Companies you'll love to work for

Public Affairs Associate Director (REGIONAL Ontario)

Semma Therapeutics

Semma Therapeutics

Toronto, ON, Canada
Posted on Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Job Description

The Associate Director of Public Affairs (REGIONAL Ontario) is accountable for building regional relationships with stakeholders and is responsible for the development and execution of Vertex’s regional government relations and advocacy strategy. Work is generally independent with strong cross collaboration across functions. The Associate Director of Public Affairs reports to the Senior Director of Public Affairs.

Key Responsibilities

Government Relations:

  • In collaboration with the Senior Director, Public Affairs and Communications, develop regional stakeholder engagement strategies and plans that support Vertex’s goals and objectives.
  • Analyzes and interprets government policies, evaluate potential impact to organization's operation.
  • Develop and update the Public Affairs team on the landscape and provide insights that will help ensure the overarching strategy is aligned.
  • Works to secure meetings with government officials.
  • Conduct communications and interacts with government officials and agencies.
  • Acts as a liaison between the legislative entities and the organization, responsible for any related queries.
  • Reviews internal policies, plans, programs to ensure consistency with corresponding government interactions (e.g. registering as a lobbyist if applicable within the province).
  • Provides Canadian team with regular reports on business opportunities and monitors legislation affecting company policies.

Patient Advocacy and Engagement:

  • Work with the Public Affairs team to build and maintain relationships with patient organizations on policy issues related to access to medicines and life sciences innovation.
  • Collaborate with patient organizations and advocates on issues relating to access to medicines while respecting their independence and autonomy.
  • Be an ambassador for Vertex’s corporate brand and reputation at community events.
  • Monitor and provide briefing notes to the senior management team on policy and legislative changes that may affect the patient community

Stakeholder Communications:

  • In collaboration with Corporate Communications, develop stakeholder communications strategies.
  • Develop Canadian-specific communications products such as key messaging and talking points/Q&A to articulate Vertex’s value proposition, importance of timely access to approved medicines, and policy positions for use during interactions with external stakeholders.
  • Develop and implement appropriate issues management and crisis communications plans as required.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Typically requires 8 years of experience or the equivalent combination of education and experience
  • University degree in political science, business administration or a related field.
  • Must have experience working at a senior level in a stakeholder relationship role with a biotech/pharmaceutical company or have agency experience.
  • Knowledge of the patient advocacy community and understanding of the patient/caregiver experience in rare diseases is an asset.
  • Experience working in a corporate communications role is an asset.
  • Understanding of the legal, regulatory and compliance environment in which Vertex operates and commitment to adhere to high ethical standards.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with strong written and verbal communication abilities, and demonstrated capacity to work effectively with all levels.
  • Ability and willingness to travel frequently across Canada, and must have the ability to travel internationally including to the United States.


Company Information

Vertex is a global biotechnology company that invests in scientific innovation.

Vertex is committed to equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination for all employees and qualified applicants without regard to a person's race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, age, religion, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, marital status, or any characteristic protected under applicable law. Vertex is an E-Verify Employer in the United States. Vertex will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities, in accordance with applicable law.

Any applicant requiring an accommodation in connection with the hiring process and/or to perform the essential functions of the position for which the applicant has applied should make a request to the recruiter or hiring manager, or contact Talent Acquisition at