Senior Environmental Director

Oakland, CA


You describe yourself as a true environmental planning veteran with experience beyond a decade. Colleagues and clients recognize your CEQA and NEPA expertise. Your face and voice are commonplace in environmental conference programs or CEQA training. You see a difficult CEQA problem as an irresistible puzzle to solve. Whenever there is a conversation about a complex environmental compliance issue, you can’t help but participate. Your Bay Area agency and client network is strong and growing. Your experience in the industry is multi-faceted, as you have worked on projects related to land use/community planning, urban development, utilities, and/or transportation.

Directing the environmental review for a major project is not only something you can do, it is something you’ve done many times, and it is what you thrive on. As a project director, you add refinement and quality to every document that leaves your desk. You manage your team’s deliverables and deadlines effectively, but with caring and empathy. You provide consistent performance feedback in a way that fosters your team members’ career growth. And you instill confidence in your clients by maintaining a positive, solutions-oriented outlook. 

Building a successful office excites you. Business development and marketing are ingrained in your psyche. You have led more proposals than your memory can recall, and you have developed a winning approach in both written proposals and oral interviews. You love creating and implementing strategies for growth and showing less experienced staff how to effectively generate work and find creative ways to expand their market reach. You also understand that true company growth is not about numbers but about nurturing people in their careers and maximizing individual potential. 


  • LEAD and contribute to business development activities, including proposal preparation and relationship building with prospective clients in the Bay Area and beyond
  • HELP foster and guide Oakland office growth
  • WORK with clients on their most important, sometimes first-of-its-kind, complex, and challenging environmental planning documents
  • TEAM up shoulder-to-shoulder with a knowledgeable, interdisciplinary group of Ascent professionals in the Bay Area, including coaching and leading the local staff
  • COLLABORATE closely with Ascent principals, office leaders, practice experts, and staff in other offices, who also support your work
  • COMMUNICATE directly with clients, regulatory agencies, sub-consultants, and stakeholders to understand and address a broad range of perspectives
  • CREATE, with your team, high-quality environmental and planning documents
  • PREPARE budgets and schedules, and carry out project work within agreed time frames and contract price
  • PROVIDE senior review of documents, with attention to completeness, legal adequacy, technical accuracy, and readability
  • REPRESENT Ascent and our clients at public meetings, workshops, and open houses
  • PARTICIPATE in professional associations, such as speaking at conferences 
  • CONTRIBUTE to growing the careers of the Bay Area team
  • ENJOY social and community service events, and the camaraderie of being an Ascentian



  • BS or MS degree in planning, environmental studies, geography, natural resources, physical sciences, or related field
  • 10+ years of experience working on environmental consulting efforts
  • Professional qualifications include client and project management, CEQA/NEPA expertise, writing, and analytical skills, and engaging interpersonal skills. 
  • A record of successful environmental planning projects and a history of strong relationships with clients and regulatory agencies are needed. 

Ascent offers a supportive, fun, and intellectually challenging work environment with excellent benefits. We invest in our employees’ careers and welfare and strive to provide high-quality outcomes for our clients. We offer flexible hours, collegial teamwork, participation in important and challenging projects, opportunities to contribute to and join in-service events for our local communities, and regular performance recognition. 

Ascent provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment regardless of race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training. 


Please note that this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.  

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