Director, Animal Health State Public Policy and Government Relations

24 Aug, 2020


Director, Animal Health State Public Policy and Government Relations

De Soto, KS

Job Description

Our Company’s Animal Health division is a diverse business, offering pharmaceutical and biological products for all animal species.  With recent acquisitions, our Company’s Animal Health division expanded into technology solutions, connecting animals and people for a smarter future. This role will have responsibility for directing the development and execution of public policy work as it relates to our Company’s Animal Health division and technology businesses within North America (U.S. and Canada).
The role will have responsibility for public policy initiatives for the core Animal Health business as well as for our technology-enabled solutions, directing issues management via engagement on regulatory reform and the legislative process, working with stakeholders via direct relationships, coalitions, and trade associations. Issue areas covered may include but are not limited to animal health, one health and zoonoses, animal welfare, sustainability, animal traceability, biotechnology, precision agriculture, animal monitoring, and telehealth, at the state and national level.
Please note: The individual selected can work remotely.
Key Functions:
  • Responsible for state and regional relationships across the entire Animal Health North American business, working to position the company as a leader and trusted partner with political champions and industry partners in advocacy.
  • Lead ongoing collaboration with Animal Health North American business
    leaders and other internal teams to understand policy needs and opportunities that align with business strategies.
  • Manage and lead policy team in providing animal health-related guidance to U.S. State Government Affairs team, and including tracking of budget, timelines and deliverables for key state government affairs projects and affiliations with trade associations.
  • Lead engagement with all North American manufacturing and research & development sites in coordination with the state government affairs team and other internal stakeholders.
  • Develop and direct execution on a proactive and reactive state legislative agenda creating new policy frameworks to
    support our current animal health product portfolio as well as future products and services, whether technology solutions or new medicines.
  • Leverage a grassroots advocacy strategy to contribute to federal legislative and regulatory priorities.
  • Serve on business integration teams for North America, as Animal Health continues to expand, ensuring public policy strategy is leveraged and incorporated to drive business growth.
  • Contribute to building a proactive, credible political profile and positions on new technologies developed in animal health.
  • Develop, maintain, and leverage external stakeholder relationships to influence and advance policies relevant to our business and our customers’ priorities, including trade associations, professional societies, key customers and policy thought leaders.
  • Steer the state government affairs committees in the various animal health, business, and technology trade associations providing guidance and direction to trade association staff and consultants.
  • Manage political engagement and economic development organization engagement related to Animal Health.
  • Manage other related projects effectively and efficiently, including assist other team members as appropriate.
  • Prepare and support the development of communications for several audience levels – peers, colleagues, customers, management, and senior executives (e.g. executive briefings)
Necessary Qualifications:
  • Seven years professional experience in state-specific policy, regulatory affairs, or legislative engagement Advanced degree (e.g. Masters, J.D., DVM).
  • Demonstrated expertise in animal health policy, including knowledge of relevant regulatory and legislative framework.
  • Experience developing policy engagement strategies and directing successful execution of tactics to deliver on set objectives.
  • Demonstrated strong written and verbal communication skills, especially in providing targeted, concise communication about complex and nuanced issues.
  • Demonstrated strong public speaking and presentation skills.
  • Experience working with senior leadership and high-profile industry stakeholders as well as members of state legislatures and government.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage cross-functional projects, coordinate diverse input, and ability to work under pressure and react quickly to changing situations.
  • Manage several projects at any one time and yet demonstrates clear focus on top objectives and priorities as required by the business and public policy team
  • Able to take ownership of and drive projects forward to ensure timely completion.
  • Willing to travel up to 50% time

Our Animal Health division is a trusted global leader in veterinary medicine, dedicated to the health and well-being of animals. We are a global team of professionals working together to make a positive difference in animal care and the world’s food supply and have a deep sense of responsibility towards our customers, consumers, animals, society and our planet. We offer one of our industry’s most innovative portfolio of products, services and technologies that serve to prevent, treat, and control diseases across all major farm and companion animal species.

Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, New Jersey, USA is known as “Merck” in the United States, Canada & Puerto Rico. We are known as “MSD” in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America & Asia Pacific. We are a global biopharmaceutical leader with a diverse portfolio of prescription medicines, oncology, vaccines and animal health products.

We are driven by our purpose to develop and deliver innovative products that save and improve lives. With 69,000 employees operating in more than 140 countries, we offer state of the art laboratories, plants and offices that are designed to Inspire our employees as we learn, develop and grow in our careers. We are proud of our 125 years of service to humanity and continue to be one of the world’s biggest investors in Research & Development.

What we look for …

In a world of rapid innovation, we seek brave Inventors who want to make an Impact in all aspects of our business, enabling breakthroughs that will affect generations to come. We encourage you to bring your disruptive thinking, collaborative spirit and diverse perspective to our organization. Together we will continue Inventing For Life, Impacting Lives while Inspiring Your Career Growth.





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If you have been offered a separation benefits package but have not yet reached your separation date and are offered a position within the salary and geographical parameters as set forth in the Summary Plan Description (SPD) of your separation package, then you are no longer eligible for your separation benefits package. To discuss in more detail, please contact your HRBP or Talent Acquisition Advisor.

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Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA, also known as Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Kenilworth, NJ, USA, does not accept unsolicited assistance from search firms for employment opportunities. All CVs / resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at our company without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of our company.  No fee will be paid in the event a candidate is hired by our company as a result of an agency referral where no pre-existing agreement is in place. Where agency agreements are in place, introductions are position specific. Please, no phone calls or emails.

Employee Status:



No relocation

VISA Sponsorship:

Travel Requirements:

Flexible Work Arrangements:

Remote Work


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Number of Openings:


Requisition ID:R69412

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Job posted: 2020-08-24