Vice President, Public Affairs and External Partnerships

11 Jun, 2020


Vice President, Public Affairs and External Partnerships

Alexion Pharmaceuticals
Boston, MA

Position Summary

The Vice President, Public Affairs & External Partnerships has principal responsibility for promoting Alexion’s reputation, enterprise thought-leadership priorities and external partnerships.  This position has the primary responsibility for managing a cross-functional group of leaders tasked with understanding and driving company action related to Alexion’s corporate reputation.  This role will also define and lead the execution, with other Alexion senior leaders, of our external thought leadership in rare disease, including engagement with key stakeholders.  Finally, this role will work closely with the EVP and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer and corporate affairs leadership team to develop a long-term strategic plan and annual operating plans and spearhead internal change management to ensure the work of the overall Corporate Affairs team is aligned and widely understood by the organization.

Job Duties & Responsibilities

Partner with heads of US and and international government affairs and policy on the design and execution of public affairs strategies aimed at elevating Alexion’s reputation and thought leadership among the public and key stakeholder groups. 

Lead a team responsible for corporate brand, identity, annual report, site, social media and other assets aimed at promoting the corporate narrative across the company and with all external target audiences.

Partner with key functions to develop a roadmap for advancing the company’s reputation (both internally and externally) through a multi-disciplinary, cross-functional corporate effort.

Activates and directs Alexion thought leadership in rare disease, identifying venues and opportunities for visibility with target audiences and partners (eg: Global Rare Disease Day); leads high-profile strategic partnerships on behalf of Alexion that demonstrate Alexion’s leadership in rare disease

Coordinate with functions, such as Patient Engagment and US and International Government Affairs and Policy, with externally facing stakeholders to map, identify and execute in areas of mutual value creation.

Coordinate with Global External and Internal Communications to ensure Alexion’s internal and external stakeholder communications are aligned and consistent.

Work to bring outside perspectives in to support Alexion’s mission and business objectives.

Represents Corporate Affairs as member of Alexion Ethics Advisory Board.

Work with the EVP, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer to establish a high performing corporate affairs leadership team that:

  • Co-creates and drives a corporate affairs strategy that supports the business objectives of the company, understood by its leadership, resourced accordingly, and demonstrates measurable impact in the near and long-term
  • Establishes and maintains a culture that attracts and retains highly talented people and that builds and applies the full talents of its members in the work we do
  • Serves as change agents internally in a way that creates organizational clarity for the impact of CA within Alexion and externally leads the organization to improve the respect of Alexion among our stakeholders

Establish and drive an annual process for corporate affairs related to annual goals, talent and performance, budget, and culture.

Lead efforts to identify areas where it is needed to establish and improve internal key interfaces of collaboration with corporate affairs and other key business partners

Be a champion for the vision, goals, and prioritites of Corporate Affairs throughout Alexion, US and globally

Serve as a calm and respected advisor to the senior leadership team of Alexion on how to engage external and internal audiences in support of the company’s goals

Essential Qualifications

  • 15-20 years public affairs and communications experience with demonstrated success in leading internal/external communications campaigns and strategic reputation programs
  • BA/BS in Communications (or relevant field) and advanced degree in public health or health policy preferred
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills
  • Capable of communicating a vision and direction internally and externally as well as articulating unique differentiating factors in the market.
  • The ability to convey a dedication to the mission of Alexion and should project self-assurance and unshakable confidence.
  • A proven visionary leader who motivates and inspires confidence in others and knows how to manage and grow talent.
  • An accomplished manager with experience managing consultants, staff and appropriately working with, advising, and influencing senior-level executives.
  • A confident, assertive, and self-motivated individual who can develop others, drive continues improvement and lead without authority.
  • High attention to detail and ability to communicate complicated concepts through written and verbal methods to all levels internally and externally.
  • The ability to develop systems of accountability for achieving results as well as continually improving and raising performance expectations.
  • Able to monitor external factors while managing and changing agendas and strategies in a fast-paced environment.
  • An inclusive collaborator and talent developer who builds coalitions and gets the most out of diverse teams through inclusive leadership and connecting with people.
  • Impeccable personal character and high integrity.
  • Excellent business judgment when making decisions; always considers the relevance/impact of each decision on the business; excellent budget management and organization skills essential.
  • Superior presentation, education and meeting facilitation skills.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Demonstrated expertise and deep understanding of the healthcare industry
  • Has held leadership positions in communications, public/government affairs and  has served on leadership teams at highly matrixed, complex, global biopharmaceutical companies
  • A global perspective and multiple language skills are desirable.
  • Previous work experience in a communications agency
  • Health policy expertise with a thorough understanding of the pharmaceutical industry, especially regarding Medicare, Medicaid, private health insurance policy and reimbursement, drug regulatory systems and intellectual property regimes.


Boston, MA, United States

Some opportunities happen only once in a lifetime – like a job where you have the extraordinary opportunity to change lives. At Alexion, such opportunities arise through our unwavering mission to serve patients and families affected by rare diseases. These patients are our guiding star, and we act with integrity, urgency, and discipline because we know their lives are at stake.

Alexion is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on serving patients and families affected by rare diseases through the discovery, development and commercialization of life-changing therapies. As the global leader in complement biology and inhibition for more than 20 years, Alexion has developed and commercializes two approved complement inhibitors to treat patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) as well as the first and only approved complement inhibitor to treat atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), anti-acetylcholine receptor (AchR) antibody-positive generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG) and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD). Alexion also has two highly innovative enzyme replacement therapies for patients with life-threatening and ultra-rare metabolic disorders, hypophosphatasia (HPP) and lysosomal acid lipase deficiency (LAL-D). In addition, the company is developing several mid-to-late-stage therapies, including a second complement inhibitor, a copper-binding agent for Wilson disease and an anti-neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) antibody for rare Immunoglobulin G (IgG)-mediated diseases as well as several early-stage therapies, including one for light chain (AL) amyloidosis and a second anti-FcRn therapy. Alexion focuses its research efforts on novel molecules and targets in the complement cascade and its development efforts on the core therapeutic areas of hematology, nephrology, neurology, and metabolic disorders. Alexion has been named to the Forbes’ list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies seven years in a row and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts’ Innovation District. The company also has offices around the globe and serves patients in more than 50 countries. Further information about Alexion can be found at:

As a leading employer in our industry, Alexion is proud to offer a highly competitive package of base and incentive compensation as well as a comprehensive benefits program designed to support the health, wellness and financial security of our employees and their families. Benefits include group medical, vision and dental coverage, group and supplemental life insurance, 401(k) with company match, tuition reimbursement, relocation assistance and much more.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2020-06-11