Senior Director Equity and Environmental Justice, San Francisco, CA


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

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Based out of the Bay Area, the Director/Senior Director position involves a broad range responsibilities and roles including project management, public outreach, stakeholder engagement, facilitation and communications, planning/logistics and business development in support of our Equity and Environmental Justice-focused work and practice. The position involves a heavy emphasis in working on complex transportation and infrastructure issues, through an equity lens, in Northern California.  

Key responsibilities include the following:  

  • Develop and implement engagement strategies and plans for stakeholder engagement, equity and public outreach.  
  • Identify, engage and build partnerships with stakeholders, including priority communities, equity advisory councils, agencies, advocacy groups, community-based and grassroots organizations and the general public.  
  • Plan and facilitate these stakeholder discussions, group meetings, workshops and events, and internal working groups and teams, using virtual collaborative technologies and in-person.  
  • Develop targeted materials (e.g., presentations, factsheets, newsletters, brochures, websites) to support outreach to minority, low-income, non-English or limited English proficient, and other communities historically burdened by large infrastructure projects.  
  • Identify, strategize on and pursue potential policy considerations that could mitigate equity-related impacts.  
  • Conduct outreach and engagement activities consistent with CEQA and NEPA guidelines, including requisite noticing, document distribution and tracking comments and responses to satisfy CEQA, NEPA and environmental permitting requirements.  
  • Research, write and synthesize surveys, meeting actions and outcomes, and public feedback, for many types of audiences (including environmental justice communities, multilingual communities, business groups, elected officials, etc.)  
  • Interface with clients on certain aspects of the outreach and engagement planning.  
  • Participate in internal team calls to coordinate roles, tasks and collaborate on ideas.  
  • Support team and project management  
  • Develop of project proposals including budgets, business development, contract administration, and invoice and expense report preparation.  


The ideal candidate would have work and consulting experience and background in environmental justice and equity related to transportation or infrastructure planning and projects, and with other sectors such as climate, water, marine, energy, and community and regional planning. Other desirable qualities include:  

  • Deep understanding of and experience facilitating and navigating racial and social equity conflicts and power dynamics  
  • Ability to build partnerships and relationships with sensitive and priority communities  
  • Proven ability to manage projects in collaboration with multiple team members, including in-house staff, consultants, clients, stakeholders and priority communities and their representatives.  
  • 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 7 of work experience, with a background in equity and environmental justice issues as they pertain to various environmental policy sectors, water, air, climate, biodiversity, land-use, transportation, urban planning and applied in conflict management and resolution, public stakeholder engagement and strategic communications, local and regional government, public policy, and/or community relations settings. Experience with community-based organizations, equity issues, and, in particular, transportation issues, in the San Francisco Bay Area desired.  
  • 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. Graphic design.  


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 APPLY HERE to apply for the Senior Director – Equity and Environmental Justice position.