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Director for Public Policy and Advocacy, WSU Health Sciences

Job description

Employee Type:

AP-Administrative Professional

University Title:

Director Governmental Relations

Working Title:

Director for Public Policy and Advocacy, WSU Health Sciences


University Advancement & External Affairs


Advancement and External Affairs

Department Link:

WSU Government Relations

Position Number:


Hiring Unit :

External Affairs & Government Relations

Work Location:


Zip Code:


This position is in a Bargaining Unit:


Summary of Duties:

Reporting primarily to the Vice President for External Affairs and Government Relations with integrated collaboration and alignment with the Chancellor and Vice President for WSU Health Sciences, this position is responsible for oversight and leadership of WSU’s system level public policy engagement and advocacy efforts in support of WSU’s land grant mission as implemented through health sciences in particular focusing on health disparities and underserved communities. This position integrates development and execution of strategic partner relationships with campuses and colleges for purposes of health sciences public policy and funding on behalf of the WSU system.

The WSU Health Sciences enterprise includes the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, and the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, as well as programs in the colleges of Arts & Sciences, Veterinary Medicine and Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS), with opportunities for collaboration with the Voiland College for Engineering and Architecture and the Carson College of Business, spanning the system, with participation from all campuses.
The Director will play a key role in senior-level support of the strategic growth of WSU Health Sciences, working closely with executive leaders at the campus and system level, including the Offices of the President; Provost; Chancellors; Vice Presidents of Research; Advancement; Marketing and Communications, Health Science Deans, other senior leadership positions, and directly with faculty to develop, nurture, and strengthen mutually advantageous relationships to include public partnerships, public/private partnerships, research engagement, public policy initiatives, and support development efforts.

This position plays a critical role in coordinating strategy and activity for local, state, federal and WSU MOU tribes and other sovereign tribal nations public policy engagement and guiding advocacy strategy for health sciences internally as well as externally.

The Director will work closely with senior leadership to plan, oversee, and implement public relations strategies that leverage ongoing marketing and communications efforts with public policy agendas.

Additional Information:

Public Policy and Advocacy 35%

This is a system position that will serve as the primary liaison for WSU Health Sciences with the cities and counties, local, state, and federal elected officials, agency officials, tribes and other stakeholders engaged in issues related to health sciences research and education, training programs, and all matters of health sciences-related public policy, including those matters impacting health sciences public funding , health disparities across the state and providing access to underserved communities.

The Director will work in close coordination with the Office of State Relations and the Office of Federal Relations in developing and/or responding to state and federal legislation and regulations related to academic and health care issues. The individual will strategically build and solidify relationships, including conceiving of and building strategic coalitions in Spokane, Vancouver, Tri-Cities, Yakima and Everett and other communities around the state to support WSU’s legislative efforts for federal or state funding for WSU Health Sciences initiatives related to clinical, educational, or research activities.

The Director, in collaboration with the campuses and colleges and similarly engaged system offices, will increase the quantity and quality of WSU partnerships across all campuses in support of Health Sciences for purposes of public policy development and public funding. This includes working in collaboration with the various health science industry practice and professional associations who work with WSU’s health science campuses and their campus and faculty counterparts at WSU.

This function also includes:

Tracking, monitoring, and following the progress of key WSU health sciences projects, including strategic planning activities that support research and other issues that impact public policy from the senior leadership within WSU Health Sciences.

The Director will obtain or direct the method to obtain appropriate research and analysis regarding the public policy and advocacy landscape for health sciences, engaging leadership, faculty and students in the process, and prepare summaries, presentations, and talking points on an array of health sciences policy topics related to clinical research and education, training programs, and policy impacts.

Communicating and collaborating with health sciences faculty and staff on matters of public policy and advocacy at WSU campuses around the state.

Public Relations 20%

The Director will have responsibility for developing a public relations strategy in collaboration with WSU Health Science Spokane Communications Director, with Campus Communications Directors, and with the College Communications Directors, and across the system implemented through internal and external communications related to city, county, state, and federal policy as related to the Health Sciences as it pertains to responding to health policy initiatives and to moving forward the WSU Health Sciences agenda to elevate the visibility of WSU health sciences related to public policy and advocacy.

Stakeholder Relations 40%

Represent WSU Health Sciences at public and community events. Provide input into campus academic planning and student recruitment work, recognizing diversity, equity, and inclusiveness internally and externally as essential to achieving excellence. Maintain relationships with associations and other stakeholders critical to the mission of WSU Health Sciences.
Provide single point-of-contact to facilitate coordinating responses to inquiries and information as related to health science public policy and advocacy, ensuring follow-through by the area most suited to develop partnership opportunities and coordinating information with internal stakeholders and partners. Connect partners to appropriate WSU and WSU Health Sciences leadership.
Develop/maintain target list of practice and professional partners and stakeholders along with their key leaders to foster stronger ties related to health sciences with WSU. Manage these relationships in collaboration with the Office of Corporate Relations and WSU Advancement to focus on partnership activities to strategically support WSU Health Sciences, so that WSU can build public-public and public-private partnerships.
Build bridges between the Greater Pacific Northwest healthcare community and WSU and create opportunities that advance WSU Health Sciences priorities specifically in the areas of public policy and funding.
Translate community desire for engagement to specific projects and outcomes that benefit both parties and establish long-term collaborations by engaging regional economic development initiatives related to the health sciences.
Serve as internal and external liaison with local, state, and federal healthcare-related professional associations, including the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, Association of American Medical Colleges, and other appropriate professional organizations which represent the interests of the College of Medicine, College of Nursing and College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical sciences.
Connect with non-profit and government agencies where strategic priorities align and provide opportunity for greater impact or efficiencies.

Other 5%

Other duties as assigned.

View the Benefits overview for information regarding competitive benefits available.

Appointment Status:


Job Appointment (FTE%):


Position Term in Months:


Monthly Salary:

Commensurate with experience and qualifications

Required Qualifications:

A Bachelor’s degree in political science, public policy or a related field and seven (7) years of progressively responsible professional experience involving working to influence state government which has included at least two (2) years of experience working with the State Legislature and staff. A Master’s degree in a related field may be substituted for up to one (1) year of the required experience exclusive of the required experience working with the State Legislature and staff.

Additional Requirements:

Must have 2 years of health science specific experience.

Must have, or able to obtain, a valid driver’s license by time of hire.

Must be able and willing to travel.

Must be able and willing to work a flexible schedule including evenings and weekends.

Experience developing and maintaining networks, building alliances, collaborating across boundaries to build strategic relationships and achieve common goals.

Ability to identify key barriers, develop solutions and continuously adapt to meet the organizational goals.

Ability to develop a shared vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.

Experience coordinating strategic planning, implementation, and assessment.

Preferred Qualifications:

Demonstrated ability to foster diversity of thought, open communication, organizational trust and team building.

Will this position require a background check?:

This position has been designated by the department to require a background check

Open Date:


Open Until Filled :


Special Instructions to Applicants:

Screening of applicants will begin September 14, 2020 and will remain open until filled

Applicants must attach the following documents to their online application: 1) resume and 2) cover letter.

Application materials should clearly communicate how the applicant meets all required qualifications and additional requirements.

Applicants are required to include contact information for at least three (3) professional references in the application

Failure to submit correct materials/documents may result in an incomplete application.

EEO Statement :

WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EDUCATOR AND EMPLOYER. Members of ethnic minorities, women, special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam-era, recently separated veterans, and other protected veterans, persons of disability and/or persons age 40 and over are encouraged to apply.

WSU employs only U.S. citizens and lawfully authorized non-U.S. citizens. All new employees must show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

WSU is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact Human Resource Services: 509-335-4521(v), Washington State TDD Relay Service: Voice Callers: 1-800-833-6384; TDD Callers: 1-800-833-6388, 509-335-1259(f), or [email protected]

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Job No:
Posted: 11/10/2020
Application Due: 2/8/2021
Work Type: