Senior Director of Health Communications

Waxman Strategies, a mission-driven policy and communications consulting firm led by former Congressman Henry Waxman, is accepting applications for a Senior Director of Health Communications. The Senior Director will work primarily with our health clients, building effective communications plans, generating media attention, deepening relationships with health reporters, and ensuring we respond nimbly to breaking news on health issues. You will play a critical role in shaping policy communications and public affairs campaigns to address the rising cost of health care, protect and expand access to care for vulnerable populations, promote and improve health equity, protect women’s health, advance strong public health, and prevention policies around issues like tobacco control and nutrition, and accelerate health technologies and new innovations that address critical health needs.

Who we are: 

Recognized as “one of the most accomplished legislators of his or any era” by President Obama, former Congressman Henry Waxman leads the firm’s work in the areas of health, the environment, and technology. Waxman Strategies uses advocacy, communications, and campaigns to shape policies, advance causes and build movements around the world.

We use our policy knowledge and experience to provide strategic counsel, issue analysis and policy development and engagement support to our diverse portfolio of clients. Building on a powerful legacy, we are driven by an uncompromising commitment to create and sustain change in the public interest. Our current health clients include: AIDS United, Medicines360, Tara Health Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, West Health, National Association of Community Health Centers, 340B Health, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, and Arnold Ventures.

 The position:

As a Senior Director of Health Communications, you will work with our Technology Communications team and partner closely with our Health team to deliver for our clients as we work to shape and influence policy around critical health issues.

 Responsibilities include:

  • Drive the success of client communications goals, which involves the development and implementation of integrated communications strategies, plans and campaigns calibrated to achieve short and longer term objectives and impact.
  • Strengthen and cultivate relationships with health reporters and health policy media; actively pitch stories and generate coverage; and train and manage staff around reporter outreach.
  • Oversee and take a lead role in the writing and editing of a variety of communications materials, both internal and external, including press releases, reporter pitches, blog posts, fact sheets, talking points and contributed content such as op-eds, bylines, and blog posts.
  • Manage thought leadership programs, including crafting materials and press releases, fact sheets, presentations, and contributed content such as op-eds, bylines, and blog posts; and driving executive visibility and industry thought leadership campaigns for clients and internally.
  • Work closely with clients to develop effective messaging and innovative health policy narratives for targeted audiences, securing speaking engagements and identifying and securing opportunities to enhance clients’ position in the market.
  • Project manage communications deliverables and directly support multiple clients.
  • Perform other duties as needed to help meet Waxman Strategies’ priorities and goals, including supporting communications work around innovative health technologies and business models, supporting alliance development, coalition management and communications.
  • Play a key role in business development, actively identifying potential new clients, and participation in new client meetings and ongoing conversations, and writing/presenting proposals.
  • Manage and train one or more members of the communications staff; recruiting and hiring additional staff as needed.

Who you are:

Required qualifications:

  • You have a minimum of eight years of professional work experience, including a background in communications, public affairs, and/or public relations, including some experience in an agency setting.
  • You have experience on health policy issues and are interested in continuing to deepen your expertise. You are familiar with the D.C. political scene and understand legislative and regulatory work, including experience shaping communications around advocacy plans to move decision makers.
  • You have an ability to capitalize on media opportunities, drive communications program activity and evaluate campaign results against objectives.
  •  You have excellent written and verbal communication skills, with demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with people at varying levels of expertise on health issues, including reporters and clients.
  • You are passionate about health equity and working on behalf of underserved communities.
  • You have experience recruiting, managing, and mentoring staff.
  • You have flexibility, can take initiative, and a willingness to learn as issues arise.
  • You have excellent project management and organizational skills.

Preferred qualifications:

  • You have experience in the health advocacy field.
  • You have experience with business development.
  • A master’s degree in a related discipline preferred.
  • Fluency in Spanish a plus.

More about our team: The firm is made up of people from various backgrounds, including former Obama administration staff, nonprofit advocacy groups, health agencies, and legislative offices, at a range of experience levels. We pride ourselves on being a welcoming place for people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, parents, empty-nesters, and more.

Details: This is a full-time position based in our Washington, D.C. office. However, during the pandemic, our staff are working from home. The safety of our team is a top priority, and we will resume working from our office, travel, and in-person meetings when it is safe to do so. You will report to and partner  with the Managing Director of our Technology & Communications Practice and work closely with the Health Practice Managing Director and staff.

Compensation and benefits: The salary range for this position is $96K to $125K, depending on experience. We have a generous benefits package, including group health insurance, dental benefits, unlimited vacation time, paid holidays, and a 401(k) plan. We offer a supportive and collaborative work setting with flexible hours as needed for family and personal demands, a beautiful new office space, and a talented, driven, passionate, and fun team to work with.

Interview process: Our interview process involves a phone interview, two video interviews, a candidate exercise, and reference calls for candidates who advance in our process. We are not scheduling in-person interviews during the pandemic.

To apply:

Please submit a resume and a thoughtful cover letter which demonstrates your writing abilities and let us know how you learned of the job. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and the job will remain posted on our website until it is filled.

If you require reasonable accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, completing any pre-employment testing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please contact Aliya at

Our DEIJ Commitment: Waxman Strategies is a firm that cares deeply about protecting our environment, improving health access and outcomes, and advancing technology in the public interest. We conduct our work with the understanding that diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) values are central to our mission, our culture, our success, and our impact.

With the knowledge of this country’s historically unjust economic and social systems in mind, our organization tries to maintain a workplace environment that embraces the diverse* backgrounds and identities of our team, partners, and clients.

We strive to make decisions transparently and inclusively, working to eliminate barriers so that all present and future Waxman Strategies staff — particularly those with traditionally excluded identities — have equitable, comprehensive access to resources, opportunities for leadership, and oversight of day-to-day activities.

*Including differing race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, tribe, caste, socio-economic status, thinking, communication style, etc.

Waxman Strategies is an equal opportunity employer; we strictly prohibit discrimination against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or expression and any other characteristic protected by law. 

Women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ community and other historically marginalized communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

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