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About Us

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), a nonprofit organization with more than 160,000 members and supporters, is the nation's largest trails organization dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails, many from former rail lines and connecting corridors. Founded in 1986, RTC’s national office is located in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in California, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Job Location

This position is located in RTC’s national office in Washington, D.C. (West End/DuPont Circle area), and is easily accessible from Metro’s Red line (Farragut North) and Blue/Orange/Silver lines (Foggy Bottom). We may consider split time with our Baltimore office location.

Job Description

The Director of TrailNation™ Projects is a new position that will support the Vice President of Trail Development in managing RTC’s Trail Development Team and implementing RTC’s growing TrailNation project portfolio. TrailNation is RTC’s innovative program to catalyze the rapid development of regional trail and active transportation networks, from concept to implementation, across eight cities and regions. We take a systematic approach, applying RTC’s depth of expertise and collaborative strategies to reflect local realities and new opportunities.

This is an excellent opportunity for a strategic, creative and results-oriented professional with exceptional skill at managing and supervising internal teams, trail/active-transportation planning and project implementation to join a successful organization in a leadership position.

Responsibilities include the following:

Project Leadership

  • Manage multiple TrailNation projects (two to three) at the strategic and operational levels to develop, lead and implement strategies that advance the TrailNation projects through all phases of development
  • Collaborate with and manage trail development staff charged with the management of TrailNation projects
  • Guide and collaborate with internal teams on complex project opportunities, and troubleshoot hurdles, related to: diverse coalition building and partner engagement; active transportation and trail network planning; building political will; GIS mapping; public engagement; public finance and funding; and external project communications
  • Provide content expertise to staff in one or more of the following topics: trail development, active transportation planning, economic development, public finance, public health, real estate and/or social equity
  • Support the VP of Trail Development in implementing department-wide, ongoing work, which may include:

- Codifying and standardizing RTC’s evolving methods and approaches to its TrailNation projects
- Developing training modules that can be delivered in person and remotely
- Extracting TrailNation lessons learned into resources and materials that can be applied to and shared with other internal and external projects
- Developing and tracking metrics to evaluate project success

  • Work hand in glove with other internal teams to achieve the following goals:

- Development Department to support the creation of successful fundraising proposals to support TrailNation projects
- Communications Department to increase project visibility and utilize communication channels to advance TrailNation project goals
- Policy Department to activate advocacy channels and increase public funding available for the buildout of TrailNation projects
- Operations Department to develop and manage complex TrailNation project budgets

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Supervise and manage two to five direct-reporting staff, as well as indirect staff on the trail development team, which includes but is not limited to:

- Collaborate with and supervise staff in implementing and project-managing their respective TrailNation projects, e.g. reviewing and providing detailed feedback on work products;  identifying and managing strategic partnerships and opportunities.
- Oversee and monitor staff’s project workplans and budgets, which are often dynamic and changing
- Mentor staff in meeting their workplan goals and career development
- Conduct performance reviews and provide feedback for staff

  • ​Manage and supervise external consultants, both directly and indirectly


  • Five to ten years of progressively responsible experience managing internal staff teams, as well as complex and multidisciplinary projects in active transportation, planning, public policy or economic development
  • Content expertise in one or more of the following topics: trail development, active transportation planning, economic development, public finance, public health, real estate and/or social equity
  • Highly skilled in relationship management with the ability to engage with a wide variety of stakeholders, both internally and externally, and build diverse external coalitions with the goal of creating support for project goals
  • Advanced project management skills and experience, including the ability to set short- and long-term planning goals in line with program priorities and available resources
  • Outstanding oral and written communication, and strong interpersonal skills
  • Consensus-building skills, with the ability to read an audience and be decisive
  • Experience developing and managing foundation grants, including proposal development, management of deliverables and budget reporting
  • Ability/will to operate with excellence in mind in all matters, with the confidence to defend and debate ideas
  • Spark, imagination and creativity
  • Politically savvy
  • Experience using Microsoft Excel to create and monitor budgets
  • Willingness and ability to travel (approximately 20–30 percent)
  • Valid driver’s license required

The following qualifications are preferred but not required:

  • Experience using ESRI products (ArcMap, ArcGIS Online) for GIS mapping
  • Experience working with or for local government
  • A bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in urban/transportation planning, conservation planning, public administration, economic development, public health, real estate or a related field

Work Environment

Normal office setting with low-to-moderate noise level. Travel required, including some evenings and weekends.

Employer's Rights

RTC reserves the right to revise, change or reclassify this job description at any time in accordance with RTC’s business needs. This job description is by no means an implied contract.

How to Apply

Please use one form of transmitting your résumé. No phone calls please, unless contacted for an in-person interview. Recruiters, please do not contact our offices.

Mail, fax or email cover letter, résumé and three professional references to:

Human Resources Manager
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
The Duke Ellington Building
2121 Ward Court, NW, 5th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20037

Fax: 202.223.9257

Commitment to Diversity

RTC is an equal opportunity employer and seeks qualified candidates regardless of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or national origin. Women and diverse applicants are encouraged to apply. EOE