Associate Director, Federal Relations

30 Jan, 2023


Associate Director, Federal Relations

American Psychiatric Association
Washington, D.C.

The Associate Director serves as a key Federal Relations representative and lobbyist and will report to the Director, Federal Relations. The Associate Director will work independently and in collaboration with the Director, Federal Relations and the government relations team in the development and advancement of APAs federal legislative agenda, including comprehensive mental health reform, physician reimbursement, health disparities and equity, physician workforce development, mental health parity, medical research, and appropriations.


  • Collaborate with the Director and Deputy Director to develop, execute, and evaluate advocacy and lobbying strategies that advance APAs federal agenda under the direction of the Chief of Government Relations.
  • Work with Director and Federal Affairs Team, in developing, executing, and evaluating cross functional and cross organizational strategies, including program resources and staffing needs, designed to advance APAs federal legislative agenda as advised by the Chief of Government Relations.
  • Provide leadership, along with the Director and Deputy Director, in the execution of advocacy and lobbying strategies that advance APAs federal agenda.
    • Educating and lobbying key policymakers in Congress with a suitable degree of latitude, creativity, and independent decision-making
    • Initiating and recommending the development of original legislative proposals
    • Securing introduction of supportive legislation or amendments, and appropriate votes
    • Negotiating and mediating compromises to specific legislation or amendments, including on novel and complex issues
    • Developing and planning Congressional briefings
    • Drafting position papers, congressional letters, testimony or other advocacy documents
    • Collaborating with colleagues within and outside the Department of Government Relations, including APA staff subject matter experts, advocacy staff, expert member physicians, and key external stakeholders as appropriate
    • Harnessing member advocacy and engagement through grassroots strategies in collaboration State Association and District Branch leadership
    • Establishing and leading key alliances and partnerships among organizations and other third-party policy groups that share similar advocacy objectives
    • Collaborating with APAs Communications Division and Psychiatric News on media strategies regarding relevant legislation, Congressional hearings, regulations, and political developments
    • Enhancing and maintaining an effective public relations/public affairs approach, inclusive of a strong plan to strengthen the reputation of the association
  • Establish effective, trusted relationships with assigned committees of jurisdiction, other congressional offices and caucuses, and leadership within the United States Senate and House of Representatives, including Members and relevant staff of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, the House and Senate Judiciary and Veterans Affairs Committees, and the House and Senate Budget and Appropriations Committees.
  • Represents APA by initiating and maintaining effective relationships with legislative staff, as warranted, with staff of relevant federal agencies with a role in mental health (including addiction), health disparities, veterans, research, and other issues as assigned.
  • Collaborate and strategize with the Policy Division to ensure that policy and budgetary implications of relevant federal legislation, legislative proposals, are analyzed and disseminated in a timely fashion to Congress, APA leadership, APA administration staff, APA Councils and Committees, professional societies, health-care related organizations, patient advocates, and other organizations as warranted.
  • Review and comment on position letters, testimony, and legislation, Congressional hearings, designed to advance APAs federal agenda.
  • Provide strategic, expert and substantive advice when warranted to APA leadership and APA Administration, including member physicians serving on the Board of Trustees, Council on Advocacy and Government Relations (including VA Caucus) as well as other key APA components and committees, such as the Committee on Health Care Systems and Financing, the Council on Psychiatry and Law, the Council on Minority Mental Health and Health Disparities, and the Council on Addiction Psychiatry, as well as to the APA C.E.O. and Medical Director, and APA executive staff.
  • Advise APAPAC on Members of Congress who are supportive of APAs advocacy priorities.
  • Advise the Jeanne Spurlock, MD, Congressional Fellowship selection committee.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelors degree required; advanced degree in law, political science, public policy or equivalent, preferred.
  • Minimum 5 years of experience in winning federal advocacy, association management, political/issue campaigns, and some combination of specialized Hill experience and/or direct lobbying Members of Congress and their staff, as well as federal agencies.
  • Understanding of health care policy; understanding of mental health, substance use disorders, health equity, and disparities issues a plus.
  • Ability to lead, strengthen, and work independently and collaboratively as part of a high performing government relations team to positively impact the APAs federal advocacy agenda.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.

EOE, including disability/vets


Learn more here

Job posted: 2023-01-30