Director, Communications, Government and Public Affairs

09 Oct, 2017


Director, Communications, Government and Public Affairs

Horizon Pharma
Washington, DC

Horizon Pharma plc is a biopharmaceutical company focused on improving patients’ lives by identifying, developing, acquiring and commercializing differentiated and accessible medicines that address unmet medical needs.  The company markets 11 medicines through its orphan, rheumatology and primary care business units. Horizon seeks candidates who are passionate, experienced and driven to exceed expectations. Horizon offers ambitious compensation, extensive benefits including health, dental and vision, vacation and more.


Position Summary:

This position will be responsible for leading third party engagement and communication strategies and plans in support of Horizon’s public policy priorities and corporate presence in Washington, D.C., Illinois and key states; communicating complex policy concepts to broad audiences; partnering with internal stakeholders to ensure consistent messaging; and promoting awareness among key media and influencers of Horizon’s positive impact on patients and communities.

The Director, Communications, Government and Public Affairs reports to the Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Chief Communication Officer, and the Vice President, Government and Public Affairs, and interacts closely, shares goals and partners with colleagues in Horizon Pharma Government Affairs, Corporate Communications, Public Affairs, Legal, Managed Care, Patient Advocacy, Regulatory, Medical Affairs, and orphan, rheumatology, and primary care business units, among other departments.



  • Develop, implement, and manage a broad range of external communications programs and events in support of Horizon’s public policy goals
  • Anticipate challenges and obstacles that the business could face as the public policy landscape evolves
  • Actively seek out and/or create opportunities to further Horizon’s engagement in strategic public policy and corporate reputation issues; employ communication strategies to continue to position Horizon as a thought leader on   Federal  and key state issues
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with key media outlets on behalf of Horizon; proactively contact media to protect and enhance the company’s interests
  • Serve as a Horizon spokesperson
  • Increase employee awareness of the Government and Public Affairs’ department mission through creation of internal policy engagement materials to share and market the company’s policy perspectives with employees
  • Establish and foster relationships with external constituents by serving as a trusted source and educator about Horizon
  • Develop and execute a long-term engagement plan to build and maintain strategic relationships with patient advocacy organizations, provider groups, specialty and professional societies and other stakeholders focusing on key public policy issue areas including those related to unmet medical needs
  • Provide communications counsel to senior leaders on both short and long-term challenges and opportunities
  • Develop messaging and materials, including op-eds, key opinions, issue briefs, etc. as required
  • Develop creative, effective approaches to difficult communications challenges and deliver issues management programs with a public policy component; serve as key communications counselor on crisis issues
  • Partner with internal stakeholders to ensure consistency in messaging and alignment with corporate guidelines and initiatives
  • Manage a team of consultants working on a wide variety of projects
  • Monitor government affairs public relations expenditures and ensure overall spend is within approved budget allocations
  • Daily media monitoring, including Congressional and key state office social media
  • Responsible for overseeing the biweekly government affairs newsletter for internal audiences
  • Travel 10-20% of the time


Qualifications and Skills Required:

  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • Graduate degree preferred
  • 8+ years’ experience in communications
  • 4+ years’ experience in government affairs, public policy and/or corporate public affairs
  • Experience in the pharmaceutical industry a plus
  • Experience dealing with federal and state healthcare legislative, regulatory, policy, and political issues
  • Experience in public relations coalition development and grass roots/grass tops advocacy
  • Media relations experience and strong communication abilities including presentation, verbal and written skills
  • Well established relationships with Beltway reporters and media outlets
  • Attention to detail and an ability to recognize issues in the context of higher-level policies and regulations
  • Demonstrated success leading various projects that require analytical rigor and ability to make strategic recommendations based on analysis
  • Proven ability to exercise extremely high judgment and standards, particularly in narrow timeframes
  • Ability to develop strong working relationships and work collaboratively with colleagues, external stakeholders, and trade associations
  • Self-motivated with an ability to work independently as well as collaboratively from a satellite office
  • Demonstrated ability to bring ideas to action
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent planning and organizational skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Professional, proactive demeanor
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office
  • Writing samples will be required


Essential Core Competencies:

  • Action Oriented
  • Problem Solving
  • Organization
  • Functional/Technical Skills
  • Priority Setting
  • Drive for Results
  • Strategic Agility
  • Intellectual Horsepower
  • Dealing with Ambiguity


Essential Behaviors:

  • Integrity and Trust
  • Composure
  • Standing Alone


Horizon Pharma plc does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.  It is our intention that all qualified applications are given equal opportunity and that selection decisions be based on job-related factors.  Any individual, who, because of a disability, needs accommodation or assistance in completing this application or at any time during the application process, should contact the Human Resources Department.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2017-09-13