Manager of Policy and Legislation
The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) footpath and a surrounding narrow corridor are protected by federal law as established in the National Trails System Act of 1968. Millions of people have the opportunity to experience the Trail, requiring more support for education and management. 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.
ATC seeks a highly energetic, creative and self-motivated individual to join its team to focus on policies and advocacy issues in support of ATC’s strategic goals towards effective stewardship, proactive protection, engaged partners, broader relevancy and operational excellence.
In particular, ATC is seeking a policy manager to work closely with ATC’s Vice President of Strategic Communications to advance ATC’s proactive protection goals regarding federal legislation and appropriations, and to assist in building grassroots/grasstops support and activism on local, state and federal issues.
The Manager of Policy and Legislation works closely with the ATC’s Communication Department, Conservation Department leadership and the Executive Director/CEO to identify, strategize, and implement action steps to positively impact policies 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. The position will also work collaboratively within ATC and with partners to develop effective communication strategies to build awareness and understanding of policy and advocacy issues relevant to the outdoor recreation community and trail conservation.
The Manager will be responsible for supporting ATC campaigns to secure necessary public funding that advances land acquisition of important lands within high priority A.T. landscapes as well as for funding to support science-based trail and land management.
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 significant experience building and sustaining relationships with federal and Congressional representatives, experience in building measurable activism as well as experience working effectively with coalitions.
Specific duties include, but are not limited to:
- Research conservation, management, public funding and climate change related policy issues.
- Lead team to develop background information for use in testimony, letters, or comments.
- Lead organizational learning on priority policy issues facing the A.T. landscape.
- 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.
- Other duties as assigned
- 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.
- Organize ATC’s annual Hike the Hill meetings and associated events.
- Organize ATC’s annual Congressional staff field day.
- Organize other events, as needed.
- 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.
- 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 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
- 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.
- Experience with energy policy and energy infrastructure systems
- 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.
- Evenings and weekend work may be required
- Ability and willingness to travel