San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County and/or Inland Empire – California
Senior Associate/Director

Permanent Position or Freelance Opportunity in
Southern California – San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County and/or Inland Empire

Kearns & West is a leader in the collaborative communications field, providing services in public involvement, stakeholder facilitation, community outreach, and mediation, primarily for government agencies. Founded in 1984, the small, woman-owned business has offices in San Diego, Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, and Washington, DC.

Focusing on positive, mutually beneficial results has allowed Kearns & West to maintain long-term relationships with the people and organizations they assist. The firm’s high-stakes projects include work at local, state, and national levels and cover a variety of sectors including land use and community planning, transportation, major public facilities and infrastructure, natural resources, energy, water, marine resources, and environmental review per the California Environmental Quality Act and National Environmental Policy Act. At the core of all of our projects is finding solutions to advance essential policies and programs.

Kearns & West is the ideal match for professionals seeking meaningful work, opportunities for growth, and colleagues that are smart, capable and supportive. Once on board, our employees stay for the long term. The entrepreneurial culture at Kearns & West values employee initiatives in practice innovation and business development. Compensation and benefits at Kearns & West are also highly competitive with firms in our field.

The Senior Associate/Director will manage and support communications, outreach and public engagement on a wide variety of projects for local and regional government across Southern California. Opportunities for involvement outside of the Southern California region also exist. A background in local government, communications and/or planning is desirable.
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. An interest in collaborative problem-solving and communications is essential.

Successful candidates will have 4-8 years of experience with public and stakeholder engagement, conflict management and resolution, transportation and infrastructure issues, environment, community and regional planning, local and regional government, public policy, and community relations. A Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree is required; Advanced degree or education a plus, but will not change job duties. Fluency in Spanish is a plus. Completion of the International Association of Public Participation certification program or similar program is also a plus, but not required.

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, and
  • 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.

Compensation will depend on the qualifications and experience of the selected candidate.

Please apply immediately by submitting cover letter and resume to Importantly, please specify your interest in a permanent position and/or freelance opportunity.