Senior Director, State Government Relations

Advocacy · Sacramento, California
Department Advocacy
Employment Type Full time
Minimum Experience Senior Manager/Supervisor


Job Title: Senior Director, State Government Relations

Job Level: Senior Director

Location: Sacramento

Reports to: VP State Government Relations

Hours: Full-time

FSLA: Exempt

Travel: Estimated 15%


About California Life Sciences

California Life Sciences (CLS) is the state’s most influential and impactful life sciences membership organization, advocating for the sector and its diverse innovation pipeline. For more than 30 years, CLS has served the community by supporting companies of all sizes, from early-stage innovators and startups to established industry leaders in the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and medical technology. As integral components of a healthy and collaborative ecosystem, CLS also works closely with universities, academic and research institutions, the investment community, and other critical partners that promote this vibrant sector. With offices in South San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, Los Angeles, and Washington DC, CLS works to shape public policy, improve access to breakthrough technologies, educate lawmakers, and advance equity within our ecosystem by championing innovative solutions for some of the most pressing challenges of our times. In doing so, CLS fulfills its mission to protect and nurture California’s life sciences industry, empowering discoveries that lead to healthier lives around the world. #WeAreCaliforniaLifeSciences

CLS currently offers a full suite of team member benefits including medical, dental, and vision insurance, LTD, STD and Group Life insurance, 401(k) plans with matching, FSA and HSA options and a generous paid time off and paid holiday schedule.

CLS is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit and business needs.

Job Summary:

The CLS Senior Director of State Government Relations is a full-time, Sacramento based position, reporting directly to the Vice President, State Government Relations.  This position serves as an advocate for the life sciences community with California state elected officials, the Governor’s office, regulatory agencies, and staff.  Primary responsibilities of this role include working closely with CLS member companies, key stakeholders, and policymakers to identify and advance policy objectives and issue campaigns to create a favorable environment for California’s growing life sciences industry.


Primary responsibilities:

  • Identify, develop and advocate for policies which promote the growth of California’s life sciences
  • Help design and implement integrated government relations, communications, and advocacy strategies to influence favorable outcomes on key issues.
  • Establish relationships and regular contact with legislators, staff, the Governor’s office, and key state agencies, providing input and testimony on issues important to the life sciences
  • Align priorities, strategies, and activities with CLS member companies and partner organizations such as AdvaMed, BIO, BIOCOM, and PhRMA.
  • Monitor legislative and regulatory activity, secure bill sponsors, and prepare letters, briefing documents, testimony, position papers, etc. advocating CLS policy
  • Develop relationships with like-minded business groups and other stakeholders in California.
  • Support grassroots advocacy programs engaging CLS members and their California sites in legislative action and education
  • Help manage the CLS state government relations and legislative strategy committees, organizing regular calls and in-person
  • Support fundraising efforts for the California Life Sciences Political Action Committee.
  • Coordinate with CLS Federal Government Affairs team on issues of mutual concern.



  • Provides input into strategic and political planning.
  • Helps develop and implement multi-dimensional government relations, communications, and advocacy campaigns for maximum impact.
  • Has latitude to determine the course of action in achieving objectives.
  • Demonstrates leadership, influencing members and others on the team.
  • Works with senior staff across functions and operates with a great deal of day-to-day autonomy.
  • Represents the organization in a professional manner to outside stakeholders.
  • Models the organization’s values, including impact, integrity, community, equity and collaboration.

   Background and Experience:

  • A. or B.S. required; M.A, M.S., or JD a plus.
  • 5-7 years of government relations, advocacy, policy, campaign, or public affairs experience.
  • Experience working with California state elected officials, government agencies, and staff.
  • Experience building and managing impactful relationships with stakeholder organizations.
  • Experience implementing strategic, multi-dimensional issue campaigns.
  • Ability to develop creative and strategic messaging/communication plans, both internally and externally.
  • Strong influencing and negotiation skills required.
  • Excellent presentation and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work independently, and to lead and manage multiple projects.
  • Demonstrated record of sound political judgment and

Physical Demands:


  • Must be able to stand, sit, talk, listen and respond for an extended period of time
  • Must be able to use hands and fingers to operate a computer, telephone and keyboard
  • Close vision is required due to computer work
  • Ability to sit at a computer for an extended period of time
  • Must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination (or provide appropriate medical or religious exemption documentation)

Disclaimer: This job may currently be performed remotely but will return to an office setting as COVID-19-restrictions are lifted. This job description reflects the requirements of the position under normal conditions and while certain responsibilities may be adjusted to provide for a safe working environment during COVID-19, CLS plans to follow national, state and local guidelines for reinstating normal business activities when appropriate. At such time, the responsibilities outlined herein will be required by the successful candidate.

This job description is intended to indicate the kinds of tasks and levels of work that are required of positions that fit in this classification and shall not be construed as declaring what the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position shall be. It is not intended to limit or in any way modify the right of any manager to assign, direct and control the work of employees under his or her supervision.

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  • Location
    Sacramento, California
  • Department
  • Employment Type
    Full time
  • Minimum Experience
    Senior Manager/Supervisor