State Governmental Affairs (SGA) Director

26 Oct, 2022


State Governmental Affairs (SGA) Director

American Academy of Opthamology
San Francisco, CA

This position fulfills one of the key functions of the Academy’s mission, which is to ensure medical/surgical standards, quality of medical/surgical care and patient safety are not diluted/weakened by state government legislative/regulatory action. In addition, the SGA Director proactively works to identify opportunities and initiates efforts to enact legislation or regulations that strengthen ophthalmological surgical care standards, patient access to medical surgical care, and patient safety in state legislatures and regulatory agencies.


  • Optometric and Therapeutic Surgical Initiatives
    • Conceptualize, build, implement and administer national state advocacy programs (program components include – build/lead lobby, grassroots initiatives, media – earned/paid/social media; and coalition building- House of Medicine Specialties and Eye Specialties – AAPOS/ASRS/ASCRS/AGS) and consumer organizations – to derail state legislation/regulatory proposals that are a threat to patient eye safety and surgical standards.
    • Provide policy/program analysis and specific action program initiatives to the Senior Secretary for Advocacy, Secretary for State Affairs, and the State Affairs Secretariat.
    • Provide leadership for the raising of $3 million in Surgical Scope fund per two-year cycle.
    • Initiates proactive legislation where there is opportunity.
  • State Governmental Affairs and Surgical Scope Budget
    • Allocate and direct SGA yearly budget of approximately $1.5 million across state program initiatives and $3 million in Surgical Scope funds (two-year cycle) across the Surgery by Surgeons state specific initiatives.
    • Create a work environment within SGA that builds teamwork and camaraderie that enhances opportunities for success across all SGA program initiatives.
  • Academy Advocacy Partnership and AMA SOPP Partnership
    • Build Academy leadership position within the House of Medicine (i.e., AMA Scope of Practice Partnership and with specific specialties and subspecialties- College of Surgeons, Plastics, Dermatology, Family Physicians etc. ASRS, ASCRS, AGS) and provide organizations with specific program actions that support ophthalmology state legislative/regulatory initiatives.
  • State Governmental Communications
    • Develop State communication stories to Communications department that highlight State Affairs victories. Also partner with Communications to develop channels that increase membership recognition of the Academy’s role in partnering with states to defeat inappropriate optometric surgical or therapeutic scope expansion initiatives.


  • 10 years of professional experience (e.g., political campaign experience, professional experience working in a state or federal representative’s/senator’s office and direct lobbing experience).
  • Intimate knowledge of the national and state specific political process, a first-hand knowledge of the political/legislative regulatory process in all 50 states and U.S. territories.
  • An excellent understanding of how public policy is developed and the insight and initiative to direct and push for the enactment of public policies that set the standard for medical and surgical eye care.
  • Thorough understanding of how political support is built within the politics of a specific state legislative/regulatory environment.
  • Ability to build grassroots, coalitions, media forces- earned, social, paid and lobby forces; and business acumen to bring these forces into play to the benefit of ophthalmology political objectives at the appropriate time.
  • Extensive state level contact base that can be activated as a state specific need arises.
  • Understanding of the decision-making process at the MD member level as well as at the staff level within the Academy.
  • Thrive in in an unstructured environment.
  • Ability to prioritize, craft and implement unrelated projects.
  • Capacity to examine a proposed public policy and take it apart to determine the positive/negative impact to ophthalmology standard of medical and surgical care.
  • Analyze a state political environment and determine the strengths and weaknesses of the ophthalmic community and the opposition in a specific state.
  • From the analysis, build a state legislative/regulatory advocacy action plan that maximizes ophthalmology’s political position and capitalizes on the weaknesses of the opposition.
  • Possess and use intuition to know when the appropriate time for direct action is or when more subtle action is required.
  • Have excellent leadership and persuasion skills to move and convince the State Affairs Secretariat, state ophthalmic societies, coalition members both- medical and consumer to agree to and act upon the Director’s recommended policy actions.
  • Express ideas clearly and concisely in written and oral presentations.
  • Conceptualize an action and then have the skills to implement in such a manner as to maximize success.
  • Possess a “worldview” of the state political landscape and be able to break it down into operations components for implementation.
  • Be a risk taker.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; Graduate degree preferred (e.g., Master of Public Affairs/Health/MBA/JD).

To apply, send your resume to

Job posted: 2022-10-26