Director, Federal Government Relations

07 Apr, 2021


Director, Federal Government Relations

California Life Sciences Institute
Washington, DC

About California Life Sciences Association:

California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) is the state’s largest and most influential life sciences advocacy and business leadership organization. With offices in Sacramento, San Diego, South San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington DC, CLSA works closely with industry, government, academia and others to shape public policy, improve access to innovative technologies and grow California’s life sciences economy. CLSA serves biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostics companies, research universities and institutes, investors and service providers throughout the Golden State.

CLSA currently offers a full suite of team member benefits including medical, dental, and vision insurance, LTD, STD and Group Life insurance, 401(k) plans with matching, FSA and HSA options and a generous paid time off and paid holiday schedule.

CLSA is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit and business needs.

Summary of Responsibilities:

The Director, Federal Government Relations is a full-time, DC-based position. The position will support and engage in direct legislative and  policy education and advocacy activities with members of the California delegation and their staff, as well as other legislative and committee offices and federal departments, offices and agencies. This includes assisting in the design and execution of comprehensive advocacy strategies to deliver on CLSA priorities across a range of policies impacting the organization and our membership’s ability to conduct and grow their businesses. The Director will identify legislative and regulatory opportunities, analyze their impact and develop strategies to advocate for and achieve results.

Primary responsibilities of the Director, Federal Government Relations include:

  • Support and provide recommendations on the expansion and implementation of outreach/education and legislative advocacy
  • Build and maintain alliances with CLSA member companies and organizations, partner associations and other affiliate
  • Proactively evaluate legislative and regulatory environment for potential impacts on California’s life sciences ecosystem, while staying apprised of high-level business goals to assess impacts to member companies from federal legislative, executive and regulatory activities.
  • Provide recommendations on legislative, executive, and regulatory activities important to CLSA while developing and successfully implementing strategies in consultation with relevant internal and external staff, and when appropriate, in cooperation with outside coalitions and trade associations.
  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with Members of Congress and their staff, the Administration and White House important to CLSA’s goals and objectives.
  • Assist with increasing management and business unit understanding of and participation in the federal policymaking and political process. Collaborate with business units on critical issues, utilizing executives and internal experts to advance CLSA’s positions. Gain appropriate cross-functional and business input to federal policy and legislative advocacy positions when appropriate.
  • Provide rapid legislative and regulatory analysis and policy briefing papers, backgrounders and other communications to CLSA Membership and California Delegation on topics affecting the state’s biomedical and life sciences

Job Details:

Federal Legislative/Policy Duties

  • Track, monitor and report on policy, regulatory and legislative-related issues and updates relevant to CLSA’s federal policy agenda and membership
  • Manage policy portfolio and participate in related calls, meetings and events held by partner associations, other outside stakeholders and others as
  • Develop and manage communications to CLSA membership and California Delegation and other offices, departments and agencies regarding CLSA positions on federal legislation and policies, including “Breaking News” alerts, and preparing materials for individual company or organization use when engaging with local Members of Congress and/or S. Senators.

Outreach/Education Programs

  • Develop and implement collaborative CLSA member- and alliance stakeholder-supported programs illustrating the importance of biomedical research and innovation to improvements in healthcare, economic growth and job creation, in collaboration with other CLSA advocacy team members.
  • Direct the organization of Capitol Hill briefings, roundtables and facility tours with congressional offices, in collaboration with other CLSA advocacy team members.
  • Assist with development of targeted web and social media education and advocacy opportunities (e.g. Twitter, Facebook and CLSA blog postings; provide necessary legislative information for press releases; post live updates during Hill briefings ).


  • Support membership relations and business development
  • Solicit sponsorships to support CLSA events and programs hosted in Washington, DC (including but not limited to Annual Spring Reception and Visionary Awards/Welcome Dinner, End of Year Reception, New Delegation Member Life Sciences Roundtable, etc.) in collaboration with other CLSA advocacy team members.
  • May oversee the work product of other CLSA advocacy staff as appropriate and be called upon to act as a mentor for less experienced colleagues where appropriate.


  • Uses broad experience to resolve complex issues in creative and effective
  • Exercises independent judgment in selecting methods, techniques and evaluation criteria for obtaining
  • Makes independent decisions on a daily
  • Demonstrates leadership with project teams within function, across functions and with external
  • Utilizes rapid policy analysis to respond effectively to the needs of CLSA members and the
  • Reports to a Senior Advocacy team member who may provide input on selection of personal goals and strategic
  • May supervise day-to-day tasks and work of other professional-level
  • Acts as a professional representative of the organization with external
  • Must register as a federal
  • Models CLSA’s values including: a disciplined focus, integrity, teamwork, respect, quality of work and ownership.

Background and Experience:

  • Direct experience on Capitol Hill strongly preferred, working for a member of Congress or committee of jurisdiction with a strong preference for a member of the California delegation.
  • Political or issue campaign experience preferred.
  • Strong network of relationships in Congress, with at least five (5) years of experience in the federal legislative arena required.
  • Substantive experience with the federal legislative process for healthcare policy and interplay with executive branch policymaking; strong understanding of the political context in which the biopharmaceutical/Life Sciences industry operates; working understanding of policies fundamental to ensuring patients have access to the medicines of today and tomorrow.
  • Must possess the ability to master complex policy and legislative issues and to shape and improve legislation to incorporate CLSA’s views and enhance CLSA’s reputation with key policymakers.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; degree in related major
  • Innovative, energetic, entrepreneurial, and resourceful; diplomatic, intuitive, inquisitive and mature; willing to offer opinions, suggestions and judgments that are supported by sound logic.
  • Must demonstrate subject matter expertise in functional
  • Excellent verbal, written and digital communication
  • Utilizes initiative to problem solve and succeed in evolving environments; strong collaboration and negotiating skills
  • Demonstrated record of sound political judgment and
  • Strong teamwork, project management and analytical/problem solving
  • Availability to support and attend frequent early morning and late evening events (with advance notice).

Disclaimer: This job is currently to be performed remotely but will return to an office setting as state and local COVID-19-rerestrictions are lifted. This job description reflects the requirements of the position in a normal environment and while certain responsibilities may be adjusted to provide for a safe working environment during COVID-19, CLSA plans to follow state and local guidelines for reinstating normal business activities when appropriate. At such time, the responsibilities outlined herein will be required by the successful candidate.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2021-04-07