Vice President/Senior Facilitator/Public Engagement or Communications Expert or Team Opportunity – Federal Government Focus

Permanent Position
Washington, DC

The Organization

Kearns & West’s Washington, DC Office has an opening for a senior facilitator or public engagement/communications expert or small firm with a focus on the federal government sector, interested in joining the Washington DC office. Kearns & West is a national collaborative problem solving, dispute resolution, and strategic communications firm with offices in Washington, DC; Portland, OR; and Riverside, Sacramento/Davis, San Diego, and San Francisco, CA. We provide a spectrum of services including project management; outreach and engagement; process and meeting design, conflict resolution including mediation; collaborative decision making; and strategic planning. We work extensively – but not exclusively – on public policy decision making, conflict resolution, and citizen engagement across a broad spectrum of issues. Our collaborative programs are designed to identify and organize a range of issues, opinions, goals and interests into clear, productive processes that lead to successful outcomes for diverse parties and key stakeholders.

Kearns & West’s vision: Working together to make an impact in an environment of opportunity, respect and diversity.

Kearns & West’s mission: Organizations impacting society operate within a complex framework of needs, policies, interests, and markets. Kearns & West navigates this framework to help clients collaborate, communicate vision, and create productive connections with their stakeholders, employees and customers.

Kearns & West offers a collegial work environment and a partnership track for qualified and interested professionals.  Kearns & West strives for a culturally diverse and inclusive workplace.  We offer a full benefit package including a very generous 401k match program.

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The Position

The individual or group/firm would have an existing and complementary federal government client base and experience facilitating collaborative processes involving stakeholders from state and federal agencies, tribes, environmental organizations, industry, and local interests and/or assisting organizations to develop and implement public policy and public engagement/strategic communications programs.

The Kearns & West Federal Government Practice includes natural resources and environmental work across the Department of Interior, Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Department of Commerce (NOAA.) In addition to strong federal government work, it is hoped that the individual or group/firm also brings direct energy sector experience and qualifications. There will also be opportunities to support our broader collaboration and communications practices, in addition to the energy sector with other sectors including water, marine, land management and others. This position and the firm culture require individuals to be self-starters and leaders as well as strong team players working in teams within and outside the firm.

The successful candidate will align with and expand our Federal Government practice in these areas. Preference may be given to candidates that have active practices and experience in the energy space, including renewable and traditional generation and siting, transmission, grid and energy demand, and projects that blend across energy, environmental, social, and cultural issues and impacts. Our work seeks to manage conflict and collaboration in finding and developing energy, addressing changing community and public values, and meeting future needs with aging and innovative infrastructure. Kearns & West is excited about the opportunity to continue evolving our decades of experience working with energy stakeholders – on hydro, offshore renewables (marine and wind), wind, solar, and oil and natural gas issues – to address needs of society and communities.

This position will be responsible for business development, including federal contract management and teaming with technical partnering firms, project management, meeting facilitation, collaborative problem solving, strategic planning, dispute resolution, public outreach and engagement, and communications processes with federal government clients and private sector clients.


The candidate individual or group/firm will be: 

  • An experienced, effective facilitator or public engagement and communications expert with a reputation for integrity, fairness, and achieving results.
  • 10 or more years of relevant experience (facilitation, dispute resolution, public engagement, communications, collaborative processes).
  • A client base or the ability to develop a client base that complements and expands K&W’s existing practice areas
    • Preference for federal government clients/expertise; and
    • Preference for environmental and energy experience, for example, hydro, offshore renewables, wind, solar, and oil and natural gas issues, energy planning and policy, and environmental management.
  • A proven ability to develop business.
  • An existing national, mid-Atlantic and/or East coast practice and client base.
  • A proven ability to manage a team of professionals assigned to collaboration/facilitation/public engagement projects.
  • Proven experience at managing, retaining, training, and growing staff at all levels to move into more senior roles and responsibilities.
  • A proven ability to design and lead collaborative processes with senior-level stakeholders.
  • A proven ability to analyze and explain complex environmental issues and regulations particularly those related to energy, and also water, land management, transportation issues in the east and nationally.
  • A proven ability to provide clients with strategic counsel on public engagement/collaboration and environmental/natural resource regulatory processes (NEPA, state-NEPA, ESA, Wild and Scenic Rivers, etc.).
  • A style that fits with the Kearns & West positive team culture, both within the firm and with the stakeholder teams.

This position:

  • Will require presence in our Washington, DC office and likely will require travel (local, regional, national).
  • Is a non-partisan, impartial position in relation to subject matter, not an advocacy position.

IMMEDIATE HIRE: We plan to fill this position as soon as possible.

Education, Certifications and Experience

MINIMUM EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree or equivalent. Advanced degree or education is valued.

PREFERRED SKILLS/EXPERIENCE: Strong candidates will have a minimum of 10 years of experience. It would be helpful to know the candidate’s familiarity with various federal government prospect tracking tools.


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. 

How to Apply

Please e-mail a resume and cover letter to We ask that you not call K&W staff. Resumes will be accepted until the position is filled.