Associate, Water & Hydropower Focus, Sacramento, CA

The Organization 

Kearns & West, Inc. is a stakeholder engagement, collaborative solutions, and communications firm. Our staff is passionate about supporting dispute resolution and complex public policy issues. 

Kearns & West works in the following sectors: natural resources management, energy and renewables, waste management and recovery, community planning, and transportation. 

The Kearns & West approach to collaborative services and dispute resolution involves assessment, outreach, process and meeting design, facilitation, interest based or mutual gains negotiations, and development of communications tailored to each project’s unique process. Collectively, these tools and techniques build productive stakeholder relationships, integrated approaches, and strategic partnerships with the goal of developing long-term, sustainable solutions. 

Kearns & West offers a collaborative, collegial work environment. We offer professional development and a partnership track as team members advance in their careers.  

The Position 

Position: Associate. 80-100% time, negotiable.  

Location: Temporarily remote/virtual; Greater Sacramento/ Davis area highly desirable; Bay Area with willingness to drive to Sacramento on a weekly basis, sometimes more. 

Kearns & West seeks to hire an Associate with responsibilities in the collaboratives services and dispute resolution services supporting our water and energy sector work. 

 Key responsibilities for this position include the following:  

  • Coordinating of stakeholder meetings including preparation of agendas, meeting materials, and confirmation
  • Drafting of agendas, facilitation agendas, meeting summaries, public comments, emails, and stakeholder outreach plans.
  • Planning and executing stakeholder meetings and workshops including logistics of webinar platforms and functionality, supporting preparation and coordination of presenters, and materials distribution
  • Supporting planning for stakeholder outreach messaging and events
  • Producing reports including graphics, formatting, editing
  • Interacting with diverse stakeholders, including clients, other consultants, federal and state agencies, public officials, non-governmental organizations, and community members
  • Participating in internal team calls to coordinate roles, tasks, and share ideas
  • Developing project proposals including budgets, business development,
  • Supporting project management including contract administration, financial tracking, and invoice and expense report preparation.


Kearns & West are looking for someone who is: 

  • Self-motivated, comfortable working independently and successful working as part of a team
  • Organized, self-disciplined, with attention to detail
  • Adaptable and flexible
  • Ethical and committed to seeking positive outcomes for clients and stakeholders
  • Effective and reliable communicator including interest in and willingness to actively listen
  • Interested in learning and practicing facilitating discussions
  • Practice developing and presenting talks or presentations
  • Comfortable taking direction and being empowered to take the initiative
  • Able to reliably set priorities, manage multiple tasks, and meet project deadlines on multiple projects for multiple clients
  • Comfortable and efficient working virtually or in a small office environment and collaborating virtually with inter-office teams (based in San Francisco; Portland; Southern California; Washington, DC; and Atlanta)
  • Interest in learning business development and willingness to network and reach out to new contacts
  • Able to travel in California, as needed once COVID restrictions allow.

Education, Certifications and Experience  

MINIMUM EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent.  

A plus would include a master’s degree, other advanced degree, certificate, training, or educational equivalent. This educational experience may be considered in lieu of work experience.  

PREFERRED EXPERIENCE: Successful Associate candidates will have 3-7 years of work experience or time spent pursuing and advanced degree or certificate. We are looking for a candidate with some background in or knowledge of natural resource management particularly in water or hydropower, sustainable water management, or environmental review. Experience could include roles in dispute resolution, stakeholder engagement, community activism, advocacy, negotiations, public policy, communications, and/or journalism.  

REQUIRED SKILLS: Positive and willing attitude a must. Very strong writing and organizational skills. Ability to create power point presentations. Fluency in MS Office (Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel).  

DESIRED SKILLS: Technical aptitude for learning various new online collaborative tools including Asana, Trello, Miro, and various videoconferencing platforms including Zoom, Ringcentral, etc 


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

How to Apply  

Please apply with a cover letter and resume to