Meet Daniel Joffe, Senior Clinical Project Manager, Based in South Africa

After 15 years as a project manager in the clinical trials industry, it’s obvious Daniel is passionate about his job.
As a senior clinical project manager for FHI Clinical, Daniel is the primary liaison between FHI Clinical project teams and study sponsors. As he says about his role, “In clinical trials, there’s no ordinary day. But one of the most important things you can do is stay organized. The first thing I do in the morning is plan my day. And then, as the day goes on, I constantly prioritize and reprioritize my tasks. I’m always replanning my day.”

“It’s important to give updates to our clients on the progress of studies, so I have a lot of client meetings. For our full-service clients, I bring all the internal stakeholders together, like data management, buyer statistics, medical monitoring, pharmacovigilance and the regulatory departments. A lot of my job is liaising and bringing everyone together.”

Daniel started in the clinical trials industry when a friend helped him get a job doing research assistant work. Within a few months, he was promoted to a clinical research assistant position. After about five years, he moved on for an opportunity to work on an HIV study in South Africa that required moving to Cape Town. “It was quite unique — a government-to-government program with some public health aspects, so it was something different — an opportunity I had to take!”
Daniel then joined Triclinium Clinical Development, where he was seconded to the Italian Ministry of Health for three and a half years. When the study and program completed, Daniel transitioned to a project manager position with Triclinium where he remained for 10 years until the organization was acquired by FHI Clinical.
Daniel highlighted the skills he hones daily as Clinical Project Manager, which often pertain to “Organizational skills! Planning your day, organizing the stakeholders. This isn’t something that comes naturally to a lot of people — it’s a skill you develop throughout your career,” he said.
Daniel elaborated on the qualities of a successful project manager, which help him work as efficiently as possible. “Being self-motivated is really important too. You don’t have someone looking over you, so you need to be really driven to make the project work. And good communication! You need to be able to liaise with and provide information to the correct stakeholders at the right time. In summary, project management is about providing quality results in the shortest time — within budget!”
One of the things Daniel really enjoys about his job is the many cultures with which he comes in contact. “I work with people from all over the world, and all those people have different cultures. You have to realize that people have slightly different ways of doing things. You just have to have mutual respect and treat people the way that you would want to be treated. I think that’s the best way to work within different cultures. For example, you can’t take offense if people are very ‘to the point’ in their emails. It could just be a cultural difference. You get to learn that a little as you go. That’s what makes this job fun!”
When asked about the challenges of his job, Daniel says, “Clinical trials aren’t a 9-to-5 job. I work with patients and have data coming in from around the world. Issues might come up that need to be dealt with immediately, as we have very strict timelines to meet. Thankfully, at FHI Clinical, we have people around the world that can cover in most cases, but it’s still one of the most challenging — but exciting — aspects of the role.”
With such a stressful role, we talked with Daniel about tactics he uses to recharge. “I enjoy gym classes. They’re fairly short, but it’s long enough for me to feel energized again.”
Daniel earned a Bachelor of Science degree in medical cell biology and physiology from the University of the Witwatersrand. Later, he completed a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in clinical and experimental pharmacology, also from the University of the Witwatersrand.

“I love project management; I see myself being a project manager for a long time. I'm passionate about trials and passionate about public health. Every day is new, and it’s never boring. It's a fast-paced industry, and it's exciting. I’m not looking to climb the ranks in a company, but I like the idea of finding something I'm passionate about and continuing with that.”

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Meet Daniel Joffe, Senior Clinical Project Manager, Based in South Africa

Meet Daniel Joffe, Senior Clinical Project Manager at FHI Clinical. “It can be a tough job­ — but it’s the most amazing feeling when things come together, for example, when a site or study is initiated. You look back and see what we accomplished as a team. That’s the reward — when you know that all the hard work paid off. That’s what keeps me motivated.”

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