Organization Mission:

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s mission is to protect, manage, and advocate for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

Position Summary

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.) is a Congressionally designated footpath and surrounding conserved corridor, established by the National Trails System Act of 1968. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is the lead day-to-day overall manager of the Trail, working in close coordination with 30 Maintaining Clubs, two federal agencies, and 14 state governments. An estimated three million people per year step foot on some part of the A.T. and the Trail itself is within a day’s drive of half of the United States’ population. Persistent pressures from human development, climate change, and visitor use require constant engagement within the federal policy arena. Today public access and trail continuity are secure, but many of the pristine viewsheds, watersheds, and areas of natural and cultural significance comprising the A.T. Landscape remain unprotected and vulnerable to external threats.

The Policy Manager directly supports the robust state and federal-level policy needs of the organization with particular attention paid to land and resource conservation and coordination with the A.T. Maintaining Clubs. Working under the supervision of the Director of Federal Policy, the Policy Manager will advance ATC’s proactive protection goals regarding authorizing legislation and appropriations, habitat and viewshed conservation (including voluntary state and federal programs), and to assist in building grassroots/grasstops support and effective advocacy on local, state and federal issues.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Working under the supervision of the Director of Federal Policy, the Policy Manager is expected to initiate and cultivate relationships with Congressional offices and partner organizations, as well as assisting the Director of Federal Policy in stewarding those relationships for the benefit of the A.T. and ATC. The Policy Manager will work closely with ATC’s Conservation staff to identify, strategize, and implement tactics to advance ATC’s fundamental conservation mission to protect the Appalachian Trail and its Landscape forever, for all. They will work collaboratively with key partners and agency representatives to bring a stronger undeveloped outdoor recreation voice to public policy and advocacy discussions on landscape conservation, including energy and climate change. The position will also work collaboratively within ATC and with partners to develop effective communication strategies to engage ATC membership and supporters to build awareness and understanding of federal and state policy issues relevant to the Trail maintenance and management and outdoor recreation.

The Manager will also be responsible for supporting A.T. Maintaining Clubs’ engagement in federal policy advocacy as practicable.

This position will be responsible for tracking, analyzing, and building advocacy support for policies impacting the A.T. at the state and federal level. Qualified candidates will have demonstrable experience building and sustaining relationships with federal Executive and Congressional representatives, experience in building measurable advocacy achievements, and experience working effectively with coalitions.

Specific duties include, but are not limited to:

Policy

  • Research conservation, management, public funding, and climate change-related policy issues.
  • Play key support role to develop background information for use in testimony, letters, or comments.
  • Assist in organizational learning on priority policy issues facing the A.T. Landscape.
  • Research, monitor, and track key legislative priorities.
  • Prepare issues papers and briefings regarding broad issues including, but not limited to, yearly federal appropriations for the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service, Land and Water Conservation Fund, Farm bill funding opportunities, and energy and climate-change policy related to the Trail.

Advocacy

  • Coordinate advocacy campaigns related to landscape threats and effective stewardship.
  • Represent A.T. constituents through interaction with coalitions that support sound landscape conservation and climate change and energy policy.
  • Build new coalitions as needed.
  • Develop and write policy-related fact sheets, briefs, and action alerts.
  • Maintain relationships with key agency and Congressional representatives, and strategic conservation partners.
  • Assist in the organization of ATC’s annual Hike the Hill (fly-in) meetings and associated events.
  • Organize ATC’s annual Congressional staff field day.
  • Organize other events, as needed.
  • Support A.T. Maintaining Clubs and coordinate advocacy between them and ATC.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Skills and Experience

  • Strong organizational skills that reflect ability to perform and prioritize multiple tasks seamlessly with excellent attention to detail.
  • Very strong interpersonal skills and the ability to build relationships with stakeholders, including staff, board members, external partners, and donors.
  • High-level written and verbal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated proactive approaches to problem-solving with strong decision-making capability emotional maturity.
  • Highly resourceful team player, with the ability to also be extremely effective independently.
  • Proven ability to handle confidential information with discretion, be adaptable to various competing demands, and demonstrate the highest level of customer/client service and response.
  • Demonstrated ability to achieve high performance goals and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
  • Forward-looking thinker who actively seeks opportunities and proposes solutions.
  • Represent A.T. constituents through interaction with coalitions that support sound landscape conservation and climate change and energy policy.
  • Build new coalitions as needed.
  • Develop and write policy-related fact sheets, briefs, and action alerts.
  • Maintain relationships with key agency and Congressional representatives, and strategic conservation partners.
  • Assist in the organization of ATC’s annual Hike the Hill (fly-in) meetings and associated events.
  • Organize ATC’s annual Congressional staff field day.
  • Organize other events, as needed.
  • Support A.T. Maintaining Clubs and coordinate advocacy between them and ATC.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in political science, environmental policy, communications, agriculture or related field.
  • At least 5 years experience in government, environmental policy, campaigning, and/or advocacy or qualifying advanced education.
  • Ability to develop major trail protection, legislative and policy campaigns.
  • Familiarity with climate change science and climate change policy.
  • Experience with conservation programs operated at the federal and/or state level.
  • Familiarity with a variety of federal and state land managing agencies.
  • Strong analytical skills with demonstrated experience reviewing legislation.
  • A demonstrated ability to engage diverse stakeholder groups and build relationships to advance action toward goals.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Highly organized self-starter who can track, manage and report on multiple programs and frequently changing priorities with patience, perseverance, minimal supervision and successful completion.
  • Federal registration as a lobbyist may be required for this position.

Physical demands

  • Evenings and weekend work may be required.
  • Ability and willingness to travel, specifically to the A.T. and Trail states.
  • This position will be duty-stationed in Washington, D.C. with some remote work possible.

Additional Details

  • Salary range for this position is $60,000-$68,000.
  • COVID-19 vaccination will be required for this position as a condition of employment. Medical and religious exemptions may apply.
  • Health, dental, and vision insurance available
  • Company paid long-term disability and life insurance provided
  • 403(b) Retirement Plan with up to 7% match after 1 year of service

To Apply

Please submit an application packet that consists of a resume, a writing sample and a cover letter via ADP. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Please apply as soon as possible.

Click here to apply via ADP.

ATC Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) encourages collaboration, flexibility, and fairness with all employees and volunteers to enable participation and contributions to their fullest potential.

We are committed to being a diverse and inclusive organization, and recognize that diversity contributes to an effective and successful organizational culture and mission.

The ATC prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and/or expression), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, political affiliation, union membership, or any other status protected by the laws and regulations in the locations where we operate.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Identity Statement