Associate Director, Healthcare Policy

Senior-level Professionals London, United Kingdom

APCO Worldwide, a leading global communications agency, is looking for an associate director with strong healthcare policy experience to join our London team. The successful candidate for this role will play a leading role in strengthening and further developing our rapidly growing UK health practice.

The ideal candidate will have a solid background in government relations and public affairs gained in an agency environment. They will have a sound understanding of health policy in the UK, together with the workings of the NHS and NICE, plus a wider appreciation of how public affairs and government relations fit into the wider communications mix. They will be familiar with the ABPI Code and comfortable devising communications strategies that can navigate this.

Although international experience is not essential, the ideal candidate will have an interest in working on pan-European and international clients as well as UK focused projects.

About APCO in London:

As one of the world’s leading financial, business, media, cultural and political centres, London is the perfect base for APCO’s award-winning UK operations. Our 60+ strong team is at the heart of APCO Worldwide’s global network and a major hub for our work across Europe and beyond. As an independent company, we are able to invest in industry-leading programmes to help our people set the standards in their fields; from training to rich international experiences, our team develops lifelong skills and fulfilling careers at APCO, while providing exceptional service to clients. 

Healthcare is a significant focus area at APCO accounting for over a quarter of our global revenue. Our founder, Margery Kraus, pioneered the practice of health public affairs when she created APCO in Washington, DC, over 35 years ago.

We have a virtual global healthcare practice and operate seamlessly as one team across the globe from our health hubs in the US, UK, EU, MENA and Asia. Our local experts are able to understand and advise on the geopolitical and cultural context, which is now more important than ever in healthcare communications.

Our health leaders and Health Advisory Board are dedicated to health, deeply engaged in pharmaceutical, MedTech, and public health issues, and experienced in corporate, political, media and agency work-life. Our team has driven advocacy in a range of therapeutic areas, from cardiovascular, CNS and oncology, to orthopaedics, women’s health, rare diseases and the most cutting-edge cell and gene therapies.

The Role:


  • Play a leading role in shaping the London healthcare offer, including managing a portfolio of healthcare client projects.
  • Develop and implement public affairs and government relations strategies and plans.
  • Proactively manage client accounts, including day-to-day management of the account and staff assigned to your projects; be responsible for creating and adhering to project budgets; coordinate as required with other APCO offices; identify and pursue ways to grow existing accounts; ensure that all project deadlines are met.
  • Delegate and manage work of junior and mid-level staff and follow–up on progress and completion; manage and conduct performance appraisals for designated staff; manage internal communications with project team and other staff; mentor junior staff.
  • New business development, including drafting proposals, participating in new business pitches and proactively generating new business opportunities.


Qualifications & Standards

  • Ideally, a minimum of six years of experience that includes in-depth healthcare sector knowledge, expertise in UK health policy, public affairs, and government relations
  • Preference for experience working for a consulting firm advising clients in the pharmaceutical, medical device, health technology space
  • Keen understanding of health policy issues and the legislative/regulatory process, and how to reach and influence key stakeholders.
  • Solid project management and budgeting experience
  • Exceptional writing skills
  • Strong presentation skills
  • Computer skills: MS Word, Outlook, PowerPoint and Excel