Manager of Public Policy and Planning

Philipstown, New York, United States expand job description ↓


The Hudson Highlands Land Trust seeks a dynamic individual as its Manager of Public Policy and Planning. This is an exciting opportunity to influence the protection of our treasured natural assets in the Hudson Highlands - one of the most scenic and historically significant areas of the country. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Manager of Public Policy and Planning is responsible for engaging our village, town, city and county representatives in sound land-use planning strategies, and energizing local communities in the protection of the natural resources they value most.


The Hudson Highlands Land Trust is an accredited land conservation organization with a mission to protect the natural resources, rural character, and scenic beauty of the Hudson Highlands area of New York State’s Hudson River Valley.

The Hudson Highlands are situated just an hour from New York City. Due to its high desirability and proximity to a major metropolitan area, the Highlands are severely threatened by both suburban sprawl and exponential growth in visitation to the area. These are the challenges and opportunities the Hudson Highlands Land Trust confronts as it looks ahead.

Since its founding in 1989, the Hudson Highlands Land Trust has directly protected almost 3,000 acres of land through conservation easement donations and outright purchases of land. The organization also played a leading role in the protection of several thousand more acres through partnerships with other regional land conservation organizations and the State of New York.

In addition, the Hudson Highlands Land Trust has successfully partnered with local municipalities on natural resources and open space planning, as well as watershed protection strategies. Over the coming decade, the organization intends to expand this work across its entire mission area as a key strategy to address the combined pressures of development and high visitation.


The Manager of Public Policy and Planning will:

  • Serve as the primary point of contact to municipal bodies across the Hudson Highlands area (including Town and Village Boards; Planning, Zoning and Conservation Boards);
  • Spearhead the organization’s research and communications on natural resource planning, open space prioritization and watershed protection with municipal officials and local communities;
  • Play an active role in establishing and maintaining natural resource and open space inventories in each municipality, and their incorporation into development and open space planning;
  • Set communications strategy to energize local communities in the protection of their natural resources and prized open spaces;
  • Work with the Manager of Outreach and Events to pitch stories, maximize media coverage, and enhance the visibility of the organization across the Hudson Highlands;
  • Assist with securing public and private funding sources to finance conservation of municipal open space and watershed protection priorities;
  • Build trusting relationships and work closely with community organizations, government officials, and other partners to make progress on common goals;
  • Ensure the organization’s advocacy work is compliant with all local, state and federal law for non-profit organizations, as well as in compliance with relevant Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices;
  • Assist with setting the budget for public policy work and securing funding sources for this work.


  • A demonstrated passion for the environment
  • Degree in municipal planning, municipal or environmental law, or equivalent experience
  • Availability to participate in frequent evening meetings in municipalities across the Hudson Highlands
  • Deep knowledge of land use planning and municipal law, and ability to articulate key concepts to audiences at all levels of understanding
  • Experience in public policy advocacy, especially at the local government level, while maintaining political neutrality
  • Proven ability to implement effective communications strategies across both traditional and electronic media
  • Solid understanding of the rules governing non-profit engagement in advocacy work and communications to the public
  • Strong commitment to a collaborative work style with community organizations, local governments, board, staff and other key stakeholders
  • Willingness to work beyond normal work day or more than 40 hours a week as necessary


  • Knowledge of, and experience in, the Hudson Highlands area of New York
  • Experience with Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Experience with social media communication strategies
  • MA, MS, MBA or other professional degree
  • Understanding of conservation financing strategies and sources
  • Experience in grant research and writing

Hudson Highlands Land Trust affords all qualified applicants equal employment opportunity without discrimination because of race, religion/creed, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, military status, predisposing genetic characteristics, victims of domestic violence status or marital status.


Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications. Benefits include group healthcare plan, retirement plan with matching employer contributions.

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