Position Classification Description

Position Class Code / Title: N8052 / Chief Gov Relations Officer
Recruitment Tier: Tier 1
FLSA: Exempt
Grade: 19
HR Review/Approval:COMP

This is a description of a Staff Position Classification. It is not an announcement of a position opening. To view descriptions of current openings, please go to UNMJobs and Search Postings to view positions that are currently accepting applications.

The following statements are intended to describe, in broad terms, the general functions and responsibility levels characteristic of positions assigned to this classification. They should not be viewed as an exhaustive list of the specific duties and prerequisites applicable to individual positions that have been so classified.


Provides professional direction and oversight to the Office of Government Relations. Serves as a senior advisor to the President and to UNM senior leaders (EVPs and SVPs) pertaining to all government activities at UNM. Cultivates and enhances the University's relationships at the federal, state and local government levels. Works with the University and Senior Leadership in the development of proposals and strategies to advocate and lobby for University priorities with local, state and federal government levels.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Provides strategic oversight to the Office of Government Relations and is responsible for government affairs strategies that advances the University's mission and goals with local, regional, state and federal elected officials.
  2. Establishes and implements short- and long-range organizational goals, objectives, strategic plans, policies, and operating procedures; monitors and evaluates programmatic and operational effectiveness, and effects changes required for improvement.
  3. Provides frequent updates to the President and senior leaders, other members of the UNM Senior Leadership team, and the Board of Regents.
  4. Establishes and maintains constructive relationships with elected and appointed officials on a federal, state, and local level and invests considerable time and energy in prioritized networking activity.
  5. Apprises the President and senior leadership of pertinent legislative issues, external factors, and policy proposals and actions that could impact the University.
  6. Understands, communicates and advocates University priorities to governmental officials, local and national organizations and other government entities on key legislative issues related to higher education, health policy and research.
  7. Serves as a key representative for the University at legislative sessions, before State bodies, and Federal agencies in support of institutional goals and objectives.
  8. Shapes and influences legislative programs and other critical business issues in alignment with University goals and objectives.
  9. Works in collaboration with HSC Senior Leadership, including clinical entity CEOs, to develop an effective health focused state and federal legislative agenda and attendant strategy.
  10. Works with lobbyists and legislators in establishing and implementing a lobbying strategy, both proactive and responsive.
  11. Prepares communications to and for key stakeholders, including the President and Board of Regents, regarding pertinent issues on legislative changes; directs and oversees the development of materials in support of the government relations agenda, such as talking points, legislative summaries, factsheets, testimony, reports and letters.
  12. Participates with senior leadership on institutional planning, policy development, and problem resolution.
  13. Designs, establishes, and maintains an organizational structure and staffing with the necessary expertise (health sciences and other key university areas) to effectively accomplish the organization's goals and objectives; oversees recruitment, training, supervision, and evaluation of unit staff.
  14. Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.

Minimum Job Requirements

  • Master's degree; at least 7 years of experience directly related to the duties and responsibilities specified.
  • Completed degree(s) from an accredited institution that are above the minimum education requirement may be substituted for experience on a year for year basis.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required

  • Thorough understanding of current developments in state and national higher education policy; comprehensive knowledge of state government structures and decision-making processes.
  • Thorough understanding of state and federal health policy.
  • Proficient understanding of local, state and federal legislative and executive process, including budget and appropriations processes; proficient understanding of all timelines and procedural rules related to legislative and rule-making processes.
  • Firm understanding of and commitment to compliance with state and federal lobbying laws, ethics rules and applicable regulations.
  • Ability to read, understand and clearly draft proposed legislation.
  • Strong interpersonal skills; demonstrated ability to ethically form and maintain relationships with government officials and government entities; ability to maintain respectful and appropriate professional demeanor at all times.
  • Ability to work collaboratively across the University enterprise.
  • Understanding of the interplay between proposed changes and existing statutory or regulatory frameworks and how the changes may affect University's ability to carry out its mission.
  • Skill in legislative advocacy, negotiation and persuasion.
  • Ability to prepare a variety of written communications such as reports, testimony and factsheets.
  • Demonstrated experience in a position requiring the use of analytical skills, including the ability to organize, interpret, integrate and present data in a clear and concise fashion.
  • Skill in communicating effectively with all levels of management, boards of directors and staff as well as external individuals and groups.
  • Ability to interact with diverse communities and constituents of diverse backgrounds.
  • Ability to develop financial plans and manage resources.

Conditions of Employment

  • Employees in this job title are subject to the terms and conditions of an employment contract. Employment contracts are typically subject to review and renewal on an annual basis.
  • Employees who provide services or work in patient care or clinical areas are required to be in compliance with the University's influenza vaccination requirement.
  • Work odd hours including weekends.
  • Work may, on occasion, involve travel and overnight stay.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

  • Work is generally performed in an office environment with frequent interruptions and irregularities in the work schedule.
  • Frequent local, state and national travel is required.
  • Working hours may vary and occasional evening and weekend work is required.
  • No or very limited exposure to physical risk.
  • No or very limited physical effort required.

The University of New Mexico provides all training required by OSHA to ensure employee safety.

Revised Date: 04/24/2023