Senior Associate/Director – Portland, OR

Title: Senior Associate/ Director (Portland, OR) 


Kearns & West is a leader in the field of public involvement and stakeholder engagement, facilitation, public affairs, community outreach, communications and strategic planning for the public and private sectors. Founded in 1984, Kearns & West has offices in Washington, DC; Austin, TX; Charleston, SC; Denver, CO; Portland, OR; and throughout California in Sacramento, San Francisco, Davis, San Diego and Riverside.  We are a relationship-driven organization – internally and externally.  

Kearns & West’s high-stakes projects include work at the federal, state, and local levels of government. We work on a variety of issues including water quality and quantity, marine and coastal resources, transportation, land use, energy and more.  At their core, our projects are designed to identify and ultimately implement solutions to advance policies and programs essential to solving some of society’s most pressing problems. Kearns & West staff help clients build more equitable and sustainable communities through policy innovation, stakeholder engagement, and collaboration.   

Kearns & West is the ideal match for professionals seeking meaningful work, opportunities for growth, and colleagues that are smart, supportive, and oriented toward public service. Once on board, our team members stay for the long term. The entrepreneurial culture at Kearns & West values employee initiative in both practice innovation and business development.   

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Based out of the Portland region, the ideal Senior Associate is a communications professional immediately ready to help manage and contribute to a portfolio of transportation and natural resource projects with government clients. 

This role will see the ideal candidate spend the majority of their time on strategic communications, public outreach, stakeholder engagement, and public meetings for a complex regional transportation project. Candidates should expect to interface with government staff, community and business stakeholders, and technical experts to help clients deliver meaningful engagement that meets and exceeds federal and state requirements.  

Any remaining time will be spent on strategic communications services for regional government clients and business development to support the firm’s Portland/Denver/Seattle regional practices.  

Key responsibilities include:   

  • Develop and implement engagement strategies and plans for stakeholder and community engagement, including equitable engagement strategies to involve historically and currently underserved communities.  
  • Research, write, and edit content for deliverables such as presentations, press releases, fact sheets, videos, websites, and reports. 
  • Plan and implement notifications and advertising through channels such as social media, newsletters, print and online media,  
  • Manage production of communications deliverables, including coordination with graphic designers and technical experts. 
  • Plan and implement stakeholder discussions, group meetings, workshops and events, and internal working groups and teams, using virtual collaborative technologies and in-person. Interface with clients on certain aspects of outreach and engagement planning.    
  • Support engagement with stakeholders, including neighborhood groups, community-based organizations, and the public.   
  • Research, write and synthesize reports, surveys results, meeting actions and outcomes, and public feedback summaries, for many types of audiences (including environmental justice communities, multilingual communities, business groups, elected officials, etc.)    
  • Support team and project management. Participate in internal team calls to coordinate roles, tasks and collaborate on ideas.      
  • Develop project proposals including budgets, business development, contract administration, and invoice and expense report preparation.    


The successful candidate should have excellent communications skills and demonstrated experience providing client service in a fast-paced environment.  should have experience in the areas of communications, community engagement, and public relations. An ideal candidate will have experience in working with government agencies, public, community groups, and technical experts, and an interest in working on infrastructure projects for public sector clients.    

Minimum requirements include:   

  • 5-7+ years of experience in community engagement, communications, public relations or related fields.
  • Excellent writing and public speaking skills and demonstrated ability to translate complex concepts into accessible, audience-specific materials.
  • Background with current and emerging social media, multimedia, and video platforms. 
  • Proven ability to manage projects in collaboration with multiple team members, including in-house staff, consultants, clients and outside stakeholders.
  • Strong organizational skills, and ability to manage and prioritize multiple projects.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment in a highly collaborative manner. 
  • Able to participate in in-person meetings and events in the greater Portland, OR region. 


MINIMUM EDUCATION: Minimum of bachelor’s degree in communications, public policy, psychology, or related fields. An Advanced degree or education is a plus but will not change job duties.  

SALARY RANGE- $65,000-$125,000 

REQUIRED SKILLS: Proficiency in MS Office (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel). Proficiency in online collaboration tools is desirable. Proficiency with database management, graphic design, and social media tools are also a plus.   

How to Apply:Please apply for the “Senior Associate” job here: APPLY HERE