County of San Mateo – Climate Change Senior Sustainability Specialist

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?

$8,216 – $10,272 / Month

The County of San Mateo’s Office of Sustainability is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Senior Sustainability Specialist for the Climate Change working group to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and ensure that the County is actively preparing for climate change impacts. We want a “sustainability champion” to lead initiatives and support department staff in empowering our departments, employees, and our community partners and members to take meaningful actions on sustainability.

The County of San Mateo’s Office of Sustainability (OOS) has four working groups: Waste Reduction, Energy and Water, Livable Communities, and Climate Change. Each working group has 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 for Climate Change, you will:

  • 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.
  • Assist the Program Manager with program planning, budget development, and goal setting.
  • Provide staff with project direction, training, assignment and review of work completed, lead complex projects, and leverage grant opportunities.
  • Provide input on staff selection, and evaluation of opportunities to enhance engagement.

The ideal candidate will have the skills necessary to:

  • Provide leadership and promote teamwork while planning and coordinating staff activities.
  • Effectively frame and communicate complex concepts for different audiences, orally and in writing.
  • 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.
  • Track changes in and ensure 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 Climate Change working group. A competitive benefits package is associated with this position. For complete information regarding benefits please click here.

The Senior Sustainability Specialist for the Climate Change working group will be tasked with the following initiatives:

  • Explore opportunities and strategies to integrate and operationalize equity in climate action and adaptation initiatives.
  • Identify creative solutions and funding to empower shared action on climate change and adaptation planning.
  • Plan, facilitate and coordinate the Climate Ready SMC Collaborative, including community engagement and Collaborative planning and task Force meetings on Wildfire, Flooding and Sea Level Rise, Rising Temperature and Heat and Visioning and Strategic Planning.
  • Develop and implement the county’s resilience strategy, including a resilience framework and adaptation toolkit and policy templates for inclusion by the County and cities in San Mateo County in local plans and operations.
  • Oversee the successful development of a Climate Viewer, Online Adaptation Library, Hazard Specific Factsheets, and Climate Adaptation Pilot Projects.
  • Align climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies with the County’s and other cities’ plans and policies, including Climate Action Plans, Local Hazard Mitigation Plans, General Plans and plans for capital improvements.
  • Lead Climate Change work group staff on climate action planning and adaptation efforts including the development of an accelerated carbon neutrality plan, Government Operations Climate Action Plan, Community Climate Action Plan, South Coast Sea Level Rise Study and the Sea Level Rise Policy for County Operations.

The Senior Sustainability Specialist is the lead staff person that articulates a compelling vision for climate action and community climate readiness and effectively coordinates with county and city officials, government staff and community stakeholders to achieve measurable progress toward that vision. The Senior Sustainability Specialist will manage a variety of climate change programs focused on public stakeholder engagement, outreach and education as well as policy development.

Toward these initiatives assigned to the Senior Sustainability Specialist position, the selected candidate will enhance multi-departmental coordination for climate action and adaptation planning initiatives throughout the county and the cities of San Mateo County. This will occur particularly through the Climate Ready SMC Initiative, a cross-sector collaborative of non-profit and community-based organizations, local governments and businesses aimed at developing and implementing solutions to plan and prepare for a changing climate.

A typical way to qualify is three years of program coordination experience in the field of sustainability and/or resource conservation.

Final Filing Date: November 18, 2019

To learn more about the position and to apply online, visit our website at Applications are only accepted online. EOE