Director, Policy, Public Affairs Lead Sub Sahara Africa (SSA)

South Africa, Johannesburg

We have an exciting opportunity available for an experienced Director, Policy, Public Affairs Lead Sub Sahara Africa (SSA), JHB North, South Africa that exists within our client’s Global Policy & Public Affairs, Corporate Affairs, department.

Our client is a global pharmaceutical company, and this position will report directly to the Senior Director, Policy & Public Affairs Lead – AfME, Global Corporate Affairs, Emerging Markets.

We would welcome the opportunity to connect and provide further details if you feel this is the right role for you!

Role Description:

  • Develop and manage strategic policy initiatives to support the Company’s SSA business.
  • Develop and implement innovative policy strategic platforms to support the Company’s business across SSA, including but not limited to the creation of broader industry coalitions and platforms to advance the Company’s objectives.
  • Serve as a thought partner to the Country Managers and commercial leaders in anticipating and assessing the impact of the external policy environment on business strategy and provide strategic counsel in business planning decisions (operating plan, business reviews and business development).

Role Responsibilities:

Strategic planning and implementation

  • Proactively assesses trends, policies and identifies key opportunities and threats for the SSA cluster.
  • Prepares informational materials for management, highlighting opportunities and potential threats and develops responsive strategies where such developments could impact business operations.
  • Utilizes the Company’s corporate policy positions to develop targeted political strategies and action plans.
  • Develop, communicate, and implement a macro-level strategic plan (e.g. SESAMI) that effectively shapes the environment to create a favorable operating environment for the Company.
  • Leverages insights and knowledge to create a vision for the future and position Company as a preferred partner.
  • Prioritizes and drives both long-term and short-term opportunities.

 External Relations

  • Coordinates, leads, and participates in advocacy functions at trade and business associations in the country.
  • Establishes, maintains and consistently leverages relationships with policy makers, think tanks, local embassies, US Chambers, Business Councils and other organizations to advance the Company’s strategic priorities and ensure that the company’s position is reflected in advocacy materials.
  • Develop briefing materials for meetings including goals and metrics. Ensure meeting follow-up including documentation as needed.
  • Achieve and exceed set sales targets and market share objectives.
  • Effective implementation of sales and marketing strategies.
  • Effective management of the regional territory by means of planning, territory analysis, customer targeting and call coverage of identified customer base.
  • Establishment of positive relationships (mutual trust and respect) with customers and other stakeholders.
  • Manage key customer sales and effective relationship management.
  • Providing ongoing customer support.
  • Add value to an entrepreneurial climate.
  • Effective territory expense management and control.
  • Active engagement with team members & piers in order to build an exciting and high-performance team and company culture.
  • Works with the Country Managers to develop and implement new strategies in response to policy platforms of elected officials.

 Company Policy

  • Appropriately and effectively tailors the Company’s Global and/or Regional policy positions to local market dynamics.
  • Champions the Company’s policy agenda through active participation in industry groups and associations.
  • In collaboration with External Communication colleagues, communicates on key topics such as IP, health reform, access to medicines, pricing, trade agreements, etc. through the development of briefing notes, position papers, talking points, as well as relevant correspondence, proposals and presentations.

 Therapeutic Area Policy

  • Works in partnership with the EM Therapeutic Policy teams and local cross functional teams and leads the development of innovative policy strategies that proactively shape the environment for launch of new assets.
  • Adapt and implement global TA-level policy strategies and tactics to support access to the Company’s products address the patient affordability challenge.
  • Working in partnership with the Global Patient Advocacy team effectively develops relationships and engage with patient groups to both integrate their perspective in our policy strategy and to provide industry thought leadership to support their goals in shaping policy to support patient access.


  • Serves as key thought partner to Cluster Lead, Country Managers and Commercial Leads in assessing the impact of the external policy environment on business strategy. Provide strategic counsel in business planning decisions including but not limited to operating plan discussions and business reviews.
  • Coordinates and prepares the LT for external engagements.
  • Ensures that the local management team understand the impact of Policy/CA activities and role in supporting the BU commercial goals.
  • Maintain strict compliance with all applicable policies and laws, especially those related to interactions with government officials.

Country Responsibility Split

  • South Africa 80%, Nigeria (WA) 10%, Kenya (EA) 10%

Organisational Relationships

  • Internal: H&V, Legal, Commercial, Medical and Regulatory, Global Policy and wider CA team
  • External: Academics, think-tanks, trade associations, policy makers, consultants and key influencers.

Resources Managed

  • Financial Accountability – responsible for managing local CA budgets.
  • Supervision – No direct reports, matrix management required.

Qualification and Experience

  • Must have a minimum of 10 years of experience in public policy, strategy or consulting related to policy, government relations, and/or corporate affairs.
  • Bachelor’s degree required. Advanced Degree in health/public policy, international affairs, political science, and/or law preferred
  • Deep knowledge of healthcare policy and pharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement issues. Excellent knowledge of the local healthcare system and its major players and decision-makers.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and execute effective, innovative and practical policy/public affairs and policy solutions and comprehensive plans that deliver results.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and deploy appropriate “public affairs and policy” tools (advocacy, lobbying, stakeholder engagement plans).
  • Strong understanding of business strategy and key drivers of commercial success
  • Highly skilled at anticipating, identifying, and addressing emerging issues and related risks that could impact the Company’s business
  • Strong ability to develop relationships with key stakeholders. Skilled at advocacy influence within internal/external matrix organizations. Skilled at navigating complex environments through range of internal and external stakeholders.
  • Strong executive presence and interpersonal acumen, highly substantive and collaborative. Demonstrated ability to succinctly convey relevant information at the right time and with the proper context and seek input as needed.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills, Excellent command of English language.