Director Position in Sacramento/Davis, CA


Kearns & West’s California Capitol region (office located in the Sacramento or Davis area) has an immediate opening for a Director.  The Director will support and lead collaborative problem solving, dispute resolution, and public outreach and engagement processes involving stakeholders from state and federal agencies, tribal communities, advocacy organizations, industry, and local government in California and across the United States. 


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 Atlanta, Riverside, 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, 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.


The Director position involves a wide range of responsibilities and roles, including: meeting and workshop facilitation, project and client management, all aspects of planning and executing stakeholder and public meetings or other forums, strategic planning, development of project proposals and identification of new business opportunities, 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.

Desired Skills and Qualifications

We’re looking for someone who is:

  • Highly organized and prepared to contribute to our team organization
  • Comfortable planning and facilitating meetings, workshops, and other forums of diverse sizes, including public meetings that involve a high level of conflict
  • Committed to business development and growing Kearns & West’s practice
  • Adaptable and flexible
  • An effective and reliable communicator
  • 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
  • Comfortable working in a small (3-4 person) office environment and collaborating virtually with inter-office teams (based in San Francisco/Los Angeles/Portland/Washington, DC)

We are in the business of supporting effective problem solving and joint decision making, often in the public sector, so proven communication skills and enthusiasm for outreach are critical. A strong candidate will write clearly and accurately under deadlines, and will have strong “people” skills. Work assignments will involve other K&W offices, and the ability to work with staff in other locations will be important. A strong candidate also will have sound professional judgment.

A strong candidate will be interested in a career that incorporates strong collaborative problem solving and stakeholder outreach and engagement abilities.

Education, Certification and Experience

Minimum Education: Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree or equivalent. Advanced degree or education is valued but will not change job duties described above.

Preferred Experience: Strong candidates will have one to three years of work experience or a master’s degree equivalent with a focus on public policy, energy/transmission, the environment, water issues, communications, or conflict management and resolution. Demonstrated understanding and interest in state and local government policy will enhance an application. Fluency in Spanish is strongly valued but not required. Proficiency with online collaboration, database management, graphic design, and social media tools is preferred.

Required Skills: Proficiency in MS Office (Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel). Proficiency in online collaboration tools is desirable.

Prior Regional Connection: We strongly prefer a demonstrated prior connection to the Sacramento/Central Valley region: family ties, work experience, or graduate school are examples.


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


Please apply immediately by submitting a cover letter and resume to  with the subject “Sacramento/Davis Director Opening.” Resumes will be accepted until the position is filled.