Senior Director, Planning, Strategy and Operations, Government Affairs & Policy

Gilead Sciences
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
  • Experience
  • Posted
    Sep 07

Position description

Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical company founded in 1987. Together we deliver life-saving therapies to patients in need. With the commitment and drive you bring to the workplace every day, you will be part of a team that is changing the world and helping millions of people live healthier, more fulfilling lives. Our worldwide staff is a close community where you can see the tangible results of your contributions, where every individual matters, and everyone has a chance to enhance their skills through ongoing development. Our scientific focus has resulted in marketed products that are benefiting millions of people, a pipeline of late-stage drug candidates, and unmatched patient access programs to ensure medications are available to those who could otherwise not afford them. By joining Gilead, you will further our mission to address unmet medical needs and improve life by advancing the care of patients with life-threatening diseases.


Senior Director, Planning, Strategy and Operations, Government Affairs & Policy


Gilead Sciences seeks an exceptional business-focused Government Affairs executive to serve as the Chief of Staff to Senior Vice President, Government Affairs & Policy (SVP), and to lead global planning, strategy development and operational excellence activities for Government Affairs and Policy (GA&P). This role covers planning and operations for all disciplines of Government Affairs and Policy, including US / International Government Affairs, Global Policy, Therapeutic Area GA&P, and FOCUS.   


This role requires an influential, dynamic, and effective individual who can work side-by-side with the Senior Vice President, Government Affairs & Policy (SVP), his Leadership Team (LT) and cross-functional partners to set the strategic priorities for the function and develop coherent departmental work plans that drive our business and enhances and protects our brand and company reputation.  The individual will bring a highly organized approach and the right amount of structure to the team to ensure prioritization, strategic alignment and the appropriate focus of resources and activity. 


Based in Foster City, CA or Washington, DC, this role reports to the SVP and will be an integral member of his LT.  It is an excellent opportunity to be part of a winning team focused on driving business success.


Key Responsibilities

Lead annual creation of operating plans, ensuring departmental priorities are aligned to business strategy or corporate objective and defining areas where GA&P can have the greatest impact.

  • Ensure GA&P strategic planning processes occurs synergistically and in tandem with the commercial business planning cycle.
  • Work with the SVP and GA&P LT to ensure 1) alignment and consistency of strategic priorities around the world, 2) coordination across GA&P teams and 3) timely communication with affiliates to guide development of local plans.
  • Ensure GA&P resources are allocated behind strategic priorities.  Oversee budget process across GA&P, in partnership with Finance and the SVP Executive Assistant.


Work closely with the SVP in executing his global vision to build an industry-leading government affairs function and aligning the organization behind GA&P’s role as an essential strategic partner.

  • Build powerful two-way relationships with the GA&P LT and key cross-functional business leaders and bring broader internal and external insights to ensure the function is responding in a coherent, coordinated way to address immediate and longer-term opportunities and threats proactively. 
  • Identify areas where GA&P counsel and influence can be strengthened within internal teams such as R&D Development, Medical, Commercial and Public Affairs.
  • Direct and develop a high impact GA&P communications platform to deliver timely updates informing management on key federal, state and international government actions impacting Gilead. Work with Public Affairs, Legal and senior company leaders on company-wide communications involving Gilead’s positions on important policy-related matters.
  • Develop GA&P success metrics, monitor progress against plan.  Establish impact KPIs. 
  • Partner with Human Resources to develop forward looking talent strategy for GA&P.  Implement comprehensive competency development plans to strengthen GA&P skills and adopt best practices to enhance ability to recruit and retain top talent. Lead efforts to enhance and sustain employee engagement.
  • Assist the SVP with preparation for the GA&P LT meetings, including cadence, agenda development, speaker briefings and managing meeting outputs and follow-up.
  • Ensure SVP is adequately prepared for key meetings and engagements. Represent the SVP and/or department at senior meetings, as required.


Drive efficiency, excellence, and scalability in the GA&P function by overseeing priority function-wide initiatives and activities.

  • Coordinate departmental response to priority requests such as preparation of briefing materials for senior executives serving on the board of directors for key trade associations (PhRMA and BIO.)  Manage internal GA&P process in developing company positions on evolving policy debates or issues related to decision items at trade associations.
  • Manage/coordinate GA&P participation and input to select corporate initiatives as directed by the SVP. Facilitate coordination and information sharing across GA&P teams to ensure alignment and one-GA&P view.
  • Enable a high functioning and efficient GA&P organization by implementing a continuous improvement approach to organizational processes.


Required Competencies

  • Experience in health care policy, consulting or in biotech/pharmaceutical industry required.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the strategic role of government affairs in driving business success.  
  • Strong analytical, critical thinking and interpersonal skills.
  • Well-honed political sensitivities and impeccable integrity. 
  • Effective communicator.
  • Executive presence to interact with high-profile stakeholders such as elected officials, executives and other constituencies and the gravitas to influence without direct authority, draw out diverse views, drive consensus, manage conflict and act with discretion in all situations.
  • Demonstrated ability to handle confidential information with maturity and discretion.
  • Creative, flexible, and entrepreneurial.  Capable of leveraging relationships and facilitating partnerships and collaborations with diverse stakeholder groups.
  • Able to speak and write persuasively and with clarity. 
  • Organized and can manage multiple and often competing priorities, lead high profile complex projects, and thrive in a collegial yet highly demanding team environment.
  • Strong command of financial and operational systems.
  • Must work with operational and technical rigor.
  • Willingess to travel (15-25%).


Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree with 14+ years of experience in a related field or an advanced degree (e.g., MA, MBA, PhD, JD) with 12+ years of experience in a related field.
  • Comprehensive understanding of the biopharma industry, the business model, and regulatory framework. Knowledge of U.S. and international healthcare systems preferred.
  • Demonstrated track record of working effectively with Leadership Teams, managing high profile programs and initiatives, and cultivating strong relationships with leaders of all levels.

Application instructions

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