Associate / Senior Associate, Collaborative Solutions and Water Focus – San Francisco, CA


Kearns & West is a leader in the collaboration and communications field, providing services in strategic communications, public affairs, public involvement, stakeholder facilitation, and community outreach for the public and private sector. Founded in 1984, the small, woman-owned business has offices in Austin, TX; Charleston, SC; Denver, CO; Costa Mesa, Davis, Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, CA; Washington, D.C.; and Portland, OR.  

The firm has a mission of working together to make a positive impact on society in an environment of opportunity, diversity, and respect. Focusing on positive, mutually beneficial results has allowed Kearns & West to maintain long-term relationships with the people and organizations it assists. 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, we hope team members will stay for the long term. The entrepreneurial culture at Kearns & West values team initiatives in practice innovation and business development. Additionally, the firm has a partnership track and a commitment to professional development. Compensation and benefits at Kearns & West are also highly competitive with firms in our field.

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Kearns & West seeks to hire an Associate/Senior Associate with responsibilities in stakeholder engagement, conflict resolution and project management to support of our collaborative solutions clients.  This position will support water, community planning, climate, equity, land use, and other similar projects. Most of the projects are based in Northern California, but projects could include work throughout California and across the United States. 

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.

Key responsibilities include the following: 

  • Documenting stakeholder engagement and community meetings, including notetaking, report preparation, and database management.
  • Facilitating internal and small group meetings.
  • Leading or supporting coordination of meeting logistics.
  • Project management, contract administration, and invoice preparation.
  • Communications and outreach support, including social media.
  • Digital engagement – including planning and managing virtual engagement activities. 
  • Tracking project activities and deadlines.
  • Preparation of informational materials for stakeholders and the public.
  • Business development, including development of project proposals and budgets.


The ideal candidate would have work and consulting experience and background in relevant sections such as water, climate, equity, energy, and community and regional planning. Other desirable qualities include:

  • Ability to effectively build partnerships and relationships with clients and stakeholders. 
  • Organized and prepared to contribute to the collaborative culture of our organization.
  • Self-motivated and comfortable working independently, yet successful at balancing working as part of a team.
  • Excellent writing and public speaking skills and demonstrated ability to translate complex concepts into accessible, audience-specific materials.
  • Comfortable facilitating discussions and making presentation.
  • Strong organizational skills, detail orientation, and ability to manage and prioritize multiple projects.
  • Flexibility and adaptability in a fast-paced environment in an emotionally intelligent and collaborative manner.
  • Able to reliably set priorities, manage and meet project deadlines on multiple projects for multiple clients, in a fast-paced environment.
  • Able to travel within Northern California, as needed.


MINIMUM EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent. Master’s degree, other advanced degree or educational equivalent is a plus, and may be considered in lieu of work experience. 

PREFERRED EXPERIENCE: Successful candidates will have 2-7 years of relevant work experience in relevant fields which could include public and stakeholder engagement, facilitation, community outreach, conflict management and resolution, strategic process planning/coordination, state and federal government, and/or public policy.  

REQUIRED SKILLS: Strong writing, presentation, and teamwork skills. Fluency in MS Office (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel). 

DESIRED SKILLS: Experience with online collaboration tools. Proficiency with database management, Adobe Creative Suite software, and social media tools.   


Compensation will be dependent upon the qualifications and experience of the selected candidate. Kearns & West provides a competitive package of benefits. 


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 with a cover letter and resume to with the subject line “Job_54”.