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


Kearns & West is a leader in the collaboration and communications field, providing services in public involvement, stakeholder facilitation, community outreach, and strategic communications for the public and private sectors. Founded in 1984, the small  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 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.


Based out of the Bay Area, the Director/Senior Director position involves a wide range of responsibilities and roles including interaction with diverse stakeholders, project management, 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 community planning will be considered. Interest in collaborative problem-solving and process planning/coordination is essential.

Key responsibilities include the following: 

  • Develop and lead implementation of engagement strategies and plans, including stakeholder engagement and public outreach.
  • Plan and facilitate stakeholder discussions, group meetings, workshops and events, and internal working groups and teams, both in-person and using virtual collaborative technologies.
  • Interface with clients on outreach and engagement planning.
  • Participate in internal team calls to coordinate roles, tasks and collaborate on ideas.
  • Support team and project management
  • Develop project proposals including budgets, business development, contract administration, and invoice and expense report preparation.
  • Identify and pursue new business opportunities and secure revenues.


The ideal candidate will have work experience and background in relevant sectors such as water, climate, equity, energy, tribal engagement, and community and regional planning. Other desirable qualities include:

  • Deep understanding of and experience facilitating processes involving complex natural resources and/or planning issues.
  • Ability to effectively build partnerships and relationships with clients and stakeholders.
  • Proven ability to manage and lead projects in collaboration with multiple team members, including in-house staff, consultants, clients, stakeholders and priority communities and their representatives.
  • Experience with equity-focused engagement.
  • Familiarity with dispute resolution and interest-based negotiation concepts and approaches.
  • 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.
  • 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 Director/Senior Director candidates will have minimum of 8 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 attach a cover letter and resume when you APPLY HERE. We ask that you do not call or email staff directly. Resumes will be accepted until the position is filled.