The Wilderness Society: Partnerships and Recreation Policy Fellow

Apply here. (Applications due Friday, January 31, 2020)

Non-U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for this position.


Location: Washington, DC

Fellowship Position

Position title: Partnerships and Recreation Policy Fellow

Department: People Outdoors Program

Reports to: Senior Representative for Partnerships

Address of fellowship placement: 1615 M St NW, Washington, DC, 20002

Department Description

The mission of The Wilderness Society (TWS) is to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, TWS believes that our shared public lands represent a unique ideal – that millions of acres belong to and should benefit all of us. Historically, not everyone has been able to take advantage of the benefits that public lands offer. Today we envision a country in which people from all backgrounds can connect to nature and wild places. From local parks to large wilderness areas, we recognize the value of these places, where people are inspired to experience healthy outdoor activity and care for our nation’s remaining wild lands. To achieve this vision TWS created the People Outdoors Program to ensure that all people, especially young people, can learn, recreate, access and share the benefits of the outdoors.

Position Description

The High Meadows Fellow will play a key role in the execution of The Wilderness Society's People Outdoors Program and its key campaigns including partnerships, recreation policy, and equitable access. Working directly with the Senior Partnership Representative, she/he will help build our organizational commitment, culture, and capacity to engage in transformational partnerships rooted in social justice. They will work together to research and create systems, tools, and materials to help coordinate partnerships work across the organization and promote meaningful relationships with new and existing partners. Working with the National Director of Recreation Policy, the fellow will also have opportunities to provide research and analysis of pending legislative and administrative policy proposals that impact recreation management and equitable access, and will lobby congress and assist with advocacy campaigns on these proposals. She/He will also help identify and develop opportunities to share content from our public lands history curriculum that is more inclusive of underrepresented communities and more upfront about  inequities and injustices than the dominant narrative.

Examples of specific responsibilities, projects, tasks, and/or duties of the Fellow include:

  • Help design and actualize organizational systems and tools to coordinate partnerships work and support staff learning about equitable and productive community engagement
  • Research and create guidance and materials to support TWS teams building meaningful partnerships rooted in social justice, especially with communities of color
  • Identify and develop opportunities to share TWS’ inclusive public lands history curriculum and support deepening conversations in conservation movement around inequities and injustices in public lands history
  • Research and produce factsheets, briefing papers and other advocacy materials to support our People Outdoors Program’s policy priorities for recreation and equitable access
  • Work with our government relations team to advocate for legislation and policy that supports connecting more people with the outdoors
  • Support our Pride Outside work to connect the LGBTQ community around the outdoors by helping organize events, newsletter, social media, and additional resources


  • Relevant coursework may include political science, public policy, environmental science, urban planning, anthropology, sociology, psychology, education,  communications, gender or identity studies, and more
  • Passion for creating positive collective change in your communities
  • Track record or strong interest in working successfully in teams representing a rich mix of talent, backgrounds, and perspectives
  • Ties to or experience working with communities most adversely affected by environmental injustices
  • Openness to engaging in organizational diversity, equity, and inclusion conversations

Professional Development

  • Attend and present at conferences across the country around recreation, outdoor access, community engagement; flexibility to identify opportunities of interest
  • Lobby congress, organize advocacy trips
  • Test out trainings to collect materials and guidance for staff in developing partnerships skills such as practicing ideation, embedding equity, developing facilitation skills
  • Regular brown bag presentations from colleagues on their work around equity, policy, science, research, communications, community engagement, and lessons learned in campaign work
  • Travel to All Staff Retreat gathering with 150 colleagues to connect personally and professionally