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.
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.
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. Specific duties include, but are not limited to:
Specific duties include, but are not limited to:
Research conservation, management, public funding and climate change related policy issues.
Develop background information for use in testimony, letters, or comments.
Research, monitor and track key legislative priorities.
Prepare issue 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.
Track and stay current on legislation that may affect the Trail.
Coordinate advocacy outreach including online Take Action alerts, corresponding website content and social media.
Maintain relationships with key agency and Congressional representatives, and strategic conservation partners.
Organize ATC’s annual Hike the Hill meetings and associated events.
Organize ATC’s annual Congressional staff field day.
Organize other events, as needed.
Assist in the development of the House Appalachian Trail Caucus.
Represent ATC through interaction with coalitions that support sound landscape conservation and climate change and energy policy.
Build new coalitions as needed.
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
Expert 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 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
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
Washington, D.C.-based with weekly travel to Harpers Ferry
Evenings and weekend work may be required
Ability and willingness to travel