Senior Vice President, Health Policy & Public Affairs

25 Feb, 2021


Senior Vice President, Health Policy & Public Affairs

Daniel J Edelman Holdings
Washington, DC
With healthcare taking center stage across the world, are you looking to help shape the most pressing health policy issues facing our society today and in the future? Eager to design and execute ingenious data-driven public affairs strategies and issue campaigns on behalf of some of the world’s most successful health organizations? Possess a passion to shape some of the biggest health policy debates in the country and influencing political outcomes?
From biotech and pharma to corporate and consumer health, our healthcare teams are doing some of the most exciting work we have at Edelman. They not only service breakthrough, first-in-class medicines, but are also pioneering some of the best work across integrated creative, digital and interactive content development.
We are seeking a dynamic SVP and a seasoned policy-oriented communicator with a robust fluency with the biotech, life sciences and corporate health spaces including relationships and direct client experience servicing companies at varying sizes and development stages, as well as with payers, policymakers, HCPs, and other health policy influencers. This is an exciting opportunity for a strong public affairs leader with a policy or political background to drive initiatives around healthcare value, access, and equity, as well as oversee thought leadership and reputation building efforts t across a range of biotech, pharma and corporate health organizations.
An ideal colleague is someone who is collaborative, self-motivated, takes initiative, readily accepts new responsibility and is driven to succeed. This leader should have experience managing diverse teams and serving as a mentor to junior staff. Experience with policy and political communications along with contacts in the political sector, new data and regulatory pathways, breakthrough therapies and value and drug pricing is highly desired. Experience in developing and/or leading digital and integrated public affairs campaigns is also encouraged.
Basic Qualifications
At least 10-15 years of experience in health policy communications or health policy, or a related field.
A strong strategist keen at discerning and prioritizing the company, product and client needs within the context of sometimes varied information or organizational resources. Given the different sizes and infrastructure of our clients, it is critical this person is nimble, solutions-oriented and displays a positive, energetic, can-do attitude. This agility will be helpful, not only to motivate teams, but to set an example of how to adjust approach and communications to meet changing circumstances, shifting needs and interest. Critical thinking is important to determine any underlying issues, reconcile ambiguity, simplify the situation, and arrive at a solution.
One of the key pillars of this role is to be a true partner to clients, a strategic counsel who is ingrained in their business at a macro level, but with a strong handle on the day-to-day work and deliverables with the team. Our clients rely on us to be confident in our guidance, but able to pivot or yield when needed. An important part of this role will be to help develop talent and encourage by example the best ways to work with biotech, pharma and life sciences clients. The pace, level of contact, expectations and needs for these clients is often quite different from large pharmaceutical companies and part of this role is to be a thought leader, educator in best practices and a creative thinking/solutions coach.
Additionally, this role will also require the candidate to actively participate in new business development, both as a leader and subject matter expert on RFP responses, pitches, and organic growth with existing clients.

Responsibilities and Expectations:

      • SKILLS (Client & Stakeholder Engagement, Business & Project Management, Business Development and Talent Development/Leadership)
Possesses deep understanding of client businesses
      • Ability to create public affairs programs considering a variety of platforms, channels and audiences
      • Ability to identify business problems that clients are looking to solve and ensure they are understood by team
      • Maintains understanding of the clients’ businesses, priorities, pain points, policy maker conversation and competitive landscape and helps the team do the same
      • Stays knowledgeable about the political landscape, markets, sectors and channels in which clients operate; uses internal/external resources to address knowledge gaps for self and team
      • Anticipates what’s next; helps clients get ahead of issues and capitalize on new opportunities
      • Demonstrates empathy for clients – understands clients’ mindset, challenges (personal, professional, internal and external) and barriers to success; takes appropriate action
      • Balances the needs of the client and the needs of the firm
      • Seeks out and responds to new business opportunities, takes a leadership role in new business opportunities (either directly, or by identifying mid/junior level staff to support)
      • Maintains relationships with policymakers and policy influencers at the federal and/or state level as well as stay knowledgeable with health policy think-tanks and academic policy studies/reports
Assembles, builds and leads integrated teams
    • Reflects our understanding of clients’ needs today and our anticipation of their future needs
    • Can evolve, promote and protect clients’ interests
    • Delivers integrated thinking rooted in insights
    • Helps delineate team roles and manage intra-team conflict
    • Holds self and team accountable for performance, compliance and ethical business conduct in accordance with firm values
    • Deals with poor team performance via feedback and escalation as necessary
    • Leverages Edelman resources
    • Serves as clients’ advocate within Edelman and facilitates understanding of their business, goals and point of view Helps facilitate proper expertise against client needs
    • Helps identify and mentors junior and mid-level staff
    • Prioritizes growth of self and direct reports
    • Helps create climate that encourages excellence, courage and integrity
    • Supports leadership’s vision of possibilities and direction
    • Helps implement and supports initiatives to create positive changes and helps others adapt to change
    • Measures, monitors and advances client-agency relationships
    • Participates in client relationship mapping and development across a portfolio
    • Actively listens – asks smart questions, listens to what’s not being said, is willing to have honest, ongoing dialogue about what’s working and what isn’t
    • Identifies and acknowledges problems, offers solutions and course-corrects as needed
    • Helps measure what matters – tracks progress and reports results based on agreed-upon metrics and achievement of business and communications goals
    • Manages and monitors client relationships using formal and informal tools and touch points
    • Helps navigate conflicts with other businesses
    • Escalates client problems and client opportunities to Edelman senior leadership with equal amounts of urgency
    • Participates in client budget management and forecasting; proactively addresses changes in scope and delays in client invoice payment
    • Brings in new capabilities against client needs
    • Participates in full new business process
    • Participate in the development and adoption of new products, services, development of IP and thought leadership materials
    • Develops “continuous white-boarding” mentality to apply to client businesses and relationships overall
    • Works on and implements annual strategies for client engagement, which address internal and external relationships we can leverage on behalf of clients and other meaningful experiences we can create for clients inside and outside the firm
    • Helps ensures clients are benefitting from Edelman IP, insights, best practices and methodologies


    • Relentless pursuit of excellence
    • Serves as a positive role model; supports and respects colleagues, clients and partners; focuses on self-improvement and ensures work is based on strategic insights
    • Effectively and consistently manages strengths and weaknesses of self and others; enables self and others to bring the best of their skills and talents to work; is consistently ambitious in setting and achieving goals
    • Always takes all feedback as a constructive learning opportunity and acts upon it; enables others to thrive as part of agency life and adapts to others’ styles to do so; ensures excellence is repeated by rigorously identifying and socializing key learnings for all colleagues
    • Freedom to be constantly curious
    • Pushes for creative ideas; is purposeful and enterprising in problem-solving; embraces diverse trends, skills, specialties and viewpoints
    • Delivers substantial change for clients and the communities in which we operate; ensures new insights from self and others fuel innovation in agency approach and client work; uses diversity of perspective to elevate client counsel, the agency and own career
    • Effectively implements change for clients and agency in a way that demonstrates powerful and unique thinking; uses thoughtful, strategic insights and knowledge to balance risk-taking for clients and the agency; holds others accountable for open-mindedness and embracing diverse viewpoints
    • Courage to do the right thing
    • Ensures work and relationships are founded on open and honest communications; listens and asks the right questions during day-to-day work; upholds creative, ethical and legal standards
    • Ensures that client counsel and agency action is always purposeful and challenging; prioritizes the interests of the wider agency; holds subordinates, peers and superiors accountable for demonstrating integrity and ethical behavior
    • Demonstrates a strategic and thoughtful approach in challenging others to ask the right questions; prioritizes the interests of client service excellence ahead of individual advancement
Edelman is a global communications firm that partners with businesses and organizations to evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations. Our 6,000 people in more than 60 offices deliver communications strategies that give our clients the confidence to lead and act with certainty, earning the trust of their stakeholders. Our honors include the Cannes Lions Grand Prix for PR; Advertising Age’s 2019 A-List; the Holmes Report’s 2018 Global Digital Agency of the Year; and, five times, Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work. Since our founding in 1952, we have remained an independent, family-run business. Edelman owns specialty companies Edelman Data & Intelligence (DxI) and United Entertainment Group (entertainment, sports, lifestyle).
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Job posted: 2021-02-25