Associate Director, Public Policy

Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research | Washington, DC

Job Summary

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) was founded in 2000 with one clear objective: accelerating meaningful therapeutic advances and, ultimately, a cure for Parkinson’s disease (PD).  The Foundation applies extraordinary scientific, business and media assets to this singular focus—thus creating a unique and dynamic organization.  Since inception, MJFF has quickly grown into the largest global funder of Parkinson’s disease research outside the U. S. federal government, having funded over $600 million in research projects in both academic and industry labs worldwide.

We believe that to find a cure for PD as quickly as possible, our capital needs to push research forward today—we therefore deliberately have no endowment. We instead start our fundraising from zero each year and seek to deploy funds raised as quickly and wisely as possible. MJFF raises nearly $100 million annually.  Today, the Foundation has approximately 120 full-time employees who are based in New York City and Washington DC. These positions are located in Washington DC and are not conducive to telecommuting.

About This Position:

MJFF takes a holistic approach to investing in PD research, providing both intellectual and financial capital to accelerate drug development.  As part of this strategy, MJFF is seeking to build its activities in the public policy arena supporting efforts to increase funding to Parkinson’s research and drug development and initiatives to support optimal access to care for patients and caregivers. 

These positions will play a critical role in the strategic development and implementation of MJFF’s policy agenda at the federal level focused on healthcare access and quality of care - related issues.  The primary policy focus will be on Medicare related issues given that the vast majority of our patient population is on Medicare. This position requires the ability to closely work with internal colleagues, members of the patient and scientific community and government stakeholders as well as the ability to develop and manage team priority projects, inserting strategic input and oversight.  The Associate Director of Public Policy will report to the Senior Vice President of Public Policy.



Constituent Management:  Co-manage a newly formed Public Policy Council to ensure input from the community on policy issues and develop strategies for pursuing policy goals and support development of strategies for grassroots advocates. 

Legislative Affairs:  Build and maintain strong relationships with members of Congress and their staffs on legislative priorities, including, but not limited to quality of life/access to care issues.  Monitor relevant health care legislation and recommend organizational positions; draft testimony, letters, and comments as necessary. 

Regulatory Affairs:  Contribute to the development of MJFF’s regulatory strategy to more deeply engage federal agencies on issues that may include, but are not limited to, access to care, reimbursement, quality measures, and standards of care.  Monitor action by federal agencies on issues affecting the quality of for those impacted by Parkinson’s and recommend MJFF’s engagement on issues as appropriate; drafting comments as necessary.

Coalition Engagement:  Create and maintain strong relationships with other health care and patient organizations and advocacy coalitions.  As assigned, serve as MJFF’s representative in various coalitions and work groups. 


Qualifications include:

  • Bachelor's degree; Master’s or professional degree preferred
  • Minimum 5 to 7 years of experience in government relations and public policy with a focus on health care delivery, and regulatory engagement; practical knowledge of the legislative process
  • Knowledge of and expertise in Medicare and Medicaid policy including dual-eligibles
  • Ability to assess health system reform proposals and communicate impacts on people with Parkinson’s disease
  • Experience working for a member of Congress or a relevant federal agency strongly preferred
  • Analytical skills – ability to assess strengths/weaknesses of proposals and make informed recommendations
  • Ability to register as a federal lobbyist
  • Ability to coordinate with other disease-related organizations to build collaborative efforts 
  • Self-directed, detail oriented team player able to take initiative and work independently with only general supervision; ability to work in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment
  • Outstanding organizational skills and attention to detail, including the ability to handle multiple priorities and complete multiple projects in a timely manner
  • Occasional overnight or day travel to NYC office, local events, and events around the country; occasional evening/weekend work
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills and strong presentation skills; strong computer skills, including Microsoft Office

Ideal Candidates will also possess:

  • Disease-specific policy experience
  • Ability to work with people at all levels; openly engaging, energetic and diplomatic personality
    • Possess a very high level of personal and professional integrity and trustworthiness
    • Sense of humor and ability to remain calm and professional under pressure
      • Thrives and enjoys working in a fast-paced and fun environment
      • Ability to juggle multiple priorities simultaneously and take initiative
      • Organizational savvy skill set, outstanding negotiation skills and ability to influence others
      • Other important qualities required; a "can-do" attitude; reasonable and enthusiastic; encourages a team environment; visionary, problem solver and decision maker; high level of accountability and takes responsibility.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.

How to Apply

Interested candidates should submit a resume and thoughtful cover letter describing their specific qualifications and interest in the position along with expected salary range. Submissions without cover letters or salary requirements will not be considered. Please click on the following link Here. Please, no telephone inquiries and do not contact our staff directly. Only applicants who best match the position needs will be contacted.

Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research