Senior Director of Business & Research Operations

UCLA Health
Los Angeles, CA
Post Date:
May 27, 2024


The UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (UCLA JCCC) is one of just 51 cancer centers in the United States to hold a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation as a comprehensive cancer center. This designation is reserved for cancer centers with the highest achievements in cancer research, clinical care, education, and community-focused activities. As such, it ranks the UCLA JCCC among the top centers in the nation. The UCLA JCCC’s mission is to accelerate discoveries that prevent and cure cancer and to transform cancer care in Los Angeles County and beyond by driving scientific discovery, innovations in care, by training and mentoring the next generation of cancer researchers and physicians, and by working with and supporting our community partners to improve the health of the people the Center serves.

The Senior Director of Business and Research Operations (Sr. Director) is a key member of the senior administrative leadership team and a strategic partner to the UCLA JCCC Chief Administrative Office (CAO). The Sr. Director is responsible for the successful management and oversight of all business and research operations at the UCLA JCCC under the guidance of the CAO. The Director is responsible for assuring a robust and effective infrastructure to further the Center’s mission and objectives and to oversee seamless administrative services for Center leadership, members, and programs. In addition, the Sr. Director plays a vital role in assisting with the implementation of the Center’s strategic goals in conjunction with the CAO, Center Director, and other Center and institutional leaders.

The incumbent will possess a strong working understanding of the various functional areas of the Cancer Center, including financial planning and management, contracts and grants, research operations, information technology, facilities, and human resources. They will manage the professional staff in these various areas and liaise with UCLA central units to ensure all guidelines, policies, and procedures are followed and troubleshoot when challenges arise.

The Sr. Director leads efforts to develop policies and procedures to enhance the infrastructure of the Center and brings a creative approach to problem-solving and implementation of improvement strategies. They are responsible for a broad spectrum of complex analytical duties that lead to new recommendations and are expected to develop the framework for the implementation of unique projects and programs. The incumbent must be able to balance priorities, often shifting priorities, in a challenging and complex environment.

The Sr. Director must have a strong sense of urgency, be a team player, and be skilled in problem identification and resolution. Reliability, independence, and initiative are essential. The position requires significant skill in building relationships and gaining stakeholder engagement and buy-in at all levels across the institution and with external constituents and collaborators including the federal government. The incumbent serves as a role model and mentor for UCLA JCCC administrative staff, providing the guidance and framework necessary for them to succeed in their position and grow professionally. Finally, the incumbent must have a personal drive for excellence and a genuine passion for UCLA JCCC’s mission.




Bachelor’s Degree and a minimum of five years of relevant experience or equivalent combination of experience and training.

Strong knowledge of NCI CCSG Guidelines is essential to perform the position.

Must come to the role with this knowledge or have demonstrated the ability to quickly and thoroughly learn and embody the knowledge required.

Excellent written communications skills for grant and reporting writing, technical writing and editing, presentations, and development of other materials.

Superb oral communications skills, assertiveness and diplomacy in the presentation of ideas and initiatives, and the ability to influence/persuade all levels of leadership, staff, and faculty with tact and diplomacy.

Skill at supervising professional staff at a variety of levels and in a variety of focus areas.

Must be able to recruit new employees, train them well, set clear expectations, provide timely feedback, and manage performance issues.

Skill at leading and guiding staff and teams in a supportive and positive manner and in a manner that promotes equity and inclusion inspires a drive to achieve excellence, builds team morale, and creates a sense of commitment to the mission of the Cancer Center.

Evidence of ability to work in a dynamic matrixed environment and to engender cooperation and collaboration.

Demonstrated political savvy and ability to build, nourish and maintain relationships at all levels across an institution and with external partners and leverage those relationships to be successful in achieving business objectives.

Ability to identify and analyze all pertinent information/data to make and communicate executive-level recommendations and decisions.

Strong project management and metrics tracking skills.

Ability to develop and implement short and long-range plans and strategies by applying trends and projections to achieve goals and desired outcomes.

Proven ability to coordinate and synthesize competing priorities for the purpose of providing appropriate business support to a wide variety of constituents and ensure effective operations of the organization as a whole.

Proven ability to organize department work functions in an efficient and effective manner.

Proven ability to work in a highly political environment and to handle sensitive issues appropriately.


Master’s Degree in a related area (i.e. MBA, MPA, MPH, MHA).

Thorough knowledge and experience in financial planning, budgeting, and management.

Ability to lead a finance team with complex reporting requiring the use of a variety of systems, and to train new finance staff in the effective and efficient management of the Center’s financial systems and requirements.

Experience in human resource management and an understanding of applicable laws, policies, and procedures.

Prior leadership experience in an academic medical center environment.

Experience in the development of large-scale, multi-project, multi-investigator grants application development.


UCLA is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status.


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