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Program Manager, Urban to Wild Tucson

Website The Wilderness Society

General Description

The Wilderness Society is focused on making America’s system of public lands part of the solution to the most pressing conservation challenges of our day: climate change, unprecedented species extinction and inequitable access to nature’s benefits. We work with diverse partners to find common ground around enduring, science-based conservation solutions, combining long-term investments in community-led conservation, deep public lands expertise, and commitment to advocacy efforts that share voice, power, and impact.

The Urban to Wild Program Manager leads The Wilderness Society’s work in the greater Tucson, Arizona region to ensure the communities we serve benefit equitably from our public lands and have meaningful access to nature. The Wilderness Society’s Urban to Wild (U2W) program currently works directly with communities in Seattle, Tucson, Albuquerque, and Los Angeles. In each city, U2W expands meaningful access to nature by advancing policies, programs, and partnerships that increase outdoor equity and center communities that have been historically underserved by government institutions and underrepresented in the conservation movement, including Black, Indigenous and communities of color, immigrants and refugees, low-income populations, and people with disabilities.

The Program Manager will build and maintain trusting relationships with community partners and local, state and federal lawmakers to support new funding and policy efforts that ensure meaningful access to nature as well as connect people to the benefits of public lands and a healthy environment. The U2W Program Manager will work closely with the U2W Director, Arizona State Director and TWS staff to strengthen and grow the program over time.

This position plays an important role in supporting an inclusive organizational culture that is grounded in trust and accountability to shared goals and outcomes. TWS has made diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic priorities for the organization and the Urban to Wild Program Manager will integrate these priorities throughout our work.  Across our team, we aspire to be campaign-oriented, nimble, collaborative, innovative, transparent, and supportive of staff – our greatest asset.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

Focused on the greater Tucson region, this position will:

  • With the support of a cross-functional team and in close coordination with partners, apply knowledge of the region’s dynamics, community needs and vulnerabilities to collaboratively identify, develop, advocate for, and advance equitable and just solutions to the remove barriers between people and nature.
    Effectively engage with government relations, research, policy, communications, and fundraising experts at TWS to ensure our work in Tucson is well integrated with organizational priorities and fully utilizes TWS’s expertise and resources.
  • Build and maintain strong working relationships with community-based organizations and leaders, public agencies, Congressional staff, tribes, local government, businesses, the media, and diverse stakeholders, including social justice, conservation and recreation groups.
  • Lead community organizing and engagement, facilitate collaborative efforts, and develop strategic partnerships with relevant agencies and organizations to advance U2W objectives in the region.
    Coordinate all aspects of TWS’s advocacy on U2W issues in the region, including providing strategic focus and policy expertise, building support internally and externally, and working with multiple departments and staff levels within TWS and with community partners.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of regional Landscape Conservation Plans (if applicable), consistent with TWS’s Strategic Framework – represent U2W interests on cross-functional landscape teams as well as other internal committees, taskforces and ad hoc efforts.
  • Develop comment letters and advocacy communications, with support from Communications staff, curate and write content for various communication channels and support planning, content development and production of materials.
  • Serve as local spokesperson for U2W and represent TWS at local events, public meetings, speaking engagements, and other priority gatherings and collaborative efforts.
  • Assist with grant proposal and report writing and other fundraising efforts as needed.
  • Effectively track and manage program budget, points of contact/populations served with support from the Urban to Wild Director and Strategic Partnerships Manager.
  • Provide supervisorial support for junior staff, program interns, and fellows as needed.


Experience & Competencies

  • Minimum 5 years of progressively complex professional experience working on issue/advocacy campaigns, urban planning, environmental justice, public policy or related field.
  • Proven track record of building and maintaining strong relationships and networks among diverse stakeholders.
  • Ideally, a working knowledge of community organizing and engagement, policy development, and land management practices.
  • Demonstrated ability to think and act strategically to achieve campaign and landscape conservation goals in a dynamic environment with minimal supervision.
  • Experience managing complex processes involving a wide range of interests, strategically balancing multiple assignments and priorities, and meeting deadlines with consistently high-quality work.
  • Excellent communication skills, with an ability to write and speak confidently and persuasively to diverse audiences.
  • The ability to evaluate information on an ongoing basis and modify approach to the work to adapt to changing circumstances.
  • Track record working successfully in teams representing a rich mix of talent, backgrounds, and perspectives—across race and gender.
  • Must be well organized and able to perform a variety of tasks with flexibility and creativity.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office suite.
  • Willingness to travel largely within the region but also to Washington, D.C., and other U2W locations as necessary. Once travel resumes, travel requirements are estimated to be 15-20%, primarily in the form of day trips.

To apply for this job please visit

Background Image: American Rivers | Scott Bosse