Head of Corporate Communications and Community Engagement
Philadelphia, PA 
Posted Today
Job Description

Join the Spark Team

We were born of innovation, springing from the curiosity, imagination and dedication of remarkable scientists and healthcare visionaries. Our shared mission is to challenge the inevitability of genetic disease by discovering, developing, and delivering treatments in ways unimaginable - until now.

We don't follow footsteps. We create the path.


In this highly impactful role, the Head of Corporate Communications and Community Engagement leads the company’s activities in corporate communications, R&D and product communications, corporate social responsibility, community engagement and internal communications for Spark Therapeutics. Leading a small but mighty team, this individual will be responsible for creating and implementing effective communication strategies and materials that are aligned with corporate business strategy. The ideal candidate will influence key constituents toward a shared goal around a communication strategy and lead complex communications in an exceptionally high-growth environment while demonstrating a strong entrepreneurial drive, exceptional multitasking skills and wicked attention to detail. This role requires both a dynamic storyteller and a leader who can combine vision with a strong mind for operations, execution and growth – all inspired by creating a world where no life is limited by genetic disease.

In a growing and evolving organization where employees are proud to work at Spark, the head of corporate communications and community engagement is a cultural ambassador, a change management agent, and a champion of patients and their caregivers. This executive will report to the Chief People Officer, and together with HR, IT and Corporate Facilities, ensure Spark continues to provide an exceptional employee experience, while externally elevating the company’s profile with appropriate stakeholders. They will serve as a key company spokesperson with media and will foster strong relationships with key industry contacts and Roche’s communication team.

Final candidate will demonstrate entrepreneurial drive, exceptional multitasking skills, the ability to think strategically and pay wicked attention to detail. He or she will work as part of one team to ensure needs of the business and key stakeholders are met. This position will be based in Philadelphia, PA.

  • Lead and continue to elevate a world-class communications, corporate social responsibility and employee engagement strategy that effectively tells Spark’s unique story. Develop and implement the corporate communications strategy, including internal and executive communications, media/ public relations and community relations, ensuring alignment with overall company vision, mission and goals. Collaborates with other functions to obtain alignment on programs, messages and materials.
  • Lead the team responsible for all traditional and social media activities and materials, managing external corporate digital properties as well as all internal communications channels and events.
  • Maintain overall stewardship of the Corporate Brand, positioning and messaging, collateral and delivery. Leads the creation, recommendation, and alignment of the corporate brand, our positioning within the biopharma/gene therapy landscape and positioning across various external and internal stakeholders. Developed and drives strategic thought leadership activities to enhance Spark’s position as a leader in gene therapy.
  • Ability to assess business risks or issues and to recommend a communication plan to help mitigate such risks by building corporate readiness for response to time sensitive situations.
  • Thought partner to executive management in establishing rapport and trust through proactively delivering on commitments and being a strong communicator on all levels. Coaches executives and company experts in developing and managing compelling written content, including executive speeches, presentations, articles, talking points, videos, etc.
  • Partners with HR and senior leaders to design and execute strategic internal communication plans to build our culture, enhance employee engagement and their experience as part of the Spark community, while strengthening the connection to our mission and understanding of business priorities and key initiatives.

(Responsibilities Continued)

  • In collaboration with HR, develops effective employee communications plans that strengthen recruitment, the employee value proposition, employee engagement and advances our thriving culture.
  • Responsible for the development and oversight of the Company’s corporate social responsibility, community relations and corporate donations. Builds appropriate awareness of the Company’s efforts and activities in these areas. Chairs the company’s corporate giving committee. Connects our diverse, vibrant employee base with needed resources for their lives, highlighting opportunities for them to grow their career and foster deeper engagement with each other, their community and Spark.
  • Manages corporate communications annual budget, corporate donations and employee giving program.
  • Provides leadership to team members including managing performance, developing people, hiring and integrating new team members and fostering Spark’s culture, mission, vision and values.

  • Prior experience leading corporate communications and CSR activities required
  • Proven experience with corporate reputation management
  • Experience working with rare diseases communities and understands the unique needs of patients and families living with devastating genetic diseases
  • Strong record of civic and community engagement, preferably in Philadelphia
  • B.A./B.S. degree required
  • Minimum of 15+ years of communications experience, preferably in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry

  • Energetic, forward-thinking and creative individual with high ethical standards
  • Strong aptitude for dealing with scientific topics
  • Must be an exceptional communicator (written and oral) and have ability to influence with strong business acumen
  • Strong leader with proven ability to lead and nurture a diverse and talented team of communicators
  • Change agent who can help lead a dynamic organization through fast-paced cycles of growth
  • Superior attention to detail
  • The ability to thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic environment and keep multiple projects moving forward simultaneously, often under tight deadlines
  • Skilled in communicating complex information to a variety of audiences; demonstrated ability to break down complex ideas and concepts in the bio/ pharmaceutical and/ or healthcare industry in easy-to-understand ways

Setting Strategy

  • Demonstrates a long-term perspective that extends beyond the immediate initiatives; visualizes and articulates a clear direction for Spark during times of uncertainty
  • Intellectual curiosity and dedication to science, innovation, and complex problem-solving
  • Commitment to strategic priorities and an increasingly aligned and disciplined organizational strategy

(Competencies Continued)

Executing for Results

  • Focuses on how things are done as much as what is done; drives a culture of high performance with increased attention to discipline and process
  • Sets aspirational goals to take organizational performance to the next level, reinventing the operating model when appropriate; goes beyond conventional performance benchmarks to set world class best practice
  • Navigates change and uncertainty; is agile in responding to feedback from within and outside the organization

Leading Teams

  • Embraces and embodies the Spark values: “break the barriers, own your excellence, commit to collaborate, demonstrate the respect you seek, and above all, champion the patient;”
  • Able to learn from colleagues, embraces perspectives from different backgrounds and fields, and step back to allow others to take action
  • Thoughtfully leads through influence and maintains focus on larger priorities; delegates effectively while managing performance and holding direct reports accountable

Building Relationships and Using Influence

  • Collaborates and looks to support other leaders; sees value in championing the work of the group over the individual
  • Offers enthusiasm and empathy toward other leaders and their respective departmental goals; influences and ensures alignment toward common priorities
  • Able to connect, engage in open dialogue, disagree when necessary, and compromise toward the greater good of Spark


Job Summary
Start Date
As soon as possible
Employment Term and Type
Regular, Full Time
Required Education
Bachelor's Degree
Required Experience
15+ years
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