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Director/Senior Director, Kearns & West

Filing Deadline: 09/28/22


Kearns & West is a leader in the collaborative communications field, providing services in public involvement, stakeholder facilitation, community outreach, and mediation, for the public and private sector. Founded in 1984, the small, woman-owned business has offices in Austin, Charleston, Denver, Sacramento, Portland, San Francisco, Washington, DC and Southern California.

Focusing on positive, mutually beneficial results has allowed Kearns & West to maintain long-term relationships with the people and organizations they assist. The firm’s high-stakes projects include work at local, state, and national levels and cover a variety of sectors including transportation, natural resources, equity and diversity, land use and community planning, major public facilities and infrastructure, 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, 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.


Kearns & West seeks Director or Senior Director in our SoCal office. This position involves a wide range of responsibilities and roles, including: all aspects of planning and executing a full range of stakeholder-focused meetings, workshop, and other forums; applying a diverse set of process skills including facilitation and mediation; designing and conducting effective public involvement; strategic planning; development of project proposals and identification of new business opportunities; project and client management; and contract administration.

Candidates from a variety of backgrounds, including dispute resolution, public policy, and communications will be considered. Interest in collaborative problem-solving and effective communications is essential. This position requires a non-partisan, neutral approach to policy issues and solutions consistent with K&W’s principles of impartiality.

In particular, the position offers the right candidate the opportunity to build or advance a career in engagement and dispute resolution, including planning and executing stakeholder input processes; supporting clients in building their negotiation capabilities; assessing complex issues; engaging diverse communities and constituencies in public policy processes; developing collaboration information gathering and planning processes; developing consensus-backed plans, policies and settlements; and translating consensus into agreements, implementation and adaptive management programs. The position provides an opportunity to work on projects throughout the Pacific Northwest as well as the possibility of involvement in state-wide and national projects.


The ideal candidate will be someone with experience in the policy arena and demonstrated interest in a range of collaborative engagement and conflict resolution skills. This candidate will also have a track record of successful client development and strategic decision making. The ideal candidate will be enthusiastic in joining the K&W team as a senior member.

In addition, the ideal candidate will be:

  • Committed to good public policy, integrity and positive solutions

  • Able to both lead and contribute to teams and groups

  • Organized and prepared to contribute to broader team organization

  • Comfortable planning and facilitating stakeholder meetings, workshops, and other forums of diverse sizes, as well as public meetings that involve a high level of conflict

  • Committed to business development and growing Kearns & West’s collaboration practice sector and/or a pre-existing client base

  • Willing to mentor and support other team members in their professional development

  • Adaptable and flexible

  • An effective and reliable communicator and skilled writer

  • Able to reliably set priorities, manage multiple tasks, and meet project deadlines

  • Able to work and balance multiple projects for multiple clients

  • Successful at balancing working as part of a team with working independently

  • Comfortable operating in a small (6-8 person) office environment and collaborating virtually with inter-office teams (based in San Francisco/Los Angeles/Sacramento/Davis/Atlanta/Washington, DC)


This position requires a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree.

An advanced degree or education and/or policy-level experience in government or the private sector is preferred.

Successful candidates will have 8-12 years of experience with stakeholder

engagement, meeting facilitation, conflict management and resolution, local and regional government, public policy, and/or community relations.

Experience in the fields of transportation, equity, and natural resources is desired.

A background in communications, stakeholder engagement and facilitation consulting is highly desirable.

Demonstrated success in building client relationships and generating business is desired. Fluency in Spanish is a significant plus.

Applicant must demonstrate strong computer skills with proficiency in Microsoft Office.


The salary for this position is open and will be dependent upon the qualifications and experience of the selected candidate. In addition, benefits are provided which include: profit-sharing; 401K; bonuses; health, dental and disability insurance; vacation and holidays; and more.


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.


Submit a resume and cover letter, including your preferred working location Resumes will be accepted until the position is filled.

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