas of science, policy and related fields.
  • Demonstrated self-starter with excellent project management skills and ability to juggle multiple tasks concurrently.
  • Outstanding people management skills working with a broad range of internal and external constituents.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills that take into account the audience and equally effective listening abilities.
  • Ability to be flexible, to maintain a good sense of humor and to keep a global perspective.
  • Ability to travel, including ~30% overnight travel.
  • Successfully complete a security background check.


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