Director / Senior Director in San Diego, Orange or Los Angeles Counties, CA

Director / Senior Director – Public Involvement and Stakeholder Facilitation
Permanent Position and Freelance Opportunities
San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles Counties, CA

The Organization

Kearns & West is a leader in the collaborative communications field, providing services in public involvement, stakeholder facilitation, community outreach, and mediation, primarily for government agencies. Founded in 1984, the small, woman-owned business has offices in 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 we 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, marine resources, and environmental review per the California Environmental Quality Act and National Environmental Policy Act. At the core of all of our projects is finding solutions to advance essential policies and programs.

Examples of projects led by the Kearns & West Southern California team include public involvement and/or stakeholder facilitation for the LA River Master Plan Update, Sea Level Rise Adaptation Planning in Malibu and Venice, EPA Trash Free Waters Program for Tijuana River, Newport Beach Listen & Learn Pre-General Plan Update, Burbank Citywide Complete Streets Plan, Western Riverside Council of Government Clean Cities Coalition, City of Los Angeles 100% Renewable Energy Study, and Oahu Storm Water Utility Formation.

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 Position

Kearns & West is seeking candidates for a Senior Director or Director position in either our San Diego, Orange County or Los Angeles offices. Successful candidates will be public policy professionals with demonstrated interest and success in 1) managing and implementing community and stakeholder engagement programs for public policy projects, and 2) facilitating meetings.  The Senior Director/Director will develop, manage, support and lead collaborative problem solving, public outreach and engagement projects, and conflict resolution involving stakeholders from local cities and regional agencies, state and federal agencies, tribal communities, advocacy organizations, industry, and local government in Southern California.

Requires a bachelor’s degree in urban and environmental planning, geography, environmental sciences, or similar. Advanced degree or education and/or policy-level experience in government and/or consulting is preferred. Successful candidates will have 5-12+ years of experience with community outreach and engagement, meeting facilitation, conflict management and resolution, local and regional government, public policy, urban and environmental planning, and/or community relations. Demonstrated success in building client relationships, generating business, and responding to RFP/Q processes is preferred. Fluency in Spanish is a significant plus. International Association of Public Participation training or similar is also a plus.

We are looking for a self-starter who can work well both as part of a team and independently. Ability to successfully manage multiple projects simultaneously is a must. Some travel is required. This position requires initiative, excellent organizational skills and attention to detail, strong written and oral communication skills, and the ability to work in a fast-paced, deadline-oriented environment. Applicant must demonstrate strong computer skills with proficiency in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Interest in graphic design/layout and proficiency with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and/or InDesign are desirable, but not required.


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

How to Apply

Please apply immediately by submitting cover letter and resume to Importantly, please specify your interest in a permanent position and/or freelance opportunity.