Government Solutions

Kearns & West is a small, woman-owned communications, collaboration and public involvement firm that focuses on stakeholders. The firm provides outreach and education, stakeholder relationship management, public involvement, change management communications, internal communications, and other strategic communications services for government agencies.

Kearns & West has a 25-year record of successful strategic and tactical management services for its clients. The firm provides services directly to government clients and also teams with prime contractors to provide essential services as a subcontractor.

Kearns & West is self-certified with the Small Business Administration as a woman owned small business and holds GSA’s Professional Services Schedule (GS-00F-132CA) under SINs:

Kearns & West supports government clients in several capacities including:

Sample Projects

      U.S. Department of Interior – Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution (CADR) Support

      Department of Interior’s (DOI) Office of Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution (CADR) serves to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Department’s operations, enhance communication, and strengthen relationships within the Department and with all customers, constituents, private organizations and businesses, federal, state, tribal and local government entities, and local communities with which the Department interacts to accomplish its work. The CADR Office established an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract to provide expert neutral assistance for DOI managers and employees seeking to engage government and non-government stakeholders and the public in planning, problem-solving, decision-making and conflict resolution processes. To fulfill this service, Kearns & West built a team that provides DOI agencies with access to more than 300 consensus-building professionals, facilitators, mediators, conflict and leadership coaches, trainers, communications and other conflict management experts nationwide. Services include: situation assessments, process and system design, mediation, facilitation, stakeholder engagement/public participation, negotiated rulemaking, planning, organizational development, and conflict and leadership coaching. To date, Kearns & West has managed more than 100 task orders awarded under the IDIQ contract.

      U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Training and Resources Summit on Revitalizing Vulnerable Communities

      The 2016 National Training and Resources Summit on Revitalizing Vulnerable Communities brought together a diverse range of environmental justice stakeholders and sectors to provide in-person and remote participants with a wide array of best practices, networks, resources, tools and techniques to build healthy, sustainable and economically thriving communities. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) engaged Kearns & West to provide event support in designing conference communications and real-time activities that not only extended the reach of the in-person activities to remote participants, but provided highly engaging experiences for remote participants to interact with in-person presenters and participants. Kearns & West’s support included pre-conference coordination and planning, hybrid (in-person and online) session design, pre-conference remote participant engagement and system testing, on-site facilities set-up and dry-runs and troubleshooting support. After the conference, Kearns & West staff conducted post-conference participant engagement and developed a whitepaper analyzing specific metrics on remote user engagement, briefing U.S. EPA leadership on their findings.

      Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – Community Engagement and Risk Communication (CERC) Program

      FEMA has committed to building risk awareness and understanding at the local level to support local efforts to reduce natural hazard risk within a community or watershed area (e.g. complete mitigation actions) and to keep communities and other stakeholders engaged throughout the Risk MAP flood insurance mapping program. The need for this type of proactive communication with local stakeholders has been accelerated by flooding trends. Kearns & West is part of the Resilience Action Partners team, headed by Michael Baker and Ogilvy, to support the FEMA Community Engagement and Risk Communication program across the country. Kearns & West has assisted with planning and facilitating stakeholder workshops and is conducting training programs with FEMA regional staff on topics including internal communication strategies, multi-geography/multi-agency project team communication, the role of empathy in building trust with community members, and negotiation skills.

      U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) – E-Commerce Communications and Outreach

      The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) administers the patent laws as they relate to the granting of patents for inventions, and performs other duties relating to patents. Kearns & West provided program management support and served as the customer outreach team by supporting USPTO with strategic stakeholder communications and media relations for the promotion of internal and external patent e-commerce systems. These responsibilities included providing ongoing strategic communications counsel to clients, management of stakeholder relations, and interacting with the Office of the Chief Communications Officer. Kearns & West supported more than a dozen IT projects while working with the USPTO including the launch of the USPTO’s electronic patent application filing solution, EFS-Web. Kearns & West began by developing messages and managing stakeholder outreach activities. The team worked with key intellectual property organizations to distribute specialized messages on behalf of the USPTO, disseminate invitations to online trainings and briefings, and also obtain complimentary exhibit space at highly visible events. Launched in March 2006, the USPTO set a goal for 10 percent of new patent applications to be filed via EFS-Web by the end of the fiscal year, and 50 percent to be filed by the end of 2007. Through outreach efforts, the USPTO was able to exceed its goals for EFS-Web for its first year. In 2006, 30 percent of new patent applications were filed electronically, and the team met the goal of receiving 50 percent of new patent applications electronically in 2007. Today, more than 90 percent of patent applications are filed electronically resulting in significant time and cost savings for the USPTO.

      U.S. Department of Education – Migrant Student Information Exchange User Group Meetings

      The U.S. Department of Education was mandated by Congress to create a national database that allows states to share migrant student records. As part of the Independent Verification and Validation team, Kearns & West supported the development of the database by convening and facilitating user group meetings that collected feedback on what should be included in the database and how it should be structured as well as trained users of the system. More than 200 participants participated in 20 user group meetings. The database was successfully deployed in October 2007, and, today, more than 80 percent of migrant student records are in the system.