Regional Head DNDi office – Japan

Tokyo, Japan
[Closing date: 4 October


Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is a collaborative, patients’ needs-driven, non-profit drug research and development (R&D) organization that is developing new treatments for Neglected Diseases (

After 13 years of sustained growth, DNDi has built a team of approximately 200 full-time employees working across nine offices (Geneva, Rio de Janeiro, Kinshasa, Nairobi, New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, New York, South Africa, and Tokyo).

DNDi began working in Japan in 2004, supporting the development of discovery projects and building its profile and donor relationships. Based in Tokyo, the DNDi Japan Office exists to develop relationships and collaboration with academia, pharmaceutical companies, the media, and the Japanese government to support the mission of DNDi.

This position also supports the development of the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP).

GARDP ( is a not-for-profit research and development organization that addresses global public health needs by developing and delivering new or improved antibiotic treatments, while endeavoring to ensure sustainable access. Initiated and incubated through close collaboration between WHO and DNDi, GARDP is part of the implementation of the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) that calls for new public-private partnerships for encouraging research and development of new antimicrobial agents and diagnostics.

GARDP’s mission is to work in partnership with the public and private sectors, to develop and deliver new treatments for bacterial infections where drug resistance is present or emerging, or for which inadequate treatment exists.

Under a collaboration agreement with DNDi, GARDP is hosted and facilitated by DNDi, which provides the scientific environment, necessary personnel, and infrastructure to ensure an effective start-up phase, leverage on synergies with DNDi and position GARDP as a key stakeholder in the AMR landscape.


Purpose of the position

The regional Head of DNDi Japan Office contributes to DNDi portfolio and social mission and turns it into operational reality through the development and implementation of key partnerships in Japan and the region. S/he plans, integrates, and coordinates substantial specialist work to deliver a comprehensive programme. S/he provides substantive expertise and oversight throughout all stages of the development. S/he delivers, plans, and implement a regional strategy to deliver on GARDP and DNDi’s core objectives of innovative R&D, partnerships in the region, and resource mobilization.

The Head of Japan will be part of the Global Leadership Team, an occasional member of the Extended Executive team of DNDi, and attends GARDP’s annual meeting. S/he contributes to the development of DNDi and GARDP strategy and business plans and is accountable for implementing the annual action.


Specific job responsibilities

DNDi’s and GARDP’s institutional development, external relations and stakeholders’ engagement in Japan and Korea

  • Profile and position DNDi and GARDP as trusted R&D and health partners and foster relationships with public and private actors in the field of R&D and public health in the country
  • Strategically manage DNDi and GARDP stakeholders in the country such as governments and ministries, academia, research institutions, civil society (NGOs, etc.), pharma industry, WHO/WPRO, and others multilateral actors. Liaise with MSF and maintain their commitment to DNDi
  • Seize other funding opportunities and consolidate and increase resource development by supervising and supporting implementation of the local FR strategies combining public investments in R&D (and access) and contributions from private foundations
  • Represent DNDi and GARDP in Japan upon needs of patients, medical staff, R&D into neglected diseases and antimicrobial resistance (AMR), access and capacity building, as well as DNDi’s R&D and Global Business Plan
  • Oversee implementation of local policy advocacy as per DNDi global advocacy agenda
  • Build and maintain an effective network with policy‐ and decision‐makers in the areas of (public) health, access to medicines, drug research and development with a focus on neglected diseases and DNDi portfolio

Support to DNDi’s R&D projects and as well as DNDi/GARDP Business Development in the country and beyond

  • Supervise and support local R&D and BD support activities conducted by Scientific Liaison in collaboration with Geneva’s R&D and BD teams for both DNDi and GARDP
  • Ensure effective implementation of key R&D projects managed by DNDi’s R&D teams (booster, other discovery projects, E1224, Mycetoma, CpG) and liaise with Japanese partners on discovery projects for GARDP (Eisai and Takeda)
  • Provide support to future programs/projects involving Japanese partners in close coordination with the R&D leadership, the Heads of programme/diseases, and the BD team, building on the established collaborative projects:
    • Closely monitor multiple Japanese pharma compounds to move them into preclinical/clinical phase for Neglected (tropical) Diseases
    • Launch exploratory AMR projects and collaboration with GARDP partners in Japan
    • Support DNDi team in establishing new collaborations and gaining broader access to partners’ resources
    • Manage alliance of DNDi and GARDP with Japanese partners and support business development efforts
  • Facilitate DNDi’s access to the maximum of relevant local science/technologies
  • Liaise with institutional partners in Japan to ensure close follow up of agreed upon action items, maintain trust, and secure initial terms of collaboration (Pharma, research institutes, GHIT, government agencies, etc.)
  • Supervise and coordinate local Fundraising, Communications, Advocacy activities with partners/prospects to support R&D projects/collaborations
  • Identify opportunities for DNDi in the region (i.e. Korea)

Office management and institutional accountability

  • Propose a mid‐term strategy for Japan aligned with the global DNDi Business plan, encompassing current priorities and setting the stage for the future (identification of neglected diseases/patients’ situations, propositions of policy debates/initiatives relevant to neglected disease R&D and access in the region, fundraising opportunities, etc.)
  • Prepare the annual budget and action plan and risk review for the office; manage and supervise DNDi’s resources
  • Ensure organizational development accordingly. Supervise human resources, administrative and finance activities. Develop colleagues. Ensure DNDi office management and to be accountable for the performance of DNDi. Ensure consistency in DNDi’s global vision and its local operating model
  • Guarantee compliance of the activities of DNDi with legal obligation in relevant jurisdiction where the office is operating. Ensure implementation of DNDi high ethics standards and values within team and partners. Ensure adherence to DNDi policies and relevant processes; develop and maintain policies and key procedures as appropriate
  • Coordinate transversal efforts with the other DNDi regional office in South East Asia and South Asia


Reporting line

The Head is a member of the global leadership team

  • Report to International Development Director based in Geneva.
  • Report also collectively on a monthly basis to Strategy and Operations Director, R&D Director, Business Development Director, and External Affairs Director
  • Work very closely with the GARDP Corporate Strategy and BD Director and interacts with the GARDP Management team



Internal interactions

  • Manage a team including: one Scientific Liaison, one Communication and Advocacy Manager, one Fundraising Officer, one Admin Officer, and other external consultants
  • Participate in Bi‐Annual meetings and other meetings as requested by DNDi and GARDP
  • Work very closely with the Directors and Heads of programmes relevant to Japan ‐ Chagas, mycetoma, leishmaniasis, filariasis, Advocacy, Fundraising, etc.
  • Collaborate with colleagues from other offices to support projects and partners‘ relations. Occasionally visit field and represent DNDi Japan and GARDP in meetings with the region’s governments/agencies or Japanese delegations in the region
  • Participate to meetings and coherence committees

External interactions

  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association
  • Universities
  • Research institutes
  • Ministry of Health, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Government agencies in the health/medical field (AMED, JICA)
  • Government officials, MPs and other key opinion leaders
  • MSF Japan
  • Civil Society
  • Foundations (GHIT, Sasakawa)


Job requirements

Skills and attributes

  • High ability to use initiative, prioritize, multi-task, and work well under pressure to meet deadlines
  • Very clear and systematic thinking that demonstrates strong judgment and problem solving competencies
  • Excellent communication, and public speaking skills, ability to convince and represent DNDi and GARDP at high level events
  • Knowledge of managing global multicultural teams
  • Highly organized and structured
  • High analytical skills
  • High ability to lead large strategic projects
  • High ability to manage large size projects with budget management
  • Very strong strategic thinking and leadership abilities
  • Excellent management, negotiation, and advocacy skills
  • Good understanding of drug development
  • High ability to exercise high degree of independence to ensure programme delivery and explore new areas of activities
  • High ability to interact with internal and external stakeholders and proven experience in senior representation in Japan
  • High ability to lead and motivate a team for optimum performance


  • Over 15 years in Senior role
  • Proven ability to work effectively in a team environment and matrix structure
  • Experience of working in public sector and life science experience is highly desirable
  • Experience in global health (ideally neglected/infectious diseases/antimicrobial resistance (AMR)/antibiotics)


  • Advanced post graduate degree or graduate degree with equivalent in experience to reach Master level
  • Studies ideally in public health, science and management

Other requirements

  • Fluency in Japanese and English, French is an asset
  • Excellent knowledge of Microsoft Suite and Sales Force (CRM)
  • Travel required: Up to 50%


Other information

  • Status: full time – permanent role  


To apply

  • Deadline for application: Accepting applications until 4 October 2019
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted 
  • Application submission for this position may close early if we have enough suitable applicants