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Director, US Patient Advocacy and Strategic Partnerships (Neurology and Immunology)

Posted 20 Oct 2017

Washington D.C., District of Columbia - United States

Req Id 167538


Who we are:

EMD Serono is the North American biopharma brand of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany - a leading science and technology company - focused exclusively on specialty care. For more than 40 years, the brand has integrated cutting-edge science, innovative products and industry-leading patient support and access programs. EMD Serono has deep expertise in neurology, fertility and endocrinology, as well as a robust pipeline of potential therapies in oncology, immuno-oncology and immunology as R&D focus areas.

At Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, we realize the power of collaboration in our work with patients, patient opinion leaders, and patient organizations every day. It is an increasingly important part of our culture as we continue to become a truly patient-centric healthcare company. We want to make a measurable positive impact on the lives of people living with serious diseases and chronic conditions and their families. When working with patients, patient opinion leaders, and patient organizations, our behavior is characterized by the spirit of collaboration, mutual respect and trust, as well as openness and transparency.

Your role:

The US Director, Patient Advocacy and Strategic Partnerships is responsible for development and implementation of strategic engagements / relationships and collaborations with patients, patient opinion leaders, and patient organizations as well as medical societies and other external non-government stakeholders to drive initiatives that promote the awareness, development, and accessibility of our Neurology and Immunology (N&I) therapies in the US. Accountability for supporting development and execution of a strategy to achieve priorities with patients, patient opinion leaders, patient organizations, and other external stakeholders relevant to our portfolio and corporate position; Serving as liaison with external non-government stakeholders and facilitating collaboration with such groups by other functions; working with Commercial, Medical, R&D, and other functions to ensure that priorities and investments with external non-governmental stakeholders align with the company’s overarching business goals; and managing a budget to accomplish advocacy objectives. Accountability for oversight and/or management for key stakeholder collaboration/projects and programs. The Director, Patient Advocacy and Strategic Partnerships, will report to the VP, Global Patient Advocacy and Strategic Partnerships, with a secondary report into the VP, US Government Affairs and Policy.

  • Develop an integrated strategic advocacy plan that meets the N&I franchise, business, and policy objectives and priorities in the US. 
  • Execute strategies for external patient, patient opinion leader, and patient organization engagement, investments, budget, initiatives, and internal collaboration partners to accomplish business goals.
  • Collaborate with internal functions to develop innovative partnership ideas that will drive franchise / commercial, medical, government affairs & policy, communications, and other business goals with external non-government stakeholders.
  • Leverage investment at key medical meetings and congresses by the Commercial and Medical team(s) to advance patient advocacy and stakeholder engagement objectives.
  • Conduct and expand N&I stakeholder mapping efforts with appropriate internal partners to identify potential external partners and areas of collaboration.
  • Oversee program development with key patient organizations, medical societies, and related groups: responsible for appropriate pull through and engagement with various functions within the US and global organization.
  • Create bi-directional exchange and collaboration between key US and global stakeholder relationships and between US based global stakeholders and EU and RoW.
  • Manage budget necessary to support patient advocacy initiatives with maximum impact and efficiency.
  • Serve as ambassador to, and build goodwill with, key external non-government stakeholders through personal relationship building at leadership and staff levels.
  • Provide oversight to key operational components of NGO program support, including budget management and internal alignment.
  • Ensure consistent, compliant engagements with external non-government stakeholders.
  • Serve as company representative and report on developments in relevant activities of key industry trade associations, global coalitions, non-government stakeholders, and patient organizations and medical societies.
  • Coordinate policy advisory boards and patient advocacy summits to support Franchise and government affairs & policy objectives.
  • Expand the reach and impact of the patient voice. Bring together internal business leaders and key external stakeholders to form true strategic partnerships and foster alignment around Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany as a patient directed company.


Who you are: 

  • Undergraduate Degree required, Masters an asset
  • English mandatory, other languages an asset
  • Minimum of 10 years in healthcare industry, including advocacy relations, public policy, government affairs, or similar experience.
  • Experience working with patient advocacy organizations.
  • Experience staffing senior leadership in external engagement.
  • Ability to serve as company ambassador with senior representatives of external stakeholders.
  • Experience working with global colleagues.
  • Strong understanding of our therapeutic areas (especially multiple sclerosis), including stakeholder environment and key business, medical, research, and policy trends.
  • Working understanding of pharmaceutical business, drug development process, healthcare delivery systems, and the reimbursement landscape for pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and hospital and physician services.
  • Ability to initiate and maintain partnerships with key external stakeholders.
  • Ability to work cross-functionally to identify and prioritize company goals to accomplish with patient/physician groups
  • Ability to develop strategies and execute tactical plans to advance company priorities in the government and/or stakeholder realm.


Customer Focused

  • High level of professionalism, and excellent written and interpersonal communications skills to enable interactions with senior leadership of external non-government stakeholders.
  • Understands the need for change and drives participation in change efforts. Flexibility in leading through change, driving through unexpected challenges to deliver on business imperatives.
  • Creates innovative solutions to solve business issues
  • Drives business results by working with all relevant groups and networks effectively across the Company
  • Strong influence skills


  • Ability to collaborate effectively across functions in a complex organization and business environment
  • Travel 25%


  • Considers and analyzes a broad range of factors, such as policies, practices, and trends to make a decision


  • Meets challenges consistently and confidently with energy and drive. Motivated by results, urgency and personal commitment. Possesses high integrity and exceptional work ethic. Fosters mutual trust and respect.


  • Effective program management and coordination skills, including highly developed time and project management skills
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision and be an effective team player


  • Applies effective communication techniques, engages in focused dialogue, and demonstrates good listening skills
  • Outstanding oral, written, budgeting, and communication skills with the ability to present to small and large groups and deal with unexpected questions and challenges while presenting

What we offer:

Your possibilities to develop in our growing company are just as manifold as our product portfolio. We offer a modern and international working environment to unleash your innovative potential in diverse teams, and take responsibility for our employees, products, the environment and society.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The Company is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer.

No employee or applicant for employment will be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military or veteran status, genetic information, gender identity, or any other classification protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.

This policy of Equal Employment Opportunity applies to all policies and programs relating to recruitment and hiring, promotion, compensation, benefits, discipline, termination, and all other terms and conditions of employment.

Any applicant or employee who believes they have been discriminated against by the Company or anyone acting on behalf of the Company must report any concerns to his/her Human Resources Business Partner, Legal, or Compliance immediately. The Company will not retaliate against any individual because he/she made a good faith report of discrimination.

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