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Director, Public Affairs

Date: Nov 19, 2018

Location: Washington, DC, US

Company: HARMAN International

Requisition Id : 113657 

Additional Work Location(s) ​​​​​:  

Job Title:  Director, Public Affairs

Manager:  Senior Director, Connected Car & Policy Communications

Location:  Washington DC

Job Description



A Career at HARMAN

We are ONE HARMAN. We are greater than the sum of our divisions or brands. We proudly talk about our many iconic brands and describe how our technologies are transforming the car, the workplace and everywhere in between.  We work hard. We create useful, playful, beautiful things. We strive for excellence and we aim to win as a team. No matter the position, every employee at HARMAN is expected to demonstrate our core competencies:  leadership, change-orientation, collaboration, judgment and a results-driven mindset.  At HARMAN, we expect brilliance.  You can expect a career full of brilliant possibilities.


Position Summary:

The Director of Public Affairs leads the public affairs and government relations strategies for HARMAN globally, overseeing successful end-to-end execution in a collaborative environment as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics.  This dynamic individual is charged with designing, executing, tracking, analyzing and advising on effective communications campaigns engagement programs, and policy intelligence around our key interests technology, commercial diplomacy and culture, arts & sciences.  The Director, Public Affairs will be the global company representative building relationships with top tier news agencies, policy makers, customers and industry associations. The role also will serve as an advisor to senior executives on key public policy priorities, as well as identifying and preparing them for engagement opportunities including but not limited to meetings with political leaders, speaking events and media interviews related to Public Affairs and HARMAN business objectives.

This role is extremely strategic, requiring deep knowledge of our businesses and the industries and markets in which we compete. At the same time, it is tactical, requiring someone who can roll up his/her sleeves to activate comprehensive short and long term policy communications and outreach initiatives on many fronts.


Supervisory Responsibilities:

This person is responsible for managing agencies, internal teams and committees ensuring high quality products under aggressive deadlines and strict budgets.


Job Responsibilities:

This highly visible leader will exercise a high degree of decision making and autonomy in spearheading HARMAN's public policy agenda by elevating the company's profile among policymakers, customers, media, Non-Governmental Organizations and fostering meaningful dialogue with influencers in the industries and ecosystems HARMAN supports. He/She will also serve as the primary interface between Samsung United States Public Affairs team to ensure our policy messages and activities are aligned.

  1. Lead HARMAN’s engagement with policy makers and influencers focused on:
    1. Technology Evangelism - Amplify core HARMAN messages and thought leadership on the benefits of technology HARMAN/Samsung technologies, i.e. Connected Car, Connected Services, Professional Solutions and Lifestyle Audio on society.
    2. Commercial Diplomacy - Build meaningful relationships with key political influencers and advocating for policies that impact HARMAN business primarily related to the U.S. India, Israel, European Union, Mexico and China.
    3. Culture, Arts & Sciences – Foster an environment of learning and discovery through strategic partnerships and events focused on STEM and music education.
  1. Lead and sustain awareness for all HARMAN brands and business units by positioning company as a cutting edge technology solution provider with key influencers aligned Public Affairs objectives.
  2. Lead relationship between trade associations, advocacy groups, standards bodies, think tanks, and educational institutions and leverage as a cohesive platform of activity on priority policy issues
  3. Build and manage significant internal and external networks of relevant functional experts, business leaders, and political influencers to effectively execute communications and policy activities.
  4. Proactively monitor, analyze and advise on pertinent legislation and regulations proposed by government bodies, developing written products of legislative and regulatory initiatives, and help develop appropriate strategic and tactical responses, taking into account positions of OEMs, industry associations, public officials, consumers. 
  5. Work closely with HARMAN CEO, and entire Executive Committee, including but not limited to, CFO, CIO, COO, General Counsel and functionally diverse business unit leaders to execute Public Affairs responsibilities.
  6. Provide regular coordination, timely information sharing and communication with Corporate Affairs leadership and with divisions, functions and other corporate leadership as appropriate. Coordinate and collaborate with Samsung U.S. and Global Public Policy teams.
  7. Manage domestic and international agencies to realize objectives and KPIs around visibility, engagement and impact.


Desired Outcomes:

Thought Leadership: Build and strengthen strategic relationships with government officials and third party organizations. Educate and help shape strategic policy outcomes of importance to HARMAN and its customers.   

External Engagement: Identify new and leverage current topical committees, trade associations, coalitions etc. and leverage industry events to amplify HARMAN’s policy messages.

Internal Engagement: Develop and distribute a regular cadence of various Public Affairs internal communications like strategic documents, bi-weekly reports, ad hoc requests for information etc. targeting a broad audience of HARMAN workforce, including senior leaders and/or functional experts.

Media Relations: Lead campaigns, develop pitches, write and place Op-Eds, develop original content and leverage existing materials to secure placements for HARMAN and HARMAN thought leaders around key topics related to HARMAN business objectives.

Social Media: Manage agencies and coordinate with Corporate Affairs social media team on how to engage HARMAN in conversations relevant to our goals and reach influencers.

Monitoring: Monitor policy and regulation movement on issues related to key topics to advise on proactive or reactionary actions.


Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelors or more advanced degree.
  • 8+ years of experience in Public Affairs, Government Relations in public and corporate sectors.
  • Deep automotive experience and networks with knowledge of Internet of Things (IoT), cyber security.
  • Strong business acumen with an ability to understand policy impacts across an industry’s ecosystem.
  • Proven track record of developing and executing holistic policy issue plans to achieve objectives. 
  • Exceptional writing, editing, communication and presentation skills.
  • Established bi-partisan contacts with Members of Congress, Congressional staff, and in the Administration.
  • A keen understanding of the legislative process.


Preferred Qualifications & Desired Competencies:

Leadership: Demonstrate character, clarity, courage and commitment to high-performance

  • Strategic communications thinker, a problem-solver with a creative streak
  • Risk-taker who proactively leads trends, seizes opportunities quickly and who takes action decisively without being prompted
  • Positive, inspiring and intellectually curious, with a genuine interest in public policy, technology, current events, and the political environment


Change Orientation: Champion a better, faster and simpler way of doing things

  • Demonstrated experience prioritizing competing demands/interests from multiple entities and quickly adapting strategy in an extremely fast paced environment.
  • Apply original thinking and continuous improvement to processes, products, systems or services and manage change to better serve customer needs
  • Open to new ways of operating and looks for ways to help others adapt, evolve, and improve.


Collaboration:  Connect, engage and communicate with others

  • Ability to establish and maintain both working-level and high-level government, NGO and industry relationships
  • Strong ability to work with multiple stakeholders across multiple time zones with a wide range of personalities and interests, including industry colleagues, policymakers, government staffers, and internal executives
  • Entrepreneurial spirit with proven ability to work independently and also collaboratively in a highly-matrix organizational structure, eager to step up where there are gaps and help others achieve goals


Judgment: Make sound decisions

  • Demonstrate creative and critical thinking to take appropriate risk and make sound and timely decisions
  • Organized and able to simplify messages and complex projects


Results-Driven: Deliver extraordinary results

  • Significant experience in project management
  • Outcomes driven with ability to track and communicate progress against objectives
  • Keen eye for detail
  • Demonstrated consistency in work ethic and work product


Eligibility Requirements:

  • Willingness to travel up to 20%.
  • Willingness to work in an office.
  • Any offer of employment is conditioned upon the successful completion of a background investigation and drug screen.



  • Energetic, upbeat and sense of humor
  • Comfortable operating with a high degree of autonomy


HARMAN ( designs and engineers connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers, and enterprises worldwide, including connected car systems, audio and visual products, enterprise automation solutions; and services supporting the Internet of Things.  With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson® and Revel®, HARMAN is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform around the world. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and connected car systems. Our software services power billions of mobile devices and systems that are connected, integrated and secure across all platforms, from work and home to car and mobile. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 30,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia. In March 2017, HARMAN became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics. HARMAN is an Equal Opportunity /Affirmative Action employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or Protected Veterans status.  HARMAN offers a great work environment, challenging career opportunities, professional training and competitive compensation. Looking for a challenge where your experience is valued? Come see what you can achieve as a leader with HARMAN!  (




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