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6 Apr 2023

Full-Time Senior Sustainability Specialist- Communications

County of San Mateo Office of Sustainability – Posted by OfficeofSustainability Redwood City, California, United States

County of San Mateo Office of Sustainability logo

Job Description

Are you passionate about sustainability communications and outreach programs that have a positive impact on San Mateo County communities? Would you like to join a team of enthusiastic and innovative professionals advancing the County’s environmental sustainability initiatives and partnerships?

The County of San Mateo’s Office of Sustainability (OOS) is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Senior Sustainability Specialist- Communications. We are looking for candidates with excellent project management and communication skills to devise, guide, and oversee internal and external campaigns, and to empower our employees, community partners, and community members to take meaningful actions on sustainability. We are committed to building a diverse staff and strongly encourage candidates from varied backgrounds to apply.

Under the general direction of the Communications Officer, the Senior Sustainability Specialist- Communications will plan, coordinate, and implement Office of Sustainability’s communications to promote sustainability education and initiatives within the County and the community. The Senior Sustainability Specialist- Communications will guide and implement external communications and media relations, develop messaging for internal communications, manage community engagement and outreach activities, and manage the Office of Sustainability’s youth climate education programs—the Youth Climate Ambassador Program and the Youth Exploring Climate Science Program.

The Job/Ideal Candidate

The Senior Sustainability Specialist- Communications will coordinate development and implementation of the Office of Sustainability’s communication strategy to increase and maintain public awareness of the department’s purpose, services/programs, and accomplishments. The ideal candidate will have experience with strategic communications that maximize organizational impact, facilitate equity centered public engagement, and support organizational-wide change and initiatives. They will have experience with sustainability communications, branding, messaging, strategy, media relations, public records requests, events, social media, material production, community engagement, and environmental education.

As a senior member of the communications teams, the ideal candidate will be a creative thinker with a background in marketing, branding, community engagement, and communications tools and methodologies. They will have excellent writing skills and be a natural storyteller to craft a variety of deliverables, including press releases, social media posts, talking points, messaging guides, presentations, website pages, and other communications and media materials. They will also have a good understanding of excellent visual design, with experience providing creative design direction or direct experience designing and preparing newsletters, flyers, graphics, presentations, and videos. The ideal candidate will also have experience in community engagement, working with communities to build long term relationships and develop meaningful solutions to complex issues. They will also have a high level of political acumen and be skilled at working effectively with a variety of stakeholders even in challenging situations.

The ideal candidate will be adept at working with management and staff to develop targeted messaging, community engagement plans, and strategic communication direction to achieve the Department’s mission, vision, and program goals. They will develop and implement communications and media policies and procedures for the department, evaluate effectiveness of communications programs, and ensure that team members have the support and guidance they need to enhance the Department’s overall communications. They will also support team members engage communities to achieve sustainable outcomes, equitable decision-making processes, and deepen relationships. An understanding and commitment to equity and social justice is integral for this position, and the Senior Sustainability Specialist- Communications must understand how equity, social, racial, and economic justice inform the County’s climate and sustainability goals.

Under the direction of the Communications Officer, the Senior Sustainability Specialist will also provide highly responsible and complex administrative support, including budgeting, tracking performance metrics, managing cross-departmental contracts, leading cross-departmental committees, and supporting other administrative functions such as employee engagement, wellness, and performance development. The ideal candidate will be detail-oriented, flexible, and will take initiative to address problems and find innovative solutions.

About the Office of Sustainability
Formed in July 2014 as a part of the County Executive’s Office, the Office of Sustainability (OOS) strives to improve the sustainability of the County’s operations and the greater community through work in areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency, resource conservation, active transportation, climate resiliency, affordable housing, and greenhouse gas emission reductions.

Here at OOS, we:

  • Are passionate about protecting and saving the environment, while serving our community.
  • Are compassionate and empathetic to the needs of our colleagues, community members, and stakeholders.
  • Are committed to increasing racial equity, diversity, and inclusion through our work
  • Value diverse life experiences and strive to create a workplace that is welcoming to all.

We know work isn’t only about what you do; it’s also about who you work for and with! The OOS has a fun and supportive work environment that supports a work-life balance, including:

  • Flexible, hybrid work schedule opportunities.
  • Wellness classes and resources to promote a healthy mind and body.
  • Generous benefits package.
  • Subsidy of up to $150 per month to cover the costs of public transit, vanpooling, carpooling, and bike and scooter share, or up to $480 per year for walking, biking, or carpooling to work.
  • At least 20 hours of training provided annually.

A competitive benefits package is associated with this position. For complete information regarding benefits please click here.

Examples Of Duties

Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Coordinate development and implementation of communication strategy to increase and maintain public’s awareness of department’s purpose, services/programs and accomplishments.
  • Prepares and disseminates press releases, bulletins, articles, campaigns, and other public information materials.
  • Ensure publications and other information materials are consistent with department and County’s standard of quality and cultural competence, including design, content, accuracy and translation when appropriate.
  • Oversee internal employee communications and timely delivery of relevant information to staff.
  • Coordinate department newsletter, website and social media tools.
  • Provide lead direction, training and reviewing the work of assigned staff; organize and assign work, coordinate complex projects, and follow up to ensure completion of assigned work.
  • Provide input into selection decisions, performance evaluations and disciplinary matters.
  • Develop, implement, coordinate, promote, monitor and evaluate multiple sustainability communications programs/projects.
  • Research, analyze and interpret complex information and data.
  • Develop systems and procedures to support program/project activities.
  • Develop, negotiate and monitor contracts/grants.
  • Represent the section on committees, boards and other related groups as assigned.
  • Participate in the development and implementation of policies and procedures for new and existing programs and in developing and implementing short and long-range goals and objectives for the section.
  • Maintain an effective working relationship with a variety of public and private organizations, including other County departments and agencies.
  •  Perform other duties as assigned.


Knowledge of:

  • Basic supervisory principles and practices.
  • Resource conservation management, including its scientific background, technology, principles, methods, research techniques and problems.
  • Pertinent laws, regulations and codes governing resource conservation.
  • Principles and practices of contract management.
  • Government agencies, community organizations and other stakeholders as they relate to resource conservation.
  • Principles, practices and trends in multiple areas of resource conservation.
  • Technical information in multiple areas such as climate adaptation, including sea level rise, fire, heat island, and other risks, and climate action planning, including emission inventories, forecasting and emission targets, measure development, and stakeholder engagement for adaptation risk and climate planning initiatives.

Skill/Ability to:

  • Provide leadership and promote teamwork.
  • Plan, assign, direct and review the work of others.
  • Train others in departmental and program specific policies and procedures.
  • Plan, direct and coordinate resource conservation and sustainability programs, its staff and activities.
  • Interpret laws, regulations and data.
  • Define difficult problem areas, research and analyze complex data and make valid alternatives and recommendations.
  • Plan, implement, coordinate and evaluate multiple complex functions and assignments.
  • Serve as subject matter expert in multiple areas of resource conservation.
  • Track and monitor compliance with pertinent mandates, laws, codes, rules, regulations and agreements.
  • Serve as representative on various boards, committees and community groups.
  • Speak effectively and make public presentations, conduct outreach, training and/or public education as necessary.
  • Prepare comprehensive reports, letters and other written materials.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relations with variety of individuals at all levels including those from government, business, private and non-profit agencies, community groups and the public.
  • Integrate race and social justice considerations into work duties.

Education and Experience:
Any combination of education and experience that would likely provide the required knowledge, skills and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to qualify is three years of program coordination experience in the field of sustainability and/or resource conservation.

How to Apply

Please click here to apply online.

Job Categories: Environmental. Job Types: Full-Time. Salaries: 100,000 and above.

Job expires in 5 days.

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