Vice President, State Government Relations

18 Feb, 2021


Vice President, State Government Relations

California Life Sciences Institute
Sacramento, CA

About California Life Sciences Association (CLSA)

California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) is the state’s largest and most influential life sciences advocacy and business leadership organization. With offices in Sacramento, San Diego, South San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington DC, CLSA works closely with industry, government, academia and others to shape public policy, improve access to innovative technologies and grow California’s life sciences economy. CLSA serves biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostics companies, research universities and institutes, investors and service providers throughout the Golden State. CLSA was founded in 2015 when the Bay Area Bioscience Association (BayBio) and the California Healthcare Institute (CHI) merged.

CLSA currently offers a full suite of team member benefits including medical, dental, and vision insurance, LTD, STD and Group Life insurance, 401(k) plans with matching, FSA and HSA options, and a generous paid time off and paid holiday schedule.

CLSA is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. All employment is decided based on qualifications, merit and business needs.

Job Summary:

The CLSA Vice President of State Government Relations is a full-time, Sacramento-based position, reporting directly to the President & CEO.  The position sets strategy and directs and manages the team responsible for CLSA’s state government relations and advocacy efforts.  Primary responsibilities include working closely with CLSA board members, member companies, key stakeholders, and policymakers to identify and advance policy objectives and issue campaigns to create a favorable environment for California’s growing life sciences industry. The position is also responsible for identifying and cultivating collaborative alliances and partnership opportunities with member companies, provider organizations, patient/consumer groups, and other stakeholder organizations.


Primary responsibilities:

State Legislative/Policy Duties

  • Design and implement strategies and operational plans to influence favorable outcomes on key issues and identify, develop and advocate policies to promote the growth of California’s life sciences industry.
  • Develop strategy for and lead integrated government relations, communications, advocacy issue campaigns and other legislative initiatives at the state level.
  • Manage and direct the CLSA Sacramento in-house and contract lobbyist teams in pursuit of CLSA priorities.
  • Establish relationships and regular contact with legislators, staff, administration, and key state agencies, and provide testimony and advice on issues important to the life sciences
  • Oversee fundraising and management of the California Life Sciences Association Political Action Committee.
  • Assist with the preparation of letters, briefing documents, testimony, position papers, op-eds, etc. advocating CLSA policy

Alliance Development

  • Align priorities, strategies, and activities with CLSA member companies and partner organizations such as AdvaMed, BIO, BIOCOM, and PhRMA.
  • Supervise the management of relationships with business groups and other advocates for life sciences in
  • Manage grassroots advocacy programs engaging CLSA members and their California sites in legislative action and education



  • Lead, manage, and inspire the state government relations team to achieve challenging and realistic goals, as defined by the organizational strategic plan and in conjunction with the Board of directors and membership objectives on an annual basis.
  • Serve as liaison to the Board of Directors with respect to state government relations and state specific alliance development, including preparing and presenting reports before CLSA’s Board of Directors.
  • Develop and direct the functions of the State Legislative Committee, including strategy development, staff interaction, creation and presentation of materials and reports, and organizing regular teleconferences and in-person meetings.
  • Under the direction of the CEO and in collaboration with other department heads, ensures consistent policy and advocacy prioritization and messaging across functions and to actively support recruitment of new members into the association.



  • Develops long-range functional objectives and strategies; and translates functional strategies into operational
  • Develops, directs, and implements multi-dimensional government relations, communications, and advocacy campaigns for maximum impact.
  • Initiates new business ideas and prioritizes initiatives for the function to optimize
  • Handles complex issues with significant impact on the organization and employees within function.
  • Provides reports or presents results directly to the board of directors and relevant board committees.
  • Works with decision makers in member organizations, and with key
  • Has Director or Manager level direct reports and manages
  • Sets the priorities for direct reports and models a management style in alignment with the organization’s
  • Attracts, evaluates, motivates, and rewards employees.
  • Directly supports revenue generation by participating with the business development team in key, high-level meetings, and leveraging professional


Background and Experience:

  • Ten (10) or more years of government relations, advocacy, policy, campaign, or public affairs experience, with trade association experience strongly preferred. Campaign management experience must be demonstrable and hands on.  Experience lobbying complex issues.
  • B.A. or B.S. required; M.A or M.S. degree in a related field a plus.
  • Minimum of 5 years managing professional level employees and directing and influencing
  • Extensive experience working with California state elected officials, government agencies, and staff. Deep understanding of healthcare, healthcare delivery and the life sciences ecosystem.
  • Proven leader with experience developing, directing, and implementing strategic, multi-dimensional state issue campaigns.
  • Ability to develop creative and strategic messaging and communication plans, both internally and externally.
  • Ability to motivate and inspire internal teams and lead organizational change efforts.
  • Ability to work independently, and to lead and manage multiple projects.
  • Experience building and managing impactful relationships with partner organizations.
  • Strong influencing and negotiation skills required.
  • Experience managing a political action committee is a plus.
  • Demonstrated record of sound political judgment and
  • Experience building and managing a budget.


Physical Demands:

  • Must be able to stand, sit, talk, listen and respond for an extended period of time;
  • Must be able to use hands and fingers to operate a computer, telephone and keyboard;
  • Close vision is required due to computer work;
  • Ability to sit at a computer for an extended period of time


Disclaimer: This job is currently to be performed remotely but will return to an office setting as state and local restrictions are lifted. This job description reflects the requirements of the position in a normal environment and while certain responsibilities may be adjusted to provide for a safe working environment during COVID-19, CLSA plans to follow state and local guidelines for reinstating normal business activities when appropriate. At such time, the responsibilities outlined herein will be required by the successful candidate.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2021-02-18