Vice President of Conservation and Government Relations

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is seeking a Vice President of Conservation and Government Relations (VP of CGR) to envision and support ATC’s work in landscape conservation, land protection, natural resource management, public funding government relations, and policy activities. This is a senior management position that reports to the Chief Executive Officer and is a member of the Executive Team which also includes the Chief Growth Officer, the Chief Financial and Administrative Officer and the Vice President of Regional and Trail Management.

The VP of CGR is responsible for establishing and articulating the conservation vision for the Conservancy as well as effectively managing the department in its efforts to achieve measurable results towards that vision. This is to be done in concert with the Appalachian Trail Landscape Partnership (ATLP), various land protection and conservation NGO’s and national and regional land trusts as well as with ATC’s agency partners, in particular the National Park Service Appalachian Trail Park Office (APPA) and Regional USFS Service offices.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Leading the development and implementation of conservation and natural resource management strategies for all of ATC’s programs. These include trail and corridor lands as well as broader conservation landscape.
  • Managing all ATC specific land trust activities.
  • Crafting and guiding the organizations overall government relations, federal policy and legislative initiatives including public funding opportunities, overseeing direct lobbying, and work with the Congressional A.T. Caucus.
  • Developing a vision and strategy for building and advancing community-led coalitions, partnerships, relationships, and movements that advance ATC’s conservation objectives and provide maximum value to the Appalachian Trail Experience, habitat connectivity, and climate resiliency.
  • Providing oversight of ATC’s government relations activities at the federal and state levels; set strategy and manage staff responsible for ATC’s land trust activities including pre- and post- acquisition efforts, monitoring and stewardship responsibilities and adherence to Land Trust Alliance standards.
  • Partnering with the Engagement team to raise funds for and elevate awareness of the department’s programs specifically in the realm of public funding opportunities; ensure optimum performance for individuals and group function and recommend and implement techniques to improve productivity, increase efficiencies, and maintain state-of-the-art practices for the department.

Leadership, Management, and Administration Responsibilities

  • Establishing land conservation programmatic priorities, reconcile regional differences, and integrate into organizational priorities. Establish conservation vision and clearly articulate same to constituent groups.
  • Supervising the Director of Landscape Conservation, Director of Science and Stewardship and Director of Federal Policy.
  • Serving as the primary staff liaison for the Board Conservation Committee and oversee ATC coordination for the A.T. Landscape Partnership. Provide support to other board committees as required.
  • Developing effective relationships with APPA, clubs and organizations, communities, businesses, and other federal and state agencies to fulfill stewardship and conservation goals, making full use of the cooperative management system.
  • Overseeing land protection efforts including, though not limited to, AT land trust, alliances with land conservation groups, as well as local, state, and federal acquisitions.
  • Coordinating efforts to develop and fund trail-wide programs in land protection, resource monitoring and management.


  • BA/BS degree (advanced degree in a relevant field preferred) and at least 10 years progressively responsible experience in environmental policy, land conservation, and/or resource or land management or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Exhibited excellence in supervising experienced, professional staff and volunteers in multiple locations to focus on a wide range of program and policy challenges.
  • Experience working on major initiatives with multiple groups of people who are committed to and invested in the organization’s mission and direction; ability to build partnerships and move various constituencies toward a common goal; demonstrated ability to make quality decisions without perfect information.
  • Proven success developing and articulating a landscape conservation vision as well as defining strategies and measurable objectives to achieve that vision. Well versed in natural resource management, and climate science.
  • Experience working with volunteer-based organizations. Willingness to travel throughout the A.T. region.
  • Outstanding communication skills: demonstrated proficiency in writing, oral presentation, active listening, and conflict management.
  • Demonstrated success in strategic planning, project management, and budgetary responsibility.

   Additional Details

  • This position has a salary range of $130k -$150k.
  • Applicant must reside in one of the 14 A.T. States.
  • 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

To apply for this position, please submit an application packet via our ADP application portal.

Click here to apply

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