Senior Director, Government Affairs

  • San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Mar 29, 2018
Full time Director / VP / Pres. Government Affairs / Relations

Job Description

Job Description

Based in San Francisco and reporting to the company’s Chief Legal Officer, this position will
be Ancestry’s first focused government relations role. The Director, Government Relations
will take the lead in defining and executing an impactful and comprehensive government
relations/public affairs strategy addressing both state and federal government, and to a
lesser extent, international. The Director will actively partner with senior management to
develop and refine strategic plans to address relevant policy threats and opportunities as
well as legislation and regulations impacting the company’s business and the rapidly
evolving direct to consumer genomics industry.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Work with senior management to develop Ancestry’s policies and objectives involving local, state, federal, and international government and public affairs
  • Establish a positive, credible, and influential presence for Ancestry within relevant state, federal and international government entities
  • Foster a productive relationship between Ancestry senior management and elected officials and organize briefings, meetings and other interactions with government officials.
  • Develop, maintain, and nurture relationships to represent and advance Ancestry’s government relations/public affairs agenda before elected officials and government decision makers
  • Monitor and track proposed legislation  (state, federal and international), lead analysis of proposed legislative/regulatory actions, determine the potential impact on the company and propose appropriate responses 
  • Work with Ancestry senior management to identify and monitor operational issues that may benefit from legislative/regulatory action
  • Support senior leadership through regular meetings, briefings, analysis and recommendations regarding policy matters and company interactions with government officials
  • Manage federal, state and  international engagements with consultants and lobbyists to ensure implementation of legislative, regulatory and political priorities
  • Exercise a leadership role internally and externally in forming issue coalitions and driving policy change
  • Establish a positive, credible and influential presence for Ancestry with key trade associations, as well as national public policy and legislative groups and other relevant stakeholder organizations
  • Serve as an external representative of policy priorties and objectives with key policy stakeholders
  • Draft presentations, policy papers, speeches and briefing documents for the company’s CEO and other senior executives.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; graduate degree preferred
  • 10+ years of experience including both work in government and government relations or related positions in a corporation, trade organization or consulting/lobbying firm.
  • Experience interacting with federal and state government officials
  • Existing relationships with government officials, their staffs and other key organizations
  • Ability to manage and leverage outside consulting and lobbying resources
  • Extensive knowledge of government relations processes.  Ability to understand all components of an issue, and effectively influence an outcome.
  • Proven ability to network and build coalition support
  • Highly resourceful (stretches people and money; compresses time)
  • Strategic thinker with the ability to formulate innovative solutions to complex problems and keep ahead of industry trends.
  • Organized and detail oriented
  • Adaptable, flexible, with the ability to lead and drive for results
  • Ability to work across political lines in a bipartisan manner
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including demonstrated ability to craft written articles, releases, testimony, or op-eds
  • Ability to travel (including internationally) at least 25% of time

Company Description

Ancestry is the leader in family history and consumer genomics. The Company harnesses
information found in family trees, historical records, and DNA to help people gain a new level
of understanding about their lives. Ancestry is the world’s largest online family history
resource. The Company has pioneered and defined this category, developing new
innovations and technologies that have reinvented how people make family history
discoveries. These discoveries can give everyone a greater sense of identity, relatedness,
and their place in the world.

Ancestry is a privately-held Internet company with multiple strategic equity investors,
including Silver Lake and GIC, along with Permira funds and Spectrum Equity. Revenues
increased from $225 million in 2009 to more than $1 billion in 2017. The Company’s
management team is comprised of seasoned executives with prior experience at companies
including Intuit, PayPal, Martha Stewart Living, General Mills, Johnson & Johnson, Amazon,
American Express, GAP, Box and Google.

Ancestry has over 1,400 employees located around the world, with its primary offices in Lehi,
Utah, San Francisco and Dublin, Ireland. The Company has additional offices in London,
Sydney and Munich. Ancestry has been recognized as one of the “Best Companies To Work
For” by the Utah Business magazine and as by the San Francisco Business Times.
Ancestry has more than 2.5 million paying subscribers across its family history websites. The
Company has localized websites in nine countries providing access to its archive of online
family history records to the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden,
Australia, Mexico, and the UK. The Ancestry brand family encompasses Ancestry,
AncestryDNA, AncestryProGenealogists, Archives, Fold3,, Find A Grave,
and more.

Launched in May 2012, AncestryDNA is a fast-growing segment of Ancestry. It is the world’s
largest consumer DNA database with DNA samples from more than six million people.
AncestryDNA is available in more than 30 international markets. AncestryDNA uses a simple
test to analyze an individual's DNA. The saliva-based test reveals ethnicity and uses
advanced genomic science to connect distant relatives, find new ancestors, and uncover
new details about family history.

Additional Information

Working for Ancestry

We’re a cutting-edge tech company with a very human mission—to help every person discover, preserve, and share the story of what led to them. Combining the rich information in family trees and historical records with the genetic details revealed in DNA, we create unique experiences that give people a new understanding of their lives, because connecting all the pieces of our family story can give us the deepest sense of who we are. For more information on what we do and why you would want to work at Ancestry, visit our careers


Ancestry is not accepting unsolicited assistance from search firms for this employment opportunity. All resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at Ancestry via-email, the Internet or in any form and/or method without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of Ancestry. No fee will be paid in the event the candidate is hired by as a result of the referral or through other means. Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or protected veteran status.

Please mention that you saw this position on