Director of Policy

Washington D.C.
Jul 27, 2018
Aug 31, 2018
Full Time

SUMMARY:  The Director of Policy is responsible for the following areas: 1) Leading efforts to develop, promote, and publicly represent American Forests’ official positions on a range of conservation issues; 3) Leading advocacy activities to engage the public, especially donors, and communicate the organization’s positions to national, state, and local policymakers; and 4) Building and maintaining relationships with senior officials in the federal government, conservation organizations, and other related entities.

REQUISITE EDUCATION OR CERTIFICATIONS:  Minimum of a Master’s degree in environmental policy, law or public administration, with a background of study focused on natural resources and/or forest policy.

REQUIRED EXPERIENCE:  Minimum of five years’ experience in conservation-related public policy, and/or conservation program management. A combination of education and experience will be considered in determining relative candidate qualifications.

Strong verbal/written communications and computer skills are required. Skills and experience in government relations, environmental or conservation/forestry policy are required.  

WORKING CONDITIONS: Regular travel will be required outside of Washington, DC. Most work will be in a general office environment.

SUPERVISES: Hires and manages policy staff and interns.


  • Lead efforts to develop and promote American Forests’ official positions on a range of conservation issues.
  1. Serve as the organization’s spokesperson on matters of policy; lead preparation of remarks and talking points to support public presentations by the CEO, VP & GC, CoS and other senior staff.
  2. Draft position papers and policy statements that further American Forests’ mission, based on the best available science and input from the CEO, VP & GC, CoS and board of directors where appropriate.
  3. Draft regular communications about American Forests work for general audiences.
  4. Work with program directors to develop city and landscape specific platforms.
  5. Work with coalitions and others to promote public policy initiatives that further American Forests’ positions.
  6. Maintain leadership roles in national coalitions, especially the Sustainable Urban Forest
  7. Coalition (SUFC).  Serve as liaison to SUFC regarding American Forests' relationship and duties to the coalition.
  8. Work with the CEO, VP & GC, CoS, communications department, and others to develop strategies to promote and further the positions of American Forests.
  9. Keep the CEO, VP & GC, CoS, the communications department and others abreast of emerging political, trends and issues that may have an impact on American Forests.
  10. Maintain a cooperative and close working relationship with other departments by developing information about forest policy for communicating with target audiences.
  11. Prepare written commentary on forest policy issues and present American Forests’ information/perspectives at national conferences and meetings to become recognized as a conservation thought leader.

Lead advocacy activities to engage the public, especially donors, and communicate with national, state and local policymakers.

  1. Lead activities to develop and communicate American Forests’ positions on key strategic conservation issues to federal, state and local policymakers. 
  2. Direct strategies, activities, and reporting related to lobbying on strategic policy issues. American Forests’ policy work. Ensure proper documentation regarding all lobbying efforts.
  3. Monitor, analyze and prepare information on strategic legislative and administrative issues.
  4. Lead grassroots advocacy efforts including member and donor engagement to further

Build and maintain relationships with senior officials in the federal government, conservation organizations, and other related entities.  


  1. Assist the VP & GC, CoS, by serving as one of the liaisons to the U.S. Forest Service. Build and maintain relationships with the Department of Interior, including the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, and other key federal agencies.
  2. Serve as the principal liaison to other national and regional conservation organizations.
  3. Actively build upon existing relationships for the organization and cultivate news ones with key policymakers, conservation leaders, scientists and researchers, and others who might help American Forests advance its mission.
  4. Assist the VP & GC, CoS in the cultivation of Federal grants. Through government relations and research, scope Federal grant programs relevant to American Forests’ initiatives.
  5. Lead efforts to identify relevant foundations that could support the policy work of American Forests.


Please send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample. 

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