Vice President, Government Relations

25 Oct, 2021


Vice President, Government Relations

Kaiser Permanente
Sacramento, CA


The incumbent’s major areas of responsibility include leading the Sacramento Government Relations Office and effectively representing the Program before the State of California. The importance of this position is reflected in the amount and complexity of public policy that impacts the health care industry and, in particular, Kaiser Permanente’s operation and areas of interest. As a leader in the health care field and its strong presence in California, Kaiser Permanente is the natural focus of government and private sector interest. Kaiser Permanente is also substantially affected by governments’ roles as purchaser and regulator. Thus, government relations is an important and visible element of Kaiser Permanente’s operations and interests, and this position is a critical element of that effort. This position is responsible for influencing public policy that may affect Kaiser Permanente and fostering a policy and regulatory climate supportive of integrated financing and delivery systems in general, and Kaiser Permanente in particular. This position is unique to the Program in that it has wide latitude of freedom to be involved in a variety of activities to accomplish its accountabilities. In general, these activities can be described under two major categories: Interpreting Information and Influencing Policy- The incumbent plays a crucial role in helping Kaiser Permanente leadership understand the political and policy environment in which the organization operates and developing approaches to ensure it can be understood as a leading organization in the State of California. A key function is to serve as liaison between Kaiser Permanente and the executive and legislative branches of California government. The incumbent is expected to lead a team that accurately and persuasively communicates Kaiser Permanente’s positions to government officials, legislators, legislative staff, stakeholder organizations, and other key influencers that represent health care, health insurance, business, labor and other relevant sectors. Often this requires informing and educating those individuals on the special operating requirements of Kaiser Permanente and how proposed policymaking decisions may affect Kaiser Permanente’s ability to provide services and achieve its organizational mission. The incumbent leads a team that works with other members of the Government Relations department in drafting legislation, proposing amendments, and evaluating the potential impact of legislation or guidelines on Kaiser Permanente’s ability to provide services, and advocating on behalf of Kaiser Permanente. Frequently the incumbent is called upon to discuss issues that affect Kaiser Permanente in a setting that does not allow for preparation; Providing Advice and Counsel to Various Legislative and Government Bodies -Outside the normal activities of the position, the incumbent spends considerable time assisting members of the legislature or other government personnel in their efforts to understand a variety of health care issues and Kaiser Permanente.  A continuing challenge for the incumbent is the need to be familiar with a broad range of issues yet be capable of shifting attention to more immediate concerns for the Program and/or issues that are rapidly gaining momentum. Sensitivity to the policy-making process (knowing where, when and how to access it) and the political framework within which issues are decided is of critical importance in carrying out the incumbent’s responsibilities.  The incumbent is expected to be thoroughly knowledgeable about Kaiser Permanente in California and to evaluate and interpret the possible implications of pending legislation. They must also understand federal policy and what impact it may have on efforts in California and will need to coordinate with their GR colleagues in DC and Program Offices.  Moreover, the incumbent is expected to keep Program Office and Regional management informed of legislative, political and government developments. The incumbent is responsible for leading a strategic effort where key relationships are developed and fostered with legislators and their staffs, relevant Committee members and staff, executive branch officials and other government representatives, other health care lobbyists, Regional Managers and Medical Directors, trade organizations and Program Office staff, particularly from the Government Relations Department. The incumbent must have demonstrated political skills and judgment and be knowledgeable about the legislative and political process, health policies and developments in health legislation. Experience with the legislative process is important. In an environment where personal relationships and positive personal impressions are critical to getting the job done, the incumbent must have the ability to establish and maintain rapport with many people of differing interests, objectives and points of view. This position requires integrity, credibility, flexibility and a high degree of discretion and judgment. Freedom to Act – The California legislative process often requires rapid decision making without time for consultation with management. In these circumstances the incumbent will sometimes be required to determine what position or approach would benefit the Program on very significant legislative issues (with potential impact in the hundreds of millions of dollars) and effectively represent that position to policy makers without consulting with management. The incumbent is, in many ways, the personification of the Program for policy makers in Sacramento and their effectiveness, credibility and integrity substantially affects how policy makers view Kaiser Permanente. The incumbent may be required to exercise judgment regarding future commitments to policy makers without prior consultation with management. The incumbent supervises the Sacramento Office and is responsible for personnel matters impacting professional lobbyists and the substantial budget of that office. The incumbent must effectively articulate to management the impact that certain operational decisions may have on the reputation of the Program and its ability to achieve government relations and regulatory objectives in California

Essential Responsibilities:

    • As Chief Lobbyist and head of Kaiser Permanente’s Sacramento Government Relations Office, effectively lead a team of in-house advocates and contracted consultants. Responsibilities include:
    • Influencing legislation that supports Kaiser Permanente’s mission and strategy through strategic advocacy, using accurate and persuasive communication of our position(s) and arguments in support of them to relevant legislators, staff and other officials at appropriate times.
    • Educating policy makers and their staffs about Kaiser Permanente and the impact of proposed legislation and other government action on Kaiser Permanente operations and policy.
    • Maintaining effective relationships with government officials, legislators, legislative staff, legislative support institutions, trade associations and other groups of present or potential importance to Kaiser Permanente.
    • Coordinating with other Kaiser Permanente government relations, legal, compliance and operational leaders to effectively advocate for regulatory actions that support Kaiser Permanente’s mission, interests and business activities.
    • Advising national leadership and Regional management on pending legislation and other policy changes, changes to key government personnel and other government relations matters pertinent to their operations.
    • Collaborating with the Permanente Medical Groups to ensure that issues of particular concern to the Medical Groups are effectively addressed and that Kaiser Permanente speaks with “one voice” on all public policy issues.
    • Being alert to legislative and political developments and advising management of their significance and potential impact.
    • Accurately evaluating and interpreting public policy that affects Kaiser Permanente and developing alternatives and pursuing modifications that better meet Kaiser Permanente’s needs.
    • Being responsible for making decisions on major legislative issues and positions in certain circumstances when time does not permit consultation.
    • Making certain KP is properly represented at public forums involving policy makers and stakeholder groups.
    • Providing strategic guidance to regional government relations management over development and maintenance of relationships with key state and local elected officials and key influencers.
Basic Qualifications:
  • Minimum ten (10) years experience participating in the legislative process or in public policy regarding health care and/or coverage.
  • Bachelors degree required.
License, Certification, Registration
  • N/A
Additional Requirements:
  • Experience managing other government relations professionals. An incumbent who does not have that direct experience must have the capacity to succeed in a management role.
  • Knowledge of the California legislative process and the groups who influence it.
  • Health care delivery or coverage knowledge and have the intellectual capacity to learn quickly about aspects of policy with which they are not familiar.
  • Knowledge capacity to quickly absorb complex information relating to the operational or policy aspects of legislation and its impact on Kaiser Permanente.
  • Strong writing skills and be an excellent oral communicator with experience speaking to large groups and to smaller audiences of policy makers and business leaders.
  • Strong experience engaging with representatives of labor and related stakeholders or the ability to rapidly acquire strong relationships and strategic understanding in this area.
  • Demonstrated record of personal integrity and credibility and of success in his or her current and prior positions.
  • Personal effectiveness which is likely to be persuasive with policy makers and Kaiser Permanente leaders.
  • The incumbent should have an academic background which supports the competencies involved in this position
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Experience in and be knowledgeable about Kaiser Permanente highly desirable.
  • Masters degree preferred.
  • An incumbent who does not have that direct experience must have the capacity to rapidly learn about the organization.
Learn more here

Job posted: 2021-10-25