Appointed - Head of Policy and Public Affairs at the British Heart Foundation

  • Location: London
  • Salary: £65,000
  • Ref: GH-1604-3473
  • 2016-05-17T00:00:00+00:00
  • Ellwood Atfield

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Help the British Heart Foundation to create a stronger voice with key decision makers & influencers.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is the nation’s heart charity with a mission to lead the fight for every heartbeat through pioneering cardiovascular research. The BHF was founded in 1961 and is the leading independent funder of cardiovascular research in the UK with annual income in excess of £135m, an employee base of over 3500, supported by a further 26,000 volunteers.

BHF is leading the fight against our single biggest killer, cardiovascular disease. In 2014, it set bold and ambitious targets for this fight. Investing more than £100million each year, its pioneering research has been central to the discovery of vital treatments that are helping to transform the lives of the seven million people living with a heart condition.

BHF’s vision of a world in which people do not die prematurely or suffer from cardiovascular disease is made possible by working and connecting with key stakeholders. In this newly-created role, as Head of Policy and Public Affairs, you will play a central role in ensuring BHF’s vision informs the agenda of decision makers.
Why BHF?
You are passionate about using your policy and public affairs skills to make a tangible difference to millions of lives. Reporting to the Director of Marketing and Engagement and working closely with the Chief Executive and Directors, you will have experience of delivering with demonstrable impact with senior stakeholders and decision-makers.

You will lead a team to help the BHF create a stronger voice with key decision-makers and influencers, including key figures in Governments, medical research and the NHS that is based on building strong and lasting relationships.

  • A deep understanding of the policy-making and political process in the UK, ideally with some knowledge of the UK’s life sciences research environment, health policy and the European and international landscape.
  • Extensive understanding of parliamentary procedure in Westminster is necessary – knowledge of the politics and proceedings in the devolved administrations of the UK and within the EU is desirable.


  • Proven track record of building and nurturing excellent relationships and exerting influence over external stakeholder’s agendas.
  • Experience of having run or managed successful policy and/or public affairs work at a senior level, ensuring expectations, responsibilities and the purpose and vision for the team are clear and delivered.
  • Experience of leading internal and/or external stakeholder relations in a high profile and/or complex organisation.
  • Experience of leading the development and implementation of policy and/or public affairs strategies and plans.
  • Experience of managing reputation and risk within a high profile organisation.
  • Experience of working closely with, and advising, senior leaders in a large organisation as the role will involve regular contact with the Chief Executive and Directors.

Skills & attributes

  • Outstanding relationship-building and influencing skills.
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to present with credibility and gravitas to external audiences.
  • Excellent writing skills and the ability to provide concise written and oral briefings on complex issues, often at short notice.
  • Ability to work calmly, quickly and accurately under pressure of tight deadlines.
  • Proven leadership skills whilst being a team player.
  • Ability to develop and implement strategies and plans, ensuring that initiatives and activities are organised, prioritised and delivered successfully.
  • Excellent time management and organisation skills.
  • A ‘can do’ attitude and an ability to inspire a team by being a role model for the values of the organisation.

Together we can make a difference.