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Director, State Government Affairs – West Region

  • Karuna Therapeutics
  • Carmel (Full-time)

Posted: Jun 30, 2023


Position Summary

Karuna is seeking an experienced creative, resourceful, integrative thinker for an important role in State Government Affairs. Reporting to the Senior Director State Government Affairs and Public Policy, the Director, State Government Affairs will play an integral role in developing, implementing, and coordinating state government affairs strategies, initiatives, and engagement around issues that impact brain health. This individual will elevate the political profile of Karuna with key local and state public officials and be responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with community leaders, advocacy groups, and external organizations to achieve Karuna’s public policy goals.

A successful candidate will have excellent oral and written communication skills, take initiative and be self-directed, have experience managing multiple issues, and have the ability to handle competing priorities in a high-pressure environment while providing support and guidance to key business leaders. Must have the ability to work in close collaboration with cross-functional partners in Federal Government Affairs, Corporate Communications, Patient Advocacy, Legal, and Market Access.

This position is field based.


  • Manage and execute strategies to shape state legislative activity that deliver on enterprise priorities. This includes direct lobbying, trade association management, and engagement of third-party groups and coalitions.
  • Develop both a proactive and reactive legislative agenda to create new policy frameworks to support our current product portfolio as well as pipeline products.
  • Assess state and local political and public policy environment, determine where legislative and regulatory action is advisable and where it is not, and make recommendations on Karuna action.
  • Promote a positive presence for Karuna Therapeutics among state legislators and Executive Branch personnel.
  • Direct a strong network of state contract lobbyists who will further the enterprise objectives.
  • Develop close working relationships with key internal business stakeholders, including Regional and District Managers, to leverage state advocacy strategies. Engage with these key business stakeholders and develop a keen understanding of commercial strategies in the region to ensure government affairs strategies support Karuna’s commercial objectives.
  • Work collaboratively with others in the Government Affairs department to convert company policy positions into timely and effective advocacy strategies.
  • Ensure rigorous compliance to applicable state laws and regulations for lobbyist registration, reporting, and political contributions, along with demonstrated integrity on the job.

Required Qualifications

  • BS or BA degree required.
  • 8 + years of experience in government, government affairs, public affairs, or policy. Strong preference for experience in state government legislature, Governor’s office, agency, or similar preferred.
  • Previous experience working with policymakers and external stakeholders advocating on behalf of individuals living with serious mental illness.
  • Strong knowledge of state legislative and budgetary processes.
  • Travel in the US of at least 50%.
  • Experience managing advocacy campaigns.
  • Subject matter expertise in general healthcare issues and Medicaid.
  • Business acumen and professionalism required to gain the respect of broad cross-section of industry, advocates, and policy stakeholders.
  • Experience working with all levels of management and consulting with key business stakeholders. An ability to influence for greater outcomes.
  • Attention to detail and the ability to work individually, within a multi-disciplinary team, as well as with external partners and vendors.
  • Excellent verbal and written skills, allowing for an open and effective dialogue throughout the company.
  • Attention to detail and quality are critical to success.
  • Highly accountable for the results and outcomes of their responsibilities and understands the impact of their efforts, results, and attitudes on others.
  • Uses teamwork to work cooperatively toward the most effective solutions, championing the best ideas of team members, and assisting where help is needed yet is capable of highly independent work when efficiency is required.
  • Results-oriented individual who is highly motivated, decisive, flexible in thought, and has the creativity to excel in and contribute to a rapidly growing company.
  • Forward thinking mindset with the ability to manage multiple projects and identify and resolve issues.
  • Broad experience in an emerging, publicly traded company environment is a plus.
  • Excitement about the vision and mission of Karuna.

The successful candidate will also embody our values:

Our purpose is to create value for those we have the privilege to serve:

  • We take pride in our work
  • We keep our promises and deliver
  • We are driven to meaningfully innovate
  • We succeed through inclusion and teamwork

Karuna Therapeutics is committed to equal opportunity in the terms and conditions of employment for all employees and job applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, gender identity or gender expression, national origin, disability or veteran status.