Appalachia to Atlantic Program Officer


Asheville, NC, United States 🇺🇸

Since 1996, SouthWings has provided a network of volunteer pilots to advocate for the restoration and protection of the ecosystems and biodiversity of the Southeast through flight. Conservation groups working to halt destructive resource extraction and use practices, to identify and eliminate pollution sources and events, or to permanently protect ecologically valuable lands use SouthWings flights to become better informed about natural assets while collecting valuable data, including photo and video documentation, for their campaigns. Our flights also inform business leaders, key legislators, landowners, community members, and media representatives who can then influence desired private, legislative, and agency action.

SouthWings staff convened in early 2017 to refine our strategic vision for the organization. The resultant Advocacy Statement encapsulates our guiding principles and acknowledges that ultimately all of our work addresses the myriad of interlocking causes and effects of climate change and by exposing its consequences, we hope to mold a better future:

SouthWings flies to uncover and mitigate environmental challenges related to climate change and watershed protection. We welcome a broad range of stakeholders to see firsthand the scope and scale of issues such as sea level rise, water pollution, community vulnerability, deforestation, and mountaintop removal coal mining. Our flights shape perspectives on the actions needed to stop and reverse these problems. We fly to hold polluters accountable and to promote environmental policy and planning, scientific research, public awareness and action, and ecosystem protection.

Along with SouthWings’ involvement in other environmental issues, the Advocacy Statement represents SouthWings’ on-going efforts to increase the efficiency and efficacy of our flights by targeting areas where the aerial perspective can have the most significant impact and where current conservation opportunities are maximized.

SouthWings has a solid organizational structure. It has a strong network of relationships with regional conservation and flight partners. It has an enthusiastic and committed Board of Directors, a talented, experienced, passionate staff, and solid finances. SouthWings currently has five full-time staff and nearly fifty volunteer pilots. The organizational culture can be described as professional yet down-to-earth, dedicated to the mission, and committed to setting and achieving high standards.

 The Region
SouthWings operates throughout the 11 southeastern states and the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Its central offices are located in Asheville, NC, with satellite offices located in New Orleans, LA, and Annapolis, MD. The Appalachia to Atlantic (A2A) territory consists primarily of SouthWings’ original operational range. Extending from the Southern Appalachian Highlands and along the major river courses that link mountains to sea, this position requires extensive travel. Within this range exist many of SouthWings’ most-established partnerships, a vast spread of volunteer pilots, and some of our most committed and longstanding donors. Geographically and historically, the A2A region is the heart and core of SouthWings’ mission.  

The Position
The A2A Program Officer will be based in SouthWings’ Asheville, NC office but will require significant travel (up to 50% of the time) throughout neighboring states.

The A2A Program Officer will have significant involvement in program design in the region based on organizational goals, and will coordinate the achievement of those goals, including the following:

  • Growth of SouthWings’ leadership role in its campaign themes;
  • Maintain and grow its network of relationships and collaborative efforts; and
  • Increase initiated flights within campaign themes.

 Volunteer Recruitment

  • Support volunteer pilot recruitment and retention efforts to meet the growing demand for SouthWings flights.

 Fund Development

  • Support plans to identify and secure the necessary resources, financial and otherwise, to accomplish SouthWings’ organizational mission.

 Communications and Community Relations

  • In the A2A region: contribute to the development and implementation of marketing/PR plan including: media relations, constituent outreach, web strategies, aviation publication visibility, etc.; and
  • Serve as a program spokesperson for the organization in the A2A region.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Implement, coordinate, and monitor program work;
  • Provide program recommendations to the Executive Director;
  • Develop relationships and networks that support SouthWings’ proactive flight work;
  • Interface between partner organization and Flight Coordinator;
  • Provide program status reports to the Executive Director;
  • Provide supporting information for grant requests and reports to the Executive Director,
  • Assist strategic planning with the Executive Director and other staff;
  • Provide content for social media outreach and website;
  • Provide support to pilot recruitment process, and;
  • Travel to meetings, conferences, and strategic gatherings throughout the A2A region.


  • Minimum 2 years project management and/or outreach experience;
  • Strong consensus-building skills;
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and experience working with diverse populations and multiple constituencies;
  • Creative problem-solver, flexible and capable of adapting to changing priorities;
  • Strategic thinker, capable of moving an organization to new levels;
  • Self-motivated and able to work independently;
  • Familiarity with new technological trends and applications; and
  • Bachelor’s Degree.

The ideal candidate will also have:

  • A demonstrated commitment to organizational excellence;
  • Experience working with volunteers;
  • Sensitivity and passion for the environment; and
  • An interest in aviation.


Salary range of $34,000-$36,000

Health insurance and retirement benefits

Application Process

To apply, please send a letter of interest and resume via email only to:

SouthWings Search Committee

[email protected]

Please, no phone calls.

 SouthWings is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to recruiting from a broadly diverse pool of qualified candidates for the position.

SouthWings_Appalachia to Atlantic Program Officer_Feb2017