Job Details

Requisition Number 15-0102
Post Date 1/25/2017
Company Akcea
Title Assistant Director, Human Resources
Employment Type Full Time

Akcea Therapeutics, Inc. is a development and commercialization company focused on impacting the lives of patients with serious cardiometabolic lipid disorders. Our priority is to bring important new therapeutics to patients in need. In order to do so, we must drive clinical program execution, understand patient and physician needs and work with regulators to gain global approval and market access to these new therapeutics.

Established as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in late 2014 and based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Akcea was founded with a robust portfolio of development-stage drugs covering multiple targets and disease states using advanced antisense therapeutics.


Reporting to the COO, this position will be primarily responsible for overall administration, coordination and evaluation of the human resource function.  In 2017 we are planning to significantly increase the size of our team, including the addition of a number of remote employees across the US, EU, and Canada.  Additional responsibilities will include generating job analysis and descriptions and helping to manage processes for employee relations, talent & performance management and employee development & training.


  • Develop and administer various human resources plans and procedures for all company personnel
  • As an individual contributor, provide leadership direction to implement projects and find solutions and constructively solve problems
  • Plan, organize and control all activities of the  HR function; participate in developing functional goals, objectives and systems
  • Manage Akcea’s employee life cycle by working with managers to:
    • recruit all exempt, nonexempt and temporary workers;
    • write and place advertisements
    • work with supervisors to screen and interview candidates
    • conduct reference checking
    • create and extend job offers
    • facilitate new-employee orientations
    • contribute to the growth of others
    • monitor performance management
    • provide employee relations counseling
    • perform exit interviews
  • Implement Akcea’s compensation program which includes participating in annual salary surveys and equity reviews, working with Ionis HR on the annual merit process/administration, monitoring the performance evaluation program, etc.
  • Develop, recommend and implement personnel policies and procedures
  • Perform benefits administration to include enrollment, claims resolution, change reporting, annual re-evaluation of plans for cost-effectiveness and competitiveness
  • Establish and maintain department records and reports. Participate in administrative staff meetings and attend other meetings as required. Maintain organizational charts and the employee directory.
  • Ensure compliance with all federal, state and local employment laws.
  • Help globalize HR requirements as Akcea’s team expands into new geographies
  • Support employee engagement activities, including but not limited to company lunches, annual holiday party, etc.
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources, Management or a business related field
  • 5 years of recent HR Generalist (professional/exempt) experience; preferably in a biotech/pharmaceutical company
  • Good working knowledge of Federal and State labor laws and the ability to apply as appropriate
  • 1+ years’ experience working with a HRIS (UltiPro preferred)
  • Able to effectively manage multiple high priority projects while meeting established timelines and budget
  • Proven ability to act independently while exercising sound judgement and making good decisions
  • Experience working with international employees a plus
  • Experience working with Sales employees a plus
  • Ability to maintain strict confidentiality
  • Strong conflict resolution skills
  • Reliable, detail-oriented and organized
  • Proficient in Microsoft Word; Excel; PowerPoint; Outlook
  • Ability to prioritize and multi-task
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Excellent judgment; strong critical thinking and decision making skills
  • High integrity and strong initiative
  • Ability to work independently; self-motivated
  • Proactive with an innate desire and ability to wear many hats and contribute at all levels
  • Proven success in a fast-paced, collaborative, team oriented environment
  • Ability to effectively interact with individuals at all levels of the organization and provide good customer service
  • An ability to be productive and successful in an intense work environment

Excellent salary and benefits package offered.

Please visit our website,, to apply for this position.

Reference Requisition #15-0102


Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Akcea Therapeutics, Inc. are proud to be EEO employers.

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