Director Western Region
Job Type

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) is the nation’s largest trails organization—with a grassroots community more than 1 million strong—dedicated to building a nation connected by trails, reimagining public spaces to create safe ways for everyone to walk, bike and be active outdoors. Founded in 1986, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's national office is located in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in California, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. For more information, visit Connect with RTC @railstotrails on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Job Summary

The Western Region Director is responsible for implementation of RTC’s program priorities in the Western Region as well as fiscal management of budgets, grants and contracts. Program priorities include state and regional policy advocacy to increase public investment in developing and maintaining trail and active transportation networks, as well as to secure policy innovations and share them across states; leadership in developing an extensive trail system serving the Bay Area; and advancement of equitable trail development and access to funding programs by co-leading the California Active Transportation Resource Team.  

Job Location

This position is located in RTC’s Western office in Oakland, Calif., which is easily accessible by BART and other public transit. RTC currently operates on a hybrid work arrangement, with two days per week in the office and three days per week telecommuting.

Job Duties

The Western Region (WR) Director is responsible for the implementation of RTC’s program priorities in the Western Region as well as fiscal management of WR budgets, grants and contracts. RTC’s WR is currently defined as including California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada and Arizona, with California as our predominant focus. This scope may be re-evaluated based on staff capabilities and strategic opportunities. 


  • State and Regional Policy: Lead policy advocacy, especially continuing to grow the level and diversity of state investment in trails and other active-transportation infrastructure. Evaluate and consider supporting other policy opportunities that advance RTC’s mission, such as safety and environmental measures that incentivize the creation of safe walking and biking routes. Maintain a primary focus on California, based on the rich opportunities and history of serving as a national model, but look for strategic opportunities in other western states.  
  1.  Set objectives for each legislative session. Participate in key policy coalitions to leverage our influence to advance state and regional policies and programs that support RTC’s mission and priority projects. Coordinate with D.C.-based staff to mobilize our base through action alerts and other communications. Support development staff to seek and secure funding to support advocacy priorities.

2.  Advocate for California to sustain its role as a national leader in investing state funding for trails through various policies and  agencies. Work with headquarters policy staff to leverage that leadership as a model for other states. 

  • Federal Policy: Support RTC’s federal policy priorities by leveraging relationships and partners in the WR, including cultivating federal representatives. This includes action alerts and working with state partners that engage in federal policy to include RTC priorities in their advocacy. 

  •  State and Regional Implementation: Set objectives for agency implementation in accordance with RTC policy priorities. Influence implementation of regional, state and federal policies by regional and state agencies. RTC’s top-priority state program is the Active Transportation Program at Caltrans, which combines federal Transportation Alternatives funding with state sources. Influence state and regional agency policies and program criteria to ensure that trail and active transportation networks are prioritized.

Trail Development 

  • TrailNation™ Project – Bay Area Trails Collaborative (BATC): Co-lead BATC in coordination with the WR Trail Development Manager and key partners. 

Tasks include: 

  1. Leading the development and implementation of the BATC strategic plan 
  2. Planning and facilitating quarterly meetings
  3. Leading or supporting the working groups 
  4. Expanding and diversifying the Collaborative and empowering partners to advance the BATC vision and mission and strategic plan priorities 
  5. Supporting development staff in securing funding for BATC and for project planning and construction, prioritizing underserved communities 
  6. Working with the Trail Development Manager to provide direct technical assistance to BATC priority projects 
  7. Coordinating with communications staff to build support and awareness of BATC and the trail network vision 
  8. Supporting the TrailNation Collaborative by sharing strategies, challenges and lessons learned 
  • Support other impactful projects, such as the Great Redwood Trail, as appropriate to align with organizational priorities and capacity.

Advancing Equity

  • Active Transportation Resource Team (ATRT): Provide support and expertise to underserved California communities to develop, fund and implement trails and other active-transportation projects. This includes continuing to seek government and private funding to support our long-term partnership with CivicWell to provide technical assistance for California’s Active Transportation Program and other statewide funding opportunities.

Fiscal Management

  • The Western Region Director is responsible for developing and managing the WR budget and tracking WR grants and contracts.

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • This position will be responsible for hiring and supervising the Western Region staff, which currently includes the Trail Development Manager, as well as consultants and interns when applicable. Supervision of consultants and interns may be shared with the Trail Development Manager. 


Basic Qualifications and Personal Attributes

  • Minimum of seven years of relevant professional work experience including program and contract management
  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field; JD or other relevant graduate degree preferred
  • Minimum of five years of management experience, including supervision of staff, strategic planning, creating and managing budgets, and program and contract management; knowledge of trail development practices and federal and state transportation policy strongly preferred 
  • Excellent verbal, written and interpersonal communication skills 
  • Demonstrated success in cultivating influential advocacy and project partners  
  • Experience working with diverse communities and/or partners  
  • Time management skills 
  • Passion and appreciation for trails and how they serve a vital role in recreation, active transportation and public health  
  • Some travel required

Work Environment 

  • Normal office setting with low to moderate noise level.

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.

Commitment to Diversity

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy seeks diverse, passionate, and qualified individuals who want to make a difference in the world. RTC is an equal opportunity employer. We evaluate qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, age, and other legally protected characteristics.

If you need a reasonable accommodation because of a disability for any part of the employment process, please e-mail and provide the nature of your request and your contact information.

Salary Description
Annual Salary Range $108,000-$116,000