Associate Director, Real Estate and Workplace

Facilities Cambridge, Massachusetts


What’s in it for you?

The Head of Real Estate and Workplace Operations will be responsible for formulating Mersana’s real estate strategy that is aligned with our growth objectives and our vision of a new, flexible and hybrid workforce. The person in this role will lead our strategic effort to plan for and design the workplace of the future and guide the organization to adopt forward-leaning workplace strategies to use space in creative and modern ways supporting the evolving nature of work, fostering collaboration and community, and reducing our carbon footprint. This role will also be responsible for managing the lab space, optimization of labs, environmental health and safety (EHS) and ensuring lab services are in place via a dedicated Lab Manager and EHS consultant. Additionally, the person will work closely with the HR team creating a world-class workplace experience for employees.

This position reports to the Chief People Officer.


  • Provide thought leadership and out of the box thinking around our return to work strategy. Design and execute a strategy to maximize space efficiently and provide a flexible environment that supports remote working, hoteling, and other space management
  • Lead the development of a strategic vision of the emerging workplace that is equitable and, given all currently available data about planned growth and available technology, taking a holistic approach to increased collaboration, mobility, ergonomics, space efficiency, and technology
  • Own and execute the real estate portfolio management strategy including requirements gathering, financial analysis, lease negotiations/transactions.
  • Communicate expectations, requirements, and status of deals to key business partners - both internal and external.
  • Act as the single point of contact responsible for facilities management and office operations and escalations with property management
  • Coordinate employee headcount growth planning in coordination with FP&A, Human Resources and the Work Force Planning process
  • Lead/support vendor and service provider negotiations and manage vendor relationships
  • Partner with leadership, Finance and IT Infrastructure to maintain high quality facilities and business operations
  • Manage a wide range of projects from small improvement projects to office expansions, renovations and relocations, ensuring minimum disruption to business activities.
  • Work with vendors and contractors to manage enhancements, improvements and modifications of office and lab spaces and associated utility services like HVAC, electricity, and plumbing.
  • Oversee and manage office and lab cleaning services.
  • Manage parking agreements in and near the building.
  • Manage physical security of the facilities.


This is typically a role best suited for Bachelors’ level candidates (preferred) in Biology, Chemistry, Facilities, Engineering, Business, or related field, who possess 8-10 plus years of experience in a pharmaceutical/biotechnology setting.  Associate degree candidates possessing relevant work experience will also be considered. Candidates for this role should be collaborative, open-minded, and have experience with the following:

  • Interpersonal skills, including the ability to build relationships with cross functional leaders, and all stakeholders including, clients/employees, partners and peers
  • Detail oriented with the ability to analyze data and make recommendations with a business orientation and employee experience mindset
  • Real estate and vendor negotiating experience
  • Experience building and leveraging a network of developers, contractors, consultants, brokers and attorneys as resources in maintaining deal flow
  • A demonstrated understanding of accounting processes, procedures and internal controls and the elements of real estate legal documents
  • Hands-on project management experience
  • Comfortable with spreadsheet modeling
  • Bachelor degree, ideally in business management or related field but all majors welcome
    Self-starter, ability to work autonomously and as part of a cross-functional team
  • Comfortable in a fast-paced, high-energy start-up environment.