Associate Director, Business Optimization

Charles River Laboratories

Location Pin Icon
Boston, MA

Job Description

As posted by the hiring company

Job Overview:

For 70 years, Charles River employees have worked together to assist in the discovery, development and safe manufacture of new drug therapies. When you join our family, you will have a significant impact on the health and well-being of people across the globe. Whether your background is in life sciences, finance, IT, sales or another area, your skills will play an important role in the work we perform. In return, we’ll help you build a career that you can feel passionate about.

Job Summary

Collaborate with Business and/or Site Leaders to identify, develop and enact a portfolio of process improvement projects, aligned with business objectives and priorities with corresponding plans to resource and execute the projects. Manage programs, identify opportunities and facilitate completion of initiatives that encompass all businesses and regions. Develop, initiate and assume leadership of selected business improvement projects that support operational excellence, growth, and other key strategic initiatives. Lead teams in the transformation of their organization(s) by leveraging Lean/Six-Sigma, Dynamic Work Design, and Project Management methodologies.


  • Lead and manage multiple teams (site and cross-functional) concurrently in the transformation of their organization(s) with the support of Site and Business Leadership to improve process performance relating to quality improvement, cost reductions, revenue retention/growth or business risk reduction.
  • Identify and prioritize process improvement opportunities impacting on revenue, costs and business risk to meet strategic site and/or business goals with minimal supervision.
  • Focus on business performance that eliminates waste, improve customer experience, increase quality and optimize financial results via the use of Lean/Six Sigma methodologies and Dynamic Work Design, where appropriate.
  • Perform process analysis; conduct complex problem solving and data analysis on a wide variety of projects.
  • Define and financially justify projects including business risk analysis.
  • Maintain projects on-time, managing expectations and risk, and monitoring post-implementation benefits.
  • Responsible for facilitating the achievement of the business goals based on site and/or business efficiency gains target
  • Provide input and feedback to key leadership positions about process improvement opportunities specific to all parts of the organization.
  • Act as a key change agent within the business, supporting management/cross functional decisions by facilitating communication of changes to employees and helping them to learn, understand, adjust and grow within a culture of continuous process improvement.
  • Manage the scope and priority of improvement projects and engage Champions, business leaders and Continuous Improvement Leaders in driving change.
  • Provide functional leadership and mentor key personnel with awareness, knowledge and guidance, to develop and maintain a culture of continuous improvement. May plan, coordinate, lead and teach sessions on Lean Six Sigma tools and principles, where appropriate.
  • Establish collaboration infrastructure that allows idea submission, participation and updates on initiatives for all staff and provides resources/support to assist any employee to gain sponsorship, momentum or execute on those ideas.
  • Lead business meetings to effectively communicate with senior management across businesses
  • Coach and mentor associates to drive projects to completion, when required.
  • Assist the organization in developing Lean Six Sigma, Dynamic Work Design, Agile, and Project Management competencies.
  • Participates as a member of the PMO team contributing to global PMO forums and ensuring compliance with prioritized efforts.
  • Perform all other related duties as assigned.

Job Qualifications

⦁ Education: Bachelor’s degree (B.A./B.S.) in a related discipline.
⦁ Experience: 5-8 years of successful process improvement project experience applying lean six sigma methodology and/or project management experience. One year experience with Charles River is preferred.
⦁ Certification/Licensure: Certified Six Sigma Green Belt or Black Belt in DMAIC, Lean or Design for Six Sigma methodologies and/or Project Management Certification, preferred.
⦁ Other
⦁ Sound working knowledge and experience using and applying process improvement best practices and techniques in a structured project environment.
⦁ Ability to innovate and to effectively lead and communicate at all levels
⦁ Computer literate and proficient with basic Windows applications. Comfortable with mathematical and financial concepts.
⦁ Demonstrated project management skills and ability to deliver results.


⦁ While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to communicate and exchange information.
⦁ Regularly operates a computer and other office productivity machinery, such as a calculator, copy machine, and computer printer.
⦁ Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision and the ability to adjust focus.


Collaborate -We collaborate when we partner with each other and promote teamwork, when we communicate clearly and effectively across the hall or around the globe, and when we welcome all forms of diversity and encourage inclusiveness.
Own - We act like owners when we hold ourselves accountable for our actions, when we respond to internal and external client needs with speed and accuracy, when we set and achieve meaningful goals, and when we strive towards continuous improvement.
Lead - We lead when we advocate our purpose and model our values, when we deliver innovation, when we embrace change, and when we appreciate and celebrate the great work of others.
Care - We show we care when we respect each other, our animals and the communities where we work and live, when we create a positive healthy workplace, when we are mindful of our compliance standards, and when we choose to do the right thing.

Vaccine Mandate
Charles River is a U.S. Federal Contractor. As a result, we must follow the Presidential Executive Order to mandate vaccinations, and ensure our employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Our main priority is the wellbeing, health, and safety of our people. We require proof of vaccination from all employees.

Anyone with requests for disability-related and/or religious exemptions should contact Talent Acquisition ([email protected]) so that information can be provided about the accommodation process at Charles River.

About Corporate Functions
The Corporate Functions provide operational support across Charles River in areas such as Human Resources, Finance, IT, Legal, Sales, Quality Assurance, Marketing, and Corporate Development. They partner with their colleagues across the company to develop and drive strategies and to set global standards. The functions are essential to providing a bridge between strategic vision and operational readiness, to ensure ongoing functional innovation and capability improvement.

About Charles River
Charles River is an early-stage contract research organization (CRO). We have built upon our foundation of laboratory animal medicine and science to develop a diverse portfolio of discovery and safety assessment services, both Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) and non-GLP, to support clients from target identification through preclinical development. Charles River also provides a suite of products and services to support our clients’ clinical laboratory testing needs and manufacturing activities. Utilizing this broad portfolio of products and services enables our clients to create a more flexible drug development model, which reduces their costs, enhances their productivity and effectiveness to increase speed to market.

With over 18,000 employees within 100 facilities in over 20 countries around the globe, we are strategically positioned to coordinate worldwide resources and apply multidisciplinary perspectives in resolving our client’s unique challenges. Our client base includes global pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, government agencies and hospitals and academic institutions around the world.

At Charles River, we are passionate about our role in improving the quality of people’s lives. Our mission, our excellent science and our strong sense of purpose guide us in all that we do, and we approach each day with the knowledge that our work helps to improve the health and well-being of many across the globe. We have proudly supported the development of >80% of the drugs approved by the FDA for the past 3 years.

Equal Employment Opportunity
Charles River Laboratories is an Equal Opportunity Employer - all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.

If you are interested in applying to Charles River Laboratories and need special assistance or an accommodation due to a disability to complete any forms or to otherwise participate in the resume submission process, please contact a member of our Human Resources team by sending an e-mail message to [email protected] This contact is for accommodation requests for individuals with disabilities only and cannot be used to inquire about the status of applications.

For more information, please visit