Director, Healthcare and Life Sciences

Hi. We’re glad you’re here.

Founded in 2011, the Harvard Innovation Labs (HIL) is an ecosystem designed to foster entrepreneurship and innovation across the Harvard University community. HIL consists of three entities:

  • The Harvard i-lab is available to current students from any Harvard school looking to explore innovation and entrepreneurship at any stage. The i-lab provides the physical and intellectual resources needed to develop and grow startups, including co-working space, advising, office hours with industry experts, workshops, Venture Programs, and the President’s Innovation Challenge (PIC), an annual venture competition.
  • Launch Lab X GEO (LLX GEO) is a nine-month accelerator for Harvard alumni ventures. Applications are accepted from all over the world and open to alumni from all schools.
  • The Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab is a shared laboratory space for high-potential life sciences and biotech startups founded by Harvard faculty, alumni, students, and postdoctoral scholars. The 15,000-square-foot facility has 36 lab workbenches and 50 co-working spaces.

Job Mission

Creating meaningful value for Harvard students, alumni, and affiliates interested in starting, building, and scaling healthcare and life sciences ventures.

Job Overview

The Director of Healthcare and Life Sciences is responsible for supporting and mentoring Harvard students, alumni, and affiliated founders in the healthcare and life sciences space. This role oversees programming (e.g., workshops; roundtables; advising) to inform the HIL community about the opportunities and challenges in tackling problems and building new ventures. The ideal candidate has led or been part of the leadership team of a healthcare and/or life sciences startup, is connected to the Boston healthcare and life sciences entrepreneurship ecosystem, and has experience as a mentor to startups and students.

Primary Responsibilities 

  • Support for HIL founders and teams: Serve as the primary point person for all Healthcare and Life Sciences teams in the Harvard Innovation Labs ecosystem. Provide direction and insight to teams to build and grow their ventures via regular programming and advising. Make introductions to entrepreneurs, co-founders, investors, and other stakeholders to support teams.
  • Development and delivery of programming and content: Initiate activities and programs that build the Harvard Innovation Labs as a community / home for Harvard entrepreneurs and innovators pursuing Healthcare and Life Sciences ideas and ventures. Create workshops—delivered internally as well as by external guest speakers—as part of HIL’s program offerings available to student i-lab, LLX GEO (alumni), and Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab teams. Codify program offerings to align with HIL’s mission in order to best serve HIL founders and teams. Regularly incorporate feedback from current and previous teams. Work with colleagues on HIL’s Programs and Engagement team to integrate Healthcare and Life Sciences offerings into overall HIL portfolio of offerings.
  • Management and oversight of HIL offerings in the Healthcare and Life Sciences domain: Select cohorts for the student Venture Program and oversee the relevant track(s) in the President’s Innovation Challenge. Design, develop, and implement new initiatives that further the i-lab, LLX GEO, and Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab.
  • Innovation ecosystem-building within the Harvard healthcare and life sciences community: Serve as a point of contact for students, postdocs, faculty, researchers, and others across Harvard who are interested in partnering with HIL. Foster strong relationships and collaborations among Harvard schools and affiliated hospitals and research institutes (including, but not limited to, Harvard Medical School, Harvard Business School, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Wyss Institute). Help foster the HIL brand and messaging among those in the Harvard healthcare and life sciences community.
  • Networking and relationship-building with external stakeholders (local, national, and global): Build and nurture a network of strategic relationships and amplify HIL’s visibility within the broader healthcare and life sciences community. Develop robust networks in order to provide HIL teams with access to best-in-class mentors, advisors, investors, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders. Actively participate in the broader innovation community in Boston and beyond. Build and maintain an understanding of and relationships with the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Boston and other key national hubs (e.g., New York, San Francisco).
  • Support for Life Lab Longwood planning: Work with stakeholders at Harvard Medical School and across Harvard on the design and planning of the new Life Lab Longwood.

Basic Qualifications

  • B.A. degree required; MBA, PhD or MD preferred
  • Deep experience in healthcare / life sciences required
  • Higher education experience preferred but not required
  • Significant experience in the startup space preferred
  • 10+ years of experience leading or growing a healthcare and/or biotech company and/or working in startups in healthcare and life sciences
  • Experience working with and advising undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, scientific researchers, and medical clinicians
  • Ability to work cross-departmentally and collaborate with diverse groups of stakeholders at all levels of seniority
  • Broad and meaningful relationships within the entrepreneurial ecosystem locally, nationally, and globally
  • Track record in building and cultivating long-term relationships externally and internally

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Experience working in or developing a laboratory (or comparable experience) preferred
  • Strategic planning skills coupled with an entrepreneurial spirit
  • Creative problem-solving skills with capacity to get things done in complex organizations
  • Proven ability to deliver results with minimal oversight and high degree of operational excellence
  • Deep knowledge and understanding of project management, content development, and program measurement
  • Excellent communication, presentation, and active listening skills
  • Ability to work occasional extra hours, including evenings and weekends, to meet deadlines and oversee and/or attend events
  • Strong Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint skills

Additional Information

This position is approved for a 2-year term (with possibility of renewal/extension) which begins on the person’s first day of employment. This 2-year term limit does not apply to current Harvard employees.

During the current period of COVID-19 related restrictions, this position may start as a remote position with the transition to onsite at HBS campus in Boston, MA when the office reopens.

While we continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions, we appreciate your understanding and flexibility with our interview process. Please note that we will be conducting interviews virtually (phone and or Zoom) for selected candidates until further notice.

A cover letter is required to be considered for this opportunity.

Harvard Business School will not offer visa sponsorship for this opportunity.

Culture of Inclusion: The work and well-being of HBS is profoundly strengthened by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and life experiences. Explore more about HBS work culture at

Last Updated: 5.26.2021

To apply: Please  send a cover letter and resume to Req 53387BR on the Harvard employment site.