Director - State Public Affairs

  • PhRMA
  • Washington, DC, USA
  • Apr 17, 2020
Full time Public Relations

Job Description

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) is seeking a Director for its Public Affairs team to support its state advocacy communications and proactive media relations activities and broader departmental public affairs efforts.     


The individual will work with colleagues across the Public Affairs team and across the organization to develop, execute and track public affairs and communications strategies and plans for key state advocacy priorities. These priorities are organizationally cross-cutting and require a high degree of organization, collaboration with internal stakeholders and subject matter expertise and include, but are not limited to, issues such as access, prescription drug costs, research and development, prescription drug abuse, economic impact, litigation, and others.


The Director is responsible for:

  • Working with the state public affairs team to develop and execute the communications, public affairs and media strategies for state advocacy priorities by closely tracking activities and work streams and providing media relations, communications counsel and support for PhRMA staff engaging with the media; 
  • Proactive outreach to reporters and other external audiences as well as handling responses to media inquiries;   
  • Developing strong relationships with PhRMA colleagues, member companies, consultants and media, especially at the state level;
  • Developing impactful messaging, advocacy and communications materials, including blog posts, op-eds, letters to the editor, press releases, talking points and presentations, among other materials;
  • Collaborating with the State Advocacy, State Policy and Advocacy & Strategic Alliances teams on their legislative, grassroots and third-party activities, including providing communications and messaging support;
  • Aligning closely with other departments, including attending inter-departmental meetings, understanding advocacy goals/objectives, managing issues proactively and responding to requests promptly;
  • Working with consultants in the development of social media content, press releases and statements, op-eds, pre-event briefings, and event reports.


Key Success Factors 

PhRMA seeks a proactive, confident and action-oriented individual who is passionate about contributing to the health care challenges we face today. The preferred candidate will bring a “campaign mentality” and excellent writing skills, with the ability to convey content in an audience-appropriate manner. The successful candidate must be focused, a self-starter, organized, detail-oriented, responsive, mature and diplomatic. Other key success factors for this role include strong interpersonal skills and team focus paired with the ability to work independently and under short timelines. This is a highly visible, fast-paced position that is both internally and externally facing. Accordingly, the successful candidate should be adaptable, able to reprioritize and shift gears quickly, comfortable in a high-pressure environment and be politically savvy.


Professional Experience / Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree;
  • Health care issue experience and expertise; 
  • 5+ years of diverse communications experience including significant media relations engagement and daily pitching and responding to media; third-party stakeholder outreach and engagement; and proven management of complex issues, projects, tasks, requests, and timelines.
  • State-focused experience within corporate, government, public relations agency, trade association, and/or advocacy organization(s) or political campaigns;
  • A results-oriented team player;
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Ability to assess complex problems and propose possible solutions;
  • Ability to inspire confidence within the organization and with external constituencies;
  • Ability to balance the needs of various internal and external parties with flexibility and a steady temperament;
  • Must be willing to travel up to 40%, a majority of which will be based on state legislative calendars, and be responsive/available after hours and on weekends.



  • State political and/or trade association experience

Who we are
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research companies, which are devoted to discovering and developing medicines that enable patients to live longer, healthier and more productive lives. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested more than $600 billion in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $79.6 billion in 2018 alone.