Southern Appalachians Program Manager

Full Time

National Forest Foundation (NFF) is pleased to offer a regular, full-time, and exempt position that will support the development and implementation of conservation projects across the Southern Appalachians. The position will focus on the National Forests of North Carolina, including the Pisgah, Nantahala, Uwharrie, and Croatan National Forests, as well as the Cherokee National Forest, Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, George Washington-Jefferson National Forests, and other areas within the U.S. Forest Service’s Southern Region.


About the NFF: The NFF works with communities and organizations to conserve and enhance the watersheds, wildlife habitat, wild places, and recreational opportunities across the 193-million-acre National Forest System. The NFF seeks to engage all Americans in this work.


Position Function: The Southern Appalachians Program Coordinator reports to the Sr. Director of Conservation Programs and works closely with other NFF and U.S. Forest Service staff, and local partners, to provide project management, contract management, and program development support. The incumbent is responsible for helping develop and implement watershed resilience, climate resilience, forest health, outdoor experiences, and other conservation projects with communities, conservation NGOs, private landowners, state and federal agencies, and private-sector partners to support strategic conservation initiatives across the Southern Appalachians. Additionally, the incumbent will support and advance the NFF’s broader conservation initiatives across the U.S. Forest Service’s Southern Region.


Position Duties and Responsibilities: The Southern Appalachians Program Coordinator will:


  • Support development of the NFF’s role in the Southern Appalachians subregion in alignment with the U.S. Forest Service and local partners, with potential elements including partnerships and communications; planning and consultation; project design and implementation; monitoring; and development of both immediate and long-term funding mechanisms.
  • Work with the U.S. Forest Service to develop, modify, manage, and track large-scale Stewardship Agreements, Challenge Cost Share Agreements, and Participating Agreements associated with forest restoration projects (e.g., hand thinning, mechanical thinning, etc.), outdoor recreation infrastructure projects, watershed restoration projects, and collaborative conservation efforts.
  • Develop and advance a variety of projects as an implementation partner, including but not limited to fuels and vegetation management, reforestation, outdoor recreation, watershed resiliency, and other conservation projects across the Southern Appalachians.
  • Support priority subregional projects, such as red spruce restoration efforts.
  • Facilitate collaboration and partnerships with the U.S. Forest Service, other federal and state agency partners, local governments, Tribal nations and indigenous communities, and nonprofit organizations.
  • Work closely with the NFF’s Conservation Partnerships team to raise funds and develop long-term funding sources for the NFF’s work across the Southern Appalachians.
  • Solicit funds from government sources, foundations, corporations, and individuals.
  • Lead the advertising, negotiation, and awarding of multiple contracts for services related to the on-the-ground implementation of conservation projects.
  • Work directly with contractors, consultants, nonprofit organizations, and agency partners to coordinate the on-the-ground project implementation effectively and efficiently.
  • Manage service agreements, invoices, and finances for relevant projects.
  • Work with the U.S. Forest Service to help develop, modify, manage, and track cooperative agreements associated with projects.
  • Manage budgets and reporting associated with grants from federal, state, and local government sources, as well as philanthropic support from corporations, foundations, and individuals. Prepare associated grant and funding reports.
  • Work with NFF staff to communicate project needs and the community benefits and accomplishments.
  • Conduct ongoing communication with partners on the status of project planning, implementation, and project successes.
  • Build and maintain close and mutually beneficial relationships among federal and state agency partners, local government, Tribal nations and indigenous communities, nonprofit organizations, and the NFF to implement effective community-based conservation partnerships.
  • Maintain a breadth of knowledge about current trends, emerging issues, policy interventions, and innovations in the field of conservation programming to enhance the NFF strategic efficacy.
  • Serve as a point of contact for the NFF across the Southern Appalachians and the Southern Region.
  • Assist as necessary with the NFF program of work in the Southern Region, which may include the management of diverse, short-term projects.

Education and Qualifications:  NFF expects the Southern Appalachians Program Coordinator to possess the following educational and experiential qualifications:

  • Minimum of an undergraduate degree, in conservation, watershed science, forestry, outdoor recreation, natural resource management, environmental science or related field (or equivalent experience);
  • At least five (5) years of work experience with conservation programs, project planning, and/or managing project implementation.
  • Involvement in project planning, management, accomplishment and budget tracking, and project operations management that involve multiple implementation partners, contractors, contracts for services, and funding sources.
  • Experience with land and watershed science, policy, and management.
  • Commitment to the mission of the NFF and familiarity with the U.S. Forest Service and National Forest lands management.
  • An understanding of natural resources and community-based issues in the Southern Appalachians.
  • Experience supervising and managing project-level staff. 
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, organizational, and administrative skills.
  • Strong writing skills and public speaking experience.
  • You must be authorized to work in the United States.


Abilities and Skills:  NFF expects the Southern Appalachians Program Coordinator to possess the following proven abilities and skills:

  • Ability to work independently, performing fieldwork, attending meetings, and managing projects with minimal oversight.
  • Ability to represent the NFF with diverse constituents in a clear and professional manner through excellent written and oral communication skills, and excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to collaboratively manage programs and evaluate their outcomes against quantifiable measures of success.
  • Ability to work with a wide range of people with differing and sometimes conflicting opinions, and to always maintain neutrality.
  • Ability to work well and be flexible in a team-oriented environment.
  • Must have valid U.S. driver’s license and clean driving record.
  • Ability and willingness to travel regularly, work in outdoor conditions, and maintain a flexible work schedule, including participation in weekend and evening events.
  • Familiarity with ArcGIS online, journal builder, cartography, and map design. Preference for a candidate with intermediate or above GIS skills, including the ability to create project maps, ArcGIS Story Maps, and other products.
  • Excellent analytical skills with a strong attention to detail.

Location: The location for this position is within the Southern Appalachians - preferably a community in North Carolina with proximity to the National Forests of North Carolina and the Supervisor’s Office in Asheville, NC. Other potential locations include communities near the Supervisor’s Office Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest (Gainesville, GA), or George Washington-Jefferson National Forests (Roanoke, VA).  Applicants must be able to travel regularly throughout the Southern Appalachians. This position is a remote/work-from-home position and requires reliable internet access.

Compensation:  The NFF offers competitive compensation commensurate with candidate skills, experience, and location. Total rewards at NFF, beyond salary, include generous paid time off, employer contributions to health savings accounts, matching funds for retirement, and more. NFF has recently (August 2022) implemented a new compensation program with grade levels as part of our commitment to transparency. The salary range for this position will be in the $66,664 to $89,960 range. Please note that the indicated salary range describes the full range for an incumbent in this position. Most new staff generally start at the beginning of the range percentile to ensure internal salary equity.


To Apply:Applicants must include both a cover letter and resume. Incomplete packages will not be considered. Position is open until April 9th. Please visit our careers site to apply online.


The National Forest Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes a diverse pool of candidates in this search. For more information about the National Forest Foundation, visit the website at:


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