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Regional Director, State Government Relations

Job Details

American Psychiatric Association HQ - Washington, DC


At the direction of the Director of State Government Relations (SGR), the Regional Director of SGR will be responsible for managing APA related issues iin their designated states and district branches while interacting with APA member physicians across the United States and the District of Columbia, deeply engaging the relevant State Associations (SAs) and District Branches (DBs), and working closely with other relevant internal and external stakeholders.

This position is one of three Regional Directors in State Government Relations in the APA. The SGR team works across all 50 states and the District of Columbia with the SA/DBs to advocate for the legislative advancement of psychiatry, mental health treatment and other APA priorities, and DB/SAs legislative priorities. The SGR team also helps coordinate a grassroots ambassador program for psychiatric physicians in key states and coordinates with the APAs Federal Government Relations team on priority policy issues.


  • Advocate on behalf of the APA on the associations priority legislative, regulatory, and public policy interests with legislative, regulatory, and executive branch officials in states assigned to the Regional Director (East Coast).
  • Identify political trends that could impact psychiatric physicians and mental health treatment either positively or negatively.
  • Track legislation of interest to APA and DB/SAs and report to the Director of State Government Relations on this legislation.
  • Write concisely and submit summaries on legislative and political issues.
  • Communicate with APA leaders to keep them apprised of key policy and political developments.
  • Work with SA/DB leaders, APA members, and other relevant third parties to achieve state advocacy goals within state/region.
  • Utilize communication technology and travel as needed to establish relationships with members.
  • In conjunction with the Director of SGR, manage regional issues and DB/SA relations.
  • Work with the SGR team to ensure coverage of issues across all 50 states.
  • Direct the development and execution of SGR strategies and maximize active engagement of APA membership in close coordination with the SA/DBs.
  • Ensure maximum, timely information flow to APA SGR team.
  • Work with state legislative team (DBs, contract lobbyists, etc.) to monitor, evaluate legislation in region.
  • Implement APAs priority policy objectives and otherwise advance the interests of the APA membership in region.
  • Increase member advocacy and engagement through grassroots and grasstops strategies working closely with the SA/DB leadership in region.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with key regional groups that are in alignment with APA goals.
  • Address the key healthcare issues that face the APA and its members, including but not limited to non-physician scope of practice, drug formulary restrictions, and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other private and public healthcare delivery reforms, among others.
  • When appropriate, serve as the contact with State Legislatures, Governors, and State Agencies within region. Serve as a SGR contact on state relations with membership and APA staff.
  • In conjunction with the Director of SGR, establish and maintain collaborative working relationships with Senior Leaders, Association members, SA/DB Executives, APA staff, and key external stakeholders in region.
  • In close coordination with SA/DB leaders, serve as a spokesperson and advocate before all venues and audiences including State legislative bodies, regulatory agencies, other public forums and the media, if appropriate.
  • Execute the APAs strategic plan to transform APA into a key player in the region.
  • Forge key alliances among organizations/third party policy groups within the mental health community and beyond that share similar advocacy objectives in region.
  • Enhance and maintain an effective public relations/public relations approach, inclusive of a strong plan to strengthen the reputation of the association.
  • Manage the SGR regional relationships and operations.
  • In conjunction with the Director of SGR, develop and execute a strategic plan and operating budget for the region, including working with SA/DBs to properly utilize APA resources.
  • Participate in the review, evaluation, and improvement of the Associations relations with DBs and other key state-based stakeholders
  • Manage state-based contract lobbyists, if appropriate.
  • Other duties as assigned.



  • Bachelors degree in any field; advanced degree(s) in law, political science, public policy or an equivalent preferred.
  • 5-7 years of experience in executing and managing state specific advocacy campaigns, state policy development understanding, and lobbying or legislative experience.
  • A seasoned state government relations professional who possesses the ability to be effective with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Independent judgment and professional maturity to act in the interests of the association and relevant DB/Sas while working as part of a broader team.
  • An understanding of healthcare policy preferred.
  • Ability to be effective and decisive, manage multiple issues at one time, and work well as part of a larger team.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain strong relationships with state officials in the region with an established network to utilize in this position.
  • Analyze legislation or regulatory proposals, contact relevant internal stakeholders to understand the impact on the association, and create and implement an advocacy plan to educate public officials on issues of concern or interest to the APA and DB/SAs.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate with others and work for the best interests of the group and not their own interests.
  • Possess strong communication skills to interact with policymakers and internal stakeholders.
  • Candidate should have excellent problem-solving and strategic skills.
  • Technical skills: MS Office, CRMs, other proprietary systems specific to associations, etc.

EOE, including disability/vets