Health Science Director

Req Number: STTVWJ
Location: Global Remit; Remote
Posted: 5/8/2024
Category: Government/Not-For-Profit : Not-For-Profit
Job Type: Permanent


  • The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) stands as the preeminent authority in the field of microbiology, dedicated to advancing the understanding and application of microbial sciences. With a rich legacy spanning over a century, ASM serves as a global hub for scientists, educators, clinicians, and industry professionals enthusiastic about exploring the diverse realms of microbiology. ASM's mission is multifaceted, encompassing research, education, advocacy, and outreach. Through its extensive network of members, partners, and affiliates, ASM fosters collaboration and knowledge exchange across various disciplines within microbiology, from virology and bacteriology to mycology and parasitology.
    Research lies at the heart of ASM's endeavours, driving innovation and discovery. The society supports groundbreaking research through grants, awards, and publications, including prominent journals like the Journal of Bacteriology, Journal of Virology, and mBio. By providing platforms for dissemination and discussion, ASM catalyzes scientific progress and facilitates the translation of research findings into practical solutions for global challenges, such as infectious diseases, antibiotic resistance, and environmental sustainability.
    Professional Practice & Certification Programs is one of the key activities of ASM in the health and clinical space. ASM provides a comprehensive array of resources and opportunities to enhance the skills and expertise of professionals in the field of microbiology. This includes the American Board of Medical Microbiology (ABMM) board certification for clinical microbiologists, the CPEP Clinical Fellowship, courses covering various topics, including laboratory techniques, molecular diagnostics, antimicrobial resistance, and bioinformatics. Whether individuals are looking to expand their knowledge in a specific area or develop new skills relevant to their career, ASM's Professional Practice & Certification Programs provide valuable learning experiences led by experts in the health/life science fields. In addition to courses, ASM facilitates professional development opportunities to help professionals stay abreast of the latest advancements and best practices in microbiology. These initiatives include workshops, seminars, and webinars where attendees can network with peers, engage in discussions, and gain insights from leading researchers and practitioners. ASM collaborates with life science industry partners to develop specialized programs and initiatives aimed at addressing specific needs within the health science focused microbiology community. By equipping professionals with the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to succeed, ASM contributes to the continued advancement of microbiological science and its applications in different fields.
    Education is a cornerstone of ASM's mission, aimed at nurturing the next generation of microbiologists and fostering lifelong learning among professionals. ASM offers a myriad of educational resources, including conferences, workshops, online courses, and educational materials tailored to diverse audiences, from undergraduate students to seasoned researchers. Through these initiatives, ASM promotes scientific literacy, fosters professional development, and empowers individuals to make meaningful contributions to the field.
    Advocacy ASM is also committed to advocacy, championing policies that support scientific research, public health, the profession of microbiology, and evidence-based decision-making. By engaging with policymakers, stakeholders, and the public, ASM advocates to shape the future of the field, to increase funding for research and for the practice of microbiology, robust public health infrastructure, and science-informed policies to address emerging threats and societal challenges.
    Driven by a shared passion for microbiology, ASM members embody a diverse and vibrant community united by their dedication to advancing scientific knowledge and improving human health and well-being. As the premier organization in the field, ASM continues to lead the way in microbiological research, education, advocacy, and outreach, shaping the future of microbial sciences for generations to come.

    Micro2040 Project
    In March of 2022, ASM’s leadership and board launched their strategic planning process titled the Micro2040 Project. The directive of was established so that ASM would no longer be reactive to the changes around the organization, but to ensure that ASM will be the platform that empowers the community of microbial scientists and all stakeholders to shape the future of the field, harnessing the transformative power of microbes to address humanity’s most pressing challenges.
    ASM embraces the responsibility to fortify support for scientists and stakeholders globally, leveraging fundamental and applied science to create a positive impact for life on and sustainability of our planet. Micro2040 serves as a declaration by ASM of the organization’s intent to steer ASM’s journey toward the most promising horizons and shield against the most formidable challenges. Micro2040 is the start of the transformation of ASM to a science-centric, globally focused organization whose vision, mission, and values are connected to the world around us. It is a natural evolution from ASM’s tradition as a service-centric, U.S. focused Society, like most professional scientific associations today.
    In this pursuit, and to create a structure that allows for broad collegial input in developing a cogent set of scientific priorities and goals, ASM will establish and significantly invest in three scientific units, each a beacon illuminating the path forward: ASM Health (in 2024), ASM Mechanism Discovery, and ASM Applied and Environmental Microbiology (in 2025) These units will not function in isolation; they will collaborate, recognizing the interdisciplinary nature of microbial sciences and avoiding the pitfalls of scientific siloes. The objective is to integrate and coordinate efforts, creating a harmonious symphony of scientific excellence, and drawing into the central circle the “interface” areas of the microbial sciences and those scientists who may not see themselves as “classic microbiologists.”

    Additional information can be found here:


    Position: Health Science Director
    Location: Remote; Global Search Engagement
    Reporting Relationship: Stefano Bertuzzi, PhD, MPH, Chief Executive Officer (until the hire of ASM’s Chief Scientific Officer in 2025).


    The American Society for Microbiology seeks to appoint its inaugural Health Science Director. The Health Science Director will play a pivotal role in empowering the health-related microbial sciences community to shape the future of the field and its priorities. Partnering with Stefano Bertuzzi, Chief Executive Officer, this role is integral to helping drive ASM's Micro2040 Strategic Roadmap, positioning ASM as an international collaborative platform guiding the future of science and professional practice in service to society.

    ASM is a global and highly collaborative environment, and the Health Science Director will collaborate closely with leaders both internally and externally. They will quickly establish a reputation for being strategic and insightful, meticulous, aggressively focused on excellence, able to make quick decisions, and to respond to changing circumstances calmly and with agility. They will inspire others through their personal performance and will be a powerful coach and mentor.


    Primary responsibilities include:

    Strategic Leadership:
    • Lead strategic planning efforts to build the ASM Health Unit, aligning with organizational goals and priorities.
    • Identify emerging trends, opportunities, and gaps in health-related microbial sciences to drive strategic initiatives.
    • Drive new and existing revenue streams to benefit the Health Unit and ASM as an organization; work closely with other groups to provide innovative solutions to the broader microbial sciences community.
    • Expand upon the global reach of ASM as the society looks to support and drive the impact of the health sciences microbial community both within the US and internationally.
    • Help define the attributes inform the search for the ASM’s Chief Scientific Officer, working together with the organization’s leadership.
    Network Building & Engagement:
    • Foster relationships with microbiologists, multidisciplinary research communities, industry partners, government agencies, and other stakeholders across the globe.
    • Cultivate strategic partnerships internationally and domestically to advance ASM's mission and impact.
    Support and Cultivate:
    • Work closely with the volunteer ASM Health Chair, Advisory Council members, and other scientific units to identify and prioritize scientific initiatives.
    • Collaborate and engage with programmatic directors to support cross pollination of ideas that result in successful programs focusing on the scientific areas/topics.
    Budget & Financial Management:
    • Develop and monitor budgets for the ASM Health Unit and its programs, ensuring fiscal responsibility and alignment with organizational objectives.
    • Provide financial updates to ASM’s leadership and board regarding the newly formed Health Unit.
    • Work closely with the organization’s finance team to establish and ensure well-directed financial stewardship.
    Program Management:
    • Oversee the development and execution of short-term and long-term scientific and programmatic objectives.
    • Monitor, evaluate, and report on programmatic progress and achievements towards goals, adapting strategies as needed.
    Project Management:
    • Drive the development and implementation of new sustainable programs, products, services, and partnerships (both within the US/outside of the US).
    • Represent ASM and the ASM Health Unit at internal and external events, advocating for ASM's mission and priorities.


    Experience and Professional Qualifications
    The inaugural Health Science Director will be a broadly qualified, globally focused, entrepreneurial, and exceptionally talented scientific leader with broad experience in the microbial sciences, strategic development, and management. The successful candidate will be authentic, confident, yet humble; possess a collaborative/transparent working style. Someone who appreciates the importance of collaboration and demonstrates both original and creative thinking is absolute. Additionally, the candidate should exhibit a profound appreciation and support for diversity of thought and inclusion in all its forms. Embracing differing perspectives and fostering an environment where individuals from varied backgrounds feel valued and empowered to contribute will be essential for success in this role. Additional attributes include: 
    • 10+ years of successful experience in microbial sciences research, research administration, or managerial roles.
    • Broad knowledge of health-related microbial sciences, including clinical microbiology, antimicrobial resistance, drug discovery, vaccine development, and more.
    • Experience in engaging stakeholders across multidisciplinary fields to address common health challenges.
    • Entrepreneurial mindset with a track record of identifying and implementing solutions to complex scientific and health policy issues.
    • Experience with globally focused initiatives.
    • Familiarity with funding policies, regulations, and grant administration processes.
    • Experience in nonprofit or scientific societies is a plus.
    • Experience in clinical and public health microbiology science, profession in government, industry, for profit or non-profit.
    • Deep knowledge of the trends, gaps, and opportunities in the microbial sciences clinical research landscape.
    Personal Characteristics and Culture Fit
    The ideal candidate will be a collaborative, team-oriented entrepreneurial leader with the ability to align their organization behind key initiatives for optimal implementation. They will have:
    • A non-hierarchical leadership style with high ethics, unquestioned character, and absolute integrity.
    • The ability to develop credible and constructive relationships with advisory committee members and other stakeholders.
    • A nuanced understanding of diverse cultures and a keen appreciation for cross-cultural collaboration and innovation is essential.
    • A high level of energy; the ability to create a motivational climate which will inspire best efforts and take on the challenges that create the best long-term value for ASM. Possess the necessary technical and analytical skills, yet be intuitive, with a keen sense of collaboration. Pragmatic and tenacious approach
    • Excellent business judgement and strategic thinking with strong strategic problem–solving skills.
    • Commitment to excellence.
    • Mission-driven visionary with a care and interest for the community.
    • Demonstrates trustworthiness, self-development, and drive for results.
    • Collaborative team player who values diversity and fosters innovation.
    • Possesses a strategic mindset, global perspective, and ability to navigate ambiguity.
    • Effective communicator with strong presentation and writing skills.

    • A Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent degree in a relevant scientific discipline preferred.


    Korn Ferry shall provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified candidates, and will refer candidates without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected basis.