Head of Global Vaccines External Communications

Basic qualifications:

  • Product communications experience and proven ability to design business-critical communications programs; executive communications experience.
  • Experience working in a global or major international organisation
  • Minimum degree level education

Preferred qualifications:

  • Excellent written & verbal communication skills. Native English speaker preferable. International experience a plus
  • Media relations track-record – good network and ability to grow/maintain strong media relationships
  • Strategic and creative thinker - demonstrated capability to design forward-looking strategic plans
  • Able to apply sound judgement and make decisions on prioritisation, including agility to adjust priorities as needed
  • High levels of discretion and professionalism
  • High personal accountability
  • Calm under pressure, resilient and flexible
  • Cultural awareness and ability to work across different cultures


Job Purpose:

  • GSK 's Vaccines business is one of the largest in the world, delivering over two million doses of vaccines per day to people in over 160 countries. As such it sustains a high level of interest and scrutiny from media, investors and other external stakeholders.
  • The Head of Global Vaccines External Communications, GSK is accountable and responsible for the planning, development and delivery of strategic external communications to support GSK's Vaccines business and to enhance and protect its reputation.
  • This includes leading a team of communications professionals to amplify GSK's leadership in vaccines and support growth of the business and its products by developing campaigns that reach healthcare customers/payers, stakeholders, the informed public and partners, increasing their understanding of GSK's Vaccines and GSK Vaccines.

The role is responsible for:

  • Developing and executing (with the team) a global communications strategy for GSK vaccines, one of GSK's three businesses – including proactive campaigns on both corporate and product level to drive growth and issues management to defend reputation. Includes creative ways to maximize our presence in digital and social media as well as traditional media relations.
  • Providing comms counsel and support to Vaccines business leaders on the executive team, including the President, such as staffing media interactions, preparing briefings and identifying opportunities/events.
  • Engaging with global specialist/trade media and collaborating with the Corporate Media team to support engagement with global corporate/ financial/ business media and creation of corporate documents such as the Annual Report.
  • Working closely with communications colleagues in priority local operating companies (LOCs) and regions, with a particular focus on the US, GSK's largest market
  • Hiring/managing external agency support for priority global brands and for corporate priorities/campaigns (eg. "Vaccinate for Life")

Key Responsibilities:

Deliver excellent external communications strategy and support for high impact activities and issues:

  • Build and develop a high performing team, located across geographies, operating in a highly matrixed environment.
  • Guide team to deliver leading edge product communications, aligned with the business need to drive growth in priority segments. This includes development and delivery of creative, high-impact communications campaigns in support of key brands including Bexsero and Shingrix, and creating above brand campaigns to deliver portfolio support.
  • Ensure efficient and effective issues management strategy in place to manage the many issues that come up. Anticipate and prepare for issues and crises to enable effective, rapid and appropriate response (eg execute on a strong playbook)
  • Design communications to support GSK R&D and innovation, showcasing our innovation, and positioning GSK as the partner of choice with prospective collaborators such as biotechs, academics, prospective employees and professional associations.
  • Develop aligned and impactful communications strategies to build the profile of GSK's Vaccines business and its senior leaders, including the President of Global Vaccines, with financial/business/sector media, key non-governmental stakeholders and employees. This involves working closely with the President's office to deliver media opportunities, speaker platforms, thought leadership/profile pieces and manage his digital presence.
  • Support the President in his external speaking engagements in delivery of briefing and speaking notes.
  • Shape communications in support of GSK's global health and responsibility strategy as it relates to Vaccines, covering issues such as access, pricing and research to enhance and protect GSK's reputation.
  • Act as a credible and effective spokesperson/ ambassador for GSK with external stakeholders including partners, industry colleagues and specialist media.
  • Ensure all communications programmes are compliant with GSK codes of conduct, ethics and values


  • Reports to VP, Communications & Government Affairs, Vaccines
  • Leads senior team of 9 professionals plus Agency support
  • Member of the Vaccines Communications & Government Affairs Leadership Team and CGA Leadership Forum.
  • Maintain strong peer relationships with CGA colleagues across GSK's three business units and within the Corporate Affairs team
  • Effective management of processes, budgets and programmes

Specific Knowledge:

  • This role requires significant external communications expertise at a senior level, strong traditional and digital media relations skills, product communications experience, exceptional verbal and written skills, sound judgment, strong business acumen and understanding of the pharmaceutical or vaccines commercial environment.
  • Given the highly regulated environment that GSK operates within, a clear understanding of the pharmaceutical industry (vaccines knowledge a plus), including the relevant regulations and codes of conduct and how they govern communications, as well as the importance of positive partnerships with government (or domestic and global public health) is essential.
  • The role will require strong issues management skills and a strategic approach to effectively anticipate, monitor and execute on issues management to minimise threats to the company's reputation.
  • As the role supports execution of comms campaigns in GSK's affiliates, past experience of working within country in a comms role is important.
  • Given the role's global focus and breadth, the individual should bring an ability to operate on several levels simultaneously: providing counsel to leadership, navigating stakeholders across the company and working seamlessly across different regions/countries. The role must flex and counsel multiple senior internal stakeholders while working collaboratively in a matrix fashion alongside other senior leaders within Communications and Government Affairs.
  • Management and team-building skills are essential for the leadership and development of multiple FTEs.
  • Needs to be able to work in pressurised circumstances managing a variety of activities simultaneously

Our Offer:

At GSK we provide a supportive working environment, and a range of development challenges and opportunities. We also offer competitive benefits and compensation packages designed to attract and to retain the very best. GSK is proud to promote an open culture, encouraging people to be themselves and giving their ideas a chance to flourish. GSK is an equal opportunity employer.

Our Company:

GSK is one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.

GSK Vaccines is one of the world's leading vaccine companies, with a comprehensive portfolio of 39 vaccines for infants, adolescents and adults and 15 more in development. We have more than 16,000 people working worldwide to deliver nearly 2 (1.9) million vaccines every day to people in around 90% (172) of the world's countries.

For further information, please visit www.gsk.com.

  • LI-GSK

Contact information:

You may apply for this position online by selecting the Apply now button.

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