Global R&D Director Job


Exton, PA, United States

Employment Type:  Regular
Category:  Research and Development
Posting Date:  Jun 14, 2024

If you are passionate about leading global innovation and teams, collaborating to advance product development and  sustainable technologies, and partnering globally with business and market leaders on growth objectives, then look no further.  We are seeking a Global R&D Director for our Sartomer business (part of Arkema’s Coating Solutions Segment). This role will be based in Exton, PA and is responsible to drive the Innovation and Sustainability strategy and roadmap for all Sartomer technologies, including a portfolio comprising more than 1000 products and 100 patents, and to align the R&D strategy and roadmap with the 5-year growth plan.  This role will also partner globally with Business Leadership, Market Management, R&D, Technical Service, Business Development, and Sales on customer needs and is accountable for the efficient deployment of technical resources and coordinating resource commitments across regions based on project needs.  


  • This position will report directly to the Global Managing Director, Coating Additives and functionally to Global R&D Director, Coating Solutions Segment, and will be responsible for teams worldwide in US, Europe, and Asia, comprising of approx. 80+ team members.
  • This role also works closely in partnership with the VP of R&D for North America on cross BU connectivity, innovation/product development, talent management and other key internal and external partnerships.
  • Other key role dimensions:
    • Responsible for management of Global R&D budget and management/progression of portfolio from initiation of new programs through successful commercial launch. 
    • Leads global development strategy for more sustainable solutions through innovation and breakthrough technologies for UV/EB solutions.
    • Leads global transformation, work process excellence and project content for innovation and product development projects.
    • Accountable for all R&D sites’ activities, safety, and resourcing to support innovation and growth goals.  Ensures Center of Excellence (COE) lab sites (i.e. – Exton, PA) are appropriately resourced and organized to support and drive innovation and business growth with global sharing of technical knowledge/experience.
    • As part of scope, also operates as Global R&D Leader for Photocure Resins.
    • Operates as member of the Sartomer Global Leadership Team and Coating Solutions (CS) Segment R&D Leadership Team.
    • One Arkema:  Partners closely with VP of R&D for North America and other regional and global R&D leaders to identify and drive technical synergies and talent synergies, including, but not limited to, cross-BU innovation, product development, talent development/movement, retention, and recruitment strategies.  Is responsible for building and maintaining strong cross BU relationships in the Americas and globally. 




Sartomer Global Innovation, Product Development and Sustainability

  • Lead global innovation strategy and portfolio of programs for the global business.
  • Lead global sustainability technical initiatives and drive global sustainability innovation roadmap.
  • Leads and partners on global transformation goals and objectives, as the business evolves.
  • Work with BU leaders and other R&D leaders globally on project selection, prioritization, and resourcing.
  • Work closely with the BU global and regional business leaders and global marketing leaders to drive the technical programs through development and commercialization.
  • Ensure that the Global Innovation and New Product and Process development programs are properly organized, resourced and in-sync with the global and regional strategies.
  • Facilitate Transfer of new products, technology, and IP between regions.
  • Manage the IP portfolio and decision making on filings and priorities globally.
  • Promote and manage cross BU between Sartomer globally and other technical/business communities (within Arkema) for opportunity identification and/or enhancement of project progress.
  • Propose new R&D projects globally to Sartomer business groups to ensure a pipeline to development portfolio.
  • Negotiate regional R&D budget to align technical resources with the business expectations and strategies.
  • Propose global new business development initiatives which leverage our technical resources and capabilities worldwide.
  • Direct effective regional and global execution of development projects via: assignment of resources, leveraging outside resources, making available the required equipment and supplies, and periodic reviews with project teams (made up of R&D and Business personnel).
  • Ensure self and team members worldwide support business strategies and initiatives at key customers through participation in high level customer interfaces.
  • Work with teams globally to identify and establish joint R&D programs with universities, outside labs, development partners, and other Arkema labs to enhance our own capabilities and progress on projects.
  • Prepares global reports and metrics for reporting to Arkema global and regional leaders across the business and R&D.
  • Ensure deployment of R&D resources in line with priorities defined by marketing & R&D management.
  • Promote scientific exchanges and encourage patent filings.

Global R&D Coating Solutions Segment Leadership Team

  • Contribute to the development of the segment R&D roadmap and identification of key innovative technologies.
  • Work with Upstream R&D / Process Research, and Downstream Process Research in support of production on a range of scales (laboratory, pilot, commercial) and processes (batch, semi-batch, and continuous).
  • Work closely with downstream BU global marketing leaders to drive the technical programs through development and commercialization.
  • Build strong relationships across BUs in the Americas and globally to find technical synergies and talent synergies.
  • Coordinate Photocure resins/Additives Innovation and New Product and Process development programs across Coating Solution Segment to make sure in-sync with the global and regional strategies.

Global Talent Management and Development

  • Partner with global and regional Sartomer business and R&D leaders to ensure R&D goals, technical competencies, staffing, and talent pipelines are aligned with business objectives and strategies.
  • Leads initiatives and partners with global and regional R&D leaders to recruit, manage and develop R&D talent.
  • Supports and exchanges on talent management activities in partnership with other BUs, including talent development, talent pipelining, talent movement and recruitment. 



  • Position requires up to 25-35% regular travel regional and global (i.e. – quarterly visits to other regions) – flexibility with travel may be required at times based on business, team, and customer needs.
  • This position requires close collaboration strategy, tactics, and coordination of R&D and commercialization programs.
  • This position works closely with the Arkema technical community to leverage capabilities, identify synergies and to enhance project progress across the organization.
  • Interfaces regularly with external and internal contacts, including customers, industry events and other functions.
  • Supports the site HES policy and complies with all regulatory and internal requirements.
  • Is accountable for global R&D safety and influences others to act safely and develop a positive safety culture.
  • Leads through words and actions in HES activities provided by site management and Arkema Inc.
  • Supports and promotes the reporting of all health, safety, environmental, near-miss, accident, or injury incidents.



  • Ph.D. in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or Materials/Polymers Science or Engineering.
  • 15 years of R&D experience, with 10+ years in the Chemical/Polymers/Specialty Materials industry.
  • 8+ years of experience leading an R&D team and R&D strategy, including global R&D team leadership experience.



  • Demonstrated technical and managerial excellence which delivers significant commercial impact in a globalized business.
  • Demonstrated competencies in leadership, motivational, communication skills, within teams and across regions.  Effectively presents ideas in formal and informal contexts to various levels in organization.
  • Must be results oriented, and be well-versed in business strategies, motivation, and vocabulary to establish partnerships with the business counterparts and key customers.
  • Demonstrated competencies to drive the BU sustainability innovation strategy.
  • Experience and comfort interacting with key customers (regional/global) and markets.
  • Cross cultural team leadership, development, engagement, empowerment.
  • Comfortable with influence and conflict mgmt. at all levels to develop, drive and deliver in a highly matrixed environment.
  • Experience with broad scale leadership and projects, including transformation and change mgmt.
  • Can manage and lead through change and respond well to evolution and ambiguity.
  • Can assess risk and the level of information needed to make clear decisions, without losing momentum.
  • Demonstrated experience/ability to partner and innovate across businesses and globally – balancing with business goals.
  • Portfolio management experience, including managing a stage gate or similar process.
  • Ability to react quickly and effectively to changing situations.
  • Ability to effectively lead and function in a matrix environment.

Who we are? Arkema is a world leader in Innovative Materials for a Sustainable World with the ambition to become a pure Specialty Materials player.

We thrive as One Arkema, comprised of many businesses and brands including Bostik, ArrMaz, and more! and operating with a global reach in 55 countries with more than 21,100 employees. Each one contributes to positioning Arkema as a recognized leader of specialty chemicals and advanced materials, reporting annual sales of €9.5 billion, of which 2.9% allocated to R&D for 1,800 researchers in 17 R&D centers.

If you pursue excellence, love innovation and are inspired by challenges, we encourage you through to learn more about our values – Solidarity, Performance, Simplicity, Empowerment, and Inclusion – and how we concentrate on advances in bio-based and recyclable materials, new energies, water management, electronic solutions, lightweight materials and design, home efficiency and insulation.

Changing the world requires the right formula. The right formula consists of our innovative and sustainable materials, and you. Join us to develop the materials of tomorrow and make a difference together. What are you made of?

The legal information below pertains specifically to positions posted in the United States, however we strive for diversity, equity and inclusion in all the countries that we hire.
Arkema Inc. provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Arkema Inc. complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting and hiring.

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