American Hiking Society seeks Director of Government Relations

November 1, 2011

The Director of Government Relations (Director) oversees and has primary responsibility for the public policy and agency partnerships of American Hiking Society. The Director works with Congress, federal agencies, and conservation and recreation partners to shape public policy and legislation affecting hiking. The Director establishes and manages American Hiking’s agency partnerships and agreements at the federal, state and local level. Responsibilities include advocating for the funding and protection of hiking trails, promoting policies and practices that ensure the preservation of natural areas (or opposing policies detrimental to conservation and hiking), management and execution of agency agreements, and promotion and protection of the hiking experience. The Director reports to the President, is part of the senior management team and is based at the organization headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, with required travel to field projects, conferences and special events, as needed.


Policy and Advocacy

Develop and implement American Hiking’s policy platform and plan of action that is aligned with the most pressing national and regional trail and conservation funding and legislative priorities. Ensure that organizational resources are strategically allocated to meet these challenges and opportunities. Educate the public, Congress, and administration on trail, recreation, and conservation policies and legislation to benefit foot trails, trail lands, and the hiking experience. Work with federal agencies, American Hiking Alliance members, and partner organizations to promote and successfully influence sustainable and appropriate recreation and resource management. Lead American Hiking’s efforts in policy formulation, research, and respond to legislation and regulatory decisions that impact hiking and conservation. Inform and engage hiking organizations and the hiking public in policies and legislative issues via electronic and print communications (web, magazine, email alerts, etc.). Lead responsibility for the organization and implementation of Hike-the-Hill, American Hiking’s signature hiking and trails awareness and advocacy event held each year in Washington, DC. February 13-15, 2012 will be the 15th annual Hike the Hill. In consultation with relevant American Hiking staff and board committees, develop policy positions for the organization. Work in partnership with national and regional recreation/conservation organizations, networks, and coalitions to forward the policy objectives of American Hiking Society. Backstop AHS strategic alliances including the Outdoor Alliance, Partnership for the National Trails System and Rivers and Trails Coalition. Produce policy-related materials including magazine articles, fact sheets, email action alerts, website content, and other publications or reports. Represent American Hiking in public meetings, hearings, press events, conferences, coalitions, and in general communications with public officials, legislators, the media, and the public.


Support the President in the development and execution of AHS’ strategic plan, program budgets and fiscal management, and matters related to the Board of Directors, including participation in board meetings and liaison with the Conservation and Policy Board committee and others determined by the President. Assist the President with the development and implementation of new and emerging national and regional agency and non-profit partnerships, and support fund raising actions to meet these needs.


Masters degree required in public policy/administration, natural resources management, recreation or related field with strong skills in advocacy, conservation, and program management. Five to eight years of professional experience in public policy, preferably recreation and/or conservation policy at the national or regional level. Excellent understanding of the Federal budget, legislative and regulatory processes, government partnership agreements and experience in shaping public policy. Considerable expertise working with federal land management agencies, especially the USDA Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service and knowledge of key laws and regulations for federal land management. Demonstrated capacity to work collaboratively with a variety of stakeholders including individuals, local, state and federal agencies and organizations, and businesses and foundations. Considerable experience in managing programs and staff with demonstrated excellence in multi-tasking and team building. Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Proven ability to present ideas orally and in writing to a variety of small, medium and large audiences. Strong proficiency in MS Office software applications, presentation software and electronic communication. Excellent administrative, fiscal management and organizational skills. Ability to work well independently and as a member of a team. Working knowledge of hiking and backpacking, and/or federal/state recreational and environmental programs. Commitment to the mission of American Hiking Society.


American Hiking Society is the only national organization dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s hiking trails, the natural areas that surround them, and the hiking experience itself. We provide an exciting, creative, and professional yet relaxed nonprofit atmosphere with a strong outdoor and conservation ethic. Position requires a willingness to hike and share a love of the outdoors with all stakeholders. Weekend and long hours are sometimes required. American Hiking Society is an equal opportunity employer.

Send cover letter and resume to ‘Director of Government Relations Job Search,’ American Hiking Society, 1422 Fenwick Lane, Silver Spring, MD 20910 or email same, with job title in subject line to Visit for more information.

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