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Better. Together.

Director, Public Policy (Director III)

Posted Date


Department(s): Government Affairs
Reports to: Chief of Staff
FLSA status: Exempt
Salary Grade: S - $154,000 - $270,512 


Applications will be accepted on a continuous basis until a sufficient number of qualified applications have been received. The deadline for the first review of applications is on Monday, November 20, 2023 at 11:59 PM.  Applicants are encouraged to apply early. Applicants that apply after the first review are not guaranteed to be considered for this recruitment. This recruitment may close at any time without notice after the first review date. 


About CalOptima Health

CalOptima Health is the single largest health plan in Orange County, serving one in four residents. Our motto — "Better. Together.” — is at the heart of our mission to serve members with excellence, dignity and respect. We are a public agency made up of compassionate leaders and professionals working together to strengthen our community’s health.  We are continuing to build a culture that promotes diversity and inclusion within our community where employees have a sense of belonging, and are valued for their ideas, contributions, and their unique individual perspectives they bring.  CalOptima Health has been recognized as one of Orange County’s best places to work, so we know there is something special about our organization. It is why people choose to work here and why they choose to stay! 


About the Position

The Director III (Public Policy) will lead and assist the coordination of policy initiatives that support and enhance CalOptima Health’s mission and strategic goals and initiatives. In collaboration with CalOptima Health’s leadership, the incumbent will play a key role in the identification of legislative and regulatory needs and opportunities. The incumbent will lead policy initiatives for the agency. The incumbent will ensure all policy initiatives foster innovation and delivery system transformation that is consistent with CalOptima Health’s strategic vision, mission and values. The incumbent will be responsible for monitoring, analyzing and reporting to senior staff on the policy landscape and funding opportunities affecting or available to CalOptima Health. The position requires the ability to actively engage CalOptima Health’s leadership as well as federal, state and local agencies and elected officials. The nature of the department is dynamic and fast paced, which requires both excellent task management and independent problem-solving skills.


Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Cultivates and promotes a mission-driven culture of high-quality performance, with a member focus on customer service, consistency, dignity and accountability.
  • Directs and assists the team in carrying out department responsibilities and collaborates with the leadership team and staff to support short- and long-term goals/priorities for the department.
  • Supports leadership and departments in identifying, monitoring and reporting initiatives aligned with Board identified priority areas.
  • Manages employees directly, including selection, training, performance appraisal, performance goal setting and resource allocation.
  • Leads intradepartmental teams and evaluates the work of contracted consultants.
  • Performs project management, program evaluation and grantmaking when CalOptima Health is the grantee.
  • Presents updates directly to the Board of Directors Advisory Committees and others as needed.
  • Assists the organization in developing and meeting Board policy initiatives on an annual basis.
  • Develops CalOptima Health Board Action Agenda Referral (COBARS) for government affairs related actions requiring Board approval in coordination with the Chief of Staff and department staff.
  • Assists the organization through identifying new or enhanced products, programs or pilots.
  • Directs and develops analysis of proposed legislative actions, determines the potential impact on the organization and develops appropriate responses.
  • Provides research and analysis and prepares whitepapers to assist CalOptima Health’s leadership in making decisions regarding the future direction of the agency.
  • Represents CalOptima Health, in conjunction with the Government Affairs staff, on key industry workgroups, such as Local Health Plans of California (LHPC) and California Association of Health Plans (CAHP), to vet the impact of proposed regulations, legislation, pilots and delivery system changes.
  • Ensures funded projects are sustainable through a managed care model.
  • Oversees the production of monthly government affairs newsletter, internal and external policy updates, legislative alerts, position statements and collateral for elected officials.
  • Completes other projects and duties as assigned.


Experience & Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Health Care Administration, Public Policy or related field required.
  • 7 years of experience in the health care field at a health plan, community-based organization, legislative or government agency required.
  • 3 years of progressive leadership experience, including direct supervision of staff, in key areas of public policy required.
  • An equivalent combination of education and experience sufficient to successfully perform the essential duties of the position such as those listed above is also qualifying.


Physical Demands and Work Environment:

The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


  • Physical demands: While performing duties of job, employee may be required to move about the organization. Employee must be able to sit for extended periods of time, as well as work at the computer for long periods. Employee is required to use hands and fingers, especially for typing on the computer and using the mouse. Must also be able to reach with hands and arms and must occasionally lift office supply boxes or laptop case while traveling, up to 25 pounds. Employee must be able to communicate, particularly for regular phone use, in meetings, face-to-face interaction and while presenting.
  • Work Environment: Typical office environment with minimal to moderate noise levels and controlled office temperatures.


About our Benefits & Wellness options:

At CalOptima Health, we know that a healthy and happy workforce is a thriving workforce, which is why we offer a comprehensive benefits package, including participation in the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), low-cost medical/vision/dental insurance options, and paid time off. To support quality work-life balance, we allow flexible scheduling during core business hours, telework options for some positions, work schedules that allow every other Monday or Friday off (9/80 schedule), and a wellness program featuring diverse activities. Additionally, CalOptima Health contributes 4% of pensionable earnings to a 401(a) retirement program with no required employee contribution. Employees also have access to 457(b) retirement plans with pre/post-tax contribution options.


CalOptima Health is committed to attracting, hiring, and retaining a diverse staff, where we will honor your unique experiences, identity, and perspectives. Our organization strives to create and maintain a workplace environment that is inclusive, equitable and welcoming so we can truly be Better Together.


CalOptima Health is an equal employment opportunity employer and makes all employment decisions on the basis of merit. CalOptima Health wants to have qualified employees in every job position. CalOptima Health prohibits unlawful discrimination against any employee, or applicant for employment, based on race, religion/religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, mental or physical disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, sex stereotype, gender, gender identity, gender expression, transitioning status, age, sexual orientation, immigration status, military status as a disabled veteran, or veteran of the Vietnam era, or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state, or local laws. CalOptima Health also prohibits unlawful discrimination based on the perception that anyone has any of those characteristics or is associated with a person who has, or is perceived as having, any of those characteristics.


If you are a qualified individual with a disability or a disabled veteran, you may request a reasonable accommodation if you are unable or limited in your ability to access job openings or apply for a job on this site as a result of your disability.  

Tracking Code


This position is located at 505 City Parkway West, Orange, CA. View the Google Map in full screen.

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