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Legal Lead for Privacy & Data Security (Americas)

Astellas Pharma
Posted Jul 03
Full Time
On Site
Northbrook, Illinois

Do you want to be part of an inclusive team that works to develop innovative therapies for patients? Every day, we are driven to develop and deliver innovative and effective new medicines to patients and physicians. If you want to be part of this exciting work, you belong at Astellas!

Astellas Pharma Inc. is a pharmaceutical company conducting business in more than 70 countries around the world. We are committed to turning innovative science into medical solutions that bring value and hope to patients and their families. Keeping our focus on addressing unmet medical needs and conducting our business with ethics and integrity enables us to improve the health of people throughout the world. For more information on Astellas, please visit our website at .

This position is based in Northbrook, Illinois. Remote work from certain states may be permitted in accordance with Astellas’ Responsible Flexibility Guidelines. Candidates interested in remote work are encouraged to apply.

Purpose and Scope:

The Legal Lead for Privacy & Data Security is responsible for providing practical, timely, strategic, and high-quality legal advice and counsel on global privacy and data security-related matters across the Astellas enterprise, including DigitalX, Commercial, Clinical Sciences, Medical Affairs, and Rx+. This role also has responsibility for advising on and, in collaboration with Ethics & Compliance, ensuring Astellas’ compliance with global privacy obligations, with a primary focus on the Americas.

This is a highly strategic position and is accountable for balancing commercial opportunities with associated legal and compliance risks in a complex and fast-evolving regulatory environment to minimize legal and regulatory exposure and reputational damage in an area of high potential liability. This position is also accountable for proactively identifying and mitigating risks to the Company’s ability to achieve its corporate objectives under the Corporate Strategic Plan.

Essential Job Responsibilities:

  • The Legal Lead for Privacy & Data Security will have the following responsibilities, working with the Legal Lead for Global Privacy, Data Security, and RIM:

  • Providing practical, timely, strategic, and high-quality legal advice and counsel on global privacy and data security-related matters across the Astellas enterprise with a primary focus on Americas. This includes working closely, collaborating and coordinating with key stakeholders to advise on applicable privacy and data protection laws, regulations and guidelines affecting the Company’s business.

  • Advising on best practices and compliance with global privacy and data protection laws, as well as overseeing legal and regulatory aspects of data collection and use, privacy disclosures and transparency, and related issues.

  • Advising on potential liability and other legal aspects related to data privacy and data security incidents and supporting the Company’s privacy and cybersecurity incident response programs, including supporting the investigation of potential incidents, identifying applicable legal obligations, and supporting incident response efforts.

  • Providing robust legal support for the strategic reviewing, drafting and negotiating of privacy and data security terms in contracts with business partners and vendors, including data processing agreements and data transfer agreements.

  • Supporting the development and delivery of privacy training materials and other communications to increase employee understanding of Company privacy policies, data handling practices and procedures and legal obligations.

  • Providing privacy and data security-related advice and support to Affiliate lawyers in the Americas (collectively referred to as the “Divisions”). “Affiliate lawyer” means a lawyer based in an Astellas office outside of the office locations in Tokyo, London and Chicago who report to/through one of the Legal Commercial Leads for the Divisions.

  • Overseeing and providing updates to senior management and business clients on changes in legal developments affecting the pharmaceutical industry, especially in the area of data protection, information security, data governance and privacy, coordinating with other leaders in the Legal function, as may be appropriate.

  • Helping to manage and set priorities for the Privacy, Data Security, and RIM team based on Astellas’ business goals, anticipated risks and available resources, ensuring consistent use of best practices and a high standard of professional excellence.

  • Helping to develop a streamlined and consistent approach to advising business teams on those matters and activities supported by the Privacy, Data Security, and RIM team (taking into account local laws and practices as may be appropriate).

  • Identifying key legal issues requiring attention from the Legal Lead for Global Privacy, Data Security, and RIM, as appropriate.

  • Anticipating potential legal issues within the organization with respect to functions and matters supported by the Privacy, Data Security, and RIM team and, in conjunction with the Legal Lead for Global Privacy, Data Security, and RIM, developing strategies to mitigate risks.

  • Retaining, supervising and directing outside counsel effectively and efficiently managing legal expenses consistent with global legal budget.

  • Coordinating closely with global Ethics & Compliance colleagues, particularly members of the Ethics & Compliance Privacy team.

  • Supporting the Legal Lead for Global Privacy, Data Security, and RIM in leading a Culture of Excellence for the Privacy, Data Security, and RIM team which includes driving and fostering: (1) an agile, adaptive culture; (2) a value-based organization based on Legal’s Mission, Strategic Plan and objectives; (3) a culture of innovation, transparency and trust; (4) proactive identification/mitigation of risk in a balanced approach; (5) empowerment and engagement of the Privacy, Data Security, and RIM team members; and (6) a collaborative culture with close coordination with other members of Legal and IP as appropriate to leverage synergies and efficiencies; (7) a culture of compliance and good corporate governance; and (8) continuous expectation of high performance, where “ok” is not good enough.

  • Working collaboratively with a broad range of people and functions throughout the organization to develop and maintain strong working relationships across all functional areas to facilitate a partnering-based approach.

  • Other projects as may be requested by Legal Lead for Global Privacy, Data Security, and RIM or the Head of Legal Commercial, Regulatory and Privacy.

  • Overnight travel, including international travel, as needed.



  • Law Degree, LL.M. or equivalent; license to practice law in the United States

  • At least 7-10 years’ experience working in a law firm or pharmaceutical legal department.

  • In-depth knowledge of laws and regulations regarding privacy and data security in Americas.

  • Deep understanding of the legal issues affecting privacy and/or the pharmaceutical industry. Strong knowledge of global regulatory environment that affects decision-making across Astellas’ global business with respect to privacy and data security.

  • Strong ability to grasp legal issues quickly, strong analytical problem solving and decision-making skills, exercise sound judgment and provide practical and constructive legal advice in a time-sensitive dynamic and fast-paced complex global environment.

  • Strong negotiation and communication skills (both oral and written). Ability to communicate legal issues in a clear and understandable manner. Inspires trust and confidence through effective communication and interpersonal skills.

  • Strong work ethic and ability to manage large workload, multi-task, focus on critical priorities, and otherwise effectively meet client needs. Ability to produce high quality work under deadline pressures.

  • Team player and able to build relationships, both internally and externally, on a global scale.

  • Strong organization and teamwork skills. Detail-oriented, self-motivated and able to motivate others.

  • A strong commitment to integrity and professionalism and demonstrated passion for excellence.


  • Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance

  • Generous Paid Time Off options, including Vacation, Sick time, plus national holidays including Heritage Days, and Summer and Winter Breaks

  • 401(k) match and annual company contribution

  • Company paid life insurance

  • Annual Corporate Bonus and Quarterly Sales Incentive for eligible positions

  • Long Term Incentive Plan for eligible positions

  • Referral bonus program


Category Legal Commercial, Regulatory and Privacy

Astellas is committed to equality of opportunity in all aspects of employment.

EOE including Disability/Protected Veterans