Executive Director, Federal & Research Government Relations

La Jolla, California
Commensurate with Experience
March 17 2021
Organization Type

UC San Diego

Executive Director, Federal & Research Government Relations

Filing Deadline: Mon 4/19/2021

Salary Range: Commensurate with Experience


UC San Diego’s Government and Community Relations (GCR) department supports the University’s mission to transform California and a diverse global society by: educating students; generating and disseminating knowledge and creative works; treating patients; and engaging in public service. GCR works as a strong, coherent, integrated, and efficient team that provides outstanding service to internal and external stakeholders. The department also implements comprehensive programs of relationship development, management, and engagement in support of strategic partnerships in order to safeguard and increase public resources in support of UC San Diego’s mission of education, research, healthcare, and service. GCR reports to the Associate Chancellor/Chief of Staff within the Chancellor’s Office VC Area.


Reporting to the Associate Chancellor/Chief of Staff with a secondary reporting line and in close partnership with to the Vice Chancellor - Research (VCR), the Executive Director (ED) will be tasked with elevating the visibility of UC San Diego and our unique research capabilities through government advocacy. Serves as a principal advocate for the institution to internal and external constituencies. Key areas of responsibilities include developing and implementing strategic federal and research government relations and legislative programs for UC San Diego, Research and UC San Diego Health. In consultation with campus leadership, develops and leads the overall federal and research government relations strategy of UC San Diego and UC San Diego Health, which has significant impact on the San Diego region, the state and the nation. Promotes a culture of equity, inclusion, diversity, respect and superior customer service to internal and external constituents.


Advises the Chancellor, VCR, CEO UC Health and the other members of the Chancellor's Cabinet and UC San Diego leadership on appropriate interactions with federal elected and appointed officials in Washington D.C, San Diego and elsewhere, as appropriate, to monitor and influence legislative and agency developments with potential to, or affecting, the University. Functions at the highest level of government, scientific and institutional analysis, policy, and program planning and development.


The ED works closely with University Communications for advancing and managing government relations programs in support of UC San Diego’s research mission with the goal of increasing visibility and understanding of the University’s identity, locally, nationally and internationally.


Principally responsible for the development and management of strategies to inform and influence public policy at the federal level on issues and in areas of interest to UC San Diego, and to advise the Chancellor, VCR and CEO Health System on legislative matters that may affect the University. Monitors legislation and public policy issues.


Works in conjunction with the Executive Director of State and Local Government and Community Relations to build a comprehensive government and community relations for UC San Diego.


Responsible for the development and implementation of a campus-wide advocacy and government relations program that will enhance government-university-industry partnerships. Uses subject matter and political expertise, analysis and advocacy skills. The building of these relationships will be effectively leveraged at the federal, state and local levels. Works with high profile civic, business and community organizations and their members to grow the university’s presence and reputation. These include, but are not limited to, San Diego Chamber of Commerce, San Diego Economic Development Corporation and other groups beyond the footprint of the campus.


Represents the Chancellor’s office on the Office of the President‘s federal and research government relations.


Establishes objectives and work plans, and delegates assignments to subordinate directors within department.



• Bachelor's degree in related area and / or equivalent experience / training. 5+ years of relevant experience.

• Advanced skills to represent senior campus and / or medical center management with legislators, presidential appointees, et cetera, and knowledge / skill to accurately and effectively respond to inquiries from diverse constituencies. Demonstrated knowledge of the relationship of federal, state and local research and public service priorities to the broader context of global concerns that lie at the nexus of public and private sector research activities; demonstrated capability to develop and implement activities to engage UC San Diego in projects related to global education, science and technology agendas.

• Advanced skill in advocating for and representing the campus and / or medical center to its various constituencies. Outstanding strategic vision of emerging critical issues in science and technology policy; professional experience in the development of science and technology policy and programs.

• Advanced, in-depth knowledge of the legislative process at all levels, including regulatory and budgeting, key legislators, and current and on-going issues of concern in higher education, research, and / or medical science in general and specific issues of concern to the campus and / or medical center.

• Expert strategic planning, analytical, negotiation and political acumen skills. Senior leadership experience at the highest levels of organizations and demonstrated ability in strategic planning and action; outstanding oral and written communication skills; established expertise in creating and mobilizing large projects and successful programs.

• Advanced written, verbal, interpersonal communication and leadership skills, including attentive listening skills and skill to effectively thinking quickly and respond appropriately. Outstanding communicator who possesses a high degree of initiative and interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills. This includes the ability to work effectively as part of a team with diverse groups of professionals to achieve common objectives. Ability to use tact, diplomacy and discretion with emphasis on flexibility and professionalism and treating all with dignity, equity, inclusion, and respect. Ability to foster the Principles of Community.

• Demonstrated competency and commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the historical and social context of diversity, equity and inclusion, and of the complexities of the intersections of various communities and demonstrated ability to translate that knowledge into practical applications, processes, policies, responses and programs.



• Position will be based in Washington D.C. Will be required to work non-standard hours and travel frequently to San Diego, and other locations as needed.


Our employees enjoy competitive compensation packages and educational opportunities in a diverse, stimulating workforce.


This position is eligible for full benefits first day of hire:

a) Health/Dental/Vision Insurance.

b) Vacation/holidays (18 vacation days & 13 paid holidays a year).

c) Work/Life Balance.

d) UC Retirement Plan.


For more information about UCSD Benefits visit https://blink.ucsd.edu/HR/benefits/ and Work/Life visit https://blink.ucsd.edu/HR/benefits/work-life/.


Apply Online


The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, gender identity or sexual orientation. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see: http://www-hr.ucsd.edu/saa/nondiscr.html