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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

Since RTC’s office may be closed well into the Summer 2020 term, this internship will be conducted remotely. Candidates from anywhere are welcomed to apply.

About the Policy Team

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is a significant player in shifting national transportation policy to support goals of health, economy, livable communities and environmental justice. Our strategy is to focus on making system-wide improvements at the city and county level that offer safe, convenient connectivity so people of all ages and skill levels can get around on foot or by bike. Interns working with the RTC Policy team will have the opportunity to learn from some of the best-trained and experienced policy professionals in Washington, D.C. and around of the country. Read more about our policy work.

Job Description

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Policy team has an opening for a two- to four-month internship. The active transportation movement continues to grow, and there is an opportunity to expand our partners. State funding for transportation presents a new and growing area of opportunity to secure additional funds for trails, walking and biking. This internship is an opportunity to help grow the movement and influence state- and federal-level policy.

The Public Policy Intern will assist the team with one or more aspects of making our case to federal and state officials. Duties will include the following:

  • Track state and federal legislation, research state and federal funding for trails and active transportation, and monitor relevant policy news as it emerges.
  • Create online and offline content about transformative trail, walking and biking projects in preparation for a federal infrastructure bill. Tasks may include:

- Producing project content for the RTC website and handouts
- Assisting with event planning

  • Expand an online resource center of best transportation-funding policy practices in states. Tasks may include:

- Researching existing policy best practices
- Designing additions to the resource center and how it will be accessed online
- Writing and producing content for the RTC website

  • Engage with offices of Members of Congress by scheduling meetings and delivering reports, magazines or other content to congressional offices.
  • Additional communications and writing tasks, and potential cross-departmental work as it arises, to assist with legislative advocacy work.

Supervisory Responsibilities



Junior or senior undergraduate student working toward a degree in Urban Planning, Public Policy, Environmental Studies, Economics, Social Sciences or Political Science with an emphasis on American Politics, Fiscal Policy or Transportation Planning; or significant coursework or experience in any of these fields. Applicants should be task oriented and highly organized and possess a strong interest in the topics of health, environment, sustainable transportation, outdoor recreation, pedestrians, bicycles or trails.


RTC internships are unpaid.

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.

Interested candidates should send a cover letter and résumé indicating a “Public Policy Internship” preference, including how you learned of this announcement, to the following contact:

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