Appalachian Trail Conservancy – Manager of Policy and Legislation

Location : Washington, DC
Department : Strategic Communications
Supervisor : VP Strategic Communications
Type : Full Time

Overview: The Appalachian Trail is protected by federal law as established by the National Trails System Act of 1968. Stretching through 14 states from Maine to Georgia, for nearly 2,220 miles, the Trail traverses six national parks, seven national forests, 25 wilderness areas, numerous wildlife refuges, national recreation and national heritage areas.  The Trail and adjoining lands are, significantly, the last remaining open space in the eastern United States. More than three million people each year experience the Trail, requiring support for visitor education and trail maintenance. Additionally, increasing development in the eastern United States threatens the Trail’s scenic views and areas of natural and cultural significance, requiring advocacy on federal and state levels to conserve diminishing open space.

Position Summary: The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) seeks a highly energetic, creative and self-motivated individual to assume manager-level responsibilities regarding Advocacy outreach and communications. Advocacy responsibilities entail proactive work on issues of importance to the Trail and surrounding lands, and addressing proposed legislation and policy contrary to the best interests of the Trail.

The Advocacy Manager will work closely with ATC’s Vice President of Strategic Communications to advance ATC’s proactive protection goals regarding federal legislation and appropriations, and will assist in building grassroots/grasstops support and activism for federal, state and local issues.

Essential Duties/Responsibilities: The Advocacy Manager works closely with the ATC’s Communication Department, Conservation Department and ATC’s President/CEO to help identify, strategize, and implement action steps to positively impact policies, legislation and public funding that support ATC’s conservation and management goals. He/she works collaboratively with key partners and agency representatives to bring a stronger outdoor recreation voice to public policy and advocacy discussions on landscape conservation, including energy and climate change related policies and funding. He/she attends federal committee meetings and provides written summary briefings; maintains an up-to-date database of federal elected officials and develops communications strategies to keep target officials informed and educated of ATC’s position; meets with the staff of federal lawmakers; works collaboratively within ATC and with partners to develop effective communication strategies to build awareness and understanding of advocacy issues relevant to the outdoor recreation community and trail conservation; and organizes state/local-level advocacy, when necessary.


  • Bachelor’s degree in political science, environmental policy, communications
  • At least 5 years experience in environmental policy and/or advocacy
  • Significant campaign and legislative experience
  • Ability to lead major trail protection, legislative and policy campaigns
  • Understanding of climate change science and climate change policy direction
  • 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 change priorities with patience, perseverance, minimal supervision and successful completion

ATC Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

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, 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.

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