Senior Director, Cultural and Paleontological Resources

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About the opportunity

SWCA Environmental Consultants is seeking a Senior Director to lead our team of archaeologists, architectural historians, and paleontologists within our Southern California subregion, which includes offices in Pasadena and San Diego and distributed staff across the area, and beyond. This position requires excellent leadership skills and behaviors to successfully manage the execution of project work, cultivate our business development processes, deliver for our clients, and continue to build an exceptional team. The Senior Director will report to the Vice President, Southern California and Pacific Islands. This is a regular, full-time, salaried position with compensation based on individual qualifications and experience. The position is Southern California-based but is open to highly qualified candidates who prefer to work from a home office and are willing to come to the Pasadena and San Diego office at least once a quarter to work directly with their staff and colleagues.

Southern California is a hub of excellence within our market that is renowned for the quality of our work, commitment to our clients, and unparalleled team of professionals. We continuously strive to be the premier environmental consultancy in our market by offering a work environment that promotes employee engagement and development. The successful candidate will model and promote SWCA’s core competencies: be action oriented, ensure accountability, instill trust, be client focused, be able to adapt in different situations, make quality decisions and collaborate with other SWCA professionals throughout the company.  This position offers a great opportunity for operational leadership as well as business and professional development in this expanding market.

Candidates must submit a brief letter of interest with their application that describes their vision for this position.

What you will accomplish

As the Senior Director, you will have the following responsibilities:

People Accountabilities

  • Promote a culture of leadership, teamwork, engagement, high-quality service, and client satisfaction.
  • Develop and implement strategies to attract and retain talent. Lead strategic hiring efforts and focused retention efforts.
  • Lead organizational development and succession planning by creating and modifying team structure to support team growth and diversification. ​
  • Supervise and mentor organizational and technical directors, as well as team leads.
  • Drive engagement of the team by recognizing high performance and implementing approaches that build and sustain high levels of motivation. ​
  • Support career mobility and growth within SWCA through active coaching and mentorship of team members. ​
  • Direct all performance-related activities, including performance reviews and any disciplinary recommendations.
  • Determine compensation and bonus allocation.
  • Connect with staff, peers, and senior management by leading regular staff meetings and contributing to regular regional and national leadership meetings.

Planning and Problem Solving

  • Lead SWCA’s Southern California Cultural and Paleontological Resources program collaboratively, as an integral member of the subregional leadership team.
  • Ensure that the team’s work is well-coordinated across the business. ​
  • Participate in setting business goals for the offices.
  • Cascade objectives through the organization to ensure alignment between local efforts and regional/national goals.​
  • Manage resource allocation and coordinate across SWCA to enable successful project delivery.

Financial Accountabilities

  • Contribute to the development and management of the operational budget and ensure that budget objectives are achieved throughout the year through tracking and sound financial decision making, ensuring the ultimate profitability of your group.
  • Manage risk by ensuring an appropriate level of review and approval of proposals, contracts, budgets, and expenditures through mastery of and adherence to the SWCA approvals matrix.
  • Monitor financial KPIs and redirect efforts as needed (e.g., productivity/utilization, multipliers, overruns, sales, etc.).
  • Conduct regular reviews of projects within area of responsibility to ensure that projects are on track, risks are mitigated, and issues are escalated and resolved.
  • Facilitate communication between project managers, project controls, and the corporate finance team.

Client and Market Accountabilities

  • Contribute to the growth and maintenance of client relationships, both locally and regionally.
  • Maintain awareness of market and industry trends that impact the business through news sources, event attendance, and using your professional network.
  • Identify new opportunities to diversify the business and lead teams in their pursuit.
  • Lead go/no-go analyses and provide senior review of proposals.
  • Collaborate with business development specialists across SWCA to align operational abilities and needs with the pursuit of opportunities.

Technical Accountabilities

  • Support the execution of work by managing projects and contracts, as well as providing senior-level technical support.
  • Leverage experts effectively, engaging the right talent to meet client needs.​
  • Implement and refine SWCA Quality Control Procedures.
  • Ensure company safety program is effectively implemented for your area of responsibility.
  • Coordinate with peers and project managers to efficiently allocate company resources, including personnel, vehicles, supplies, and equipment.

Experience and qualifications for success

  • Bachelor’ degree in anthropology, archaeology, geology, historic preservation, paleontology or a related field. Graduate degree preferred.
  • A minimum of 12 years of experience in cultural resources management, planning, and science. Experience should include overseeing fieldwork, office work, and report completion, as well as scheduling and budgeting of projects.
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience in increasing levels of responsibility in management, including supervising and mentoring of professional staff.
  • Working knowledge of Southern California markets and cultural and paleontological resources.
  • Demonstrated expertise working within multiple business lines to develop business and successfully complete projects to the satisfaction of clients.
  • Experience applying federal, state, and local regulations to cultural resources in California, particularly CEQA, NEPA, and the National Historic Preservation Act.
  • Demonstrated success leading staff, including recruiting, mentoring, developing, and coaching.​
  • Strong understanding of financial metrics common to our industry.​
  • Extensive experience building and maintaining strong partnerships, both internal and external.​
  • Strong client-facing skills (e.g., communication, relationship building, problem solving).​
  • Proven record of developing new business and leading major proposal efforts.​

SWCA Environmental Consultants is a growing employee-owned firm, providing a full spectrum of environmental services. 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.

If you would like to contact SWCA regarding the accessibility of our website or need assistance completing the online application process due to a disability, please email or call 480-581-5378. This contact information is for disability accommodation requests only. All other inquiries will not receive a response.

EOE – women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans are encouraged to apply.

An employee in this Pasadena, CA-based position can expect a salary of $143,910.00-$188,370.00/year. Actual pay within this range may depend on experience, qualifications, geographic location, client requirements where applicable, and other factors permitted by law.  Regular-status employees are also eligible for performance bonuses. Candidates are also encouraged to consider SWCA’s Total Rewards package, which includes a competitive Benefits package, forward-thinking workplace flexibility, outstanding corporate culture, award-winning career development, and more.