American Psychiatric Association
Arlington, VA

Do you have a passion for helping those experiencing mental illness and/or a substance use disorder? Are you a legislative or legal professional with state govt. relations experience and a positive results-oriented leader? The APA is looking for a talented and experienced state govt. relations professional to lead and implement APA legislative and policy goals throughout the country. Working with a superb team of regional directors, the Director will utilize his/her skills to work on behalf of our nation’s psychiatrists and advocate for the patients and families they interact with. The ideal candidate would have a graduate or law degree and significant experience in state govt. relations. If you have a passion for mental health issues and the ability to make a difference, we welcome you!

At the direction of the Chief of Government Relations, the Director of State Government Relations will be responsible for leading and managing the State Government Relations (SGA) operations of the APA, including helping to set strategy, growing and leading a team, and working closely with member physicians, State Associations (SAs)/District Branches (DBs), and other relevant internal stakeholders to ensure transparent communications around desired goals and action plans in Washington and across the nation.

Through his/her personal credibility, the Director, State Government Relations will play an important role in enhancing the APA’s public and political image. He/she will be a key APA advocate before all levels of government and in all public venues and also must be committed to publicly advancing the policy goals of APA’s membership.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Lead the APA’s State Government Relations operations (legislative and regulatory) and drive the execution of APA’s state advocacy agenda in close coordination with SA/DB leaders.

Key Supporting Tasks:

  • Direct the development and execution of SGA strategies and maximize active engagement of APA membership in close coordination with the SA/DBs. Ensure maximum, timely information flow to Chief of Government Relations, to cross-functional APA Chiefs and other appropriate Association colleagues, and to the APA’s Chief Executive Officer & Medical Director.
  • Develop strategies and solicit members input to successfully achieve the APA’s priority policy objectives and otherwise advance the interests of the APA membership. Increase member advocacy and engagement through grassroots and grasstops strategies working closely with the SA/DB leadership and develops a mechanism for member involvement and input.
  • Address the key healthcare issues that face the APA and its members, including non-physician scope of practice, drug formulary restrictions, and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other private and public healthcare delivery reforms, among others.
  • Develop and implement a multistate SGA strategy, including short and long term goals, and establishing methods of measuring the plan’s impact on the Association’s advocacy objectives.

Serve as a key contact with State Legislatures, Governors, and State Agencies, and serve as the senior SGA contact on state Relations with membership and APA staff.

Key Supporting Tasks:

  • Establish and maintain collaborative working relationships with Senior Leaders, Association members, SA/DB Executives, APA staff, and key external stakeholders.
  • In close coordination with SA/DB leaders, serve as a chief spokesperson and advocate before all venues and audiences including State legislative bodies, regulatory agencies, other public forums and the media, if appropriate.
  • Lead the APA’s transformation as a key player in the States and enhance its brand awareness and national perception.
  • Forge key alliances among organizations/third party policy groups within the industry and beyond that share similar advocacy objectives.
  • Enhance and maintain an effective public relations/public Relations approach, inclusive of a strong plan to strengthen the reputation of the association.

Manages the State Government Relations function by developing and executing a strategic plan, an annual operating budget, and directly managing the state Relations team day-to-day.

Key Supporting Tasks:

  • In conjunction with the Chief of Government Relations, develop and execute a strategic plan and annual operating budget for the SGA function, exercising fiscal discipline over the investment of the organization’s resources.
  • Participate in the review, evaluation, and improvement of the Association’s operations, financial, and staff organizational structure as it relates to SGA to ensure stability.
  • Build the best SGA team; and help manage contract lobbyists, if appropriate.
  • Recruit strong talent, to build and lead a high-performing team in a results-oriented, fast-paced environment.
  • Manages team of headquarters and field staff; sets and communicates guiding goals and measures accomplishments and provides useful feedback.
  • Provide leadership to SGA team to solve problems, develop products, represent the organization, and effectively further the priority goals of the organization.

Experience and Professional Qualifications

The Director, State Government Relations will have a minimum of 10 years of experience in winning state advocacy, association management, state policy development, political/issue campaigns, and/or lobbying. An understanding of healthcare policy is preferred, but not required. The ideal candidate will be a progressive and effective leader with the ability to lead, strengthen, and grow a high performing SGA team to positively impact the APA’s advocacy agenda. A Bachelor’s degree is required. Advanced degree(s) preferred, in law, political science, public policy or an equivalent.

Working Conditions

Office Environment



Job Posted: April 14, 2017