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VP, Government Affairs

Harrisburg, PA/Washington, DC 

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is seeking a VP of Government Affairs to join their team.  Under the general direction of the SVP, Public Affairs, the Vice President, Government Affairs advises PHEAA on the impact of legislation being considered by the U.S. Congress and the General Assembly and provides strategic and analytical support on issues affecting PHEAA and higher education as a whole. This role is responsible for representing PHEAA on legislative matters before the federal government.  The position is also responsible for assisting the SVP, Public Affairs in representing PHEAA before the PA General Assembly, staff or officials of state departments, and other associated agencies and organizations.  This includes assisting with legislative policy development, communications and strategy; advocacy on issues impacting higher education statewide; and, strategic engagement with legislative policy groups and stakeholders.  The VP of Government Affairs is required to have flexibility to work at PHEAA’s Headquarters in Harrisburg, PA and in the Washington, DC area, based on Business demands. This role is required to travel as needed between PHEAA, the State Capitol, and Washington DC to attend and participate in legislative and other industry-related meetings.


Government Liaison

  • Represent PHEAA before US Congress, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), and other state and federal agencies.
  • Maintain strong relationships between PHEAA and  state and federal and state lawmakers, related legislative committees and their staff.
  • Plan and direct all aspects of assuring that PHEAA's interests are represented before state and federal governments and work with outside organizations to promote PHEAA's interests.
  • Work with the state and federal legislators, state and federal agencies, trade associations, and other lobbying and associated entities to advocate for PHEAA's interests and to promote issues of concern and interest to the agency. 
  • Attends legislative and industry events to increase visibility.
  • Support the efforts of Digital Technology Services (DTS) and Servicing staff to work with the DOE and other federal agencies on designing student loan processes and performing as a government contractor.
  • Assure that the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation is supportive of PHEAA and kept apprised of developments and issues of importance regarding PHEAA.
  • Attend and participate in government and community meetings related to issues affecting the industry
  • Educate key state and federal policymakers, including members of relevant committees on issues of interest and concern to PHEAA and on the current work being done by the Agency.
  • Work with trade associations and others to ensure that PHEAA's interests are represented.
  • Develop professional relationships with legislators and staff, relevant agencies, and other professional organizations.
  • Build strategic relationships with government officials and community and business stakeholders for the purpose of advancing the policies and initiatives of PHEAA; enhances PHEAA’s image
  • Work directly with higher education lobbyists, including collaboration meetings.
  • Participates in workshops and hearings concerning policy matters and provides assessments of position of parties to management, as part of recommendations
  • Supports PHEAA’s relationship with the Pennsylvania Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators by assisting them with federal and state advocacy.

Policy & Legislation Analysis

  • Monitor federal and state government matters on public policy initiatives that impact the student loan industry and higher education.
  • Develop and refine statutory changes, regulations and other state and federal guidance.
  • Manage the strategy and advocacy efforts on legislative proposals that impact higher education.
  • Keep informed of developments in the states that impact PHEAA and its operations.
  • Review, monitor, and advocate/inform on public policy proposals and pending legislation.
  • Maintain current knowledge and awareness of public opinion/reaction to external events in order to manage external relations.

Strategy and Communications

  • Communicate state and federal policy changes to all agency stakeholders or interested parties.
  • Provide agency response to constituent concerns or inquiries made by the state and federal legislators.
  • Communicate PHEAA’s positions to General Assembly members and staff, other lobbying entities, and associated entities.
  • Promptly and accurately relate the intent of public policy inquiries and decisions of the state and federal legislatures PHEAA’s leadership team to enable the construction of policy, procedure and operations in a manner consistent with the intent of PHEAA’s Board of Directors.
  • Prepare and present testimonies before governmental bodies that represent the interests of PHEAA.
  • Convey the public impact of legislative proposals and concepts to PHEAA’s leadership team, PHEAA’s Board of Directors, the workforce, and the general public.
  • Inform department leadership and staff through weekly and as necessary daily legislative meetings/updates.
  • Report regularly on state and federal legislative activities regarding higher education, student loan servicing, and other industry-related topics, especially during the legislative session
  • Provide early warning of issues and initiatives that will impact any/all levels of PHEAA.
  • Advise and coordinate the planning for key presentations to legislative committees
  • Prepare written materials regarding legislative positions and proposals as well as industry-related issues for PHEAA in cooperation with other Public Affairs staff.
  • Draft and prepare routine correspondence and reports
  • Other duties as assigned.

Education and Experience

  • Minimum qualifications:  Bachelor's degree and at least ten (10) years of experience in government affairs or government service required or the equivalent in skills, knowledge and abilities, including familiarity with government processes and procedures and an understanding of federal student financial aid programs.
  • At least three years’ legislative/political experience and knowledge of the legislative/political process in PA.
  • Knowledge of Student Loan Industry and Higher Education
  • Strategic business partner and advisor to senior executives with a solid track record of achievement.
  • Strong coaching, conflict resolution, relationship and team building skills, and demonstrated ability to influence.
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication with individuals at all levels.
  • Ability to influence partners at the most senior levels, demonstrating executive presence/composure.
  • Capacity to think strategically and initiate change.
  • Skilled in working with diverse workforce.
  • Ability to establish a direction, influence behavior, and demonstrate a decisive and direct nature.
  • Ability to build consensus.

Physical Requirements and Work Environment

  • Must be a registered lobbyist; or must be capable and willing to become registered as a lobbyist.
  • Required to have flexibility to work at PHEAA’s Headquarters in Harrisburg, PA and in the Washington, DC area, based on Business demands.
  • Required to travel as needed between PHEAA, the State Capitol, and Washington DC to attend and participate in legislative and other industry-related meetings.
  • Must be authorized to work in the US and not require work authorization sponsorship
  • Valid driver's license.
  • Perform work required for this position in an office environment.
  • Remain sedentary for significant periods of time.
  • Must be able to use a personal computer.


Posted March 12, 2019

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