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Associate Director, International Public Affairs, Immunology

Lake County, Illinois
Start date
Feb 2, 2024

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Science/R&D, Immunology
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time
BioMidwest, Best Places to Work

Job Details

The Associate Director, International Public Affairs, Immunology is an opportunity to apply communications and engagement strategy skills for the benefit of patients on an international scale. This role serves as the lead communications and advocacy engagement strategist for AbbVie’s international rheumatology organization. This person will collaborate with and lead AbbVie’s in-country communicators in applying an understanding of the company’s brand and pipeline strategies to generate communication platforms that are carried out around the world to drive patient engagement, enhance visibility for AbbVie’s therapeutic area leadership, elevate understanding of differentiation of our pipeline, and protect AbbVie’s reputation. Reporting to the Director of International Public Affairs, Immunology, this person will serve as the strategic communications lead on global brand teams for two on-market assets, rheumatology pipeline strategy teams, and among in-country communicators around the world.


The successful candidate will have experience working in a matrix organization, managing global public relations agencies, and collaborating with healthcare advocacy groups to drive impact for patients.  This position requires a demonstrated ability to build relationships, engage with geographically diverse teams, execute against a global above-brand strategy with defined brand-level nuances, and set priorities among competing objectives, while working in a fast-paced, but highly rewarding patient-centered environment.  


  • Develop and apply strong understanding of enterprise businesses and therapeutic area, industry, and external landscape to provide communications strategic counsel to in-country communicators and functional and franchise management teams.
  • Foster strong relationships with and provide strategic communications counsel to senior leaders of AbbVie’s international rheumatology business and collaborate with global brand team and cross functional partners to set and achieve brand goals, and communicate progress, changes, and milestones.
  • Deliver a cohesive, three-year public affairs and advocacy engagement plan to support AbbVie’s global rheumatology therapeutic area objectives and uphold AbbVie’s reputation by engaging with multiple cross-functional partners to understand diverse functional perspectives, mitigate issues and elevate reputation.
  • Lead patient advocacy strategy and collaboration with global rheumatology advocacy groups.
  • Identify insights and apply those insights to inform strategic planning, source opportunities and collaborations with advocacy stakeholders.
  • Oversee the refinement of 2025 annual integrated communications and advocacy engagement plans to support business objectives. Obtain internal stakeholder alignment, management approval, and secure resources to execute future plans. Oversee public relations and creative agency teams in execution of 2024 tactical program elements and ensure deliverables are on time/on budget.
  • Lead scientific data and milestones public communications, including 2024 global rheumatology congress communications, to differentiate AbbVie’s on-market rheumatology brands and to elevate AbbVie’s pipeline among external public stakeholders
  • Lead issues/crisis management communications for AbbVie’s global rheumatology organization and serve as a strategic advisor for in-country communications teams managing local crises/issues.
  • Serve as spokesperson for designated brands and the public affairs lead in related global brand teams. Oversee the identification, development, and skill maintenance of internal and third-party spokespeople. Engage and interact with top-tier, consumer, and industry trade media, thought leaders and key opinion leaders, and advise in-country communications teams as needed on local media engagements.
  • Oversee results reporting for the therapeutic area and serve as the accountable lead for results generated within the rheumatology public affairs function.



  • A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required (emphasis in communications, marketing, business, public relations, or journalism preferred).
  • A minimum of 8+ years of experience in communications and or marketing, preferred public relations agency or pharmaceutical in-house communications positions with increasing responsibility, or similar roles in regulated industries.
  • Strong critical thinking skills, and a proactive self-starter who can work independently and in teams within a matrix environment
  • Excellent networking and relationship building skills
  • Demonstrated experience planning and executing holistic, integrated marketing communications platforms for international audiences
  • Experience leading geographically diverse teams in executing against common strategies in pursuit of defined goals
  • 2 years of experience developing and leading multi-year strategic communications plans that are aligned with business objectives
  • Demonstrated ability to operate in a matrix environment and serve as the functional representative on multiple teams
  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally



  • Master’s Degree or other postgraduate work
  • Extensive experience working with Senior Management and Customers
  • Experience managing healthcare advocacy group relationships to collaborate toward shared objectives
  • Experience leading data/science communications for established and emerging scientific areas
  • Demonstrated understanding of the global access and reimbursement environment and experience driving strategies to expand patient access to medicines globally
  • Strong experience applying digital/rich media strategy as a component of broader stakeholder activation campaigns
  • Experience generating insights in social and patient stakeholder research, and applying those insights to drive public affairs strategies on a global scale

AbbVie is committed to operating with integrity, driving innovation, transforming lives, serving our community, and embracing diversity and inclusion. It is AbbVie’s policy to employ qualified persons of the greatest ability without discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy), physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, status as a protected veteran, or any other legally protected group status.


AbbVie’s mission is to discover and deliver innovative medicines that solve serious health issues today and address the medical challenges of tomorrow. We strive to have a remarkable impact on people’s lives across several key therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, neuroscience, eye care, virology, women’s health and gastroenterology, in addition to products and services across its Allergan Aesthetics portfolio. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at Follow @abbvie on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Stock Symbol: ABBV

Stock Exchange: NYSE

Company info
1 North Waukegan Road
North Chicago

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