Innovation Project Leader - Kingsport, TN

Eastman is a global advanced materials and specialty additives company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With a portfolio of specialty businesses, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. Its market-driven approaches take advantage of world-class technology platforms and leading positions in attractive end-markets such as transportation, building and construction and consumables. Eastman focuses on creating consistent, superior value for all stakeholders. As a globally diverse company, Eastman serves customers in more than 100 countries and had 2016 revenues of approximately $9.0 billion. The company is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA and employs approximately 14,000 people around the world. For more information, visit


As Eastman transforms its portfolio and accelerates growth programs, the need for world class innovation project leadership is of utmost importance to ensure effective and efficient execution.   The Innovation Project Leader position resides in the Innovation Project Leader Center of Excellence and is responsible for leading growth efforts in Eastman’s most strategic growth areas and working to ensure long-term innovation project leadership capability across Eastman through best practice sharing and coaching.  The Innovation Project Leader Center of Excellence provides desirable development assignments for leaders and also serves as an attractive career path for those desiring a long-term Innovation Project Leader role.


Major Responsibilities:

Project/Program Leadership

  • Lead top corporate growth projects or programs, ensuring high quality decision making and speed of execution
  • Serve as the primary contact for project/program related inquiries and ensure consistent and clear communication at all levels
  • Drive project planning and execution by creating project plans and meaningful milestones, managing changes in team and scope, removing barriers and holding team accountable for on-time completion
  • Ensure team has necessary functional expertise, foster engagement and commitment to drive decisions and fully leverage strengths of team members
  • Collaborate across functions, including Business, Marketing, Technology, Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Legal, Engineering, etc, driving accountability and a sense of urgency


Capability Development & Coaching

  • Drive continual improvement and development of project leadership best practices and tools across Eastman
  • Coach and develop other innovation project leaders in the use of best practices and tools


Education & Experience:

  • Bachelor's or higher in an engineering or science-based field of study
  • Master’s in Business Administration preferred
  • Proven track record (5+ years) of excellent project leadership and execution in a professional work setting with appropriate outcome/decision, including leading a cross-functional team, effectively planning/scheduling and regularly communicating with internal stakeholders
  • Substantial hands-on experience with a new product development methodology and stage-gated process, either serving on cross-functional teams or preferably leading innovation projects/programs
  • Market-facing and customer engagement experience is strongly preferred


Most Critical Enabling Competencies:

  • Influential/Team Builder: Can effectively and efficiently influence global, cross-functional team members and stakeholders using hard and soft skills; Ability to develop a vision, gain buy-in, and energize a team to accomplish goals; Develop cooperative relationships with groups and individuals; Address and resolve difficult situations/conflict effectively using appropriate communication and interpersonal skills
  • Adaptable: Make timely and sound decisions under conditions of uncertainty while remaining flexible; Show resilience from failure by learning and adjusting future actions; Ability to navigate in areas where they have not had previous experiences and develop an effective competency quickly
  • Judgment: Demonstrate the ability to strategically think and assess challenges, then articulate a clear vision to overcome; Passionately objective; Ability to judge when barriers to success are too great to continue; Make judgment calls about when and why to diverge or converge and to what extreme; Effectively tailor the level and rigor of work to ensure critical hypotheses/experiments are in support of high impact choices
  • Effective Communicator: Able to write and speak effectively, clearly and confidently as dictated by circumstance and audience, including telling a compelling story and constructively delivering difficult information
  • Bias for Action: Convey a sense of urgency, drive issues to closure and persist despite obstacles or opposing viewpoints; Take a stand and resolve important issues, confronting problems early and challenging up as necessary
  • Business Acumen: Can provide relevant financial analysis and understand business implications of  project/program; Identify and anticipate customer needs consistent with business strategy, creates value for customers by asking why and what if


Eastman Chemical Company is an equal opportunity employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status or any other characteristics protected by law.

Eastman is  committed to creating a powerfully diverse workforce and a broadly inclusive workplace, where everyone can contribute to their fullest potential each day.

Eastman Chemical
Full time
Kingsport, TN, Tennessee 37660, US