Head, European Public Affairs (Senior Director)

Europe Remote


Join bluebird bio’s enthusiastic and collaborative team by contributing to the overall success of our novel gene therapy approach. Reporting to the Head of Europe and the Senior Vice President of Global Government Affairs, the Head of European Public Affairs will contribute to the development of, and implement, the Global Public Affairs (Government Affairs, Corporate Communications and Patient Advocacy) strategies within the targeted European Markets, including integrating Public Affairs components of European brand plans. This is an opportunity to work at the forefront of gene therapy, defining and executing innovative and patient centric solutions delivering potentially transformational care for patients with a serious rare disease.

 About the Role:

  • With the supervision of in-county contract counsel, craft country specific pathways and implement tactically Public Affairs components of European brand plans by engaging with technical officials and ministerial positions at both Regional and National levels.
  • Develop and oversee execution of multi-year European communications plan that is aligned with bluebird corporate communication strategy and approach to major external stakeholders, working closely with senior team in Zug and major functions; ensures overall planning, process, and execution of external communications are timely, accurate, and effective.
  • Partner with communications firm to interface/bond with major biotechnology and healthcare European media, focused initially on outlets in Italy, United Kingdom, Germany and France; ensure objectives are met, senior executives are well-prepared for interviews, planning, coordination, and clarity of roles and responsibilities exists
  • Align with other Global Public Affairs functions to ensure corporate brand and policy materials are coordinated and supported in efficient and effective manner; ensures coordination and execution across organization on scientific and pipeline milestone communications
  • Partner with the in-country Country Managers and local Clinical Medical Liaisons to build and drive local market strategies and patient advocacy development.
  • Gather insights directly from Pan-European, National and Regional patient organizations to inform bluebird decisions and strategies through patient meetings, surveys, interviews and advisory boards.
  • Advance educational platforms and awareness campaigns – most critically in early diagnosis / detection screening.
    • Identify and engage with relevant PAO
    • Craft with country counsel legislative/regulatory/administrative pathways
  • Work closely with the Global Access Value & Evidence Strategy (AVES) team to ensure the implementation of the market access / government affairs / Patient Affairs elements of the European brand plans, in particular to leverage and demonstrate brand value to political and policy stakeholders including national, regional & local payers.
  • Assess gaps in existing options and establish the ideal route by which bluebird bio products (and other company’s) gene therapies will be reviewed in assessed.
  • Identify and participate in industry forms that discuss and shape the local market access environment for potentially curative therapies and rare disease.
  • Participate in key internal meetings in Zug HQ including, but not limited to, European Commercial leadership team, Commercial brand team meetings.
  • Explore/craft alternate funding pathways and protect existing orphan/rare disease regulatory and reimbursement safeguards and waivers.
  • Direct European country counsel to ensure that government affairs activities and tools demonstrate value from a payer perspective to support pricing, reimbursement and early diagnosis / market expansion and product access goals.
    • Oversee / co-ordinate with counsel tactical support for all major markets to ensure a consistency of approach to demonstrating product value.
  • Actively participate in industry and patient associations committee and panel sessions which include, but not limited to EURODIS and EUCOPE.
  • Monitor, largely through industry associations, regulatory policy matters in the European Union
  • Foster a spirit of teamwork and chemistry among internal stakeholders, both in Cambridge and in European, by contributing to a workplace culture that aligns with bluebird’s values and goals.


About You:

  • EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree (or international equivalent) required.
  • Detailed and up-to-date knowledge of top-down approach to market expansion and market access mechanisms for bio-pharmaceuticals in the major EU markets. 
  • Experience in navigating pricing, reimbursement and HTA systems in major EU markets is helpful.
  • Strong project management skills with oversight experience in both internal and external projects. Demonstrated multitasking and time management skills and experience.
  • Strong methodological, quantitative and analytical skills combined with an ability to create a policy strong narrative.
  • Sound knowledge of the role/integration on patient organizations into the development and commercialisation of new pharmaceuticals. 
  • Sound Knowledge on how and when to access various European media outlets.
  • Strong presentation and interpersonal skills with demonstrated ability in participating and leading cross-functional teams, ability to lead without line management authority, and negotiating and managing through influence.
  • Understanding of relevant legal and regulatory issues
  • Existing relationship with the European rare disease community is a plus
  • Experience in third party payer support and KOL development.
  • Experience in policy development in UK and DE , with other major markets also useful
  • Demonstrated track record of building strong relationships with external stakeholders/partners, consultants, and internal stakeholders
  • Strong sense of urgency and demonstrated ability to prioritize
  • Experience interfacing with senior biotechnology executives; possesses executive presence
  • Organized and proven ability to plan and partner across diverse functional areas
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills
  • Travel required: 40% if based in Zug, Switzerland. Up to 70% if based in: UK, Italy, Germany, France.
  • Be ready to embrace the principles of the bluebird bio culture: b colorful, b cooperative, and b yourself
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