Head of Government Affairs and Policy

18 Apr, 2022


Head of Government Affairs and Policy

Acadia Pharmaceuticals

Please be aware that Acadia has a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for all employees.

About Us:

For more than 25 years we have been working at the forefront of healthcare to bring vital solutions to people who need them most. Acadia developed and commercialized the first and only approved therapy for hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s disease psychosis. Our late-stage development efforts are focused on dementia-related psychosis, negative symptoms of schizophrenia and Rett syndrome, and in early-stage clinical research we are exploring novel approaches to pain management, and cognition and neuropsychiatric symptoms in central nervous system disorders.

Position Summary:

The Executive Director of Government Affiars and Policy is responsible for leading the overall Government Affairs strategy that advances the Company’s mission and goals with state, and federal elected officials.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Work cross-functionally with legal, commercial, public affairs, investor relations and regulatory affairs teams to ensure alignment, and establish fully integrated government affairs plan and priorities that meet company objectives
  • Leads Acadia public policy positions by monitoring federal legislation and policy activities, updating and advising on policy proposals and actions, and working with executive staff to analyze potential impacts
  • Coordinates with external partners and trade organizations (BIO and CLSA) to manage state government affairs priorities and issues
  • Present the promotion of the strategic advocacy or policy objectives before the US Congress, Federal agencies, federal/state/local policy makers and with other stakeholders, including trade associations and industry allies
  • Contributes to the development of strategic plans with the advocacy and industry relations team to ensure company business public policy advocacy are appropriately represented with national patient advocacy and medical societies
  • Communicate updates to the organization on policy developments
  • Develops presentations, policy papers, speeches and briefing documents for senior executives and other internal stakeholders
  • Manage contract lobbyists in support of Acadia’s efforts
  • Ensures department’s adherence to company policies and quality system requirements, as well as other legal and regulatory directives
  • Other duties as assigned


  • 10+ years of experience in federal government affairs for a health care corporation or trade association, on Congressional staff, or in a relevant federal agency
  • Lobbying and health care policy background (Hill, federal agency, or with corporate/trade association’s federal government affairs office)
  • Health care policy experience related to the current U.S. health care environment, including Medicare/Medicaid programs
  • Proven ability to plan and complete a comprehensive, proactive federal government affairs strategy that advances the Company’s mission and goals with local, regional, state, and federal elected officials
  • Exhibits a proactive attitude by anticipating and positioning Acadia to respond to changing legislative/regulatory challenges and capitalizing on potential opportunities while responding to ongoing threats and challenges
  • Working knowledge of general U.S. government affairs compliance, including lobbying disclosure and LD-203 requirements and supportive processes
  • Results-oriented, self-starter with demonstrated ability to distill complex issues into concise talking points, position papers, and slides; attention to detail; ability to multi-task; great teammate, with an ability to work independently in a fast-paced, demanding environment
  • Ability to travel approximately 30% of the time domestically. Frequent travel to San Diego required


Recognized as an influential leader, provides strategy and direction for specific government affairs and policy functional area(s). Directs activities in collaboration with cross-functional skilled directors and/or managers who have overall responsibility for the direction of assigned areas. With exceptional leadership skills, effectively mentors, motivates and empowers team members. Works with abstract ideas or situations that may affect other functional areas of the business and where analysis of situations or data requires collaboration and an understanding of the impact on other functional areas, business strategies, and the company’s overall goals.

Physical Requirements:

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch, see, talk or hear in a standard office environment and independently from remote locations. Employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 20 pounds. Ability to travel by car or airplane independently overnight up to 30% of the time and work after hours if required by travel schedule or business issue.

What we offer you:

  • Hybrid work environment (two days/week in office)
  • Competitive base, bonus, new hire and ongoing equity packages
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance
  • 401(k) Plan with a fully vested company match 1:1 up to 5%
  • Employee Stock Purchase Plan with a 2-year purchase price lock-in
  • 15+ vacation days plus one floating holiday of your choice
  • 14 paid holidays, including office closure between December 24th and January 1st
  • 10 days of paid sick time
  • Paid parental leave
  • Tuition assistance

EEO Statement:

Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they meet every single one of the qualifications in the exact way they are described in job postings. We are committed to building a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and innovative company and we are looking for the BEST candidate for the job. That candidate may be one who comes from a less traditional background or may meet the qualifications in a different way. We would strongly encourage you to apply – especially if the reason you are the best candidate isn’t exactly as we describe it here.

It is the policy of Acadia to provide equal employment opportunities to all employees and employment applicants without regard to considerations of race, including related to hairstyle, color, religion or religious creed, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, gender transition, country of origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, legally-protected medical condition or information, marital status, domestic partner status, family care status, military caregiver status, veteran or military status (including reserve status, National Guard status, and military service or obligation), status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, enrollment in a public assistance program, or any basis protected under federal, state or local law.

As an equal opportunity employer, Acadia is committed to a diverse workforce. If you are a qualified individual with a disability or a disabled veteran, you have the right to request a reasonable accommodation. Furthermore, you may request additional support if you are unable or limited in your ability to use or access Acadia’s career website due to your disability, along with any accommodations throughout the interview process. To request or inquire about your reasonable accommodation, please complete our Reasonable Accommodation Request Form or contact us at talentacquisition@acadia-pharm.com or 858-261-2923.

Please note that reasonable accommodations granted throughout the recruiting process are not guaranteed to be the same accommodation given if hired. A new request will need to be submitted for any ADA accommodations after starting employment.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2022-04-18