County of San Mateo

Are you passionate about sustainability, including issues such as climate change, building and transportation decarbonization, energy efficiency, developing equity-oriented approaches to emissions reduction and building a sustainable society? Are you interested in being part of the evolving ways local governments can develop and implement programs that improve the quality of our natural and built environments and attends to historic inequities in our communities?
The County of San Mateo’s Office of Sustainability (OOS) is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Sustainability Specialist (Climate Action) to lead the implementation efforts of the County’s 2022 Community Climate Action Plan, assist colleagues in administering energy efficiency and electrification programs, and assist our departments, community partners, and community members in planning for and implementing projects that reduce and manage energy use, reduce transportation emissions, and sequester carbon.
The ideal candidate has expertise in the social and cultural dimensions of environmental issues, environmental communications, and climate policy. The ideal candidate will have a solid familiarity with a breadth of sustainability related topics such as energy efficiency, decarbonization, sustainable transportation, carbon sequestration, or other related issues, in the local government context. Key skills include strategizing program and policy implementation, relationship building, complex project management, and effective oral and written communications skills in a variety of settings and media. The successful candidate can work with minimal supervision and has the capacity to collaborate and learn across topical jurisdictional boundaries.

Additionally, the ideal candidate has excellent interpersonal skills and experience working with a diverse range of stakeholders and perspectives. The candidate demonstrates cultural humility and understands how to identify and communicate about institutional and structural racism and bias and its impact on historically underserved communities. The ideal candidate navigates politically sensitive issues with integrity. The ideal candidate will have at least one year of experience coordinating programs in the field of environmental policy, sustainability, and/or the intersection between environmental and social issues.

Job Duties
The Sustainability Specialist (Climate Action) will lead the implementation of the San Mateo County Community Climate Action Plan (CCAP). In this role, the individual will assist in leading neighborhood electrification projects, developing an equitable electrification strategy in partnership with local community-based organizations, crafting existing building electrification policies and programs, and collaborating with others to carry out additional priority actions in the CCAP. These include but aren’t limited to improving urban tree canopy in historically underserved neighborhoods, facilitating active transportation through first-mile-last-mile shuttle programs, and coordinating with solid waste reduction staff and other stakeholders to implement a carbon sequestration program.
This will be a permanent position in the Office of Sustainability. This recruitment may also be used to fill future three-year term positions.
Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

Lead the implementation of key emissions reduction initiatives in collaboration with other countywide initiatives and regional programs, such as the Regionally Integrated Climate Action Planning Suite (RICAPS), Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN), and San Mateo County Energy Watch.
Support the development of policies and programs in the following topic areas:

Existing building electrification
Energy efficiency
Transportation emissions reduction (active transportation, electric vehicle (EV) accessibility, and EV infrastructure deployment)
Climate beneficial agriculture/carbon sequestration

Develop project budgets, oversee contractors, coordinate a team of professionals to meet project deadlines.
Lead the development of the County’s equitable electrification strategy and the implementation of neighborhood electrification pilots in partnership with community-based organizations.
Plan and facilitate focused, productive meetings, informational webinars and in-person workshops for a diversity of stakeholders to forward climate protection goals. Stakeholders might include community-based organizations, property owners, renters, business owners and managers, real estate professionals, contractors, local government staff, and other stakeholders.
Serve as subject matter expert for County departments, Board of Supervisors, external stakeholders, community groups, and the public.
Develop, implement, monitor, and evaluate comprehensive outreach and engagement activities, including websites, surveys, public education, training, and media activities.
Develop and manage contracts for consultant support services related to marketing, community outreach, and technical support.
Develop, prepare, negotiate, and monitor grants. Ensure compliance with grant stipulations and funding agency reporting requirements. Develop written reports for funders.
Analyze and interpret reports, information, and data related to program implementation.
Perform other duties as assigned, especially related to climate action plans, greenhouse gas reductions, and renewable energy.

Example of duties leading the implementation of the San Mateo County Community Climate Action Plan:

Cultivate rapport and collaborative working relationships with key implementing partners.
Collaborate with local government staff, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders to develop strategic community engagement plans, project scopes and timelines, grant applications, and budgets.
Develop and lead new, short-term initiatives related to electrification of buildings and transportation and sequestering carbon.
Design and implement outreach strategies, which may include virtual and in-person workshops.
Develop content for a wide range of communication platforms including reports, social media, websites, videos, presentations, business letters, brochures, fliers, and other outreach tools.
Develop relationships with partners such as Peninsula Clean Energy, PG&E, community-based organizations, real estate professionals, home contractors, and others to expand opportunities for collaboration.
Handle administrative processes including monthly invoicing and reporting, tracking performance metrics, and monitoring and updating the budget.
A competitive benefits package is associated with these positions. For complete information regarding benefits please click here.

Formed in July 2014 as a part of the County Manager’s Office, the Office of Sustainability (OOS) strives to improve the sustainability of the County’s operations and the greater community through work in areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency, resource conservation, active transportation, climate resiliency, affordable housing, and greenhouse gas emission reductions. OOS is committed to increasing racial equity, diversity, and inclusion through our work. We actively take steps to dismantle systemic racism and increase equity in our programs. We value diverse life experiences and strive to create a workplace that is welcoming to all. We take steps to be inclusive and equitable in our recruiting and hiring.
We know work isn’t only about what you do, it’s also about who you work for and with. OOS has a fun and supportive work environment that supports a work-life balance, including:

Flexible, hybrid work schedule opportunities
Wellness classes and resources
Generous benefits package
Subsidy of up to $150 per month to cover the costs of public transit, vanpooling, carpooling, and bike and scooter share, or up to $480 per year for walking, biking, or carpooling to work
At least 20 hours of training provided annually


Knowledge of:

Principles and practices of project management, implementation, and evaluation
Principles and practices of contract management
Principles, practices, trends, and technical information in the areas of energy efficiency and decarbonization
Pertinent federal, state, and local laws, codes, and regulations

Skill/Ability to:

Plan, implement, coordinate, and evaluate assigned programs, projects, and activities
Serve as subject matter expert in energy efficiency, decarbonization, sustainable transportation, and other areas of resource conservation
Speak effectively and make public presentations, conduct outreach, and provide training and/or public education as necessary
Establish and maintain effective working relationships with a variety of individuals at all levels including those from government, business, private and non-profit agencies, community groups, and the public
Serve as representative for various committees and community groups
Integrate race and social justice considerations into work duties
Supervise permanent, temporary, contract and volunteer staff on a project basis
Identify problems and work to resolve them
Prepare comprehensive reports, letters, and other written materials
Provide information regarding planning, developing, and monitoring a project’s budget
Translate technical topics for professionals and elected officials, and communicate across multiple disciplines
Research and develop grant applications and other project funding solutions
Research and analyze information/data to formulate findings and recommendations
Interpret laws, regulations, and data
Track and monitor compliance with pertinent mandates, laws, codes, rules, regulations, and agreements
Perform other duties as assigned


Open and Promotional. Anyone may apply. Current County of San Mateo and County of San Mateo Superior Court of California employees with at least six months (1040 hours) of continuous service in a classified regular, probationary, extra-help/term position prior to the final filing date will receive five (5) points added to their final passing score on this examination. Responses to the supplemental questions must be submitted in addition to our regular employment application form. Application Materials: The following are required to be submitted: 1) regular online employment applications form 2) cover letter expressing interest in the position 3) resume Applications for this position will only be accepted online. If you are currently on the County’s website, you may click the “Apply” button. If you are not on the County’s website, please go to to apply. A supplemental application form must be submitted in addition to the standard County employment application form. A resume will not be accepted as a substitute for the required application materials. The examination process will consist of an application screening based on the candidates’ application and responses to the supplemental questions. Candidates who pass the application screening may be invited to a panel interview (weight: 100%). Depending on the number of applicants, an application appraisal of education and experience may be used in place of other examinations or further evaluation of work experience may be conducted to group applicants by level of qualification. All applicants who meet the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed advancement through any subsequent phase of the examination. All examinations will be given in San Mateo County, California and applicants must participate at their own expense. TENTATIVE RECRUITMENT SCHEDULE: Application Deadline: Tuesday, September 20, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. PST Application Screening: Friday, September 23 – Tuesday, September 27, 2022 Combined Panel Interviews: Thursday, October 6, 2022 The County of San Mateo may require that all employees provide proof of COVID-19 vaccine or comply with weekly COVID-19 testing. Employees hired into specified health care facilities and other high-risk settings where there is potential for frequent COVID-19 exposure to staff and highly vulnerable patients are required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. For more specific information, please refer to the County’s COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing Policy.

At the County of San Mateo, we welcome and celebrate the diversity of our employees, and strive to create a workplace where they feel valued every day.

The County of San Mateo is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.

Analyst: Arlene Cahill (Resource Conservation Specialist II/III – J081/J083)

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