Director, Global Antibiotic Research and Development (GARD) Partnership Incubation

Geneva, Switzerland

[Closing date: 5 March 2016]



WHO and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative have collaborated over the past year on the creation of a Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership, an international organization, to develop new antibiotic treatments addressing antimicrobial resistance and to promote their responsible use for optimal conservation, while ensuring equitable access for all. DNDi has agreed to facilitate the set up and hosting of the partnership and provide the scientific environment, necessary personnel and infrastructure to ensure an effective incubation period. GARD will work closely with all stakeholders in the field of antibiotic research and development (R&D) – including pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, startups, other product development partnerships, academia, civil society, and health authorities – from countries of all income levels to develop new antibiotic treatments, with the aim of becoming an independent organization within a period of two years. Ultimately, GARD will:

  • address global public health and specific needs of low- and middle-income countries, targeting products that industry will not develop due to lack of profitability;
  • pilot the use of alternative incentive models that support conservation of and access to new antibiotics based on DNDi’s experience in implementing alternative R&D models for neglected diseases;
  • ensure that new antibiotics are affordable to all.

The position

After a first round of analyses and discussions among stakeholders, DNDi has accepted to host the incubation of the partnership for a period of up to two years, with respect to close connection in terms of vision, mission and model, in a context where its resources, skills and networks can be leveraged to ensure an effective launch. DNDi is therefore opening the position, with the objective to transition it (and the dedicated team) into a new dedicated entity after a DNDi board decision.

The Director of the GARD Partnership incubation provides overall leadership, and direction for all aspects of GARD’s work. S/he is responsible for establishing GARD’s mission, vision, goals, objectives and related initial policies – notably through building and implementing its initial business plan, which will lay the foundations for the independence and sustainability of GARD, much of which will depend on ensuring that the incubation period translates into effectiveness and scientific relevance of the organization.

During the incubation period of the organization (i.e. until establishment of a new legal entity), the Director of the GARD Partnership reports to the Executive Director of DNDi. A steering committee will be established as soon as possible to advise on the positioning of the GARD Partnership and include key stakeholders perspective.


Objectives and deliverables

  • Establish the vision, mission and strategy of the GARD Partnership: the business plan
  • Secure initial funding
  • Put in place launch team
  • Establish initial collaborations
  • Launch first set of projects

Specific Job Responsibilities:

Lead the set up of a product development partnership

  • With the support of a small core team (including business development, fundraising, communication, R&D) and in close connection with the steering committee articulate a clear vision and mission for GARD.
  • Effectively lead GARD’s activities in building the organization quickly and effectively to maintain the political, research, and funding momentum necessary to place the organization within the antibiotic R&D landscape.
  • Lead the one-year Business Plan development process to shape the long term strategy connecting together GARD’s: vision and mission, positioning in the landscape, R&D strategy, access and conservation, policy change, organizational design and resources. Develop a mid-term roadmap/action plan to pace the operational growth of GARD.
  • Guide the overall governance development process, including initially the establishment of a steering committee and then the constitution of an appropriate legal entity (a Board of Directors and a Scientific Advisory Committee).
  • Build a structure and a team for GARD, based on the initial business plan
  • Work closely with the DNDi executive team to ensure an appropriate operational interface between DNDi and GARD incubation.

Launch first set of projects and secure seed funding

  • Consult with key stakeholders to develop initial R&D strategic directions.
  • Establish initial list of relevant projects and Launch Immediate Treatment Development Projects to demonstrate feasibility of the model and aim at short/mid-term patient impact.
  • Conduct activities which will ensure significant seed funding and ensure a roadmap for a favorable donor environment, including new funding mechanisms.

Ensure political support for GARD

  • Garner political support and momentum for GARD from a large number of countries including developing countries
  • Represent GARD at the highest political levels and at key meetings to raise the profile of AMR and GARD
  • As the public health leader for GARD, position GARD as a key actor in the AMR R&D landscape
  • Lead on all relevant policy issues

Candidate Profile

The GARD Director is a strong leader, capable of mobilizing a wide range of actors to align behind a common goal.

The Director is an experienced executive, researcher, and is well connected with public and private sector as well as the civil society.

S/he has an in-depth grasp of R&D and global health. S/he inspires internal and external stakeholders, communicates effectively, and garners political and funding support for this cause.

The ideal candidate should possess the following qualities and experience:

  • A results-oriented leader who is a good manager of assets – people, money, and time.  Strong leadership and management experience including strategic planning, financial management, scientific and business development, fundraising and advocacy.
  • A proven track record of effectively building and leading a large and diverse team.
  • Broad knowledge in the field of infectious diseases, drug development, and antimicrobial resistance.
  • Able to anticipate policy trends and developments in the global health environment.
  • Has an extensive network with diverse actors including pharmaceutical companies, academia, civil society, global health actors, funders and health authorities.
  • Has a good understanding of the regulatory environment.
  • Excellent communication and representation skills.
  • Proven understanding of and linking in GARD to key AMR issues such as surveillance, conservation, new business models for R&D


  • Senior experience in managing drug research and development programs and/or senior executive experience in a medical, global health, or R&D (not for profit) organization.
  • High level scientific qualification (MD or PhD)
  • Experience in infectious diseases
  • Exposure to R&D in low- and middle-income countries
  • Management skills, leadership, excellent team player, intercultural management skills
  • Possess solid R&D, civil society, and global health networks
  • Extensive experience on relationship with governments/decision-makers
  • Good knowledge on financial mechanisms for global health R&D
  • Based in Geneva – Switzerland, with extensive travels

To apply

Please send via email the following two documents: (1) a letter explaining why you are applying for this post, and (2) your CV/resume to DNDi:

Please indicate in the subject line of your email: Director GARD

Accepting applications until March 5th, 2016

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted


For more information about GARD, click here.