Director/Sr. Associate

San Francisco, CA



Kearns & West is a leader in the collaborative communications field, providing services in public involvement, stakeholder facilitation, community outreach and engagement, and mediation, for the public and private sector. Founded in 1984, the small, woman-owned business has offices in San Francisco, Sacramento, Davis, Riverside, San Diego, Los Angeles, Portland, and Washington, DC.
Kearns & West’s high-stakes projects include work at local, state, and national levels and cover a variety of sectors including energy, transportation, land use, and community planning, major public facilities and infrastructure, natural resources, water, and marine resources. At the core of all our projects is finding solutions to advance policies and programs essential to solving some of society’s most pressing problems. Kearns & West helps clients build more equitable and sustainable communities through policy innovation, stakeholder engagement, and collaboration.
Kearns & West is the ideal match for professionals seeking meaningful work, opportunities for growth, and colleagues that are smart, supportive, and oriented toward public service. Once on board, our team members stay for the long term. The entrepreneurial culture at Kearns & West values employee initiatives in practice innovation and business development.
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Based out of the Bay Area, the Director/Senior Associate position involves a broad range of responsibilities and roles including project management, public outreach, stakeholder engagement, facilitation and communications, planning/logistics, and business development. The position involves an emphasis on working on complex energy and hydropower projects in California and nationally.
The position involves a wide range of responsibilities and roles including interaction with diverse stakeholders, client management and coordination, facilitation, all aspects of planning and executing stakeholder and public meetings or other forums, online and social media, project research, strategic planning, communications, and outreach support, development of project proposals including budgets, business development, and contract administration. Candidates from a variety of backgrounds, including dispute resolution, public policy, and communications will be considered. Interest in collaborative problem-solving and process planning/coordination is essential.


  • We’re looking for someone who is:
  • An effective and reliable communicator.
  • Comfortable leading and facilitating meetings.
  • Organized and prepared to contribute to our team organization.
  • Adaptable and flexible.
  • Self-motivated and comfortable working independently and as a team member.
  • Comfortable with taking direction yet able to take the initiative.
  • Able to reliably set priorities, manage multiple tasks, and meet project deadlines.
  • Able to work and balance multiple projects for multiple clients.
  • Successful at balancing working as part of a team with working independently.
  • Comfortable working in a small office environment and collaborating virtually with inter-office teams.
  • Adept at researching and understanding the regulatory, policy, environmental, and community contexts of our projects.


Successful candidates will have 3-6 years of experience with public and stakeholder engagement, conflict management and resolution, facilitation, strategic process planning/coordination, energy and hydropower, state and federal government, and public policy.


Minimum of bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, public relations, political science, public policy, or related field.
An advanced degree or education is a plus but will not change job duties.


  • Successful candidates will have a minimum of three (3) to seven (7) years of experience with a focus on communications, public policy, or government relations.
  • Proficiency with online collaboration tools and emerging social media.
  • Spanish-speaking candidates are highly encouraged to apply.


  • Proficiency in MS Office (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel).
  • Proficiency in online collaboration tools is desirable.
  • Proficiency with database management, graphic design, and social media tools is also a plus.


Compensation will be dependent upon the qualifications and experience of the selected candidate.


Kearns & West is committed to maintaining a diverse workplace and is an Equal Opportunity employer. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics.


Please apply by emailing a resume and cover letter to with the subject line “39_SFDirector/SeniorAssociate”