Director, External Communications

17 Oct, 2019


Director, External Communications

USP Pharmacopeia
Rockville, MD

Job Description

The U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) is an independent scientific nonprofit organization focused on building trust in the world’s medicines, dietary supplements and foods through the development of quality standards and related education and training programs. Founded in 1820, the work of USP has helped patients, prescribers, pharmacists to have confidence in medicines in order to improve the public’s health. In addition, we work with governments in middle and low-income countries to strengthen regulatory systems and with pharmaceutical manufacturers to help assure medicine quality. USP’s drug standards are enforceable in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration, and these standards are also used in more than 140 countries. In addition to our Rockville, MD location, USP has offices in the US, India, China, Brazil, Switzerland, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Our 1,200 staff are driven by our vision of a world in which all people have access to high quality, safe, and beneficial medicines and foods. We approach this vision with a sense of urgency and purpose, strengthened by the dedication of some of the world’s leading scientists who volunteer their time to the standards-setting process, over 500 organizations represented in the USP Convention, and USP’s diverse and motivated staff working around the world.

We are seeking a strategic and creative communications leader to join our team to drive dialogue and advocacy for quality medicines, dietary supplements, food and healthcare with policymakers in Congress, federal agencies and state governments; while also establishing partnerships and coalitions with allied stakeholder groups and policy influencers.

Summary of the Position

The Director, External Communications is responsible for building and strengthening the USP enterprise messaging and positioning and developing and implementing the enterprise strategic communications plan. The incumbent will provide leadership and direction to USP’s global communications team to develop and implement plans that drive awareness of the organization with priority audiences, ensuring clear, consistent, and fully aligned messaging. The Director will need to clearly convey USP’s key messages and positions in ways that will be meaningful to a large and diverse group of audiences. The primary purposes of this position are to: plan and direct external communications activities for the organization in alignment with and support of USP’s mission, vision and goals; enhance the reputation and raise the organization profile in the US and around the world. 2020 marks the 200 th anniversary of USP, and this position will play an important role in the implementation of the organization’s though leadership platform to commemorate this milestone. The organization will also be increasing its work to advocate for strong medicines quality systems in places around the world while guarding against efforts to weaken medicines quality systems.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Provides leadership, training, performance management and direction to the communications team, who will be responsible for raising USP’s visibility with key audiences.
  • Sets the strategy for communications by developing an annual plan to reach organizational objectives and solicits buy-in from important internal stakeholders.
  • Leads the development of targeted campaigns that support enterprise branding and reputation as well as individual programs within USP in priority areas such as pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, food ingredients, global public health and others.
  • Develops and maintains comprehensive messaging for USP and its program units, ensuring alignment and consistency. Develops staff training programs and materials to ensure organizational competency in accurately deploying messaging. Works with media relations manager to ensure accurate messaging in reporter engagement.
  • Maintains relationships with external reporters covering healthcare and pharmaceuticals globally to ensure USP is positioned as a global health organization.
  • Is opportunistic in advancing USP’s goals and objectives through all communications channels (owned, earned, shared, paid).
  • Oversees the production of content, including news releases, media advisories and alerts, fact sheets, white papers, blogs, videos and other materials.
  • Develops a crisis communications plan, regularly reviews the plan, and educates and trains USP staff on, media-related crisis communication plans in the event of a physical or other emergency—including coordination with local public health and safety officials.
  • Develops editorial calendar mapped to organizational and programmatic objectives.
  • Partners with Marketing Communications, Digital and Creative to ensure message alignment and impact.
  • Partners with internal communications team especially in areas of message alignment and developing employee awareness of USP branding, i.e. developing internal brand champions.
  • Provides relevant metrics and tracking data related to communications activities in order to recommend ongoing strategies, evaluate processes and create efficiencies within the team.
  • Serve as a spokesperson for USP when appropriate.

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in communications or a related field and a minimum of ten years of corporate communications or public affairs experience
  • Minimum of five years of supervisory experience overseeing exempt level staff

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in public health or global health and/or private sector pharmaceutical or life sciences
  • Proven, experienced leader with superior coaching and team development skills
  • Solid understanding of branding and reputation management
  • Advocacy communications experience with demonstrated abilities in policy change, issues advocacy, coalition building and other important aspects of advocacy campaigns
  • Experienced at using market research and best practices to build support for recommended strategies and plans
  • Must have exceptional verbal and written communications skills. Proven capability to interact productively and collaboratively across departments and at all levels of the organization. Comfortable in a matrix organization, building influence across multiple teams
  • Results driven with demonstrated successful outcomes

Supervisory Responsibilities

Supervise / Direct Reports – 4 Employees, including a Senior Strategic Communications Manager, 2 Strategic Communications Managers, and a Sr. Communications Manager for Media Relations

USP offers an impressive benefits package , including:

  • Generous paid time off – 13 paid holidays, 10 sick days and 15 vacation days per year to start
  • An annual 401(k) contribution, beginning after 1 year of service, of 10% of pay (base and bonus) every pay period that vests immediately
  • Comprehensive individual and family healthcare plans with affordable premiums and low annual deductibles ($250/individual or $500/family)

The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) is a scientific nonprofit organization that sets standards for the identity, strength, quality, and purity of medicines, food ingredients, and dietary supplements manufactured, distributed and consumed worldwide. USP’s drug standards are enforceable in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration, and these standards are used in more than 140 countries.

Being a part of USP means belonging to a diverse culture made up of more than 1,000 talented professionals working together at five international locations. We share our expertise in science, IT, human resources, quality assurance, communications, administrative management, and more…all to support an overall mission dedicated to making a difference by providing standards and programs that help improve the quality of medicines, dietary supplements, and foods worldwide.

USP is proud to be an equal employment opportunity employer (EEOE) and affirmative action employer. Employment selection and related decisions are made without regard to sex, race, age, disability, religion, national origin, color, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other protected class. We are committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities.

USP does not accept unsolicited resumes from 3rd party recruitment agencies and is not responsible for fees from recruiters or other agencies except under specific written agreement with USP.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2019-10-17