Executive Director, North America Public Policy & Government Relations, Animal Health

02 Feb, 2023


Executive Director, North America Public Policy & Government Relations, Animal Health

Washington D.C.
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Job Description


Our Animal Health Policy & Communications team collaborate with governments and policy organizations at local and national levels. We address legislative and regulatory issues that promote and protect the discovery of innovative medicine, vaccines and animal health products while improving and protecting patient access to care. We take great care to monitor and manage the reputation of our company communicating the work we do to improve lives.


This position is the lead for developing and executing public policy and government relations activities in line with the North America (U.S. and Canada) business as well as State Government Affairs.  This position will report directly to the Associate Vice President of Global Animal Health Public Policy and Government Relations with a dotted line of reporting into the Senior Vice President for North America and sit on the Leadership Teams of both Animal Health Global Public Policy and North America business. Direct reports of the North America Public Policy & Government Relations team sit on additional leadership teams across the U.S. and Canada.


The scope of the business portfolio includes all species of livestock, poultry, aquaculture, equine and companion animal across every product portfolio—vaccines, antibiotics, anti-parasiticides, reproduction and growth promotion. In addition to biopharma, this position will be responsible for overseeing the strategic development of the intelligence product and solutions portfolio, which will include stakeholders outside of the animal health biopharma industry.


This role will oversee the strategic engagement and execution of legislative and regulatory policies in the U.S. federal, state as well as some work in Canada.  The issue areas will include but are not limited to animal health and welfare, food safety, trade, sustainability, traceability and monitoring and data policy.


Primary activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Partners with the North American leadership team and key stakeholders towards building successful business strategies driving over $2 billion in annual revenue.
  • Lead a multi-faceted team that works at the U.S. state and federal levels, within the DC-based Embassy community, as well as multi-lateral organizations such as the regional representatives at the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH).
  • Engage across the complex animal health eco-system with diverse customer and specie (cattle, swine, aqua, poultry, small animal, equine) strategies across bio-pharma and technology business approaches.
  • Lead policy engagement on business priorities for Canada including working through Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI), and relevant external stakeholder groups and government officials.
  • Lead with a strategic and enterprise-wide mindset by collaborating with other business functions and regions of the business to develop and execute regional strategic priorities in line with business priorities.
  • Position the business and advocate on issues related to digital, data and technology including stakeholder analysis, engagement, and management.
  • Represent the company in trade associations such as the Animal Health Institute (AHI), manage the relationships with key customer and food/ag industry policy/trade associations and business groups.
  • Reputation management as One Company including both human and animal health.
  • Partner with other animal health policy regional and country leads and multi-lateral to develop global strategies for execution in North America region to achieve a business objective or reputational need.
  • Prepare regional budget, manage external consultants, and exhibit a high level of financial acumen.
  • Management of a team of policy professionals as well as consultants.
  • Provide regional input into enterprise-wide strategic activities and priority setting.
  • Serve as the lead for the Animal Health business on our company’s PAC and handling lobbying disclosure management.



  • Bachelor’s Degree required


Required Experience and Skills:

  • Demonstrate a high level of strategic thinking as well as project management simultaneously across multiple levels of government and stakeholder priorities to align with business objectives.
  • Understands the animal health business needs and partners across the business to ensure success.
  • Ability to manage a high performing team, provide feedback and create development opportunities that align to the business.
  • Lead initiatives for DE&I with our key external stakeholders to further develop future talent.
  • Exhibit leadership style with a high level of collaboration at all levels and across both internal and external stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated commitment to science and rules-based policy decision making with a full business enterprise mindset.
  • Contribute strategic thinking and policy acumen to develop enterprise-wide strategy.
  • Ability to understand the dynamics of the external environment and translate to effective communication on business impact and opportunities.
  • Engage and communicate at the highest levels across multiple stakeholder groups, including internal senior leadership.
  • Operate at the highest levels of ethics and compliance.
  • 10 or more years’ experience in public policy and government relations in a trade association, government or business.
  • People management experience (managing a team of 4-5 people).
  • Experience in a trade association, government or business.


Preferred Experience and Skills:

  • Advanced degree in veterinary medicine or technology field or related fields of study.
  • Ability to operate with flexibility in a matrix work environment.
  • Knowledge of key public policy issues in food, innovation, digital.


Our Animal Health Division is a trusted global leader in veterinary medicine, dedicated to preserving and improving health, well-being, and performance of animals and the people who care for them. We are a global team of professionals working together to make a positive difference in animal care and the world’s food supply and have a deep sense of responsibility towards our customers, consumers, animals, society, and our planet.

Through our commitment to The Science of Healthier Animals®, we offer veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest ranges of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services as well as an extensive suite of digitally connected identification, traceability and monitoring products. We invest in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. We are present in more than 50 countries, while our products are available in some 150 markets.


Who we are …

We are known as Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, 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 …

Imagine getting up in the morning for a job as important as helping to save and improve lives around the world. Here, you have that opportunity. You can put your empathy, creativity, digital mastery, or scientific genius to work in collaboration with a diverse group of colleagues who pursue and bring hope to countless people who are battling some of the most challenging diseases of our time. Our team is constantly evolving, so if you are among the intellectually curious, join us—and start making your impact today.



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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.

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Job posted: 2023-02-02