Executive Director of State Government Affairs, Government Affairs & Policy

06 May, 2019


Executive Director of State Government Affairs, Government Affairs & Policy

Gilead Sciences
Foster City, CA

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Job Description

Executive Director of State Government Affairs, Government Affairs & Policy

Gilead Sciences

The Role

The Executive Director, State Government Affairs (ED) will have primary responsibility for developing and executing comprehensive government affairs strategies to advance Gilead’s interests with legislatures across priority states. He/She is responsible for monitoring, shaping and/or responding to state legislation and regulations affecting Gilead through the development of rigorous and proactive strategies, processes and programs. The ED must demonstrate thorough knowledge of domestic government policies that impact the pharmaceutical industry, as well as knowledge of how governments make decisions and what types of input can help shape those decisions. The ED will also need to show proficiency in building strong partnerships with internal stakeholders, including Commercial, Legal, Finance, and other key functions.

Reporting to the Vice President of Government Affairs, the ED will serve as a key advisor in support of new and existing business opportunities for Gilead Sciences . He/She will regularly engage with company executives and the Operating Group to ensure alignment of legislative and regulatory advocacy strategies with business needs and will be a part of the global Government Affairs and Policy leadership team. As such, the ED will be exposed to global issues facing the company, and also be expected to coordinate some activities and strategies with international colleagues, but also to share challenges and best practices internationally.

The role requires the integration of political, policy and government affairs expertise to develop and execute effective strategies. Partnering and coordinating closely with the company executives, as well as with relevant trade associations(including PhRMA and BIO and their state government affairs committees), coalitions, patient groups, or other key stakeholders, the ED will lead efforts to use public policy and advocacy tools at the state and local level to protect and advance the interests of the company. He/She will develop a state government affairs strategic plan and tactical implementation measures that are integrated with the company’s broader government affairs program which encompasses legislative and regulatory matters.

The ED will have responsibility for cultivating and maintaining effective relationships on behalf of the company with key policy makers and opinion leaders. As the leader of the company’s state government affairs team, the ED will effectively manage and lead a team of six state government affairs professionals as well as outside consultants to advance the goals of the company with respect to complicated public policy issues. They will also ensure that Gilead is effectively and strategically involved with other business groups and coalitions.

They will also take a forward-looking approach toward market-shaping trends and emerging pipeline needs to pro-actively identify new stakeholders for pro-active engagement. The new ED will be expected to ensure that Gilead is appropriately involved in, and shaping, the public policy debates affecting its interests and businesses. As such, they will be an advocate and spokesperson for the company and the industry and will be expected to represent Gilead with knowledge, persuasion, distinction and enthusiasm.

Responsibilities Include, But Are Not Limited To

  • Leading the State Government Affairs team and external consultants, overseeing the identification of issues and development of proactive plans and objectives, policies and strategies on priority issues before state legislatures, with a particular focus on priority states as identified by Management. It will be incumbent on the ED to create a favorable policy environment for Gilead through positively impacting public policy, legislation and regulations.
  • Set the strategic direction and specific objectives for the State Government Affairs team. Ensures that business priorities are integrated into Gilead’s policies and positions. Ensures that comprehensive and rigorous government affairs strategies fully take into account legislative, executive and regulatory options including direct advocacy, third-party and think tank engagement, creative policy approaches and opportunities to engage the public.
  • Works cross-functionally with the Government Affairs and Policy (GA&P) Leadership Team to ensure that State Government Affairs activities support the overall GA&P strategy, and are fully aligned with brand and business priorities.
  • Represents Gilead on state government affairs issues with key third-party groups and trade associations such as PhRMA and BIO. Leads development of Gilead Sciences briefing materials on state government affairs issues for executive engagement for trade association board meetings.

Candidate Profile

For this critical role, we require an individual with significant experience in public policy and state government relations. The person selected must be a highly effective strategic thinker and tactical implementer with a history of delivering results in the area of government affairs, ideally in a sophisticated corporate environment. Given the complexity and highly regulated nature of Gilead’s business, the successful candidate should have substantive experience in both the regulatory and legislative arenas. Ideally the new ED will have previous experience in the pharmaceutical industry, though knowledge of other highly regulated sectors, which could include Financial Services, Technology and Consumer Healthcare may also be considered.

It will be imperative that the candidate partner and coordinate closely with the company’s senior executives, business leaders, and legal and compliance teams. They will be highly skilled at anticipating, identifying and addressing emerging public policy issues and related risks that could affect Gilead. They will be comfortable with communicating complex ideas to other audiences and developing buy-in among other relevant functions. The ED will assess public policy issues and develop and implement comprehensive plans to both protect and advance the interests of the company. Because the role is responsible for leading government relations activities at the state and local levels, the individual should have a broad perspective, understanding the potential complex implications government affairs and policy issues may have on an entity that operates in many jurisdictions across the country.

The ED must be skilled at building bipartisan relationships and advancing an agenda effectively. They will possess established relationships with policymakers, opinion leaders and others across the country, as well as in Washington. As an excellent verbal and written communicator, they must be able to represent Gilead effectively in a variety of venues with many different constituencies. The ED will be expected to ensure that the company is involved in the public policy issues that potentially affect its interests, reputation and business. The successful candidate will be comfortable being a public face of Gilead, but must be equally at ease working in the background to support senior executives or other partners when it is more appropriate for those individuals to represent the company.

In addition to the critical, externally focused skills, the new ED must be capable of being a success internally. They must have the executive presence and interpersonal skills to work effectively with the company’s executives and others at all levels across the organization. Gilead is a dynamic and entrepreneurial work environment and its executive team is focused on how to strategically approach the future and execute with excellence. This person will be able to integrate with the energetic leadership team and develop a strategic state government relations plan for the company and its executives to effectively interact with and influence policymakers and other constituencies, advancing and protecting the company’s interests.

The new ED must have strong management and leadership skills. This person must excel at matching talent with the company’s needs, ensuring that the right people are in the right jobs, and the optimal combination of external advisors are in place. They must be able to cultivate and lead teams of highly effective and motivated people, including translating complex and nuanced public policy goals into actionable objectives. In addition, they must be a player/coach, capable of doing the hard work on this small team, rather than one who simply wants to delegate.

In terms of the performance and personal competencies required for the position, our client is particularly interested in the following:

Government Affairs/Public Policy Expertise

  • A keen sense of business acumen, and the ability to connect key business issues and competitive/profit drivers to public policy matters and obtain value for/advance the business interests and reputation of the company.
  • Possesses an holistic perspective – understands the complex policy, political and regulatory implications of an entity that operates highly regulated businesses in many different jurisdictions.
  • Track record of dealing effectively with all levels of government (and across party lines) in a variety of settings as well as an ability to simplify and communicate complex policy/regulatory issues.
  • An ability to quickly grasp and address the substantive issues facing Gilead.

Setting Strategy

  • The ability to develop a comprehensive, “seamless” strategic plan and vision for the state government affairs program that advances and protects the business interests and reputation of the company, and then executive to deliver results on that plan.
  • Wise and visionary leader capable of helping develop and implement sophisticated and creative policy, legislative and regulatory strategies, as well as relationship strategies, for a dynamic organization.
  • An independent thinker who can come up with and diplomatically and articulately present ideas that may be different from the prevailing or conventional view to encourage broad thinking.

Building Relationships

  • Outstanding ability to build relationships and use influence effectively in a variety of settings, both within the company and with external constituencies.
  • Able to leverage relationships within the company and across business teams to understand the business needs (present and future), and to move ahead in the state government affairs arena to help accomplish the company’s objectives.
  • An executive with a strong, positive personal presence who is viewed as trustworthy and substantively credible, who can relate to senior executives across the company.
  • Capable of representing the company with distinction before a variety of external audiences, and an adeptness at building coalitions with other organizations.

Leading Teams

  • Proven ability to manage teams and motivate individuals – including those who are not in their reporting structure – charged with advancing goals related to complicated public policy and state government relations issues. Must be highly collaborative with a focus on achieving results.
  • Capability to build and/or develop teams of highly effective, entrepreneurial, and motivated people consisting of both internal and external resources.
  • Possess an inspirational leadership style and passion for developing talent, evaluating the strengths of those on the team and working to leverage talents across the group for the benefit of the team.

For Jobs In The United States

As an equal opportunity employer, Gilead Sciences Inc. is committed to a diverse workforce. Employment decisions regarding recruitment and selection will be made without discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, genetic information or characteristic, gender identity and expression, veteran status, or other non-job related characteristics or other prohibited grounds specified in applicable federal, state and local laws. In order to ensure reasonable accommodation for individuals protected by Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Act of 1974, and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, applicants who require accommodation in the job application process may contact careers@gilead.com for assistance.

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Job posted: 2019-05-06