Director, Government Relations – Animal Health

07 Feb, 2021


Director, Government Relations – Animal Health

Washington, DC

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, linking animals and people for a smarter future. This role will have responsibility for working closely with the animal health public policy team and federal government relations team, engaging with Congress, USDA, FDA and other areas of the administration on issues important to our business and our customers businesses.

This role will have primary responsibility for establishing and maintaining robust networks with government relations staff in organizations and companies who represent our customers such as producer groups, protein processors, and veterinarians. This role is accountable for identifying opportunities to collaborate through coalitions or other means to advance legislative and other policy initiatives important to our Company’s Animal Health division and our customers. Issue areas covered may include but are not limited to animal health and welfare, one health and zoonoses, sustainability, animal traceability, biotechnology, precision livestock agriculture, animal monitoring, and telehealth, at the federal level.

Position Overview:

  • Develop and maintain close relationships with government affairs staff at trade associations and organizations representing our Company’s Animal Health customers
  • Build connections with companies and industries outside of the traditional animal health sector.
  • Leverage relationships and networks to advance scientific and evidence-based policies that impact our business and deliver value for our customers.
  • Direct animal health team to review and manage engagement on cross-cutting Presidential or Administration actions, orders, or legislative actions.
  • Develop and lead implementation of the strategy for federal government engagement collaborating with multiple teams to ensure our Company’s unified voice for congressional and administrative meetings on behalf of our Company’s Animal Health division.
  • Work with the public policy team to enhance the company’s role and presence in the federal policy process, including the development of federal legislation, regulation or administrative guidance.
  • Maintain expert knowledge of evolving policy and political issues that impact our business and customers.
  • Manage company input and direction to the Animal Health Institute which represents the animal health industry regarding legislative engagement strategy on industry priorities.

Key Qualifications & Skills:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Public Policy, Law, Public Administration, Business or a related field with ten or more years of relevant experience.
  • Experience working in a relevant position within the federal government or for a corporation, trade association, or non-profit organization that develops policy and lobbies.
  • Preferred experience working with the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Senate Health Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, or House or Senate Agriculture Committees.

Application requirements

Please note – a cover letter is required for this application submission.


  • Excellent relationship building and networking; strong interpersonal skills
  • Political advocacy and lobbying
  • Passion for animal health and well being
  • Demonstrated written and verbal communication skills
  • Demonstrated familiarity with the Congressional process and with key agencies regulatory processes
  • Strong strategic thinker with realization of how larger economic and public policy landscape impacts business priorities
  • A demonstrated capacity for leadership, communication and teamwork
  • Strong experience in policy development, relationship building, political communications and messaging
  • Work collaboratively with a diverse group of internal and external stakeholders
  • Demonstrates high ethical standards

Our Support Functions deliver services and make recommendations about ways to enhance our workplace and the culture of our organization. Our Support Functions include HR, Finance, Information Technology, Legal, Procurement, Administration, Facilities and Security.

Who we are …

We are known as Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, New Jersey, USA in the United States and Canada and MSD everywhere else. For more than a century, we have been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. Today, our company continues to be at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions and advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and animals around the world.

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.





In accordance with Managers’ Policy – Job Posting and Employee Placement, all employees subject to this policy are required to have a minimum of twelve (12) months of service in current position prior to applying for open positions.

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.

US and Puerto Rico Residents Only:

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Job posted: 2021-02-06