Public Policy Intern, Rails to Trails Conservancy (Remote; Washington, DC)


Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is a significant player in influencing federal and state transportation policies to support development of trail and active transportation networks that promote mobility, health, economic vitality, livable communities and environmental justice. Our strategy is to focus on making system-wide improvements to provide safe, convenient connectivity to routine destinations so that people of all ages and abilities, regardless of their zip code, can get around on foot or by bike or wheelchair. Interns working with the RTC Policy team will have the opportunity to learn from some of the most experienced policy professionals in Washington, D.C. and around of the country. Read more about our policy work.

The active transportation movement continues to grow, and there is an opportunity to expand our partners. State funding for transportation presents a new and growing area of opportunity to secure additional funds for trails, walking and biking. This internship is an opportunity to help grow the movement and influence state- and federal-level policy.

The Public Policy Intern will assist the team with one or more aspects of making our case to federal and state officials. Duties will include the following:

  • Track state and federal legislation, research state and federal funding for trails and active transportation, and monitor relevant policy news as it emerges.
  • Create online and offline content about transformative trail, walking and biking projects in preparation for a federal infrastructure bill. Tasks may include:
    • Producing project content for the RTC website and handouts
    • Assisting with event planning
  • Expand an online resource center of best transportation-funding policy practices in states. Tasks may include:
    • Researching existing policy best practices
    • Designing additions to the resource center and how it will be accessed online
    • Writing and producing content for the RTC website
  • Engage with offices of Members of Congress by scheduling meetings and delivering reports, magazines or other content to congressional offices.
  • Additional communications and writing tasks, and potential cross-departmental work as it arises, to assist with legislative advocacy work.


Undergraduate student or young professional working toward a degree in Urban Planning, Public Policy, Environmental Studies, Economics, Social Sciences or Political Science with an emphasis on American Politics, Fiscal Policy or Transportation Planning; or significant coursework or experience in any of these fields. Applicants should be task oriented and highly organized and possess a strong interest in the topics of health, environment, sustainable transportation, outdoor recreation, pedestrians, bicycles or trails.


Due to COVID-19 all internships will be remote.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Please review requirements for each internship and email with the following:

  • Identify the internship you are applying for in the subject line.
  • Attach your resume.
  • Include a cover letter that indicates whether you are seeking a paid internship and/or college credit, and a brief statement about your personal background or experiences that demonstrate your potential to contribute to RTC’s commitment to create an inclusive and diverse workplace.

Interviews will be conducted for selected applicants, and internships will begin in September on a mutually agreed-upon date. We will work with successful applicants to solve technology needs to ensure a positive remote internship experience.

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