Head of Government Affairs & Sustainability : Virgin Atlantic

Crawley, West Sussex
19 Nov 2020
02 Dec 2020
Full Time

Virgin A [square]

In a nutshell

At Virgin Atlantic, we’re just as passionate as we’ve always been about becoming the most loved travel company. It’s been an uncertain year, for us, for everyone. There’s been ups and downs, some successes, and some sadness. One thing we know for sure – this year has shown that when we combine our brand with the power of amazing people, we make something truly magical. 

Virgin Atlantic is still proudly flying, creating the same fabulous flight experience we’re famous for, and we’re busily laying the foundations for a profitable future. We know that the right people are key to creating success – so we’re looking for someone brilliant to join our Commercial team and help us achieve our vision. Perhaps that’s you? We’d love to find out. 

As the Head of Government Affairs & Sustainability, you will be a key member of the Commercial Leadership Team, maximising the contributions and effectiveness of the team, and influencing key decision making at Board level. In this role you will lead a highly skilled team to develop and deliver Virgin Atlantic’s government affairs and sustainability strategies; influencing the political and regulatory environment to support our business performance and enable future commercial aspirations, whilst focusing on delivering our new carbon strategy to put us on a trajectory to meet our commitment to achieve net zero carbon by 2050. 

Day to Day

As the Head of Government Affairs & Sustainability you will be responsible for the following day to day activities:

  • Build robust and long-lasting relationships with members of the central government and regulatory bodies to influence policy and decision making on measures that support the recovery of UK aviation by providing compelling evidence and advocacy
  • Credibly advise Virgin Atlantic’s Board, particularly the CEO, around the political landscape and potential opportunities/risks to our business.
  • Implement a stakeholder engagement programme for political and regulatory contacts, alongside establishing a strong network across various Embassies and High Commissions in London and overseas
  • Develop a strategic approach to government Air Service Agreement negotiations to secure required designations and desired traffic rights
  • Be an ambassador of Virgin Atlantic; representing our organisation with political, regulatory and industry stakeholders, and manage trade association membership to maximise value to business
  • Launch and promote our new sustainability strategy internally with our people and externally with corporates, government and media
  • Establish and manage the Sustainability Board to ensure good governance for delivery of carbon strategy and sustainability issues led by other business areas
  • Collaborate with various external partners and seek investment opportunities to enhance our sustainability agenda, and support CEO membership of government Jet Zero Council

About you

Would you like to be an ambassador for the UK’s ‘Most Loved’ travel company and aspiring second flag carrier? Are you positioned as an influential and trusted figure within the core of the UK’s political landscape? Do you have experience as a strategic advisor to senior leadership teams working at pace? If so, then this could be the role for you...

In addition to the above, we would love to speak with you if you are able to demonstrate the following:

  • Credible background in public affairs within a regulated environment, either corporate in-house, agency, trade association or civil service
  • Detailed understanding of Whitehall and Westminster, and a proven track record of running successful policy influencing campaigns that have secured policy change
  • Demonstrable success in developing and implementing evidenced-based public affairs strategies to drive organisational objectives and priorities.
  • Highly developed interpersonal and influencing skills with a demonstrable ability to build and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of internal and external senior leaders; positioning yourself as a trusted advisor the members of the Board, senior stakeholders and key shareholders.
  • Strong strategic and critical thinking skills with a commercial mindset to grasp the implications of political and regulatory issues
  • Experience in sustainability or working on sustainability issues in a public affairs role
  • Able to lead, motivate and develop high-performing, multi-disciplinary, diverse teams, especially during periods of change

Be Yourself - Our Differences make us stronger

Virgin Atlantic are committed equal opportunities employers and positively encourage applications from suitably qualified and eligible applicants regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital status, pregnancy and maternity. Diversity brings strength which is why we strive to provide an inclusive environment where individuality is celebrated, and we can ignite the potential of our forward-thinking mix of people.

Many of our staff at Virgin work flexibly and in many different ways, including part-time, different core hours or remote working. Please talk to us at your application or interview stage about the flexibility you need. We can't promise to give you exactly what you want, but we are happy to explore what's possible for the role.