Environmental CEQA/NEPA Practice Lead/Environmental Planner (San Francisco)

Requisition Number
# of Openings
Office Location
US-CA-Half Moon Bay | US-CA-Half Moon Bay
Environmental Planning/Permitting
Hire Type

About the opportunity

SWCA Environmental Consultants is seeking a highly experienced, self-directed Environmental CEQA/NEPA Practice Lead to expand our successful and well-established planning services within Northern California.  The ideal candidate will:

  • Possess and cultivate strong existing client contacts in multiple business lines (e.g., energy and utilities, land development, transportation, water resources, and federal, state, and local agencies),
  • Maintain a proven track record of creating and developing new business opportunities, and
  • Manage large-scale and complex projects.

As our Practice Lead, you will:

  • Develop and mentor staff to achieve their career goals while meeting SWCA’s financial targets,
  • Directly contribute towards SWCA’s strategic growth goals, and
  • Enhance a professional working environment where people are inspired to bring their best work to foster the continued growth of SWCA.


This is a regular, full-time, salaried position that is a career growth opportunity to join SWCA’s expanding California CEQA/NEPA Practice in Northern California. This position will be tied to SWCA’s Bay Area offices in Half Moon Bay and San Francisco but can be located anywhere in Northern California. 


SWCA’s Northern California operations offer a diverse environmental team and a variety of exciting projects throughout the state. We are looking to capitalize upon our Northern California CEQA/NEPA Planning Practice to expand on our existing services and work in tandem with our CEQA and NEPA experts across the region. This position has tremendous opportunity for growth, as it will directly contribute to establishing, leading, and growing this practice in the nation’s largest market for environmental services. This “cornerstone” position is ideal for an experienced and ambitious individual who is looking to advance their career as both a CEQA/NEPA practitioner and as a manager/mentor to our staff. 

What you will accomplish

Technical Leadership

  • Manage project teams of SWCA staff and sub-consultants with large and complex multidisciplinary projects.
  • Meet milestones within schedule and budgetary expectations and be the primary source of accountability for quality assurance/quality control oversight of deliverables, including process improvement, standard operating procedures, data management and analysis, and reporting procedures.
  • Encourage innovation in the program, mentor critical thinking for new internal process improvements and technical approaches and create a plan for their implementation.
  • Prepare CEQA/NEPA scopes of work, schedules, and budgets and ensure that projects deliverables are technically sound and meet quality, schedule, and budget objectives.
  • Provide strategic CEQA/NEPA regulatory support on multidisciplinary projects.
  • Develop and execute client and public presentations to governmental agencies, boards, commissions, and stakeholders.
  • Take initiative to resolve problems and identify improved procedures to assure client needs are met effectively.


Client Leadership

  • Foster new client relationships, strengthen existing client relationships, and conduct ongoing business development with clients.
  • Lead business development efforts in the Northern California, including client outreach, opportunity tracking, attendance at pre-bid meetings, preparation of proposals, and conducting interviews and presentations.
  • Manage the performance of individual projects and effectively coordinate with clients and agencies to produce technically excellent work that is on time and on budget.
  • Identify and evaluate changing market conditions and strategic sales opportunities (new clients and geographies).
  • Lead proposal efforts and internal business development groups and take a lead role in the go/no go decisions in concert with the Director.
  • Develop deep and productive relationships within industry organizations and with agency staff to expand the regional client base, in line with the region’s strategic goals.
  • Conduct business development, including client outreach, preparing proposals, and conducting interviews and presentations.
  • Win, lead, plan, and manage multi-objective documents (both CEQA and NEPA) prepared for a variety of projects and environmental compliance projects throughout the region. 

Organizational Leadership

  • Work closely with other project managers, directors, and principals throughout the company to promote SWCA’s business interests in adherences to its mission, vision, and values.
  • Direct, manage, and mentor an internal team of SWCA staff with diverse levels of experience and expertise.
  • Facilitate communication and collaborate within our regional environmental planning team, other discipline leaders, and corporate departments.
  • Advise the Director on staff hires, advancement, and course correction, as needed.
  • Take on increasing levels of responsibility and monitoring metrics for the financial performance of your team. Metrics to monitor monthly will include project profitability, individual staff billing rates, productivity goals, labor projections, financial forecasting, and annual business planning.
  • Audit projects for the project managers in your team quarterly, identify and mitigate project challenges to avoid overruns, and ensure profitability.
  • Contribute to expanding SWCA’s professional reputation in environmental consulting.

Experience and qualifications for success

  • Bachelor’s degree in environmental planning or a related field. Master’s degree and American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) certification a plus.
  • A minimum of at least 15 years of combined experience in project management and applicable and progressive experience preparing environmental documents, managing staff, and overseeing technical quality, preferably experience within the Bay Area and Northern California.
  • Candidate should have an extensive working knowledge of federal and California environmental regulations (e.g., CEQA, NEPA, NHPA, CWA, and ESA).
  • Experience leading business development efforts and proposals to secure new opportunities with new clientele.
  • Active member in professional groups or associations.
  • Deep, existing client relationships in the Bay Area and Northern California, and the capacity to develop client relationships and seek out new opportunities.
  • The motivation and drive to identify, win, and secure work.
  • Ability to travel as needed for projects throughout California, as COVID-19 restrictions allow.

SWCA Environmental Consultants is a growing employee-owned firm, providing a full-spectrum of environmental services. Our Vision (the North Star) is to make SWCA the best workplace and industry leader in sustainability, bringing sound science and creative solutions to global environmental challenges while maintaining a dedication to employee-ownership.  We are #OneSWCA; we collaborate, we are #AlwaysLearning, we #NeverSettle, and we #GiveBack.  We are 100% employee-owned, and we build our success together. With offices across the United States, SWCA is one of the largest environmental compliance firms and ranks among Engineering News-Record’s Top 200 Environmental Firms. We offer a supportive, team-oriented work environment and competitive wages and benefits, including a 100% employee stock ownership plan (retirement plan).


If you are seeking an opportunity to work in a culture of exceptionally skilled and diverse professionals who embrace sound science and creative solutions, then SWCA will be a great fit for you! If you would like to contact SWCA regarding the accessibility of our website or need assistance completing the application process, please email accomodations@swca.com or call 800-828-8517. This contact information is for accommodation requests only and cannot be used to inquire about the status of applications.


SWCA is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans to apply.









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