Associate Position in Sacramento/Davis, CA


Kearns & West’s California Capitol region (office located in the Sacramento or Davis area) has an immediate opening for an Associate.  The Associate will support collaborative problem solving, strategic planning, dispute resolution, public outreach and engagement, and communications processes involving stakeholders from state and federal agencies, tribes, advocacy organizations, industry, and local government in the Sacramento region as well as in California and across the United States.


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 Atlanta, Riverside, San Diego, Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, and Washington, DC.

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 land use and community planning, transportation, 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, 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.


This entry-level position involves multiple responsibilities and roles including: planning, scheduling, and executing stakeholder meetings or other types of in-person or online interactions (including logistics such as venue location, audio visual equipment, and invitations), project research, strategic planning, stakeholder communications and outreach support, notetaking and preparation of meeting summaries, development of project proposals including budgets, business development, contract administration, and invoice and expense report preparation.

Desired Skills and Qualifications

We’re looking for someone who is:

  • Highly organized and prepared to contribute to team organization
  • Adaptable and flexible
  • Self-motivated and comfortable working independently
  • An effective and reliable communicator
  • Comfortable with taking direction and able to take the initiative as needed
  • 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, and
  • Comfortable working in a small [2-3 person] office environment and collaborating virtually with inter-office teams (based in San Francisco/Portland/Washington, DC/Southern California). 

We are in the business of supporting effective problem solving and joint decision making, often in the public sector, so proven communication skills and enthusiasm for outreach are critical. A strong candidate will write clearly and accurately under deadlines, and will have strong “people” skills. Work assignments will involve other K&W offices, and the ability to work with staff in other locations will be important. A strong candidate also will have sound professional judgment.

A strong candidate will be interested in a career that incorporates strong collaborative problem solving and stakeholder outreach and engagement abilities.

Education, Certification and Experience

Minimum Education: Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree or equivalent. Advanced degree or education is valued but will not change job duties described above.

Preferred Experience: Strong candidates will have one to three years of work experience or a master’s degree equivalent with a focus on public policy, energy/transmission, the environment, water issues, communications, or conflict management and resolution. Demonstrated understanding and interest in state and local government policy will enhance an application. Fluency in Spanish is strongly valued but not required. Proficiency with online collaboration, database management, graphic design, and social media tools is preferred.

Required Skills: Proficiency in MS Office (Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel)..

Prior Regional Connection: We strongly prefer a demonstrated prior connection to the Sacramento/Central Valley region: family ties, work experience, or graduate school are examples.


Compensation will depend on the qualifications and experience of the selected candidate.


Please apply immediately by submitting a cover letter and resume to  with the subject “Sacramento/Davis Associate Opening.” Resumes will be accepted until the position is filled.