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Wellcome Trust

Head of Government Relations, Europe

About Wellcome Trust Germany

Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation established in 1936 that supports science in solving the most urgent health issues of our time.

The Wellcome Trust funds curiosity-driven research and is taking on three of humanity’s biggest health challenges – climate change, infectious diseases and mental health. Their investment gives researchers the time and resources they need to make breakthroughs.

They also work with policymakers, run advocacy campaigns, and form partnerships with other organisations to ensure everyone benefits from advances in health science.

About the Role

The Head of Government Relations, Europe, leads the newly established Wellcome Trust Germany office. As the most senior European representative, they provide strategic advice on global health issues for Wellcome Trust’s European advocacy programmes and develop strong relationships with European governments.

The Head of Government Relations leads a dynamic and impact-driven team of six and oversees Wellcome Trust’s European engagement strategies, programmes and partnerships.

In addition, the Head of Government Relations, Europe maintains effective communication with and provides compelling political analysis to Wellcome Trust UK. They report to Wellcome Trust UK’s Associate Director, Government Relations and Strategic Partnerships.

Wellcome UK is supporting this recruitment of their wholly owned subsidiary – Wellcome gGmbH. The Head of Government Relations Europe will be employed by Wellcome gGmbH.

Purpose of the Role

The Head of Government Relations will lead the strategic development of advocacy goals for European government relations and act as a thought leader, senior spokesperson and adviser for Wellcome Trust on these relations.

In addition, they lead the strategic development of an ambitious programme of government engagement to meet advocacy goals, including supporting and holding the team to account for delivering creative and effective engagement approaches.

The Head of Government Relations will also act as Wellcome’s most senior representative with European governments, strengthening and expanding international support for Wellcome’s priorities at the highest levels of government.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provide strategic leadership for Wellcome’s government relations work, setting ambitious strategic advocacy goals.
  • Lead the provision of strategic political advice to the Health Challenge and Policy teams.
  • Provide strategic oversight of ambitious engagement strategies that supports the achievement of Wellcome’s key policy goals for effective collaborations with governments and political institutions. Provide clear and compelling political analysis for senior leadership of Wellcome Trust.
  • Lead Wellcome’s negotiations with key governments and act as a senior advocate for Wellcome on political issues, including acting as an on-the-record senior spokesperson for Wellcome in the media.
  • Build, manage, lead and motivate an integrated, inclusive and flexible team.
  • Support and hold the team to account to deliver high-quality work at all times and pursue continuous improvement and innovation.
  • Lead and manage Wellcome’s office in Germany.
  • Work with policy and health community leaders to ensure a coherent and consistent approach to engaging key political stakeholders.
  • Work closely with Government Relations and Strategic Partnerships team (GRSP), Policy, and Corporate Affairs colleagues to identify and execute joint advocacy campaigns.
  • Jointly lead resource mobilisation efforts with other GRSP colleagues, as appropriate.
  • Deputise for the Associate Director where needed.
  • Provide leadership to the team within the agreed operating budget, having contributed to the development of the budget.
  • Contribute to creating and developing a diverse and inclusive culture across the organisation, encouraging people and departments to communicate and collaborate.
  • As a senior member of GRSP, contribute to the overall leadership and direction-setting of the team to achieve Wellcome’s vision and ambitions.
  • Undertake any other work that may be reasonably required from time to time.
  • Undertake work following Wellcome policies and principles.

Skills and Experience

  • Senior-level experience in leading government relations work internationally, across countries and cultures.
  • Experience working in a similar role within health policy/advocacy programmes, designing and achieving impactful advocacy goals and strategies.
  • Ideally, experience working in global health, research and development for health or similar.
  • Sound experience in successfully building, leading and developing a diverse and high-performing team.
  • Proven experience navigating political processes in various international settings.
  • Demonstrable strategic planning and project implementation experience.
  • Excellent spoken and written communication and presentation skills.
  • Highly relational, able to tailor communication styles to diverse stakeholders and effectively engage audiences.
  • Numerate with budget management.
  • Able to effectively navigate ambiguity by providing clear strategic guidance.
  • Able to navigate risks and tensions smoothly when working on complex political issues.
  • Fluent in English and German.