Vice President – State Government Affairs

10 Apr, 2021


Vice President – State Government Affairs

Washington, DC/Scottsdale, AZ/Dallas, TX/Atlanta, GA/Richmond, VA/Remote

Role:  Vice President – State Government Affairs

Reports to:  Senior VP Public Affairs and serves on the Public Affairs Leadership Team

The role offers an excellent opportunity to enhance the policy brand of a world-class, collaborative, mission-driven organization, and to help inform critical conversations that will shape the future of the U.S. health care system. The position must be based at a McKesson Hub facility.

Current Need 

McKesson seeks a seasoned government affairs leader to be Vice President, State Government Affairs to lead a team of three regional state directors, and continued development and execution of a strategic state government affairs program – one that ensures strong relationships and persuasive advocacy with legislators, regulators and government leaders and their staffs. Works proactively to define and advance McKesson’s policies, positions and strategies, forging constructive solutions and building multi-stakeholder coalitions as necessary to advance the company’s public and regulatory policy interests. Monitors and influences emerging strategic issues in legislative, regulatory and industry venues, which impact McKesson, its customers and business partners. Also, provides strategic counsel and direction on political strategy, candidate contributions and broader political engagement.

Scope of Responsibilities

  • Accountable for the overall supervision, planning, organization and execution of McKesson’s state government relations programs and activities including manages state government affairs team and ensuring that their skills and abilities increase the company’s impact on policy matters that facilitate or impede achievement of strategic business growth initiatives.
  • Possess a solid, broad comprehension of the U.S. health care system and will be expected to consistently and quickly gain in-depth knowledge about new and complex policy topics.
  • Advocates for laws, regulations and policies favorable to the company and its business units and functions. Drives proactive state advocacy campaigns that support McKesson objectives and serve to enhance the company’s thought leadership and policy brand.
  • Develops strong relationships and serves as key point-of-contact with Governors, state agency heads, key legislator and their staff;
  • Serves as an advisor to senior executives on state issues.
  • Monitors and provides counsel on existing, emerging and potential public policy issues to determine business impact and develop strategic and tactical plans to manage the issues externally and internally, anticipating and projecting trends, developments, as well as mitigating risks and optimizing commercial opportunities. Oversees the monitoring of state legislation of interest and provides updates, interpretation and prospects on high profile or high impact matters. A successful candidate will be able to also provide keen insights on the competitive environment, how other stakeholders will position, and alternative pathways to success.
  • Manages the allocated budget to optimize state government relations activities, including engagement and direction of contract lobbyists in the states.
  • Develops and maintains productive relationships with industry peers, stakeholder groups and key industry/opinion leaders to help create an understanding of McKesson, it’s mission, various businesses and solutions to improve healthcare. Represents the company’s interests with dues paying trade associations, as well as with other leading healthcare trade groups, coalitions, think tanks and other key influencers.
  • Responds to inquiries on policy issues on behalf of McKesson and oversees the development and dissemination of positions to advance the company’s objectives, including testimony, comments on pending legislation, and other policy-related talking points and messages.
  • Actively builds and maintains relationships with key administration and executive branch agency officials, while ensuring transparent two-way communications.
  • With the SVP Public Affairs, oversees the selection and direction of external legislative and political consultants. Further, with the VP Policy, help define engagement of external policy consultants in support of advocacy priorities.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with other colleagues in the General Counsel Organization, as well as other corporate functions and senior leaders and subject matter experts across the enterprise. From time to time, intensive issue engagements require chartering and composition of special task forces or work groups aimed at establishing the company’s position on emergent issues such as data policy, Medicaid, drug pricing, and others.
  • Internal client service focus who leads from an understanding of where it is imperative for McKesson to lead and will be accountable for successful outcomes. Where changes in approach are necessary, the ability to be resilient and adaptable are paramount — all in close working collaboration with internal clients and subject matter experts.
  • In concert with policy team, develop testimonies, comment letters, and collateral advocacy materials.
  • Working with Senior Director Policy Communications, define employee and external stakeholder engagement and messaging. Also partner on deployment of sizable grass tops program.
  • Sits on the Public Affairs Leadership Team.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Core Competencies

A successful candidate should be able to demonstrate through case studies and references superior performance in the following areas:

  • Strategic policy engagement to drive business growth initiatives and project thought leadership. Deploys innovative approaches advancing objectives that integrate as needed grassroots and digital advocacy, multi-stakeholder coalitions, key contact programs, and leverages key executives.
  • Command of current health policy issues with intellectual curiosity and personal interest in gaining much broader and deeper expertise.
  • Exceptional working knowledge of the state legislative and regulatory processes.
  • Projects credibility, depth of knowledge and integrity consistent with the company’s values and necessary to be a trusted partner to policymakers and stakeholders.
  • Exhibits an executive presence with modesty that engenders confidence from senior executive leaders of the company and provides a model to emerging leaders.
  • Ability to write for impact with disparate audiences.
  • Possesses and speaks the language of business and financial acumen with an eye to making connections with public policy challenges and opportunities.
  • Ability to drive the priorities of affiliated trade groups in a collegial and consensus driven manner, and yet advance more ambitious goals in alternative collaborations as warranted.
  • Proven capacity to operate in ambiguous situations and think creatively in overcoming challenges and resistances.
  • Able to approach their work and project the company’s interests in an impartial and comprehensive way void of partisanship or personal ideology.
  • Proactive problem-solver with a meticulous eye for detail, a track record of persuasive advocacy, and strong organizational and time management skills to juggle multiple issues simultaneously. 
  • Highly advanced communication skills and comfortable making cogent, high impact presentations to audience of all sizes and types that motivate action;
  • Discernment and instinct for how political and stakeholder points of view apply to specific health policy issues, and the ability to guide both allied and adversarial interests to educated engagement.
  • Exercises excellent judgment, poise, and strong negotiation skills.

Professional Competencies

A successful leader in this role would already have established an extensive network of working policy and political relationships in multiple states and would model and mentor additional behaviors that include the following:

  • Thoughtful and action-oriented approach to advocacy appropriately tempered by pragmatic judgment.
  • Professionalism and commitment to consistently high-quality, thorough work. Ability to efficiently work autonomously and as part of a multidisciplinary team, as well as with a range of external stakeholders. Results-oriented project leadership skills, as well as experience developing and managing project work plans and integrated advocacy campaigns.
  • Ability to work and contribute in a fast-paced, high velocity business environment, to think strategically and develop solutions that can be implemented to attain desired results. Ability to break down barriers and drive for results.
  • Champion of culture, change management, and innovation.
  • Demonstrated strong analytic and research skills.
  • Experience in prioritizing work plan objectives and maintaining focus on the most important enterprise-wide goals.
  • Demonstrated ability to handle matters of a sensitive and confidential nature and the capacity to maintain composure while working under pressure.
  • Self-motivated work ethic; demonstrating sound judgment, initiative, and an ability to manage multiple priorities with a sense of urgency and accountability to team.
  • Must demonstrate strong executive presence and interpersonal skills.

Education and Experience

Post-graduate degree is preferred.

  • Ten years of relevant senior state government affairs experience, including prior experience serving in a legislative staff role in a state legislature, state-focused consulting firm, or comparable government service.
  • Track record of progressive leadership responsibilities and achievements, as well as significant project management or advocacy campaign experience.
  • Willingness and ability to work non-traditional hours. Some air travel and overnight travel. Must have the ability to work flexible hours as required, including evenings and weekends.

Must be authorized to work in the US.  Sponsorship is not available for this position.

McKesson is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status.Qualified applicants will not be disqualified from consideration for employment based upon criminal history.

McKesson is committed to being an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and offers opportunities to all job seekers including job seekers with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation to assist with your job search or application for employment, please contact us by sending an email to . Resumes or CVs submitted to this email box will not be accepted.

Current employees must apply through the internal career site.

Join us at McKesson!

We deliver careers with purpose and potential. Our focus on better health starts with creating an inclusive environment with strong values where you can build a fulfilling career. You can count on us to provide you with resources and opportunities to grow and be your best, while contributing to our pursuit of improving lives. Every day, McKesson’s employees deliver products to healthcare providers that make a difference in the care and life of a patient. We work to distribute medical supplies, bandages, syringes, vials of flu vaccine, and pharmaceutical drugs to help real patients like Jack, an eight-year-old boy battling cancer. We take that job seriously. Together, the work we do is shaping the future of healthcare. If you are passionate about combining a meaningful career with a balanced life, join us on this journey and apply for a job with McKesson today. Every day, McKesson’s employees deliver products to healthcare providers that make a difference in the care and life of a patient.

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Job posted: 2021-04-10