Senior Sustainability Specialist (Open and Promotional)

  • San Mateo County
  • Redwood City, California, USA
  • Jan 01, 2019
Full time Advocacy and Policy Communication - Public Outreach Environmental Science - Engineering Green Building - Sustainable Development Sustainability

Job Description


Are you passionate about sustainability and environmental issues, leading a team of enthusiastic professionals, and especially being part of the changing ways in which local governments can develop and implement programs to address these issues and serve the San Mateo County community? Do you have a knack for identifying and working with the right people in organizations to effect change?

The County of San Mateo's Office of Sustainability is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Senior Sustainability Specialist. We want "sustainability champions" to lead initiatives and support department staff in empowering our departments, employees, and our community members to take meaningful actions on sustainability.

The San Mateo County Office of Sustainability (OOS) has four working groups: Waste Reduction, Energy and Water, Livable Communities, and Climate Change. Each working group will have a Senior Sustainability Specialist to support all the staff, programs, and projects of each of these work groups. To learn more about each of the OOS workgroups, please see:

As a Senior Sustainability Specialist, you will:

  • Provide staff direction, training, assignment and review of work completed, lead complex projects, and leverage grant opportunities.
  • Serve as technical expert, researching, analyzing, and interpreting complex technical data.
  • Participate in goal and strategy development, and develop procedures and policies for new and existing programs.
  • Identify and implement equity and social justice opportunities at work and in the community.
  • Identify and coordinate collaboration opportunities across program areas.
  • Provide input on staff selection, and evaluation of opportunities to enhance engagement.
  • Assist the Program Manager with program planning, budget development, and goal setting.

The IDEAL CANDIDATE will have the skills necessary to:

  • Provide leadership and promote teamwork while planning, directing, and coordinating staff activities.
  • Define difficult problem areas, research them and provide valid alternatives and recommendations.
  • Integrate equity, race, and social justice in both internal and external initiatives.
  • Represent the work group and the department on boards, committees and in community groups.
  • Speak effectively, make public presentations, conduct outreach, training and/or public education as necessary.
  • Be comfortable in a fast-paced, people-focused environment.
  • Prepare and edit comprehensive reports, letters, and other written materials.
  • Effectively frame and communicate complex concepts for different audiences, orally and in writing.
  • Track changes in and compliance with existing contracts, grants, laws, codes, and rules.

At this time, we will be hiring for one permanent Senior Sustainability Specialist position for the Office of Sustainability Energy and Water working group. This recruitment may also be used to fill future vacancies, so those interested in the Senior Sustainability Specialist position in one or any of the other working group(s) are encouraged to apply in this recruitment.

A competitive benefits package is associated with this position. For complete information regarding benefits please click here.
In addition, the ideal candidate will possess: 

  • A broad knowledge of trends and technical information on municipal Energy- and Water-related programs, especially in the fields of stormwater management, but also groundwater management, water conservation, residential and commercial energy efficiency, zero net energy and zero net carbon buildings, distributed energy resources, fuel switching initiatives, smart grid, and transition to Electric Vehicles.
  • Knowledge of LEED, energy auditing, energy modeling, water efficiency, energy efficiency retrofits, and/or zero net energy.
  • Ability to track and monitor developments in pertinent state mandates, laws, codes, rules, and regulations related to energy and water.
  • Experience preparing written materials such as narratives or Board reports, technical charts, strategic plans, and publications.
  • Experience developing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating comprehensive outreach, website, surveys, consultant contracts, public education, training, and media activities.
  • Skills in developing rapport, training staff, and enhancing engagement of the energy and water team.
  • Skills in integrating race, equity, and social justice into energy and water programs.
  • Knowledge of principles and practices of program planning, implementation and evaluation.
  • Knowledge of pertinent federal, state and local laws, codes and regulations related to any of the program areas listed above or below.

For the Solid Waste Senior Resource Conservation Specialist:

  • Knowledge of principles of waste source reduction and reuse, recycling, composting, and solid waste management.

For the Climate Action and Adaptation Senior Resource Conservation Specialist:

  • Knowledge of principles of 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.

For the Livable Communities Senior Resource Conservation Specialist:

  • Knowledge of active and alternative transportation, affordable housing, commute alternatives, and community engagement.


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 waste reduction, recycling and composting, construction and demolition, renewable energy, energy efficiency, climate action planning and adaptation, water conservation, active transportation, affordable housing, commute alternatives, environmental education, and community engagement. 

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.

Remember to say you found this opportunity at

Job Level



Government- Local/Regional


$7,524.40 - $9,406.80 Monthly