Director, Congressional Relations

29 Apr, 2019


Director, Congressional Relations

American Association for Cancer Research
Washington, DC

Organizational Profile:

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), with more than 42,000 members residing in 120 countries, is the first and largest organization in the world dedicated to advances in all areas of high-quality, innovative cancer research. Its mission is to prevent and cure all cancers.  The programs and activities of the AACR foster the exchange of new knowledge among scientists and physicians in the cancer field as well as in related sciences. AACR publishes eight peer-reviewed scientific journals and an award-winning magazine for cancer patients and their loved ones; convenes topical scientific conferences and an annual meeting that draws more than 22,600 participants; offers educational workshops that train young investigators in a variety of scientific and clinical areas; funds fellowships, career development awards, and research grants for both senior and junior investigators; raises public awareness of the progress in and reasons for hope in the biology, detection, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer; engages actively in advocacy for increased federal research funding and other national policies that accelerate progress against cancer; and interacts with regulatory agencies to support regulatory science and policy.

Job Summary:

Under the leadership of the AACR Chief Policy Officer and Vice President, Science Policy and Government Affairs, the Director, Congressional Relations will provide specialized expertise and support to AACR leaders, including the Science Policy and Government Affairs Committee, its relevant subcommittees, and our broader partners in the community to further the goals of the AACR’s Vision 2020 Strategic Plan and its policy priorities, which include programs and activities that are designed to create and strengthen the dialogue between policymakers on Capitol Hill, cancer scientists and physicians, and advocates. The Director, Congressional Relations will play a key role in informing and educating legislators and their staffs on Capitol Hill about evidence-based policies to accelerate advances in cancer research.  These potential policy proposals are recommended by the AACR Science Policy and Government Affairs Committee and approved by the AACR Board of Directors on behalf of the collective membership of the AACR.

The Director, Congressional Relations plays a central role in the success of AACR’s work on Capitol Hill and guides AACR policy activities to a productive conclusion. This staff member provides real-time information, analysis, and expert oversight of legislative issues and pending bills related to the cancer field, and reports on their status and potential to the Chief Policy Officer and Vice President, Science Policy and Government Affairs, the CEO, other AACR officers, AACR committee members, and AACR members at large.  The Director, Congressional Relations focuses on initiatives that inform policymakers about the value and importance of cancer research in improving public health and saving lives from cancer.

The Director, Congressional Relations is charged with promoting AACR position statements on Capitol Hill, including in the areas of appropriations, science and health policy-related initiatives, tobacco and cancer recommendations, and regulatory science and policy-related topics.  Additionally, the Director, Congressional Relations will identify ways to incorporate AACR’s policy proposals into pending legislation, such as into bills that are focused on cancer health disparities research, survivorship, and clinical trial-related issues, among other topics.

The Director, Congressional Relations functions as a representative of the AACR when making regular contacts with Congressional offices, survivor and patient advocacy organizations that have concerns about Congressional legislation and activities, and other relevant and appropriate bodies that are integral to the field, including our nation’s cancer centers.  He/she develops effective strategies that encourage members of the Congress and their staffs to consult with the AACR and its expert members on important matters related to cancer and funding for cancer research.  Also, the Director, Congressional Relations helps to plan and oversee the activities of AACR members when they are on Capitol Hill and are engaged in public education activities on cancer research and the related sciences.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

•Provide direction and support for AACR’s Congressional-related activities and priorities, in terms of providing advice, establishing needs assessments, outlining strategies for implementation, and carrying them out to successful completion.

•Identify areas of importance for the AACR on Capitol Hill.

•Support committee and task force activities, including coordinating meetings on Capitol Hill and providing background materials for participants.

•Work collaboratively with other staff members in the AACR DC office, including the Director, Regulatory Science and Policy; the Director, Science and Health Policy; and the Director, Strategic Patient Advocacy and Engagement, particularly on the numerous policy issues that are cross-cutting and that encompass a Congressional aspect.

•Monitor, analyze, and assess legislation as it pertains to AACR’s policy priorities.

•Prepare Congressional testimony and contribute policy articles for AACR’s monthly policy newsletter, the annual AACR Cancer Progress Report, and the AACR Cancer Disparities Progress Report to help inform AACR members, cancer organizations, targeted individuals, and other groups.

•Help shape special sessions and briefings to educate Members of Congress and their staffs about important pending legislation and issues affecting cancer research.

•Keep abreast of the scientific programs of the AACR and consider policy and Congressional implications where appropriate.

•Develop and maintain strong working relationships on Capitol Hill, as well as with the Congressional Affairs staff at other relevant organizations, coalitions, and alliances.

•Establish relationships and collaborate with other AACR staff members who work in other relevant areas, including program development, communications and public relations, scientific and lay publications.

•Attend and report on relevant Congressional meetings and activities.

•Manage direct reports to achieve the AACR’s legislative goals.

Position Requirements:

•An advanced degree in science, public policy, or public health/public administration preferred, such as a Master’s Degree in Public Health or Public Administration.

•Ten (10) years of relevant experience in Congressional affairs with experience on Capitol Hill and expertise with the political process.

•Excellent written and oral communication skills, with a demonstrated ability to craft compelling messages for AACR member audiences and policymakers.

•Knowledge of or familiarity with science, medical research, and/or public health

•Experience in managing direct reports.

•Proven ability to navigate the legislative process.

•A self-starter with creativity, initiative, and demonstrated problem-solving abilities.

•Relationships with government agencies, legislative bodies, and coalitions; strong connections with key policymakers on Capitol Hill preferred.

•Very good analytical skills that strengthen research advocacy and policy messages to Congress.

•High degree of judgment and insight.

•Ability to carry through to completion important initiatives and/or projects on Capitol Hill.

•Ability to analyze complex political and policy issues.

•Ability to interact, negotiate, and work with AACR leaders, including the CEO, Science Policy and Government Affairs Committee members, relevant subcommittee members, prominent scientists, and Administration and Congressional officials on complex matters related to cancer research.

•Proficiency in PC, word processing, Excel and other database programs.

How To Apply:

Please submit your cover letter and resume (including salary history) to:

Attn: Human Resources

615 Chestnut Street, 17th Floor

Philadelphia, PA 19106


Fax: (215) 440-1045

Equal Opportunity Employer

Job posted: 2019-04-29