Program and Public Policy Director

Rock Creek Conservancy

Bethesda, MD, US

Position Overview:

The Program and Public Policy Director will work closely with the Executive Director and the Board to develop and advance effective public policies that protect and improve the health of Rock Creek and its parklands. Using the organization’s new and ambitious Strategic Plan as a guideline, the incumbent is responsible for overseeing the coordination and administration of programs, projects, and grants that advance Rock Creek Conservancy’s mission and goals; conducting community outreach to support RCC activities; supporting a network of RCC stakeholders; producing communications content; assisting with fundraising and grant writing; and providing administrative and organizational support. We seek a candidate who has working knowledge of water quality, especially stormwater management and green infrastructure; experience developing and advancing policy solutions; and a demonstrated ability to work respectfully with local leaders, conservationists and others to advance environmental protections.

Responsibilities (expected level of effort):

Program / Project / Grant Management (40%)

  • Manage and implement Conservancy programs, projects and grants by:
    • Coordinating with government agencies, funders, and partners
    • Developing a work plan and budget
    • Monitoring and controlling program deliverables
    • Soliciting sub-contractors, reviewing bids, supervising projects and controlling quality
    • Tracking, reporting and evaluating program data through progress reports and identifying when adjustments or improvements need to be made
  • Write program-related grant proposals and meet with potential project partners and other potential funders
  • In consultation with the Executive Director, recruit, interview and select qualified program staff
  • Manage Conservancy program staff including:
    • Volunteer, Outreach, and Restoration Coordinator
    • Education, Youth, and Recreation Coordinator
    • Program Interns
  • Establish and implement a performance management process for all program staff
  • Provide support to the Board of Directors Strategic Mission Committee

Advocacy and Public Policy (30%)

  • Develop policy proposals and campaign for advocacy priority issues
  • Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with key interest groups and individuals, including policymakers and agency staff
  • Work with the Communications Manager to create tools such as action alerts, community letters, success stories and position statements for key issues
  • Build broad support for program goals and project objectives by engaging in public speaking and letter writing
  • Prepare and present public comments and testimony relating to policy issues
  • Provide support to the Board of Directors Advocacy Committee

Outreach and Communications (20%)

  • Cultivate and build relationships and partnerships with individuals, organizations, agencies, and community groups to support Conservancy programs
  • Represent the Conservancy at meetings with government agencies, funders, community groups and potential donors
  • Provide content for the Conservancy website, print and web newsletters, reports, and other communications materials
  • Assist in the development of Conservancy tools, such as maps, resource guides, fact sheets, presentations, and other materials to support programs and projects

Organizational / Administrative Support (10%)

  • Provide administrative and organizational support as needed to the Executive Director and Board
  • Recruit and supervise volunteers and/or interns for specific projects and/or administrative tasks
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Bachelor’s degree; relevant advanced degree preferred
  • Minimum five years of professional experience in public policy development and advocacy, program management, or other related field, preferably in an environmental-related position
  • Proven ability to bring stakeholders together and work strategically to secure policy changes and other program objectives
  • Strong writing and speaking skills
  • The ability to manage multiple projects while thinking strategically
  • An entrepreneurial spirit that is self-motivated
  • An eagerness to work collaboratively in a dynamic team environment
  • A passion and commitment to RCC’s mission