Head of Government Affairs

Posted 16 May 2023
Job type Permanent
Discipline Information Technology

Company's Benefits

  • Flexible Working Arrangements

    Flexible Working Arrangements

  • Equal Pay Initiatives

    Equal Pay Initiatives

  • Mentorship Program

    Mentorship Program

  • Leadership Development Program

    Leadership Development Program

  • Paid Parental Leave

    Paid Parental Leave

  • Return to Work Policy

    Return to Work Policy

  • Childcare Facilities

    Childcare Facilities

  • Breastfeeding Rooms

    Breastfeeding Rooms

  • Sponsorship Program

    Sponsorship Program

  • Coaching Program

    Coaching Program

  • Raise Numbers Of Women In Leadership

    Raise Numbers Of Women In Leadership

  • Internal Women's Networking Group

    Internal Women's Networking Group

Job Description


Microsoft’s Corporate, External and Legal Affairs (CELA) Department has an immediate opening in Tokyo for a senior and highly experienced professional to lead its government affairs and policy team in Japan. The collective mission of the team is to anticipate and manage policy issues impacting Microsoft’s business in Japan; to proactively work with Microsoft’s business to create and support market opportunities; and to demonstrate Microsoft’s commitment to being a responsible and engaged organization that contributes to local ecosystems and supports our customers and partners in the market. The successful candidate will lead the team to actively monitor the policy and regulatory issues relevant to our business in Japan, develop a comprehensive strategic plan to support Microsoft’s business objectives and drive focused and timely execution.

Central to this role will be the team management and deep partnerships with internal Microsoft teams, including the Global Government Affairs team, the US Government Affairs team and regional and Corp based resources. The role will support all Microsoft business units in Japan and will play a key role in advising and working with the Japan Leadership Team.  


Required/Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor degree in political science, public administration, business administration, public policy or other relevant fields AND 6+ years experience in government affairs, corporate affairs, public policy, or government.

  • People management experience, with demonstrated ability to build a strong team culture and to coach, develop and performance manage a team.

  • Fluency in both Japanese and English, adept diplomatic skills with demonstrated capability to manage geopolitical challenges.

  • Proven experience as an effective external spokesperson. Must be able to proactively advance legal and policy positions through high impact external engagement in small and/or large group settings, including communications with high-level government officials, influencers and the media.

  • Strong analytical skills with the ability to develop creative/simplified solutions to complex problems.

  • Demonstrated capability to build and execute public policy programs that support business growth and policy objectives. Can navigate ambiguity, a fast-paced environment, and proven agility to adapt to rapidly changing environments and demands.

  • Self-directed and ability to work cross-group with a highly matrixed headquarters nd regional organization as well as possess the tools, intuition, capability, and aptitude to engage, influence and sometimes direct a diverse, dynamic and empowered team.

  • A strong record of being an effective team player dedicated to collective successes with the ability to promote cooperation and facilitate problem resolution in a timely, creative, and professional manner.

  • Ability to deal with and counsel senior business leadership in the company.

  • Dealing with crisis related short deadlines and working in high pressure situations to drive outcomes in the best interest of the company.

Additional or Preferred Qualifications

  • Law degree will be a plus, and post-graduate study in recognized institution outside of Japan is preferred.

  • Preferably 15+ years as a government affairs professional with no less than 10 years’ experience in Japan and preferably several years’ experience with an MNC

  • Tech industry knowledge preferred.


Leadership and team management

The Head of Government Affairs will lead, develop, and grow a high-performance government affairs and policy team to further Microsoft’s policy, industry, and business goals. As a leader, the successful candidate will be expected to model the management values of the company, coach for performance and create a collaborative team culture inclusive of multiple workstyles and views where the diversity of the individuals in the team can be fully leveraged to create impact.

Strategic Planning and Execution

A key function of the role will be to lead, coordinate, and orchestrate the development and execution of a high impact, issue specific legal, regulatory or policy strategy that advances the business interests of Microsoft in Japan. The ability to strategize and develop effective outreach plan will be crucial, as will be the ability to help oversee related campaigns as required.  The role also requires the ability to respond to regulatory and legislative issues that arise from time to time and to proactively monitor and mitigate risk and crisis issues as they arise.

Stakeholder Management

Within the complex and multi-tiered environment in Japan, the Head of Government Affairs will be responsible for identifying, developing, and nurturing the relationships with central, provincial, and local governments to protect Microsoft’s interests and position Microsoft as a responsible participant in the domestic IT ecosystem. Responsibilities in this area will also include developing and advancing appropriate relationships with industry bodies, policy think-tanks, civil society groups, academia, and media and orchestrating the overall engagement across Microsoft internal stakeholders to advance the company’s interests most effectively.

Trusted Advisor

The Head of Government Affairs will play a key and trusted advisory role to the leadership in Japan. Responsibilities will include working with the Area Vice President to align and integrate engagement and outreach strategies, aligning with business segment leads to help them identify and advance business opportunities in the public sector and regulated industries, and to keep the business leadership appraised as to relevant regulatory, legislative and political trends and risks. The role will also be required to engage and support the communications and marketing teams to align on key messages and talking points in response to external issues and demands. 


The Head of Government Affairs will often be called upon to be a lead spokesperson and contributor to external discourse on a wide range of issues and initiatives related to Microsoft’s business, regulatory and policy work across our priority industries. The role will spend time speaking at public fora and with media and analysts.  Working with the regional legal, industry and government affairs team, he/she will also contribute to publications, blogs, and whitepapers and be a regular speaker at customer and company events.


In a dynamic external environment, the Head of Government Affairs will be an advocate and leader for the ethics and compliance standards of the company both with respect to ensuring compliance in the conduct of all external and engagement activities and, as importantly, in supporting the advocacy positions of the company in areas such as the responsible use of AI, the protections of the use of personal data and human rights.