The Director of State Relations is a member of a team responsible for representing the University of Minnesota’s state agenda. The Director represents the University to the Minnesota legislature; serves as liaison between the legislature and the University, assisting faculty, administrators and others in understanding and navigating the legislative process; and advocates on behalf of the University to achieve its legislative goals. The Director reports to the Chief Government Relations Officer of the University.
The Office of Government Relations within University Relations advances the interests of the University’s five campuses at the capitol in Saint Paul, in Washington, D.C., and among community partners and neighbors. Under the direction of the President, it also coordinates and supports the efforts of all University colleges and other units in their relationships with state, federal, and community officials. In addition, the office helps officials from Minnesota and around the nation use the considerable expertise available at the University of Minnesota and learn more about the resources at the institution. It ensures the University has a voice in policy development related to higher education and research and promotes more targeted opportunities to share knowledge and research expertise with policy makers and governmental units.
Major Responsibilities: • Serve as liaison at the Minnesota State Capitol for the colleges of the University’s Academic Health Center, including the School of Dentistry, Medical School, School of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, School of Public Health, and College of Veterinary Medicine; • Represent the University to state policy makers and their staff, communicate directly with legislators, attend legislative committee hearings, provide feedback, and secure the attendance of appropriate administrators and faculty when necessary and appropriate; • Develop and maintain working relationships with selected state agencies, commissions, and others particularly as they relate to policy and legislative issues; • Advise the Chief Government Relations Officer and Senior University leaders, University officials, and stakeholders on state policy issues that may affect the University; • Communicate the legislative request and related strategies to administrators, faculty, and staff, advisory councils, and appropriate advocacy groups; • Serve as a primary contact for state policy makers and their staff, state agenda officials, and other public officials who wish to access the human resources of the University for policy analysis, development, or interpretation of draft legislation, technical information, and other related needs; • Serve as liaison to others within the University on budgetary and policy implications of legislative issues, particularly as they relate to key issues; • Assist with the development of the legislative request and documentation, including literature appropriate for supporting programmatic and capital requests; • Organize political support and advocacy for the programs of the University, with primary emphasis on issues related to represented key constituencies; • Track issues in specific areas and work within the University community to represent and inform key constituencies; • Coordinate and assist with special legislative and community relations’ projects as directed; • Represent the Office of Government Relations and assigned key constituencies on various University committees and at external meetings and events as requested; • Organize tours and events on system campuses to connect legislators, staff, and key policy makers to the University; • Assist the University’s Director of Federal Relations on matters related to federal policy affecting the Academic Health Center, as needed; and • Assume other duties and responsibilities as assigned by the Chief Government Relations Officer.
Appointment: The Director is appointed by and reports directly to the Chief Government Relations Officer. The position is a 100%-time, 12-month, annually renewable appointment in the academic administrative personnel series. Salary is competitive and commensurate with education and experience.
Essential Qualifications • Bachelor’s degree • Eight or more years of lobbying or equivalent experience • A thorough understanding of the state legislative process • Excellent communication skills – interpersonal, written and oral • Demonstrated track record of building effective working relationships • Responsible administrative experience, including effective leadership skills, management and organizational abilities • Experience in health care issues • Experience working in the public sector
Preferred Qualifications • Government relations experience related to the state of Minnesota • Familiarity with the higher education environment, including an understanding of higher education policy and governance structures • Personal or professional connection to the University of Minnesota
The Director will demonstrate the following competencies and characteristics: • Strong interpersonal skills with a demonstrated record of establishing effective working relationships with diverse populations and functions, both internal and external to the organization • Skilled at effectively and quickly forming a position on an issue, while taking into account multiple perspectives and competing interests • Problem solving, analytical, and organizational skills, with the ability to effectively manage multiple priorities in a fast-paced and oftentimes rapidly changing environment • Strong values and integrity, with a commitment to collaboration and teamwork • Commitment to the mission, vision and values of the University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.