Senior Sustainability Specialist, Climate Resilience

County of San Mateo, Office of Sustainability Published: April 11, 2023
County of San Mateo, CA
Skill Level
Mid Level
Job Type
Climate Change / Corporate Sustainability / Certification / Project Management
(Number of Job Posting Views: 5)

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Are you passionate about sustainability, with an emphasis on sea level rise, wildfire and heat risks, and watershed protection all through a racial and socially equitable lens?

Do you want to be a leader on a team of enthusiastic professionals and be part of developing and implementing programs to help San Mateo County communities become more resilient?

The County of San Mateo's Office of Sustainability (OOS) is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Senior Sustainability Specialist (Climate Resilience). We want "sustainability champions" with experience working directly with people from diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. We are looking for candidates with excellent project management and communication skills to lead initiatives and empower our employees, community partners, and community members to take meaningful actions on sustainability. OOS is committed to building a diverse staff and strongly encourages candidates from varied backgrounds to apply.
Job Responsibilities

The Senior Sustainability Specialist supports the Program Manager in the administration of the Climate Resilience team. The Senior Sustainability Specialist will lead one or more complex projects, including developing and implementing climate resilience and mitigation efforts to prepare County facilities and communities for the impacts of climate change. The position provides staff with project direction and review of work completed, including incorporating racial equity and social justice considerations into program delivery and tracking of results. The position also includes collaboration with many different groups, agencies, and organizations throughout the county, including community leaders, small businesses, nonprofits, as well as city, county, school district, and special district staff.
The Senior Sustainability Specialist (Climate Resilience) will

  • Lead or support countywide and department level programs through plan development and implementation such as the Sea Level Rise Policy for County Assets, Safety Element, and Environmental Justice Element.
  • Support and collaborate with Sustainability and County staff as well as cities and community- and faith-based organizations in accessing OOS programs to achieve climate action goals.
  • Advance countywide and regional efforts supporting climate resilience as it pertains to wildfire, extreme precipitation, extreme heat, flooding, storm water, and climate readiness by participating in or leading pilots, working groups, regional collaborations, and developing and supporting policies.
  • Provide strategic input to local and regional collaboratives such as the Bay Area Climate Adaptation Network to ensure current and future programming supports San Mateo County in meeting climate resilience goals. 
  • Provide leadership and cross-collaboration with other OOS programs and other external partners to serve specific customers more comprehensively such the Bay Area Regional Energy Network Resilient Libraries Program and Green Business Program.

The IDEAL CANDIDATE will have the skills necessary to: 

  • Develop and implement policy and programmatic strategies to increase climate resilience.
  • Apply equitable community engagement to incorporate perspectives of multiple communities, including communities of color, in consideration of program impacts and outcomes. 
  • Work and communicate effectively with people from diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. 
  • Provide leadership and promote teamwork while planning and coordinating staff activities.
  • Define and analyze difficult problem areas and provide valid alternatives and recommendations.
  • Represent the work group and the department on boards, committees, and in community groups.
  • Communicate effectively both orally and in writing, 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 compliance with existing contracts, grants, laws, codes, and rules.

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

  • Identify and coordinate collaboration opportunities across program areas, within the work group, and across OOS.
  • Enhance multi-departmental and multi-agency coordination for OOS initiatives throughout the county and the cities of San Mateo County. 
  • Lead complex projects in coordination with stakeholders from the public, nonprofit, and private sectors.
  • Leverage grant opportunities to expand the comprehensiveness of existing programs and launch new initiatives.
  • Provide staff with project direction, training, assignment, and review of work completed.
  • Serve as a technical expert, researching, analyzing, and interpreting complex technical data.
  • Identify and implement racial equity and social justice opportunities at work and in the community; track results.
  • Provide input on staff selection and evaluation of opportunities to enhance employee engagement.
  • Assist the Program Manager with program planning, budget development and management.
  • Participate in goal and strategy development. Develop procedures and policies for new and existing programs.
  • Perform related 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.

San Mateo County is centrally located between San Francisco, San Jose, and the East Bay. With over 750,000 residents, San Mateo is one of the largest and most diverse counties in California and serves a multitude of culturally, ethnically and linguistically diverse communities. The County of San Mateo is committed to advancing equity in order to ensure that all employees are welcomed in a safe and inclusive environment. The County seeks to hire, support, and retain employees who reflect our diverse community. We encourage applicants with diverse backgrounds and lived experiences to apply. Eighty percent of employees surveyed stated that they would recommend the County as a great place to work. The County of San Mateo is an equal opportunity employer committed to fostering diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels. 

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