Associate, Portland, OR


Kearns & West is a leader in the collaborative communications field, providing services in public involvement, stakeholder facilitation, community outreach, and mediation, for the public and private sector. Founded in 1984, the small, woman-owned business has offices in Portland, San Francisco, Riverside, San Diego, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Atlanta 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 transportation, land use and community planning, major public facilities and infrastructure, natural resources, energy, water, and marine resources. 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.


Kearns & West seeks an Associate in our Portland, Oregon office. The candidate will support a Transportation project and range of projects with stakeholder engagement, communications and outreach, and will have additional opportunities to work on other projects they are interested in as well.  The position provides an opportunity to work on projects throughout the Pacific Northwest and the Mountain region as well as the possibility of involvement in state-wide and national projects.

The position requires the following skillsets:

  • Communications and outreach support
  • Digital engagement and social media
  • Preparation of informational materials for stakeholders and the public
  • Proofreading reports and other documents

The position’s responsibilities will also involve:

  • Support for multi-party collaboratives involving complex, high-profile public policy issues
  • Leading or supporting coordination of meeting logistics
  • Documenting stakeholder engagement and community meetings, including notetaking, report preparation, and database management
  • Tracking project activities and deadlines
  • Project research
  • Administrative duties
  • Business development and development of project proposals including budgets
    Project management, contract administration, and invoice preparation
    And more…


The successful candidate will have a bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, public relations, political science, public policy or a related field, and a background/interest in transportation. Interest in community/regional planning, environmental/public policy issues, natural resource management, renewable energy, transmission, air quality, public involvement, conflict resolution, peacebuilding and mediation is also preferred. Two to five years of experience is preferred. Advanced degree or education a plus but will not change job duties. 

We are looking for someone who is:

  • An effective and reliable communicator
  • Organized and prepared to contribute to our full team
  • Adaptable and flexible
  • Self-motivated and comfortable working independently
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, deadline-oriented environment
  • Interested in learning and growing professionally with our firm
  • Comfortable with taking direction yet able to take the initiative as needed
  • 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
  • Applicants must demonstrate strong computer skills with proficiency in Microsoft Office, social media and database management, and proficiency or interest in webinar, website, and data analysis technologies. Graphic design and Adobe Creative Suite skills are desirable, but not required.

Compensation will depend on 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 immediately by submitting a cover letter and resume to with the subject “Job 21_Portland Associate Opening.” Resumes will be accepted until the position is filled.

Additionally, we are always interested in hearing from potential colleagues at the senior level who would be interested in joining our Kearns & West affiliates team on a contract basis. If you are interested, we encourage you to submit your qualifications and resume to with the subject “Portland Affiliate Interest.”