Senior Director of Communications, PhRMA Foundation

Location: Washington, DC

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Foundation (PhRMA Foundation), an independent 501(c)(3) organization, is seeking a Senior Director of Communications to improve and expand communications for the PhRMA Foundation, the grant-making affiliate of PhRMA. The PhRMA Foundation programs focus on building a better system of value assessment in U.S. health care, empowering patients and improving health outcomes and efficiencies – while helping shape a new era of multidisciplinary research and drug development. The Foundation provides yearly support to about 40 young scientists in disciplines important to the pharmaceutical industry and encourage and support careers in drug discovery by awarding competitive research fellowships and grants. The Senior Director of Communications provides direction and support for all strategic communications, messaging, and branding activities designed to increase the Foundation’s brand awareness, presence, credibility and engagement with key stakeholder audiences in the support of the mission and goals.

Principal Duties And Responsibilities

The Senior Director will:

  • Design and implement a comprehensive and strategic communications plan; assist with management of communications budget
  • Select, engage and manage outside consultants and vendors to assist with the communications strategy and execution
  • Monitor the health care media environment for opportunities to highlight the Foundation’s research, activities or experts; build relationships with journalists to enable successful placement of stories about the Foundation’s work
  • Identify and secure thought leadership opportunities for Foundation President and executive leaders; develop talking points, speeches, commentaries and related materials to support these activities
  • Draft and direct content development of all communication vehicles and ensure alignment with overall communication strategy (e.g., press releases, social media, website content, e-newsletters, videos, blog, etc.)
  • Design and manage visibility campaigns for programmatic announcements
  • Coordinate and plan, with the Foundation’s research staff, rollout of research projects/publications; manage, as needed, the process for the Foundation’s self-published research that requires editorial and graphic design oversight
  • Support President in communications with Board of Directors and committees


Key success factors for this role include having an entrepreneurial spirit, positive attitude, high energy level, passion for science and supporting research and educational efforts to improve health care. The individual should be a strong multi-tasker, creative thinker and self-starter. The successful candidate for this role will be flexible and responsive, work well under pressure, and be able to work both independently and collaboratively. This candidate should have strong detail orientation, excellent interpersonal skills, customer service skills, written and oral communications skills.

Professional Experience / Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • 8+ years of experience in communications or public relations, required, a science-focus preferred
  • Experience with trade association or health or science communications
  • Experience generating media placements
  • Excellent written (including proofreading and editing) and oral communication skills
  • Proven ability to communicate with industry leaders, scientists, and decision-makers in the health space
  • Exhibits a high degree of professional initiative
  • Exceptional organizational skills and detail orientation, able to establish and meet deadlines while managing multiple initiatives
  • Proven ability to work in a collaborative environment with internal and external stakeholders
  • Strong customer service orientation, ability to develop rapport and engender trust
  • Proven ability to anticipate challenges and effectively resolve conflict by identifying opportunities
  • Proficiency in Microsoft 365 Productivity Tools, Adobe Suite and social media tools
  • Experience working with WordPress (must be able to make minor website changes)
  • PhRMA Foundation requires all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before entering a PhRMA Foundation office unless an exemption applies. Proof of vaccination or eligibility for a religious or medical exemption on the first day of work is mandatory


  • Advanced degree in science-focused communications, public relations or marketing
  • Knowledge of health care, medical research or pharmaceutical industry
  • Experience with non-profits and/or trade and issues associations

More Information

Who we are
The mission of the PhRMA Foundation is to improve public heath by proactively investing in innovative research, education and value-driven health care. For more than 56 years, the Foundation has been helping advance scientific research and innovation to benefit patients. Since its founding in 1965, it has distributed more than $100 million to support these efforts. The PhRMA Foundation accomplishes its mission by investing in three key areas: core programming, value assessment initiative and a new program under development in the use and application of Data and Technology in Health Care. The PhRMA Foundation’s core programs of Drug Delivery, Drug Discovery, Health Outcomes Research and Translational Medicine encourage young scientists to pursue research as their career choice and assists in training the next generation of innovators.  The PhRMA Foundation’s emphasis on evidence-based research that determines the true value of medicines is supported by its Value Assessment Initiative.

Connect with PhRMA Foundation
For information on how innovative medicines save lives, please visit:

What we offer

In addition to a highly competitive salary and bonus program, various opportunities for reward and recognition and a platform of extensive benefits, PhRMA is committed to the development and overall wellbeing of our team members. We offer traditional (medical, dental, vision, flexible spending, life, AD&D, LTD, STD, LTC) and enhanced benefits such as parental leave, a wellbeing program, back-up care, health advocate service, employee assistance program and commuting benefits. We also offer a robust 401k plan with employer contributions upon the first day of hire and immediate vesting, a generous paid time off plan, seven paid holidays (plus Inauguration Day), half day Fridays preceding holidays and a paid winter break.

We are committed to the growth and development of our team members and offer many learning opportunities including an integrated on-boarding program, best-in-class leadership programming, tuition reimbursement at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, industry on-site and off-site training, and other management/professional development programs. Corporate social responsibility is also important to us at PhRMA. Our team members participate in organization-wide community service activities, fundraising drives and charitable athletic events.

Equal Opportunity Employer

As the trade association for several leading biopharmaceutical companies, our workforce and culture should reflect the makeup of our clients and the benefactors of our efforts – patients. We at PhRMA are committed to building a culture where diverse people, ideas, and experiences are welcomed, included, and celebrated; where our employees can thrive as they bring their best authentic selves to work every day. PhRMA provides equal employment opportunities to all applicants without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, genetic information, disability, matriculation, political affiliation or veteran status in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment.

For more information or to apply online, click here.